After the Kaim Hill Race last month I had wanted to do another, but planned on waiting until after the WHWR as I had the 'Fling', 'Cateran' and the 'WHWR' ultras all within a short space of time and didn't want to risk falling down a mountain side on my face. So after the 'Fling' I was just going to spend the next few weeks, until the Cateran, running on the Glennifer Braes and over on the Kilpatricks. Then came a facebook post from Andy Johns about Dumyat. So I thought seeing as it was only over in Stirling and it was ten days before the Cateran, I'd risk it. I never really paid much attention to the hills around Stirling, so on the drive up I was struck by how beautiful they looked. However, when I saw Dumyat from the road my first reaction was 'Oh crap, that's a steep looking climb'.
We were off. Right from the start it goes UP. No gentle warm up on the flat, just up and up and up! After a couple of minutes we ground to a halt as the path squeezes you through a small narrow gap in a wall. There were lots of narrow sections lower down on the route and a few times I had to cast aside manners and just barge past those sliping and sliding because they wore the wrong shoes. By god that was a brutal climb! I didn't fully realise just how tough this wee hill was. Lungs bursting and muscles screaming out from Lactic overload was the order of the day. The weather was fantastic and views were awesome, although I spent 90% of my time looking at where I was putting my feet.
Now began the crazy and mental decent. Now it was my turn to find the best line, like a patriot missle I was off. That was a wild return, probably 70% out of control. After getting past the rocky sections I found I was passing people. Then the boggy bit, where I avoided the face plant, hurdling the fence like a grand national winner. The lower section was muddy as hell as runners were sliding all over the place. One girl came bouncing past me on her backside! So between avoiding rocks, tree roots, low branches, muddy ruts and other flailing runners it's a wonder I made it down in one piece. Then I was through the hole in the wall and sprinting down the road to cross the finish line. Mental. I finished the 5 miles in 49.55 (197th from 372).
I met Norry at the finish and had a chat, hopefully we'll get a chance to have another at the Cateran.It's always great to put a face to a name.