On Sunday 19th August Skiddadle ran the inaugural Ben Guilipen MTB Madness! race, and rather race I helped Marshal for the event. As I wasn't racing on the bike I decided to head up Ben Guilipen for a hill run in the morning before the event. A gorgeous morning it was too!
A mile and half into the run I started to climb the narrow path up past the Mollands estate and got a great view looking north though the flowers towards Ben Ledi and the crags, with morning mist just burning off Callander
Another couple of miles later I exit the forest and am rewarded with a great view north towards Ben Ledi.
Further on and near the summit of Ben Gulipen one gets a view south of quite different character, the Gargunnock hills standing proud from the valley mist.
Looking north towards Ben Ledi with it's morning shroud still bubbling away from it's flanks, and below it Loch Lubnaig with it's own blanket of mist. One can also see mist that engulfs Loch Venachar at the base of Ben Ledi. I love days like this, crystal clear visibility and cloud and mist provide a extra dynamic to already spectacular views.
On the descent the view through the woods is rather less spectacular as it's principly forest track with trees that obscure any distant view. However, as I leave the forest just above the Mollands estate I am rewarded with a lovely picture frame of the sun lit valley to the north with cobwebs on the grass providing an enchanting and tranquil setting.
Back home it there was a quite spot of DIY doing up Gwen's new room and then out at 10:30 for the marshal briefing and final race setup - my role for the day was a race timing based at the top of Ben Guilipen.
At 1pm the race started from the Cohallian Car park, and in 23 minutes the first rider appeared, and by 2pm everyone was back at the top and ready to head back down, quickest descent was just over 11 minutes! Below is the one photograph I got of the race - here the riders are assembling for the start of the descent. No chance to take any other photo's as I was too busy looking at stop watches and taking notes of times.