Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pressendye Hill Race - Welcome to the Pleasuredome

So a brand new race, included as part of the Cosmics Summer Series due to the cancellation of the Durris Mast race. Unfortunately a bit further to travel than Durris which meant that only myself and Gary were there from Stonehaven.
We'd had a family walk up Pressendye at the end of last year (or start of this year, I can't remember) but the race route was slightly different, starting on the edge of the village of Tarland with a short road bit before turning onto a fairly narrow path through the trees which widened enough for overtaking quite soon. Not that I was doing any overtaking - I was just planning a nice steady race the whole way. After a bit, the route opened up a bit more onto a wide, grassy path through moorland, great to run back down I was thinking as I pushed on, run/walking towards the track where we would meet the route taken on our walk and where I knew I could run for a little bit before the last steep push to the top. Which was steeper and harder than I remembered so it was a great relief to round the trig point and start back down - an even bigger relief for a lady I'd been following all the way up but who really suffered and felt sick on the last climb, but then got a second wind and flew past me on the descent. I picked off a couple of runners on the way down which felt good and even had time to look up at the fantastic view - a panorama taking in Clachnaben, Mount Battock, Mount Keen, snowy Lochnagar, and nearby Morven.
So overall, I'd say this was a good wee race - a traditional up-and-back hill race with some steep climbs and fast, runnable descents with the bonus of some good views when you're not concentrating on your feet. It's just a shame that it felt such a long way from home.

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