Arriving in Castlebay on time we all headed of to our various accommodations, Nick and Susan to their scenic camping spot by the sea, Gillian and I to our comfy digs in Castlebay and Keith left for the Hammer House of Horrors on the North side of the Island, to rest up for the Barrathon the next day.
Race conditions on saturday couldn't have been better a lovely cool breeze and not to hot. There was a much larger field in the Barrathon this year 250 runners, 100 up from last year including local Celeb Father Roddie from BBC's Island Parish.
I ran probably one of my best 1/2 marathons, and paced the race to perfection. Nice and easy 6:30 min/mile pace for the first 7 miles. Being a bit of a veteran of this fixture now I know the hell is that last 6 miles. This tactic paid off well as I started picking of runners on the way home into Castlebay. Nice and steady on the big climb up the Heaval road catching SRAC's Andy McMahon on the decent into Castlebay. Then on the final rise in the village before the drop to the finish line I managed to over take another runner who let out an cry of exasperation and I went past him. I have to admit it was the reaction I was looking for ;-). Finished at full spring for a Barra PB of 1:28:37 and 14th place.
Keith had a tough race up front, coming a credible third place. I think Keith was suffering a bit from the Lairig Ghru, but a great run on his Barrathon debut. Gillian finished 1st Lady after a great race moving into 1st position at mile 10 on the Heaval climb, overtaking HBT's Eilis McKechanie. Nice and Susan had great runs to again both of then post Lairig Ghru (not that would make much difference to these Ultra runners).
We lost out by and agonising 1 point to Ronhill Cambuslang for the team prize, but still won a crate of Stella which helped to easy the pain !!
The Barrathon buffet, well was the Barrathon Buffet I can't really describe it you have to be there and eat it yourself. The Ceilidh was Amazing, the Vatersay Boys were back to their best and had the whole place rocking !!!
Next day the action kept on going with a spot of Sea Kayaking on the morning followed by a Hike to the Summit of Heaval and the a bit of hill running back down to Castlebay for more beers.
So 4 races of the Heb series gone 1 to go and its looks to be a cracking finish for the club. Gillian looks to have taken the ladies title, and I think Keith may have a fight for the the mens title. I also think we are looking good for the team prize. So could CAAC win the treble and break the Stornoway and HBT strangle hold on the Isles ?????
We'll find out next saturday sports fans, its so exciting this should be on Sky Sports 1 !!!!!!