Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Highland Fling 3 - finishing up

I quite fancied a beer and stovies but the signs made it clear they were for the ultra runners only (and even they didn't all get stovies) so I settled for coke and crisps from the shop and waited to see who would appear. I was delighted to see santababy finishing in a fantastic time, crying with the emotion of it all, then finding her composure, discovering her son had come to see her, and losing it all again. Great to see Robbo come home and a smiling supernormal and bouncytime.

The finish area was starting to get busy and I can't really remember who I saw when, but there was a really good feeling in the air. I got a text from Ann to say mrs s had been spotted crossing the road, then a text from mrs s reading "Wigwams " so I knew she was just about there and then she called to see if I would keep her company for a bit, so I jogged back down the track against the trickle of tired runners heading the other way. I passed a confused Dod and Lintie, Sophster (missed her flare at the finish unfortunately) and GraemeC, then met mrs s and headed back to the finish where she helped herself to a well-deserved sit down and gave me her free beer (thanks ). I remember seeing MikeR, _andy, Rob MacSunday all finish (I like the flag Rob - nice touch) and pestomum completing her team's race before I went back down the route again to see who else was on the way. Really pleased to see M1nty heading towards the finish and looking strong and determined - I hope the high-five made up for not seeing him cross the line. I met Andrinne soon after so turned and headed for the finish line again where we could finally collect our team goody bag. We stayed to see flip and Dave K finish, then mrs s was going white so we decided to get some food from the Real Food Cafe which was excellent as usual.

We ate, we showered, then off to Paddy's for drinks followed by a stroll up to the ceilidh where we drank and chatted (I seem to remember laughing a lot) and danced a bit until it was time to hobble back to the hotel.

Strangely enough, enthusiasm for Devil reps with Dod and Lintie had waned over night (I think I'd have been up for it but we needed to get home ) but everyone enjoyed a hearty breakfast as more chat was chatted before multiple good-byes were said, and everyone went their separate ways.

It was a splendid weekend spent in the company of a very special group of friends. I'll be looking forward to the next time we all get together, whenever that might be. A few people have asked if I'll run the whole Fling next year. I have other ideas about what I really want to do next year, but they don't preclude running in the Fling and I'm pretty sure I'll be involved one way or another. I'm still concerned about the cut-off time so feel that waiting another year (and getting another hour if the current system continues) might be the best option, so I may well be looking for a relay team again next year (there was a drunken discussion about a 4 Ia(i)ns team) but who knows?

So, I'm off to sign up for a "how to write less and say more" course. Well done to everybody involved - the ultra runners, the relay runners, the marshalls, the supporters, the organisers - you're all brilliant.
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