Report from Grant.
A good turnout of 5 Bellas made the trip up to Menstrie for one of the last remaining Hill races of the year. Myself, Steve, David and Barry were joined by Stuart who had been given the morning off nappy changing duties for a wee blast in the Ochils.
The race starts with a fairly steep but runnable climb into Menstrie glen before dropping back down for a couple of burn crossings to get the feet nicely cold before a surprisingly brutal slog up Dumyat. There is no time to admire the view as you turn and descend back the way you came on a steep tussocky descent which at least offers a nice soft landing if/when you faceplant. You cross back into the glen along a narrow footbridge which we had been pre warned would be slippy. Despite this warning I took a hefty fall on the bridge nearly sliding into the river. As I pulled myself up the runner behind me shouted “are you alright maaa……” followed by a thump as he fell in the exact same place.
Take home lesson: x-talons and wet wood not a good combination.
The rest of the race followed a narrow muddy path which I ran down doing my best Bambi impression. Then a sprint finish back down to the village green. Unfortunately you cross a road coming on to the green and in my efforts to chase down the Westie in front of me I didn’t notice a car pulling out in front of me until the last minute. With all the adrenaline pumping I briefly considered doing a commando roll over the bonnet before remembering I am not Daniel Craig and instead went for the safer option of the emergency stop. Definetely the 1st time I have nearly been ran over by a Jag in a hill race. I resumed a half hearted sprint to the line mainly happy to still have my legs intact. Stuart and Barry followed not far behind, with Stuart coming out on top in a sprint to the line. David was next in about 72mins, closely followed by Steve who took about 5 mins off his previous years time.
A fine post race spread of tea and biscuits was provided, and if there was a team prize for post race biscuit consumption I’m pretty sure team Bella would have taken it.