They say if you want to run, run a mile.
If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.
If you want to talk to God, run an ultra.
It was seven Harmenites this year, who took the Fling pilgrimage along the West Highland Way from Milngavie in Glasgow to Tyndrum on Saturday.
Lead by Fling cover boy, Donald Sandeman, in full Scottish fancy dress, the club’s prayers were answered with a prestigious haul of prizes and accolades.
Lorna Broadhurst blessed the club with an almighty third place in the over 50s female category despite having cramp from Conic Hill onwards. Phenomenal.
Record breaking runner, Norma Bone, smashed her time from last year to give her second place in the over 60s female category.
The 65-year-old was later seen performing a mean set of Strip The Willow moves even her grandchildren would have had difficulty keeping up with.
Seona Burnett made the whole day look easy with an epic time and Fling PB.
Kenny Tindall showed us all how to be the come back kid with a Fling PB after a few years off the 53-mile race.
The biggest cheer from the club goes to Allan Price for finishing the race despite a huge fall at Conic Hill, which ripped his new leggings and broke his watch so he was none the wiser where the finishing line was until he had crossed it. Mentally very challenging.
Then there was Damien O’Looney, who despite being sick along the whole course, secured an awe-inspiring time, which saw him take the second fastest Fling spot in the club’s history.
Ultra veteran, Donald Sandeman, 60, who was second in his over 60 male category, said: “Damien is new to ultras, he doesn’t know being sick is just what happens in an ultra. He was one of the stars on Saturday.”
There were no reports of blisters from team Harmeny this year and slight chaffing under the oaxters was the only give-away sign that Donald’s pecs and six-pack may not have been real.
The sensible half of the Sandeman unit, Elaine, was also drafted in for her medical expertise in the first-aid tent, which was reportedly “stowed out” with casualties.
Meanwhile, the Harmeny Hunks relay team including Barry Messenger, Jonathan Page, Ross Millar and Colin Davidson, came 17th.
Three cheers also have to go to Sharon Parkin, who marshalled at the finish line and guarded everyone’s bags, Ian and Sandra Beattie for marshalling at Rowardennan and to Gail McFadden and Lucy Marshall, who massaged all the runners to heaven and back.
A few of the runners were overheard saying “Never again!”…until the next time, God!
By Angie Brown