I knew it was cold yesterday morning as I scraped the frost off the inside of the car windscreen. It was six in the morning and foggy as I encouraged the car up the A1. Stopping at Dunfermline for a banana and a latte, the clag was down and it was decidedly foggy in places.
As I made my way to historic Falkland with its palace and twisty, winding narrow streets the village was still slumbering. The village hall was bulging with runners and an air of anticipation pervaded the scene. I got lucky parking the car but there was hardly any space to park on the streets.
I ran the Devil Burdens Relays, a 30k hill running challenge for teams of 6 back in 2011, when I teamed up with Steve Mason. This year I was in the v50 team running the 3rd leg, 6 miles with 1800ft of ascent. As we gathered in the hall, I was advised that things had changed and that I was running the 2nd leg in a ‘faster’ team.
I pinned my number on my vest and checked my bumbag as the organiser from Fife AC called out the rules, the do’s and don’ts for the race. I found myself running leg 2 (another 6 miler) over Devils Burden and West Lomond with Mr G. Who I didn’t know. After asking around we met and I managed to get a lift to Strathkinness. I sat in the car looking at the map and the 7 checkpoints we needed to find.
We were dropped off and watched the early runners coming in from leg 1. We were soon off and passed a few teams through the woods before we hit the hillside. We tacked up the hill in the fog, as several teams came together looking for the 3rd checkpoint. It was shown to be located just east of the crags and it took a few of the teams to comb the area before we found it in the greyness and poor light.
It was upwards to West Lomond then and we slowly emerged out of the thick swirling mist to a clear blue sky and superb scenery. We managed a wee conversation on the way to Strathmiglo once the climb was over. Somewhere before the last checkpoint I found a knee deep pool of mud that stopped me in my tracks but I was never in the red and we finished at the base of a steep descent with around 70 minutes of running. We searched for the car through the village. I began to get cold as my damp sweaty gear cooled, but soon enough it was back to Falkland before I changed on the car and left to take the long trip south. It’s a good early season event and a good day out with lots of nice fotos.