Having previously questioned here ‘how much I want to go on banging my head off a brick wall’ and ‘whether it’s time to call it a day when […] I’m realistically never going to break two hours’, I’m probably encouraged enough by Saturday’s new Ben Race PB of 2:07:27 at age 49 to keep banging my head off that wall for a while longer. So I was hill-fit, lighter than usual for September (maintaining training/shape better into the school term) and had a great ascent, but clearly still need to get down quicker to threaten the magic time. Lose the five minutes or so I’m handing back to many (most?) of those summiting around me, however, and I’m left with a more realistic two-and-a-half to squeeze from the ascent, which may well depend on the formation, dissolution and negotiation of those infernal walking ‘snakes’ low on the hill when I’m still wanting to run. So let’s just say that sub-2:05’s clearly achievable and 1:59:59 could yet be on with some luck on the way up and a bolder descent?
(With thanks to Thomas Loehndorf for the great photos!)
A belated mention here too for the previous weekend’s filmed Canadian attempt at Ramsay’s Round, which saw me assigned (by local coordinators Charlie Ramsay and Jon Gay) to join Mark Leggett, John Hepburn and Wendy Dodds in supporting the runners Simon Donato and Paul ‘Turbo’ Trebilcock on the middle leg from Loch Eilde Lodge to Fersit, and finally ended (after a wild night and even wilder morning) with Turbo stopped at Fersit and Simon bravely battling on westwards to finish out of time in just under 27 hours. So not an official (sub-24) Ramsay’s Round, but a sterling effort in ultimately almost untenable conditions which also saw another strong attempt in the opposite (clockwise) direction abandoned on the Mamores some hours after we met on Chno Dearg, and a 23:53 for round #74 by Joe Mann off a start some half-day earlier impressing us all when we heard about it!