uphill singletrack

Whoever set the course for this year’s Fyrish Hill Race was a very cruel man (I accidentally happened to tell him so, too).

I’ve been up and down this hill (see above) with its landmark monument on top a good ten times this year and felt prepared. It came as a surprise that the course did not follow the main path, but was pieced together on single track loops up and down the woods. I can still feel the difference in the tendons around both ankles today.

I got off to an OK start and clung on to a guy with a challenging pace for the next 5k. Then a climb with 200m elevation on 600m distance emerged. Everybody struggled up trying to walk slightly zig zag, or straight where it seemed possible.

fyrish hill race 2016 route.jpg

Exhausted as I was, I remembered having seen on the map that this bit is a straight line, leaning to the left, leading to the monument, and the road down behind it. So when the guy ahead of me took a zig to the right I looked up, leaped forward and on all fours, pulling myself up on hamds and feet, gripping heather and whatnot and dashed straight up for a minute or so. After this I was within sight of the peak and could not see anyone behind me.

A quick schluck at the waterstation and back down, or what I had imagined to be down. Aforementioned cruel man had thrown in another steep climb some 4k before the finish. A glance at the watch showed the heart-rate beyond 100%, so I did what the guy ahead of me did and walked for a minute or two. I would catch up with him later and overtake with 2k to go, but on the final 500m he threw in everything and I had nothing left to throw (apart from, alomost, -up).

One emergency banana, lots of water, kids with kisses and comments about how I should really, really have a shower managed to put me together again though. It was a sunny day and with lots of entertainment (icecream van included) it was a great effort by the guys making it all happen.  I’m chuffed with my time and making it into the top 10, but now for a wee break of running to the hills.

Fyrish, bloomin’ heather and a blue sky #tweedthat (highlandcrescent)

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