The Place: Mull of Kintyre

 

The Route : Kintyre Way / 66 miles from Tarbert to Cambelltown

The Race: Relay over 6 stages

 

 

“Mull of Kintyre, oh mist, rolling in from the sea, my desire, is always to be here……” So said Sir Paul McCartney when singing about his favourite place in 1977 for those of us old enough to remember.  However a group of 6 Cosmics (Gillian, Pauline, Elaine ,  Colin, Keith and John ) were not so sure as most of them had never been to Kintrye – they all knew that it was a long way to travel from Aberdeen (5hours) and a very long race but with the usual Cosmic bravado were willing to give it a go when first suggested by Gillian.

 

The plan agreed was that we should do 2 stages each consecutively with the distances varying from 20-25 miles. There was to be a ladies and men’s team with team selection for each section decided mainly by Elaine who wanted to do the middle stages as these were the toughest (or so she thought).

 

The day dawned bright and very early for Gillian and John who had valiantly volunteered (or been volunteered) to go first at 6am with Gillian’s husband John providing transport to Tarbert for the start .

 

The verdict when they bounded into the changeover at Clachen was that running and eating that early in the day takes practice and that 20 miles on roads and rocky tracks is very hard on the sole.

 

Having watched Colin and Elaine disappear in sunshine for their first leg along the coast,  energy  stores were replenished with lovely tea and homebaking in the village hall before heading back to the accommodation and cheering Colin and Elaine as they ran past.

 

Gillian barely had time for a shower when it was back in the car and on the twisty road to Carradale, more homebaking and a test of patience in coping with Keith and Pauline who were itching to get started the final onslaught.

 

The next leg proved interesting with Keith running ever decreasing circles in search of the route while Pauline bravely followed the trail (waymarked as a low tide route only) over rocks and cliffs and clambered up hillsides over felled trees and through bog and burn. This short but exciting leg contrasted with the endless forest track and undulating minor roads of the last section of the race which came to a welcome end outside the swimming pool in (not so scenic) Campbeltown.

 

A lovely post race cold buffet and prizegiving was conveniently located next to our rented house in Tayinloan followed by a ceilidh. After many miles and much feasting, dancing proved a bigger challenge than the race but did wonders for the stiffness in our legs.

 

Local teams from Campbeltown running club cleaned up on the prize front and were the recipients of a fabulous cake decorated with a map of the race route. Cosmics enjoyed  individualised certificates awarded to all present which contained times for each leg beautifully detailed by hand. We were very happy to have completed our race and to commiserate with a Dutch runner who was 1 of 4 of the 5 ultra runners tackling the full 66 miles who were forced to withdraw along the way.

 

Great job by race organiser Rob & excellent training for those of us planning to run 46 miles round Jersey in August.