This year I had a couple of jobs. To put down some signs at certain places where there would be no marshals. Also, to cycle in front of the race and let walkers know there were runners coming.
The signs were put down on Saturday evening with fingers crossed they hadn’t been flung in the Clyde overnight, and a second run first thing on Sunday morning to double check all is well.
I decided to set out in front of the runners by a few minutes and this was necessary as one of the signs had been moved and needed re-planted. I had a quick chat with Ed after the road crossing at the top of the first hill, rode down to the Japanese garden and looked behind and saw Kev Campbell closing down the hill fast.
Kev has a nickname of Kevchoge on Strava, after the Kenyan marathon champion- so no easy shift for me if I was going to stay in front of the race. Up the second long hill I had to ride at 10 MPH to stay in front- which ain’t so easy on a 12kg mountain bike.
Next part is the steep downhill so got a bit of speed up and at the bottom the gate was open, so no need to have to wrestle the bike over the gate.
Then there was an encounter with the local livestock. When I rode round it earlier that morning the cows were completely blocking the trail and I had to go into the field and through the bushes to get past. This time it was better as most of them were on the ground at the sides and only one on the path with its rear end to me.
Do cows kick out like horses if annoyed? One way to find out…a quick burst and I was past. Not an ideal situation for the race but it was too late to do anything, and I’m not a cattle wrangler.
Along the long straight on the riverside and there was a few people out walking and running. There was a young fit looking chap laying down some serious effort- he would probably be getting involved in a race with a yellow and red flash shortly, whether he liked it or not!
The rest of the ride was uneventful for me and finished in time to see Kev finishing just 16 seconds outside his record of last year which was in perfect conditions- this year was a mudfest.
The rain then came on so the the gazebo helped to keep all the food, drink and t-shirts dry, as well as some of the finishers taking cover while they got their breath back.
Some good strong finishing was on display with a few groups going for it and sprinting it out. One of the first included fastest female Laura Mooney putting in a great run with a course record despite having an anorak on.
It was good to see the race from an non-competitors view- most folk seemed elated by the effort (and were probably pleased they were finished!).
Photos by Davie and Kevin Ramage