Saturday, 1 August 2015

tour of fife day4

Cambo Estate near Kingsbarns

Today was more like a fun day out that also had a race in it rather than a necessary chore (see day 3). I had a splendid time even though the race plan didn't exactly pan out. Could have been better, could have been worse. But it couldn't have been much more fun and in better company which is surely the best possible outcome.

Nick had us arrive early but at least the organisers were there before us and had spent some time marking the course really well. Every junction was marked and marshalled and the route was spectacular.

I've never been to Cambo House before. This photo was taken later as we left since I hadn't taken one earlier and thought the handsome building deserved a mention. Andrew tells me the wiki-entry is worth a look. The grounds go down to the shore (if you ignore the golf course which we tried to do.)

So the upside of arriving "punctually" is a good look at the course. And the opportunity to take photos without carrying the camera while racing. After a short stretch on the track we went round this field which was probably the least easy surface, pitted as it was with hoof prints. No prizes for guessing whose. (They nearly played a prominent role in the first lap as well.)

Then after a path parallel to the track we crossed the road and went down well groomed trails alongside the small stream. I think my caffeine drink was coursing round me by now and I was delighted the sun was shining and we were running in such a pleasant place.

This kind of sums up the day even though it is out of focus, (especially because it is.)

Then there was a sort of walled garden which we ran past. There were places that were easy to overtake and others that weren't so you had to match your speed and enthusiasm to the trails which made you concentrate. Quite like the best cross country.

As we neared the coast there were these steps which weren't as treacherous as they first looked and could be run down in 2s without losing any teeth.

The loss in height meant we had a bit of a climb at the end of the lap back up to the start. I suspected this might not suit me as much as the traditional downhill finish.

On the way there was this parachute tent next to a yurt. After the race we returned and had a closer look.

This and other race photo below by Vicki Charlton who has been covering every day and sharing the great results without charging or putting watermarks across them. Thanks Vicki!
Full set here

The game plan was run like hell and see how that goes. And for a bit it went quite well. I had changed from trail shoes to hill shoes just to get the best grip possible although some did a fine job in road shoes. The gang of five settled into their positions at the front and I filled the sixth spot keeping it warm for Nick till he came past. As we went round the field of cows they got a bit spooked and being closed in on the other side by a fence they crossed the line of runners while galloping and could easily have taken out several of the front runners. Somehow the fates were with us and nobody got trampled but for a second it looked mightily dangerous.

After a bit someone came past but it was Sam not Nick and we swapped places quite a few times over the 2 laps before Nick eventually showed up after holding back for far too long and overtook both Sam and the other Fife vest who were both taking a turn ahead at that point. I have to admit it wasn't my plan to finish behind the 2 Fife vests, but I wasn't given much of an option. And that up-hill finish I found quite tough. I was wondering why MG had failed to appear and I suppose I should have been counting blessings that not more went past in the last stretch as I ran out of gas. All in all, I really enjoyed the run. What a fab place to run on a beautiful day.

Sam and I swapped places a few times before the 2 Fifers (and Nick in front of both) got ahead in the final stretch. However I felt I had done a decent enough job. 

After the race we went back down to the coast in search of a paddle.

Team Porty and honorary member Nick.

Tail end Charlie

Andrew goes down, a cheer goes up!

Thanks to Willie for taking these 2 photos. 

Huge thanks to Nick who has become the designated driver and gets us all to the shows on time!

And just to top it off, on the way home we went past a chip shop in Crail and had a bag of chips.
What a great day out!
(Just one more to go.)

1 comment:

  1. Love this, it really captures the atmosphere :)