Sunday, 17 May 2009

Goatfell Hillrace, 16 May'09

Splat !
As young kids, my mum and dad frequently took us to Arran for summer holidays. I've therefore been up Goatfell many times but can only vaguely recall the fine days we had heading up the tourist path. I've been up Goatfell's summit only twice in more recent years and only as part of the Glenrosa hillrace, so this was the first time up and down the tourist path in over 30 years. This well organised race heads out along road for a couple of miles, through Brodick Castle grounds and up the hill. I'd worked my way up the field to 8th by the time I reached the summit, then turned to descend rapidly to catch more. After passing
Dougal Ross from Bellahouston, I knew I'd have to put a decent gap between us or he'd overtake me on the road. Just before the forest and just after passing the mountain rescue team, a slight lost of concentration saw me splat onto the granite. I thought I'd broken something, there was blood everywhere and I was in pain. The mountain rescue guys were quickly at me seeing if I was ok and started to wipe and bandage me up. There seemed to be an awful long wait before the next runners past and then Des Crowe did exactly the same as me, landing on his face and leg. I though this was going to be like one of those Formula 1 GP pileups ! The mountain rescue guys asked if I was fine enough to walk down the hill and off I staggered. Out of sight, I tried to jog - I was determined to finish, I've never DNF'd a race yet. Overtaken by many, I eventually finished, then Paul Elmesly (the organiser) drove me to Arran's A&E where some really kind and patient staff gave me 5 stitches in my chin and a general clean up. Torridon was supposed to be the following day, but I had to cancel - not sure if I'll make Jura next weekend either ! Many thanks to Paul, the St Andrew's team, the Mountain Rescue and the staff at Lamlash A&E for sorting me out. Results and more on SHR here. Peter Buchanan's write up is here.