Saturday, 8 April 2017

Lynx Pack Lethargy. Has the rot set in?

I got the prize for the first old lady to finish

I’m not sure why but for some reason this Newtonmore weekend felt a bit, well, flat. Maybe it was because of the increasing number of “no shows”. Lets face it we get more Lynx Pack sign ups for a curry night than we do for a race these days. Maybe it was due to the number of folk who sneak off to bed increasingly earlier after dinner. Maybe it was because my plans for climbing mountains or going mountain biking were thwarted by a flat car battery. Who knows?
Nice Spring weather over the Lecht
I drove over the Lecht in the gloom of a grey wet evening which was promising snow, although the hills were white the road remained black, reaching the Balavil in time for red wine and freshly made pizza. The hotel has undergone yet more of a makeover during the winter months and I had a room which was plush and comfy and the heating worked and there was plenty of hot showers. Changed days! Maybe the refurbishment of the Balavil is to blame- the demise of the Lynx Pack has been in direct proportion to the level of posh-ness achieved by the Balavil and the Lynx Pack cant handle that level of luxury. It was a slightly depleted number that had appeared at the Balavil this year with Mike and Innes both having better options for the weekend, It looks like it’s going to be the same for Barra as well this year with no Mike, no Geoff, no Innes and with John muttering about not going…the cracks really have started to appear. Oh well, sometimes things have to move on and change so maybe it’s time for pastures new and to try new races/weekend activities.
Race Prep...
Despite the less than promising weather on Friday night race day dawned bright and clear, bordering on warm. Not quite warm enough for me to wear shorts and a vest but warm nevertheless and the outward stretch had the wind behind us so it was really quite pleasant. I ran with Robin for a wee while with Bert just ahead which I took great joy in pointing out to Robin. It was even more fun seeing Bert’s face at the turn when he realised where I was, that is right behind him.. This was having had to spend the last 4 weeks getting earache from Bert fretting about who was going to beat him. Yawn.

During the first half Carrie and I changed places several times until she took off just after the turn leaving me for dead as I plodded back. The course had been deemed too short by those who wear garmins and who care about that sort of thing and so an extra couple of hundred yards had been tacked on to the start. By about mile nine I was beginning to curse those extra yards.

There was the usual array of cakes and pizza at the finish and John, Robin, Bert and I all picked up prizes for various age category wins.
Race booty
Prize for the first banana home goes to...
Prize winners
Unusually the evening at the Glen was quiet for us Aberdeen runners although the large number of Hunters Bog Trotters appeared to be having a great time – so no change there. A couple of the group called time very early on and we didn’t head back to the bar at the Balavil for a night cap as per usual so this the first Newtonmore race not featuring whisky since…well…forever. As I say, the rot really has set in!
Personally I blame the refurbishment of the Balavil for the demise of the Lynx Pack
 With bigger plans for the Sunday I decided to just skip the hangover mile and head off after breakfast to either climb some hills or go mountain biking but then disaster struck. Somehow my car battery had died, maybe I had left the lights or radio on, who knows, but basically I was just stuck in Newtonmore and certainly was not going anywhere fast. A quick phone call to Eric who appeared with jump leads (my knight in shining armour) and the car was sorted but we decided it was best to let the engine run for a while to charge the battery so all plans were abandoned in favour of lunch with Eric and Lynda and we were joined by Hamish for a guided tour of their B&B which is now up and running. 
Bert in the Hangover Mile

I suppose there was still enough time and daylight for me to have done something in the afternoon but I was very nervous about the car battery running flat again especially if I was in some remote car park at the foot of a mountain with no phone signal so I decided it was safest to head straight home. The outdoor shops in Aviemore were all advertising that they had sales on so it was probably safest to head home for a number of reasons the second one being the safety of my credit card. Still it was a shame and was a bit disappointing. I tried to console myself by thinking that it was quite cold and windy on the summits and so may not actually have been that pleasant but to no avail as it was a clear dry day and so a little adventure of some sort would have been possible. Still the weekend hadn’t been a total washout, it had been lovely to catch up with people from HBT that I hadn’t seen for a very long time and hopefully there will be a good HBT turn out at the Heb halfs this year too. It’s certainly not looking promising for the Lynx Pack!

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