Archive for August, 2010


The AGM took place on Thursday 26 August.

It was well attended and the President’s summary of the year was well received

The winners of the Road Running Championship and the Hill Running Championship will not be known until December.  However, the Cross Country Champions of 2009-10 are Gordon Dobbie and Anne Noble.  The winner of the Xmas Handicap was Anita Johnson.

The President also thanked his predecessor, George Malone for his two years tenure and excellent service.

This has been Owen Light’s tenth years service as club Treasurer and Owen has decided that it is time for another to take up the challenge.  When Owen first took on the books, the club’s financial existence was doubtful.  He is leaving the club with a healthy balance sheet which will now be picked up by our current Membership Secretary, Ian McNee.  Ian’s job as Membership Secretary will be taken on by past president, Gordon Dobbie.

The President thanked Owen on behalf of the club and led a round of applause.

Key office bearers for the next year are as follows:

President – Alastair Skeoch
Vice President – Niall MacPherson
Secretary – John McKinlay
Treasurer – Ian McNee
Membership Secretary – Gordon Dobbie
Club Captain – George MacGregor
Press Secretary, web updater, championships organiser and general dogsbody – Alex Drain :)

Subs for the coming year are now due and have been set at last years rate of £25 for new members and £10 for current members.

Craigengower (Straiton) Hill Race

Well, the weather gods were kind to us yesterday and gave the runners near perfect conditions for this grand wee race. Four Tortoises were there for the run, Anne, Alex, Ian (wearing a dress) and myself. Ian was hoping for a spot “fancy dress” prize but it seems you have to try pretty hard to impress the judges at the Straiton gala. 😉 Maybe a tutu next year Ian?

As per usual, the start line was a slightly chaotic mix of kids and adults all looking for a clear stretch of road ahead of us in a bid to avoid “doing an Andy” and flattening some poor waif. 😉 [1] I set of at the front with Toni just to try an put a bit of distance between myself and the nearest anklebiters and once clear, I backed off having enjoyed, oh, maybe 5 seconds of being *ahead* of Toni!

Of course, having led the Tortoises, they then all charged past me long before we reached the primary school. As we entered the field I gradually began to recoup some of the distance and as the field levelled out and we entered the woods, I was able to regain my place as first Tortoise by the time we reached the stile.

Then it’s time for the calf burning haul up the hill. Not too bad to start with but by the time I hauled myself up to the summit I was crying out “ouch ouch ouch ouch” with every step. I staggered over to the marshal and received my “post-it” note and started my descent, constantly wondering at what point Alex was going to come charging past me.

Whilst I’m pretty good at running down long shallow slopes, the technique for steep hills still evades me and I came down like a girly. :-) (Apologies to all girlies in our club but you know what I mean). Despite this, there was no sign of Alex breathing down my neck when I reached the stile and I reckoned that if he hadn’t caught me by then, I could hold him off through the woods and field. I had a great gallop down the hill and once onto the road I still hadn’t been passed by anyone. As I neared the village hall a young lad I had been creeping up on suddenly realised I was behind and took off like a rocket only to slow down again after 100 yards clutching his side. Always one to take advantage of others’ misfortune 😆 , I quietened my breathing and starting sprinting quietly up behind him and flew by. He couldn’t respond again and for the first time ever, I actually moved up one position on the second half of a hill race!

I finished in about 22:31, Alex in 23:08, Ian 24:09 and Anne in 25:02. All times are approximate, not official. Congrats to Anne on what I believe was a big PB.

[1] Actually, this is a little unfair as if memory serves me right, I don’t think Andy knocked the kid over. I think he fell in front of Andy and Andy gallantly stopped to help the kid up and make sure he was okay.

Postscript from Alex

Actually, Andy did indeed trip the wee fella. I was just to Andy’s left when it happened. Unfortunately, I have to admit that it was an accident and not a ‘professional’ foul 😉 At the end of the race, the jammy sod got about 20 seconds knocked off his official finish time for his ‘sporting’ behaviour :roll: (wish I’d remembered that for this year)

Karen – The Devil O’ The Highlands

It’s a long story but will keep it as short as possible.

This was my first ever Ultra 2007 and had no clue how to run it, well this year I’ve done 2 more and thought I was pretty clued up on what was needed. I set my myself the time of 9hrs, a whole 57 mins faster than 07 but thought it was a reasonable target in terms of my fitness. I now sneer at my utter niavity!!

