When a wee gem of a race resides on your doorstep you just have to get involved. The Tom Robb Memorial Race is in its second year and I couldn’t make the 2016 edition for reasons I can’t recall. The RD is Moira Paterson and the race is in memory of her dad who went missing in the Valley back in 2012. It is a purely philanthropic event and raises money for Alzheimer’s Scotland and Ochil Mountain Rescue. Two terrific and worthy causes.
The personal feel of the race befits the genesis of the event. It starts and finishes in the wonderful Duncarron Fort and the field is small due to the remote location and restrictions on parking. However, there were a litany of familiar faces milling around before and the after the race and it was great to catch up with a number of old and new friends. In fact, it was a true highlight of the day.
As a route, undulating fire roads, rocky trails and forest paths sums it up. Over the 7 miles there is close to 1,000 feet of climbing but that really comes in the first few miles. I’d run 10.5 miles pre-race to make this part of my long run day. So, with no idea who’d be the main competitors in the race I set out for a fast first mile up the opening hill to see who would come with me. I was about 20s clear after that mile and so could relax and enjoy a hard workout on some beautiful trails on what was a gorgeous morning.
It doesn’t really get any better.
Now, whilst I may have won the race the real winner on the day so far as I am concerned was the bold Andy.
He’s been to Glenmore, the WHW, Texas, England and Northern Ireland to support me in races the last couple years. But Saturday was to be his trail race debut. Over the last two years he’s had both feet operated on (we call him Frankenfeet now) and had a number of bastard operations due to bastard colitis.
Yet, now in his 60s here he was donning the Pyllon colours to run a tough trail race. To bash out a finish in 75 mins and to technically beat Barry and Skoosh who’d ran with him. The results spreadsheet doesn’t lie after all.
Seriously, thanks to Skoosh and Barry for looking after the auld yin. I am proud of his efforts. And, I am aware some people get inspired by what I get up to at times, but a lot of the time inspiration can come from closer to home if you look for it. For every winner there’s a hundred – nay, a thousand – Andys out there bursting a gut to do the very best that they can. In the words of AC/DC, for those about to run hard, we salute you.
Congrats to Edel Mooney for her win in the ladies race, smashing last year’s CR and high-five to my buddy Norry McNeill for his podium place and big PB.
This is tremendous event, superbly supported, at a very low price with a great t-shirt to boot. There can be no complaints. Highly recommended.