|Autumn colours in Glen Tanar|
Last weekend I found a relay race to enter. Perfect. And it was in Glen Tanar. Even more perfect. Another reason not to go Xmas shopping. Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! Just a fun relay race organised by Dave Hirst of Deeside Runners who kindly invited runners from other clubs to make up the teams and it had a format that I have come to really like – turn up, no entry fee, run, no prizes and that is very refreshing given the quite expensive entry fees to many events these days. One of the highlights of the day of course was the huge post race lunch at Aboyne bowling club where everyone had contributed some food and needless to say there was far too much, it was mince pies as far as the eye could see.
When I first emailed Dave to register my interest in running he sent me the leg 1 map (short leg, 3 (ish)miles) the leg 2 map (the medium leg at 4 (ish) miles) and the leg 3 map (Long. With a Hill) Dave had divided us into teams of almost equal ability, the idea being that all the teams finished close together. I noticed from the team listing that Simon had been put on leg 1 and I was on leg 2 for a different team so I handed Simon his leg 1 map and off he went to warm up and recce the route. 5 minutes before the start it became apparent that the plan had indeed changed and Simon's face was a picture as I ripped the map from his hands and replaced it with the 3rd leg map which was now, in fact, the first leg map. He was doing the long hilly leg. At least it didn’t give him time to worry about it as the runners were lining up next to the gorgeous old bridge in Glen Tanar waiting for the off.
|And they're off!|
|Leg 1 runners head off into the distance|
It wasn’t particularly cold waiting for the first leg runners to come back which was fortunate as I had no idea how quickly my first leg runner would be, a lovely lady named Sally. Luckily for me she was very fast and so I set off along the path past the chapel in Glen Tanar. I met Simon on his way back and stayed as far to the other side of the path as I felt safe as he didn’t look like he was smiling... Once I started climbing up through the woods I assumed that all the first leg runners were in so I was most surprised to see Bob Sheridan run past in the other direction and he was most definitely not smiling. It later transpired that he had gone the opposite direction to the way the arrow was pointing and had got lost. Oh well, at least he got more running for his entry fee….
|Bob at Race HQ|
|Leg 2 route|
|Leg 2 elevation|
My legs felt sluggish on the way up the hill which Simon put down to the half marathon the previous weekend and that was a bit of a shame as I couldn’t take advantage of the position that Sally’s great run and put the team in. Two runners came past me quite early on in the run and the stiff chilly breeze was noticeable as I climbed however I warmed up during the climb and chased down another runner…only to have another runner go past me. From the turn it was all downhill (after a quick glance at the beautiful view and sigh that I didn’t have a camera with me) and easy running on wide forest tracks, my legs started to feel better and I enjoyed the descent and happily nobody else passed me. I’m not sure it was one of my best runs for my composite Cosmic Hillbasher/HBT/Deeside Runners team but I handed over to the third leg runner not in last place.
|Leg 1 finish|
|Leg 2 finish|
|Pauline having way too much fun!|
By now Simon was changed and eating biscuits so seemed happy, or at least unlikely to kill me, and regaled me with stories of his arduous adventure. Anyone would think he'd just ascended the Matterhorn, such a drama queen. I pointed out to him that at least the race had got him out of doing Xmas shopping to which he informed me that he had done his. Meh! If that's not one-upmanship I don't know what is...