We welcomed Dave Hall back into the Scottish hills today, and having lived at altitude for the last 3 months and then supplemented that with a shot of adrenalin before leaving the house (read car batteries flat and running late). He charged off up to the Tinto summit with a fair lead over Tom then I (CoB). Alastair Simpson despite this year joining the Bob Graham club was running his first hill race. I duly informed him if anyone pushed him, used him to stay upright etc etc – push back.

Tinto is a classic race, up a big hill in the middle of nowhere it seems, it is so dominant in the sky above Symington. There race route looks like a ruler was used, straight to the top and back down. This is very apparent when you are running as you are regularly able to peer up to see the leaders tackling the climbing above. Today there was a bit of clag around the summit cairn and it made that spectacle all the better. As I got to the final ramp up I was met by the rampant, hot footed leaders crashing down out of the mist towards us. Awesome, the spectacle – not my burning calves.

I’d managed to keep Tom in my sights for most of the climb but next sight I had of Dave was as he popped out the mist. This was going to take quite the descent to catch him!

And so wobbly legged you head round the large cairn marking Tintos summit. And the fun begins. A couple of shallow steps then quickly to bounding, and sliding down the scree like bouldery path. There’s not much looking forward for quarry as every landed foot comes at you quicker and quicker. To raise your sights would have you fall, right Tom?* As the path changed slightly I saw the white vests of Dave and Tom in front of me. Tom running hard for Dave and in turn I was steeled to try get them both! It didn’t quite happen and we finished as we were 20s or so apart. Al crossing a minute or so behind.

Checking my time it was close to 4 mins down on my last run up and down, but it was certainly fun! Think I’ll be back next year to try again, and would recommend it to all!

*Mr. Wilson bit satisfied with sullying his whites with dirt, mud and sweat added a fair bit of blood. Daring to look forward and dream of Dave’s scalp he came a cropper! Hand, elbow and knee opened up but the real sore one was ripping off his number. Then realising this had happened and retracing a few steps to get it back. I missed the dive, but all onlookers had it in the 7.6-7.8 range. No stitches needed, which is really required to get into the 8s.

Results here in due course.

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