14 June 2011

lowe alpine mountain marathon: beinn dearg

..or a second chance to redeem myself with the hills around ullapool.

in the interest of saving weight we've got a very light tent. for light, you can also substitute the word small, very small. we'd been sheltering from the mid camp rain for nearly 4 hours. i'd started to sketch out a draughts board on a piece of foil, jane had suggested using the ibuprofen as pieces. we'd already exhausted i-spy and decided against a game of 'consequences' due to lack of artistic ability. cooking in these cramped conditions is interesting to say the least. being on the short side, i can at least sit up. amusingly for me jane can't, therefore making eating/changing clothes a constant source of entertainment for me.

when the noise of water on nylon began to ease, we seized the opportunity to stretch our legs. it's amazing how your perception of what actually constitutes rain changes when you've been in a cramped tent for a few hours. walking through the moist air we went to check the half way results. we'd moved up a class since our last lamm together, so were happy to see we'd made 58/107 (5/12 female).

but this doesn't tell the whole story. what those numbers can't show are the smiles on our faces as we jogged and slogged our way though the hills. rain free, blue sky, jagged peak bliss. despite me over shooting the first check point, there were no strops. despite the lack big miles in our legs there were no tears. it was one of those days when things were just right, even when they weren't.

day 2 followed with more of the same. it's difficult to explain just why these events are so good. yes, it's a test of mind and body but there's something more. neither of us can quite put our finger on it, and we had a lot of time to think about it! you get to visit the most remote parts of the country, travel across the landscape taking the most perverse of routes and all the time knowing that it's just you and your partner. relying on each other, with all you need on your backs. i'm sure i've said all that before but there really is something special about feeling so self sufficient amongst such giant hills.

we managed to gain a few spots on day2, taking us to 54th in c class and if you don't count the female vet. team who beat us by four seconds (they're registered as 'non-competitive'-so i'm going to take that!) then we moved up to 3rd female team (but still, way, way, way off the leaders). as always thoughts turn to 'what if...' well, if we do get an entry for this years omm, then this weekend as pretty much been perfect training.


Ian Charters said...

You make it sound, almost, attractive - apart from the camping.

Long days in the hills are uplifting in a way that nothing else is - long may you continue to enjoy them and long may you share them here.

Thanks again.

Derby Tup said...

I'm with Ian. Your love of these events comes across wonderfully from this post. Fantastic!

Groover said...

I hope the rain was at least warm(ish)this time of year. Great write-up. You sound like you had so much fun. Nice to see a little bit of competitive spark shining through, too. LOL

JessiePants said...

I'm living vicariously through you and just utterly amazed! Well done!
Rain, it's amazing at times I welcome it and others dread the thought.

ultra collie said...

'it was one of those days when things were just right, even when they weren't'
poetry in motion kate. love it.

Adam said...

Sounds amazing ( for amazing, read "like something lovely for you to do, but I have explained to you I don't do walking boots/outdoors/ camping") anyway, I wouldn't be able to plug my stand mixer in, and can you bake on a gas flame? My only talent in this world would be wasted!

Simon said...

Love it! And loved your Flickr pics too, it looked amazing! 3rd Ladies? Didn't realise I was fraternising with one of the elites ;-)

kate said...

ian- thank you. i guess you'd be better at just running on though and forgetting about the mid camp altogether ;)

derby tup- if only my enthusiasm for 'training' was the same!!

groover- 'course the rain was warm, it's summer here ;)

jessie- you have your fair share of fun....dry, sunny fun!

uc- poetry in motion-clinging to the side of a boggy fell more like

adman- it's like a woods party but with less drugs ;)

simon- hahaha, just to clarify, we are/were WAY off the leaders. 3rd female team does sound go though ;)

sbrt said...

3rd ladies and stars of the Rab vid.

Well done Kate And Jane!

sbrt said...

Hey up again.
Just looked through your Lamm photos and had to reply, they are BRILLIANT.

Are there no ends to your talents?Baker
Video star
3rd place ladies
And top smudger

kate said...

sbrt- not sure what a smudger is but i like the sound of it :)

Rhiannon said...

You've hit the nail on the head there, Kate- a cracking mountain weekend and well done on your 3rd place!

Emma said...

Oh how cruel you are!! It's so unfair to laugh at the vertically 'superior' ;-) having been there I SO feel Jane's pain - shame on you!!

that aside, Well done the girls :-)

kate said...

rhiannon- hi there! i think your nail hitting is much better though ;) like you say, probably bump into you a hill one day :)

emma- no sympathy! there are so many other occasions, like getting the wine glasses down in our stupidly designed kitchen, where i am regularly mocked ;)