Lomonds of Fife 2007

The Cosmic Vet ladies team of Elaine, Linda and Anita made the trip down to Fife on Sunday for the latest SHR championship. The race had a new course for last year, billed variously as 17.5K and 950m, or 17.7K and 1040m; it looked rather over complicated on the map but seemed to work OK in practice.

Fortunately the weather forecast was correct and the pouring rain that greeted us first thing in Aberdeen did die out – it was even sunny by the end of the race. The start is out the road a bit from registration in Strathmiglo village hall and up the road a bit from the parking field – a point to be borne in mind when travelling to this race in future. Eventually we were off, practically straight up West Lomond via a very wet gully, then a slippery descending traverse down into the woods to join the track that formed part of the Devils Burden Relay Leg 4, then up to the monument – here Elaine and I followed Jocelyn Scott up a very very steep local Fife short cut, then down and across the road, along the track and up East Lomond and back, up again to a mound called the Maiden Castle, down to the track then up West Lomond again, for the final very steep grassy descent to the finish.

Elaine was climbing like a demon and I had to descend like a maniac to stay in touch! In fact the 3 female over 50s Elaine, myself and Jocelyn were together more or less the whole race. Elaine and I did get in front but Jocelyn caught us on the track back to West Lomond, Elaine took her again on the climb, but was left behind on the descent. The route description said “ some feardies have been known to don thorn-proof shorts for this descent” so I guess I should have known what to expect here (and I did wear old shorts). I launched myself off in pursuit of Jocelyn and soon ended up on by bum. The 2nd time this happened I realised it was actually much faster than running, it didn’t hurt on the grassy slope (so long as you stood up again before you got to the thistles!) and actually I had a reasonable amount of steerage and control. In fact I nearly caught Jocelyn until she realised and adopted similar tactics. Elaine was not impressed by this behaviour and came down carefully a minute or so later. The thorn proof shorts were in fact cut–off over trousers – and were actually used by some guys (mainly Westies) (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishhillrunners/1196130555/in/set-72157601586766680/). But apart from acquiring some lubricating sheep shit and a lot of grass, my shorts and bottom were unscathed. Linda finished in her usual controlled manner about 10 minutes later. The race was won (in record times for both male and female by Andrew Symonds (Carnegie) and Elke Scmidt (Bellahouston). No prizes for us, but we are still the leading Female Vet team!

Results: http://www.shr.uk.com/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0196&RaceYear=2007

Some photos are at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishhillrunners/sets/72157601586766680/detail/
And photos and a short video of people bum sliding the last descent (thankfully not us) on the Carnegie Harriers site: http://www.carnegie-harriers.co.uk/

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