Monday, 27 April 2009

Taking the High Road (part 2)

So, our last post left the intrepid "Queens" just outside Drymen where Vikki handed over the coveted green sash to Pete, who set off on the ascent of Conic Hill. We quickly realised that, true to form, Vikki had managed to make some new friends on the way, notably Jim (the dad of our club chairman, Craig) and Tracey and Helen from Falkirk (Tracey was also known as Phillippa from Team Beaver, whose other members were Hairy, Bushy, and Alec - apparently it's all a bit rude, but like Ann from Team Dun & Dusted, I've no idea why). Then, it was back in the car and up the road to Balmaha to play in the kids park and watch some runners.

Despite having just run over this "sharp little rise", most of the runners coming through the car park at Balmaha looked pretty comfortable. The relay teams were catching up with some of the ultra runners so it was quite busy. We hung around to cheer our guys through and then it was once again back in the car for the drive to Rowardennan and the start of my leg. Pete posted a decent time for his leg, despite finding the lochside run pretty tough, the sweaty sash was handed over, and I set off on my stroll (see previous post).

Although I was obviously unaware of it at the time, Vikki also had a little adventure involving crazy farmers, mad publicans, the police, and the consumption of my crisps by another Iain - I'm sure she'll fill in all the details.

I handed over to Eifiona who was probably fed up waiting for me but still managed a very respectable time for the final leg, making sure we didn't come last. Even the fact that she arrived at Tyndrum to find that both of her children had fallen in the river couldn't wipe the smile off her face.

we had our dinner (and free coffee) at The Real Food Cafe (brilliant - really nice fish and chips) then a quick change at the Wigwam and a couple of drinks at the ceilidh. By then we were both feeling tired so headed for bed, although it looked like a crowd were heading up to the village hall. A fine end to a very long and interesting day.

I just want to add a huge well done to everyone who took part. My admiration for the ultra runners went up another notch - these guys are amazing athletes and most still had the time to say a hello and words of encouragement to others. A great bunch of people. Also, well done to all the runners at Balmoral and London. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone else's stories from the weekend.

Bye for now.

P.S. If anyone's interested in the official results, they're on the Fling web site. Stonehaven were represented by George Reid, Angus Reid, Dunnottar Dun and Dusted, Team Donoghue, and us. Details about how to enter next year's event will no doubt appear there as well.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Taking the High Road (part 1)

NB The twin effects of wine and lack of sleep mean that I'm not going to finish this post, but I'm going to post it anyway, and finish off in another post tomorrow (probably). In the meantime, there are some photos on Vikki's Picasa site, and congratulations to all who ran at the various events around the country this weekend. Anyway, on with the post....

The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond is thought to have been written by a soldier contemplating his death. This was just one of the many things that went through my mind as I ran, walked and limped up the West Highland Way from Rowardennan to Bein Glas on the third leg of the Highland Fling. Basically, I had a disappointing run. The first five or six miles went well and I felt pretty good, but then the legs felt like jelly and I really struggled to get going after that - it didn't help that the path was practically impossible to run on in bits (think rocks, streams, tree roots, and staircases), and it was getting quite warm until the brief hailstorm.

Despite all that, it was a good fun weekend - well, it was away from the kids so it was bound to be good. Vikki and I drove down on Friday, made a trip to central Glasgow to join the Daily Record journalists strike, had a nice meal at Il Pavone which was partly spoiled by poor service, and then spent the night at the Premier Inn at Milngavie who were really good and went out of their way to make sure we could get some breakfast before the race.

Vikki ran the first leg from Milngavie to Drymen in a very respectable time, despite ignoring this advice and going the wrong way. She was the first Stonehaven relay runner to reach the Drymen handover which was a great achievement considering the experience of the others.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

I'm so excited

"Why, why, why are you excited?" I hear you ask. Well, our new running clobber has finally arrived as you can see from the photos below.

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And just in time too. I am also just a little bit excited about the prospect of running almost 14 miles over a couple of wee hills which ought to be tremendous fun, especially as there will be a decent turn out from Stonehaven. Stonehaven will also be well represented at Balmoral, and apparently Dave is taking part in some wee charity run down South this weekend. Good luck to all.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Stupid is as stupid does

Sometimes, it's a good idea to check things out. For example, if, let's say you were a member of a gym and you were in the habit of going there in the morning before work, perhaps it would be a good idea to find out whether or not that gym might not open as early on a public holiday as on other days. And it might also be worth checking out when those public holidays are. Otherwise, you might just arrive at the gym before it opens and not be able to get in. Of course, you could probably go at lunch time, but I reckon you'd feel just a bit silly.

Or, to pick another example, if you were in any way involved with a youth organisation (e.g. the Beaver Scouts) it would normally be considered good form to check the agenda for the term before you set off, just in case there's no meeting on a particular night. Of course, if you were involved in preparing the said agenda, and it's normal policy to never have a meeting on the first Monday after a school holiday, you would very likely feel extremely foolish indeed.

Just sayin'