Race-day dawned damp and breezy, and the prospect of leaving our cosy wee tent on the Vatersay machair in short shorts and skimpy vest wasn't all that appealing. On the start line the cloud slowly started to lift and drizzle dwindled as the local priest (local celeb from the BBC's An Island Parish, no less) fired the starting pistol and 1hr29minutes of angst and suffering began. It was only my second half marathon (last one in 2004, that's how much road running I do) and although I'm probably much fitter now I only improved on my time by 10 minutes, but it earned me 8th place. Also, it's a pretty hilly course, with a brilliantly long climb up the side of Heaval at 11miles, just when you don't want it.
Disciplined Sarah had stuck to a training plan and was aiming for sub-2hrs. She was a bit miffed to miss it by 2 minutes, but given the hilly course I'd let her have it, especially given that it's the longest continual run she's done (mountain marathons don't count, it's all walking!). I'm really proud of her dedication.
The next day we went to find Breaker Wall, a nice crag on Barra that's been fairly recently developed (info on Colin Moody's site here) and after some scary sheath-cutting abseiling (my fault) did a brilliant E2 called Druth's Groove and a nice aptly named Diff called Escape Route under the watchful eyes of a rather bemused grey seal.
|Druth's Groove, Breaker Wall, Barra|
|We laugh afterwards: 50m ab rope soon becomes 2x25m ab ropes.|
|Sarah and the Sea|
|Part way up Mini-Tsunami at Creag Liam, Lewis.|