Monday, July 02, 2007

Highland Cross 2007

Kev Harper recently completed the Highland Cross, coming a brilliant 47th in 4:14:22. Here's his words:

2007 was the 25th staging of the highland cross event and i was lucky enough to pick up a spare entry a week before the event. I'm sure all of you are aware of the details of the event, but as it was a new one on me... it involves a 21mile run from Kintail through Gen Affric and then a transition onto road bikes to complete the last 29 miles.
My training for the event was not ideal, but after a hard week of team building and then a couple more drinks at the Outsider festival on the Fri night i set off early doors from Avimore to Beauly to load my bike and catch the bus to Kintail. It was undoubtedly one of the most picturesque bus journeys i have been on - but due to me requiring the loo about 5 mins into the 1hr 15min journey it was also one of the most unpleasant i have ever had to endure!
After quite a long wait at the start, with several discussions on jacket or no jacket for the run i opted for without and we all crowded together and waited for the SHOTGUN to be fired for the start. The first few miles go through hard packed track before the main climb looms. Here the track changes to a much narrower, technical singletrack. After the 300m of climbing, the track steadily descends back to the river and follows it along until the start of the dreaded yellow brick road. Unfortunately although i had been warned about this, you can imagine my dismay after thinking i had completed this section for someone to tell me that i was only just about to start it! My picture on this section says it all!
Once back to transition i took my time for a dry change of clothes only have this luxury ruined when the heavens opened 5 mins later. A mainly descending 10 mile start from the transition sets you on your way well before some nice roiling road back to Beauly.
I hope to get the chance to improve on my attempt at the cross this year - the incentive of finishing quickly enough to get a hot shower (just under 4.14 i have been told) should be just the push i need for next time.
Well done to all who took part, and i would seriously recommend it to anyone who gets a chance to compete.



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