My friend Ian and I enjoyed our first Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon this weekend. It’s pretty exciting…you don’t find out where it is held until 36 hours before (this year Beinn Dearg near Ullapool) and you don’t find out the route until the clock has started on day 1. As first timers we entered class C (there are A,B,C,D,and Elite courses) which should be about 24Km and 1400m ascent on day one, and slightly less on day 2.
The terrain was tough (not as tough as my brother had in the elite category!), the weather was hot and the scenery stunning and we were pleased to find ourselves in 9th place out of 135 starters when we arrived at the midcamp on Saturday afternoon.
After a wet night in the tent it was time for Sunday’s chasing start (all the teams in the first 1.5 hours go in order so the first across the line is the winner). 8th place were only 12 seconds in front of us so we saw them at the beginning, by the time we’d made the 3rd checkpoint we’d overtaken 7th and 5th as well (team 6 seem to be without their numbers as nobody saw them all day!) so we were in 5th position but then it all went horribly wrong. We messed up a check point (couldn’t find it) and found ourselves back behind teams 10 and 11!.
We dug deep for the last 3 checkpoints but messed up slightly when we took a gamble on the last forest section and lost a place we’d just gained. We ended up in 7th, just 1min 16 seconds behind 6th, a great result.
Big thanks to Ian for stepping in at shortish notice when new to all this hill running stuff and for some great navigation during the race. Fancy another?
Who would have thought: 4 Ticks + 2 blisters +1 sore nipple+ 1 black toenail (and another one for Ian) = 1 great weekend.
ps. Stopping to take this photo probably cost us a prize!