While several MRR tough-nuts were way out west ‘enjoying’ the Devil O’ The Highlands Footrace, a handful of us tackled the relatively sissy Aberlour Strathspey Highland Games 10 Mile Multi-terrain Race.
James Wilson, Martin Bain, Jon Ward, Andrew Clark and myself toed the line in yella.
Being a born and bred Speysider, I’m slightly biased, but this is a peach of a run and is recommend to all. It has everything; road, uphill running (steep in places), downhill running (even steeper with a tech section), grass, easy trail and a finish in the Games Arena with generous applause for all runners.
Today was very warm and sunny, but there was plenty of welcome shade on the Isla Way alongside the River Fiddich and on The Speyside Way.
All of the 700 feet of climb is completed in the first 2.2 miles. For James, that takes 15 minutes, for me, on MRR rearguard duty, it was approaching 20 minutes. Technical downhill follows for a bit before a fun, steep, grassy, go as fast as you dare slope.
After the leg testing first 3 miles, it was 7 miles back to Aberlour, via Craigellachie, on well maintained flat trail. But not before crocked MRR Paul Meldrum, on marshal duty (wearing yella naturally), had us smile for the camera passing Dufftown Railway Station. The trick from here is to maintain your cadence and stride length as fatigue sets in. Easier said than done.
We were welcomed back into the arena by the dulcet tones of MRR Paul Jamieson on Games Announcer/MC duties for the day.
Result was an MRR 1, 2, 3. James retained his title easily in just over 60 minutes. Martin Bain edged out Jon Ward for second and third places respectively in around 65 minutes. It’s worth acknowledging Jon’s 17:45 Parkrun PB just two hours before this race. I trotted in some 10 minutes adrift of the medalists at around 75 minutes. I don’t know how Andrew Clark got on, but I guess he was not too far behind Jon as he disappeared up the hill and out of sight with the fast guys at the start.
Thanks to Marie Third for organising. I’ll be back and hope to see more yella vests next year.
Report by: Nigel Williams