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Kintyre Ultras 2014

That was a great weekend.  Thanks to Rob Reid and his team: they certainly know how to put on a good race.  It was a bit of a drive to get there, but not as bad as you might think.  I picked Karen up at 3 on Friday in Preston, and we were at registration in Tarbert at 8, having stopped for dinner and a pint on the way.  Four of the Runfurther committee were staying in a couple of wooden “wigwams” on a site at the edge of town, so we met up with Emma and Dick at registration where they were handing out the Clif Bars, and picked up our new committee t-shirts:

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Again, many thanks to Fastrax for providing and paying for the shirts: that gives the rest of you no excuse for not buying us all a drink (preferably after a race, not at registration).

All of us apart from Karen had found a good excuse to run the 35.5 mile race rather than the 67, so 5am saw me driving Karen to the start and waving her off at 5.30 with a small band of equally crazy runners.  It was then back for a leisurely breakfast, then a drive with Dick to Tayinloan to man registration and get ready for the short race start at 9.30.  I took a few photos of the start then headed off after the rest of them, still walking.  The doctor said no running till June…

I’ve updated the leaderboard, and the race results are here).  The long race was won by Hugh McInnes in 11:17, the 3rd fastest ever (the record is 10:38), although this year there was a temporary diversion that shortened the route a bit.  Second was Stephen Yule, over an hour behind.  First lady home was Debbie Brupbacher (13:26), who came over from Switzerland for the race.  Mind you, this was just a short race for Debbie, who was first lady home in the Spine race in January.  Second was our own Karen Nash, 12 minutes behind Debbie.

The “short” race was won by Peter Buchanan in 5:19, with Ross Christie 7 minutes behind him.  Emma David was first lady home in 6:15, finishing alongside Nigel Aston.  They’re the only two runners still aiming for a Runfurther slam this year, and this was also Emma’s first 1000 point score.  I suspect it may not be her last, as she’s going very well this year.  Other Runfurther regulars running were Les Hill, Marie and Harry Godson and Steve Dixon.  John Vernon and I walked the short course, as we were both too injured to run it.

Last year only 3 Runfurther regulars ran in the Speyside Ultra, which was last year’s Scottish race.  This year we had at least 10 in Kintyre, possibly more as we picked up some new members as well.  I hope that’s a good sign for the future.

What was the race like?  Well here‘s a race report from Nigel Aston, and here‘s a link to Karen Nash’s blog report.  The running was mainly fast, with a lot of forestry tracks, and some coastal path.  The hills were many but most of them not too long, although the pull out of the last checkpoint went on forever.  The views were tremendous whenever you came out of the trees – Kintyre is a beautiful part of the world, and if you’ve not been you should.  With luck Runfurther will be back another year.  There are plenty of photos on the race website, plus some of our own below:

Hi to Dave Knox, who ran/walked the last few miles with me, and to Angela and Katherine, who I was passing and getting passed by earlier in the race.  By coincidence, Dave was the first RO of the Jedburgh Three Peaks Ultra, & Angela (I think) is the current RO.  We’d have liked to include that race in this year’s Runfurther series, but it was too close to Rotherham.  Maybe next year!

A few more photos of Kintyre from Steve Dixon: