Contrary to popular belief, the winner of the Cioch Mhor race is not the fastest runner, but the man who has the least regard for his testicles. Today’s race crossed a succession of barbed wire fences. It’s nothing to worry about for the veterans. They have had children. I wouldn’t mind being a father one day.
No matter how befuddled a runner’s thoughts may get during a hill race, the presence of a barbed wire send alarm bells ringing. This stuff could maim, I kept thinking. Hence every time I reached the evil obstacle, my progress came to a grinding halt as I carefully lowered the offending fence, threw a leg over, and then – the crucial part – ensure maximum clearance as the second leg is swung over. That’s the key to keeping everything intact.
As for the race, conditions were typically Highland: slate skies and a frantic wind, but then at times gloriously sunny, making me fancy I was getting a tan. Alec Keith was victorious by a country mile, but I was happy to come home fifth, especially after some iffy navigation.
A fortnight ago I was two minutes off a 2009 time. Today I shaved 20 seconds off my Cioch Mhor effort last year, so something is going right. Roll on the big hill races.