The race started off at a brisk pace and I settled in to a steady pace with the last few miles in mind as I knew them and they were mostly uphill. I was sitting in 5th place most of the way till we came on to the canal at Twechar and as the leaders rounded a bend about half a mile ahead I was confident I would start pulling them back in calculating they had about 3 minutes lead on me. After the bend though there was an arrow pointing back the direction I had came from and presuming it to be wrong I carried on along the canal. The arrow was at the top of a staircase with ticker tape as well but nowhere in my mind did 'go down staircase' register. So as I plodded on another runner came bounding towards me asking was this correct as he had lost sight of the leaders and I just said I thought it was so we carried on but suddenly it clicked and I realised the next chance to cross the canal would be Kirkintilloch. About turn and headed back the way and now there was a steward standing waiting directing runners down the way. I mentioned to him the arrow was pointing the wrong way when we passed and he admitted it was and he had fixed it when he arrived but I did acknowledge it was my own fault I had gone the wrong way.
|View from the high point of the race.|
With only 4 miles to go I was now passing runners regularly wondering how many places I had lost. I caught up with Robert Rogerson just as we reached Croy much to his amazement and I am sure he had a little laugh at my rerouting. On up Croy Hill and spied more runners but could only catch another one before the finish.
James Stewart had glanced round and saw me coming in the distance and made sure I was not catching him and asked at the finish where I had got to.
Finished in 8th place in 1:42.04. The race distance should be 13.8 miles but I covered 14.4 miles and reckon I lost about 4 minutes and 3 places with my stupidity. I shall need to come back next year and see what I can do now that I know the actual route.
An excellent race organised by Adventure Zone Scotland and highly recommended.
Garmin details here : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/392994611 (the extra bit is rather obvious now)
Results here : http://adventurezonescotland.com/2013/10/20/antonine-trail-race-2013-results/