Isle of Mull Race

Lone Cosmic at Mull “Monsterette”

 

It’s a shame no other Cosmics wanted to do the Isle of Mull race (SHR medium counter this year) – you all missed a good day.  Mind you, gale force winds and lashing rain overnight made one doubt the sanity of the expedition, but the rain had stopped by the time I boarded the 09.30 ferry to Craignure, then the sun came out, though the wind was still ferocious and Oban Bay full of white horses.  The race was well organised, with the start time set so you could do the whole thing in 1 day without taking a car to the island.  A bus was arranged to meet the ferry and minibuses to take us across from registration at Salen to the start at Loch ne Keal where there was a small marquee to keep the kit dry.  The only thing lacking was any sign of a path for the descent to the finish! 

 

There were a lot of familiar friendly faces on the ferry, with more camping at the start, and 105 runners started the race running along the road to the first ascent.  The 5 checkpoints were manned but otherwise the course was not marked.  As it was mostly clear and sunny and there were plenty of people to follow navigation was not a problem.  After a couple of minor ascents and descents we were up on the narrow A’Chioch ridge (here I did nearly get blown away by the wind), then a real scramble up to the top of Ben More (no running here).  Up until then I’d been doing better and passing people on the rocky and scree descents, but not on the final one – rocky path then bog and tussocky grass down to the finish at sea level – I was too tired.  Never mind – I finished in 2.43.54.  I decided to try out the al fresco washing facilities and had a brief swim in the Fada pool (is this in Shunter’s book of wild swimming places?) in the river behind the marquee.  The last six people unfortunately had to contend with a violent rain squall – the rest doing the whole race in the dry, and at this point all being cowering in the Carnethy tent (in their colours with logo!).  Then it was back to Salen for a great spread of soup, tea and cakes.

 

Brian Marshall won, breaking his own record, in 1.46.02, having overtaken Stewart Whitlie on the last descent.  Steven MacInnes (a Mull local I think was 3rd).  Colin Donnelly made an unfortunate early route choice as the small Lochaline to Fishnish ferry was delayed by the weather and he was late at the start.  Jill Mykura was 1st lady also in a new record time of 2.03.07, followed by Dawn Scott and Clare Gordon.

 

Anita



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