Report and photo from our Boxing Day outing by OAC’s Karen Best:
In summary, a fantastically boggy and windy race!
As we were missing the Chevin Chase we decided to find a local Boxing Day race where we were staying in Scotland. We found a nice looking 10km hill race (250m ascent) in Torlundy near Fort William. The route takes in a local hill and part of the historic General Wade’s Way.
Boxing Day morning: The forecast consisted of a blue wave and large white arrow strategically placed right over the West of Scotland for the best part of 48 hours! So, with weather warnings for the hills, gusty winds and torrential rain on the horizon, we set off rather expecting to be sitting drinking tea in Fort William at 11am rather than running. As we approached the start at 10.30am, there it was… the registration tent, blowing in the wind! When Lloyd asked whether the race was still on the organiser looked rather shocked and shouted through the wind “Aye of course!” (we think we’re tough in Yorkshire!). We registered and paid our 50p each, we were now committed. The rest of the runners started to arrive…in shorts and vests, whilst we were dressed for a rather more major expedition (Lloyd did finally shed one layer). We were 28 in total on the start line… I felt rather proud to have made the effort. The safety talk consisted of… “boggy from the outset, two rivers extremely high, I’m so jealous of you all so have great fun” and that was it, off we went.
I soon latched on to a local guy in hope that his experienced navigation of the bogs would be better than mine, it was quickly apparent that navigation was of no advantage so the most direct route it was. We were up to our knees in bog and water until the ascent. As soon as the hill kicked in I made a break, with Lloyd cleverly sticking behind me to pace him up the hill (clever Mr Fox!). We reached the trig point and battled (I mean it!) against the wind to start making our descent where Lloyd took his usual lead but this time I was determined to stick with him. Over tussocks, through more bog, in the rivers and finally back on tarmac, where he finally shook me off completely! We came home in eleventh and twelfth positions and I was second lady home.
All I can say is I don’t think we’ve laughed so much in a race before. It was a great way to spend an hour out on Boxing Day.
Results from scottishhillracing.
Lochaber A.C. are a really friendly club and made us feel very welcome, so if you’re ever in the area and they’re hosting a race, go along. The tea and cakes were fab too!
Check out the Scottish Hill Runners website.