The Club's Results

Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon, Glen Lochay, May Term 2007

BPBC Multisport 2- (C Course (45km, 2350m climbed over 2 days))

Coxless pairs
bow John Earl str Jon Davies
1st of 154
Time: 8:46:36
Saturday

We set out hard (too hard, and also neglected to eat food) and overtook lots of teams in the first two hours. After the first control we ascended 100m to take a "short-cut", only to be cut off by crags so we had to descend again.

After the third control we had a 400m pull up to the flatter moorland in the north area on the map, but John especially was running low on energy; one Mars Bar later and normal service was resumed.

Our route to control five was probably not ideal, although we were pretty close to the fastest split. We wasted a few minutes finding controls five and six, but overall a pretty solid day - second place, four minutes behind the leaders and ten seconds in front of third.

Sunday

A chasing start, so the leaders (C1) were out of sight when we (C2) started but third place (C3) right on our heals. They took a poor route up to the Loch Lyon dam but ours was worse, and they stole a couple of minutes before shooting off into the distance after the leaders.

We were happy with our pace to the second control (a marathon not a sprint) although we found the description "Knoll" quite unhelpful for locating the control as there were about 50 knolls there. We split up, and after about ten minutes John located the control. I made a beeline for the control, and encountered a 5m wide muddy bog. I'd successfully crossed several already, sinking at most 30 centimetres, so I yelled "I'm going in" before leaping off the grassy edge both feet first into the middle. Needless to say, I sunk up to my waist in thick, black, stagnant mud. My legs wouldn't move, but at least I wasn't sinking any more. A few seconds later, C4, C5 and C6 passed through the control, telling John that he would have to get me out. I had unintentionally landed near a solitary tussock of grass, so was fortunately able to extract myself and leap back to the bank just before the tussock sank.

We ascended to the ridge in a column with the three teams that passed us at control two, and as I recovered my energy we were able to push to the front and force the pace a little. We stole some ground on the descent to the next shoulder, before relaxing on the climb to control three, allowing the others to catch us up.

Feeling fresh, we felt good on the next traverse while the others were starting to look tired, so we put in a big spurt on the climb to control four and located the control before the others could see where we'd gone, which gave us a two minute gap.

We saw a photographer, who told us that C1 and C3 had gone through but had missed a control - we were in the lead! The traverse to control five seemed to take an age but we maintained our gap then again navigated well, stealing another minute or two, before almost going the wrong way down the hill to the last control.

With nobody visible behind us, we jogged steadily along the track to the finish. Back at the event centre, the officials confirmed that we had won, and checked that we had all the right equipment. We could finally relax, eat, wash and watch the other teams finish. Hugely enjoyable - would recommend it to anybody who likes walking, running and mountains. (JPD)

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