Ben Lomond – Tim Downie

Just about to go out so all I’ll say (before the scrawny goat does) is that Alex beat me, by quite a lot really.

In my defence, I would just say that he did it by cheating outrageously. Firstly, he trained better, secondly he rested better and lastly he ran faster! I mean, how’s a chap supposed to cope with such an out and out low down cur who stoops to such underhand tactics?? ;D

Well done Alex, I was well beaten by a man who well deserved to beat me.

I did beat Ian though, so the day wasn’t a complete disaster although I did have to trip him up on the way down to ensure that small victory. ;D

Ben Lomond – Alex Drain)
« Reply #2 on May 11, 2008, 6:19pm

Ok. Here’s the slightly longer report.

You may remember last year that my report on Ben Lomond began….. The race is organised by Westerlands Hill Running Club who describe it thus: “9 miles and a climb of 3192ft. Go! Puff, pech, puff, pech, puff, pech round the top … whee! Puff, pech, puff, pech … bloody road … wibbly wobbly legs. The pub, thank god! Stop, keel over.”

Whilst I wouldn’t normally want to repeat myself, for Tim’s benefit, and I think he’ll agree… “9 miles and a climb of 3192ft. Go! Puff, pech, puff, pech, puff, pech round the top … whee! Puff, pech, puff, pech … bloody road … wibbly wobbly legs. The pub, thank god! Stop, keel over.”

The only difference was that the keel over came before the pub in this instance!

Tim picked me up at 10am and following the Ian pick up we headed to BL in high spirits. It was a beautiful day, the birds were singing and nothing could go wrong. Oops, BL looks mighty high. Whilst me and Ian have done this before, it still looks an awesome prospect as you approach from Drymen – AND it’s a longer journey than ever expected!

We arrived in plenty of time and did our usual preparation – I went for a warm-up, Tim went and bought another pair of running shoes and Ian went to the lavatory. Lets get to the start!!!

Whilst there was a limit of 150 runners, only 121 took the line – that is a 20% DNS which just goes to show that our 10% DNS was pretty good. Anyway… ready, steady GO! 121 nutters cheering and sounding like it’s going to be a leisurely day out – aye, right….. with a climb of 3,000 feet ahead!

Tim’s ahead of me, Ian’s behind. Puff, pech. I’m ahead of Tim, Ian’s still behind. Puff, pech. Oh nuts, Tims’ ahead of me, need to watch for Ian. Puff, pech. Tim’s still ahead, need to put some effort in. Puff, pech. I’m ahead of Tim, I’m pulling away, he must be taking it easy, where’s that Ian?? Puff, pech. So hot, sweating like an Andy (pouring off like a tap!). Never ending slog, slog, puff, pech.

At the top there was an angel with little cups of water. Did you know that water is really nectar? – at least it tastes like it. However, had to be careful – she’s offering another cup…hmmm maybe a little devil in disguise!! Off I go, downhill, this is great. Pick up a place, and another, another, another… 8 places up… oops!…ouch!…f**k!…nuts!…bastard!…(excuse the expletives but I can assure you they were justified). One slight miscalculation and Ben Lomond lived up to it’s reputation as being dangerous. Ian was to do the same a few minutes later and I can attest to the fact that loosing skin does hurt – even with the long running tights and gloves I was wearing (gloves totally shredded BTW).

With confidence dented I lost a place to a 60YO Westie but managed to remain ahead of Tim and Ian who were making heavy weather of the good weather. Much of the rest of my descent was dominated by me wondering if anything was broken or if there was blood gushing from various regions. Fortunately, nothing broken and little blood….Ian had a much worse tumble and received a bit of TLC along with an impressive bandage at the finish! Incidentally, this year seems to have had a very high attrition rate – lots of walking wounded at the finish and plenty of work for St John’s.

I came in just under 5 minutes ahead of Tim who was just under a minute ahead of Ian. Tim and I got bored waiting for Ian (who was getting bandaged) so we went for a dip in the loch (told you it was good weather). Unfortunately, whilst the air temperature was high, the loch temperature wasn’t. Neither of us was as brave as Ian McManus of Irvine who went for the total immersion job (but then I’ve seen him do it in mid winter!). On meeting up with Ian, it was back to the car, get changed, go to prize giving.

At the end of the Ben Lomond Hill Race you always get soup and a roll. This was fine but supplemented by a pint of lager and the day was complete. Returning to the car for the journey back to Ayr was a drag…. but what a day! Thoroughly enjoyed. Roll on Goatfell!

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