Saturday 29th April 04:40am and the alarm has reminded me its Fling day, now there’s a mixture of excitement and what the hell am I doing up at this hour….
All four of us met at Hermiston park and ride all packed and ready to go, the trip through to Milngavie was a chance have a good blether, tactics was never on the cards, it was where can I get a cup of tea/coffee, breakfast sounds good.
Eventually we made it to the start where the runners were gathering ready for the relay start briefing, Barry had opted for leg one, the so called “easy leg”, not sure it was that easy but it was very early to be up and blasting out on over 12 miles.
Our navigator had gone and it was up to the rest of us to make our way to Drymen, I think we made a pretty good job of it, we made it in plenty of time and was great to watch and cheer on everyone coming through the checkpoint raising our voices for Harmeny club mates.
We caught Barry in the distance and that was it, time for me to whip the Tweeds off and get ready to go, Barry looked really fresh coming in to the changeover and a cracking time of 1;51;28
I was on my way on leg 2 really not knowing what lie ahead, I had never done any part of this before and was unsure what to expect, after about 4 miles I could see what was ahead of me CONIC hill, daunted yet bizarrely looking forward to the challenge. After a pretty gruelling walk/jog to the top and doing my best for a decent race pose for once the most amazing view was right in front of me, looking out across the Loch Lomond from 1000ft up, breathtaking.
Going down was just as challenging if not more in places. As I was approaching the foot and really motoring I hear this shout “ hello Jonathan Harmeny hunk” not usually what I hear as I am out running I must admit however it was Norma Bone, great to hear her in great spirit and good to briefly see a familiar face.
I thought the tough stuff was done, how wrong was I, up,down,up,down,up,down it went on and on and not just hills but staircases to climb. Really wishing I hadn’t opted for leg 2 at this point and started to really struggle as I tried to keep the up the pace. Eventually I made it to the checkpoint at Rowerdennan in 2:42:09 where Ross was eagerly waving his hands at me to grab my attention, timing chip moved over and he was off like a whippet taking in his first mile in 6:30 ish pretty awesome considering he had completed the London marathon just 6 days before.
After getting a well needed massage from Lucy Marshall on my troublesome left calf it was time for the hunks to get a shift on to the next checkpoint, a long journey was ahead and it was thought at one point Ross could potentially be in before us, as it worked out we made up good time and dropped in to Beinglas with time to spare. Before we got there Colin had decided to take a caffeine drink that was required half an hour before he needed it, well I can tell you the noises coming from him as he drank it wear very interesting/amusing a bit of “ am I really drinking this” “do I need it that much”.
As we got to the checkpoint this is where my biggest challenge of the day came in, Ross had bet Barry that I wouldn’t wear his tammy so he asked me to put it on and for a split second it was ok until I realised it was green and white and the answer was a firm “ I’m no wearin that” (eventually I put it on just to prove Ross wrong)
Colin was raring to go by this point and eager to see Ross charging in, as we had waited for him we got a chance to see other club mates pass through in the shape of Kenny T and Seona Burnett.
Ross got to us in a time of circa 2:18:15 and our final team member was off and the end was in sight.
As the rest of us made it up to the finish at Tyndrum the finish line is a sight to behold, flags, red carpet, people cheering and ringing cow bells the atmosphere was brilliant.
We were having a look round and met up with Sharon Parkin and Abi who were on duty at the finish line, we also met Gail McFadden and her team and were offered a massage, well it would be rude not to accept, even if it was the second of the day. Barry and I hopped on the tables and were undergoing our massage when Ross rocked in to the tent beer in hand, ooh where did you get that I asked, and that was the start of that. At this point Barry was wishing he hadn’t elected to drive, Doh!!
Massages, beers, food, all the hard work we had done before was starting to be worth it.
As Ross and I were completing our ice cream I just noticed coming up the finish line was our team mate Colin, we had completely misjudged when he would come in, a hasty dash to catch up with him at the end and congratulate him and on a great time of 2:06:35 as well. However I was very disappointed to see that his legs were fairly clean, we had been ribbing him the whole time about “cow poo alley” and taking the rough with the smooth on the glory leg, this wasn’t in the script for us but Colin was pretty pleased.
Anyway race was done another Harmeny hunks team had completed the challenge and we were all pretty pleased with ourselves congratulating each other on a good job well done and chuffed with our 16th place.
Would any of us do it again?
A great event well organised and a great atmosphere about the whole day.