The end of another tour. Always a time of a lot of relief of having made it through all five races tinged with a bit of disappointment to realise that it is all over for another year. If you haven't done the tour before - it's BRILLIANT - so get your name down for it next year. Don't worry Grant runs a super efficient alert service for the tour. All you need to do is follow his instructions early May and you'll have lovely 5 days at the end of July. Today I found out this isn't the only service that Grant provides. If you find yourself unemployed he makes you a lovely lunch and then takes you for a game of ping pong at Drumbrae. The guy has a big heart and obviously a very demanding job....
I managed to get myself to Strathmiglo nice and early. Time enough for a quick nap. Soon enough the happy campers arrived and I found out I had made the right decision in - very reluctantly - refusing the kind offers to join them. Not only did they stay up until 3am - which is way past my bed time, but they could also all recount BC's uphill time trial inch by inch without fail. Now BC being able to get up that hill in under 10 minutes is awesome. Being only 8 seconds slower then Lemoncello is also pretty incredible - but then again it is 8 seconds slower so that means room for improvement. I reckon Moray might have plans for you on Tuesday to sharpen you up a bit further.
The last race was going to be an out and back from Strathmiglo and for those familiar with the Devils Burdens it basically followed leg 4 of this great relay race for 2.5 miles with 'only' 800ft of ascent. We all had our targets in mind. Some slightly more realistic then others. I reckon 40 seconds is just too much to aim for Alex - keep your targets realistic and you will improve faster. Mike had CoB firmly in his sights and managed to overhaul him to become the 3rd CAAC finisher in the Tour. Very impressive and possibly very foolish. You will get noticed this way and might soon be looking at those 15 x 1000m..... Actually there were very impressive performances throughout the CAAC contingent. Keith quietly coming back into the tour to score a 3rd finish followed by 2nds and all that with a dodgy ankle. Grant's smiling assassination of his closest rival Chris Russel to take 1st V40. Gillian's 3rd senior female finish - a brilliantly consistent performance. Dean's and Bruce's consistent strong running. Obviously BC's 2nd senior male finish and that awesome time trial. Alex - well Alex is always cheerful and tries hard. Corrie's tenacious return after having to pull out in the second race. Susan's impressive strong running which means the Devil of the Highlands will be an easy 43 miles! Jo who pretty quietly and consistently scored finishes well into the top 10 of the senior female runners. And of course coach Dave whose brave efforts nearly got him into the top 50% of the finishers.
The Stage 5 results are here: http://bcruickshank.brinkster.net/ToF_2011_Chicken_results.pdf
The overall results are here: http://bcruickshank.brinkster.net/ToF_2011_Overall_results.pdf
A massive thanks to Brian the organiser and all at Fife AC who made the last 5 days hell, but a very enjoyable hell.