Uisdean Hawthorn
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The Very Scottish Summer

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Welll back in Scotland for almost 2 months. Its been very very busy. Long days at work, lots of running and lots of driving round Scotland avoiding the rain trying to find dry crags. All in the name of fun (apparently).

 

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Iain on a E7 at Creag Dubh. One of the sunniest days this year!

 

However Peter Herd and I did manage to get over to the Fairhead Meet. It was my first time climbing here, and it didn't disappoint. The climbing was just outstanding, ever pitch we did was 3 stars.

As this was the weekend of the meet, it was very sociable and the 2 evening talks from Will Sim and Hazel Findlay were very different but both brilliant in there own way.

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A busy Fairhead campsite. 

 

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Tom Livingston and partner on Face Value 

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Standard evening view at Fairhead

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Peter on my favorite route of the weekend Born to Run. 

 

The last week or so I have been preparing for The Highland Cross

 

The Highland Cross is a  50-mile duathlon (20 miles on foot, 30 miles on bike) traversing the spectacular Scottish Highlands coast to coast, west to east from Kintail through Glen Affric and Strathglass to Beauly. 250 teams of 3 (750 persons) of all athletic abilities; walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists take part.

 

I have been attending the event since the age of 5, watching family and friends leave the start and cross the finish line. Sometimes they are smiling and other times looking like death would be a blessing. Before this year’s event I had completed it 3 times 4hr40mins, 4hr08mins and 4hr02mins last year. So this year the obvious targets was to beat 4 hours. Normally I am quite private about my goals for events but this year I told everyone what my target was in order to gain some extra sponsorship money with people saying that they would double they’re donation if I got under 4 hours. This provided some serious motivation to train hard, and get up and 5AM most days before work or climbing to get some running done.

It’s the best charity event I have ever been involved in. I have attended a lot of these kind of events both competing and in support roles. Mainly due to the fact the charities have to help at the water stops and change over area. And the Local charity’s get specific items like minibuses not just plugged into a charities bank account where it is frittered away on admin costs.

So this year I had a very good run 2hrs 32mins a full 10 minutes faster than last year. "Under 4 hours no problem" I thought whilst stuffing cake in my mouth. So I then jumped on my bike and started cycling but after 10 miles I felt HORRIFIC. I felt like throwing up, had absolutely no energy and my legs were cramping up. The next 20 miles was one of the toughest hours of my life watching my time creep towards 4 hours. Calculating in my head if I would make it or not, trying not to be sick, or just stop at the side of the road and get a lift to Beauly.

The relief when I got within sight of the finishing line and saw the time at 03:59:20 I relaxed free wheeled over the line for a 3 hours 59 minuites and 30 seconds. Then I got helped of my bike and collapsed on the pavement relief  washing over me. Over the next 20 minutes lying on that pavement I slowly started to feel human again.

After the traumatic cycle I did managed to drive to my cousins wedding in Braemar arriving just time for dinner :)  I  even managed  3or4  ceilidh dances.

So this has been written from an armchair in Marr lodge in-between 8 meals and many many slices of cake!

So I am really keen for July to be full off mountain routes, in the sunshine.