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Scottish Islands Peaks Race

Running in the Rain:  The Scottish Islands Peaks Race Trains in the Pentlands.

 The pictures show how wet it was: the rain started when the runners left the minibus at Swanston and got heavier as they scampered up Caerketton Hill.  It stayed wet throughout the 13.5km route.

Sunday Feb 2nd was the morning after the Sixth Form Ball.  But this did not deter the Lower Sixth runners in the Scottish Islands Peaks Race squad.  The forecast of a cold, wet morning did not deter them.  They were up in time to leave Fettes at 0800.  The running route in the Pentland Hills included 682m of ascent.  Conditions were muddy.  The promised hill fort at the top of Caerketton Hill was invisible; then the route headed down to Windy Door Nick (glorious name; “nick” is an old Scots word meaning a narrow pass between hills) and up again to Allermuir Hill; then down to Glencorse reservoir, round by Castlelaw and back to the minibus at Swanston.  Highland cows and pig sties failed to stop the squad of Alexander C, Rosie D, James D, Archie G, Jasmine L, Ben L, Sofia R and Tom W, led fearlessly by Ms McDonnell, Head of Classics, and Mr Henderson-Sowerby, Head of Physical Education.  But everyone did end up very grubby.

The athletes were faster than expected.  We were back at school in plenty of time for Sunday brunch.

The Scottish Islands Peaks Race starts on May 15th from Oban Sailing Club.  It is a sailing and hillrunning race that runs night and day, up mountains on the islands of Mull, Jura and Arran.  Teams sail from island to island and the fleet ends up in Troon… sometime on Sunday or Monday.  Fettes will again be on the start line this year.

IJ Loudon