By the time we arrived Friday with my wee team of Bryan (driver) Anne (runner) and Munro (dog) I was already hyped up with nerves and excitment. Could barely eat my fish supper, my beer in the pub (wee half pint) literally stunk. Back to the cottage. Tim & Muriel hadn’t came to the pub and Geroge Ian & Alison stayed on a while longer (all back up). Early to bed, but I couldn’t sleep, was that the nerves or Munro barking at every sound?? up and down to the loo, coudn’t sleep rotten night. Must have dropped of at some point as the alarm woke me up. 0430 I’m first up, coffee, weetabix, dressed, another toilet visit, up to the green welly, registraton, another toilet visit, pre race talk, another toilet visit.. oh just the usual nerves I thought.

All excited and were off, usual back of the pack stuff, plodding along chatting to fellow runners and feeling glad to be started.
Tim was away slower than normal and at first I thought he was pacing himself, then he took off as usual

Ok.. thats all the good bits gone, by 4 miles I’m starting to feel the stomach cramps, not bothering me too much as I know I can nip into the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. I had not planned on this as a stop, but stop I did. Feeling slightly better and a wee cheer on from the crew I’m off up the hill, down the other side feeling ok but still getting cramps. I managed 2 wee tatties and 2 spoonfuls of beans, which I was boaking on..yukk… little did I know this was going to be the most I eat all day. I had to take of my bum belt at this point as I was finding it was making my stomach 100 times worse, so all I had for the moor was a bottle of water with nuun.. Onwards to Victoria bridge, by this time I’m ill and under the bridge for another toilet stop, but thinking positively and still hopefull things will get better.

Onto the moor and here is where I lost all the will I had to live. Every step hurt my gut ??? when I tried any effort at all I was repayed by seering cramps that were doubling me over. I walked/plodded and met Karen Donaghue, she really kept me going, lots of advice, lots of support and lots of taking my mind of things, just bimbling along . 3 toilet stops on the moor and my feet are soaked tramping through the grass to hide and my butt bitten to pieces by those bloody midges, I was covered Soon seen Anne coming running towards us, she was trying to get 30 miles in for the Speyside Ultra. The 3 of us ran to Glencoe chatting and I was feeling a lot better mentaly if not physically. Anne ran to get Bryan to meet me at Kingshouse instead of the checkpointn as he had had to go back to the car with the dog cos the midges were eating him alive!!! poor Munro.

At this point I realised for sure my race was over, there was no way I could force myself to eat anything, I was glad I had made up a couple of complan drinks, not full meals but I was hopeful it was enough to keep me going. After downing a drink and a crisp .. yep 1 crisp, changed my socks and shoes I was on my way again. The next part to the Devils Staircase hurt but was ok, I was shuffling and struggling on the rocks but thanks to Karens previous advice and Anne’s constant encouragement I was now more determined I was going to finish. Up the staircase was a slow drag, but got there we did, took a photo for another runner, scenery was spectacular. It is what makes the run after all. I did manage to run most of the way down the rocky path but it was taking it’s toll and I was back in the ferns at the side of the road. Walking at points as my legs were now aching to the point of drawing tears and the thought of another 14miles from KLL was unthinkable, so I stopped thinking it, had to, I was already pretty rock bottom without scaring the sh*t out myself with thoughts like that.

Into KLL was just another shuffle and we had already decided we were going to walk/shuffle the rest of the way. Food stop again, had another wee drink of complan and a crisp. We had to walk to the hill cos all my concentration was going on keeping it down. Felt so sick but knew I had to keep what I could in me. We walked and chatted all the way up the hill, still couldn’t run at the top but we tramped on and eventually got into a decent shuffle. Thinking about it now we probably shuffled more than we walked, at the time it just seemed way much harder!!!

Only one person passed us on this part of the route, the guy who fell and hurt his head, that looked so bad, we still didn’t put a dent in his lead though!!! The mountain medics were amazing, happy and cheery, just what was needed at low points.
We went through Lundavra, met Bryan topped up the water wee natter with George Ried who had pulled out due to cramp and on we went for the last stretch. I do like the forest part and even though it hurt like hell I was still managing to move forward, wouldn’t say I was enjoying it as by now the legs were like chip board and I felt like an auld bag of shite, as I kept telling Anne when she enquired how I was The stomach problems had been relegated to 2nd place in the pain list by this time

Onto the road and I knew I was almost there, is there anything that can describe that feeling.. when you just KNOW you are going to finish!! We truged, we sung, we shuffled, we stopped while I got myself together a few times, but we got there. Down towards Braveheart carpark and we saw Munro bounding about, he came charging when I shouted him Bryan at his back then we all ran down towards the road together. Bryan ran on so he could get a photo at the end (on facebook, a calamity)!! Anne dropped behind so I could take all the credit of running it myself… when I so didn’t!!

All in all it was a very difficult race, I’m glad I struggled on but not sure if it was the best idea. A very big thank you to my back up, to Anne and everyone else who encouraged and congratulated us as we made our way to THE END