Hill Race, 8 1/2 miles, 1:14:57, Average HR 172, Calories 1010
Total 37.9 mile
Distance to go: 168 miles
Today was the Callander Highland Games Hill Race, a 8 1/2 miles, 1500ft ascent/descent hill race.
In the morning I helped check part of Hill Race route to make sure all the flags and signs were still in place. My section to check took up along the spin of the Crags and then down through the woodland of central Crags path. Listening to the birds signing and gentle calm ambiance of the woodland in the morning light was hypnotic and beautiful.
The effects of spring storms are still very evident and stark reminder of how something that for now was tranquil and seemingly untouched haven not so long ago was a torn apart by hurricane force winds.
After the gentle walk up the Crags I ate an mid morning snack of fruit and yoghurt, the race was at 1:30pm and registration before meant little time for lunch. My plan for the race was to treat it as a tempo run and not push it too hard - the race comes right at the start of my Olympic Challenge and racing hard presents a big injury risk. Despite my attempts of treating the race as a low key event just for fun the nerves kicked in, people talk of butterflies in the stomach, I seem to get fireflies with a payload of laxatives!
This year the race was starting within the Highland Games ring with a lane marketed out around the outside of the ring just for the Hill Race. This meant that at the beginning and the end of the race we'd be running within feet of the spectators. This certainly added to special quality of being part of bigger event - normally fell and ultra runners turn up to a remote location with crowd of die hard runners for company.
At the start there was lots of familiar faces, both young and old, there were also unfamiliar faces and even so not so British accents. Unfortunately Prasad was around to defend his tittle, he claims to be training to represent Britain. Poor excuse, surely one could just use it as a tempo run like I was... intending too...
The race started, we ran, we walked, we ran, some fell, puffed a lot and finally back to final loop around the field. I will write up more soon but right now it's getting late so I'll return to this post later. Follows are photo's of the winners.
And just a final photo to show my kids what they missed by not coming along this year!