Friday, 21 August 2015

The Nebit Downfall

The Nebit (Downfall), possibly so named because it resembles a big nose sticking out of the earth, is one of a series of  three short steep downhill thrash races that take place late August to early September. The other two being Bishop Downhill in Fife and Caerketton Downhill at Hillend. It’s around 1400 feet of a climb to the start of this one – made less pleasant on Wednesday as the dreichness was plentiful with a good breeze thrown in. All are togged for the weather and jog around the cairn at the top to keep warm. We are given 15 second spaced count downs by Al Anthony.

My coat is off and in the bum bag with 30 seconds to go. I charge off and already my eyes are filled with rain. I manage to keep a good pace and soon pass a runner, then another and another. Coming down the zig-zag section I catch an Anster Haddie but am unable to reel her in until the long sweep left to right. I’m passed myself, and then the runner slides off the hill but recovers well. I follow his route over a small crag and am soon aware that my legs are no longer my own. The jelly is setting in. 

The route runs under an overhead pipe. Duck or decapitation! 100 meters to go and a set of stairs need to be negotiated. The legs just make it and it’s on to a rough path through the trees. The finish is in sight – last dash with what’s left in the legs. I manage to pass another runner (Julia Connor I think) over the line and breathe!

The results are calculated in the back of a VW camper as waiting runners a feasted on by hordes of voracious midges. The Gilmore brothers are 2 seconds apart - on 5.12 and 5.14. I manage 19th in 6.56. 2 days on and the legs are still complaining!

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