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So it begins: the Scottish Islands Peaks Race 2020. 

The SIPR is an adventure race around the seas and islands of the west coast of Scotland.  It is predominantly an adult event, but Fettes is part of the youth race for 16-20 year-olds.  We sail and run day and night from Oban to Troon.

The running demands extreme fitness and endurance – for example, the route on the island of Mull is 18 miles long and climbs 2,600 feet, really quite steeply.  So, at 0800 on Sunday, this year’s squad started training with the redoubtable Mr Davies and Ms McDonnell.

We started with eight runners and it quickly became apparent that our problem with recruiting for the run was due to the Scotland v Ireland rugby world cup match, which kicked off just as we started! Two of the runners provided live updates, and two more were wearing their respective England and Scotland rugby shirts!

We set off in the clouds from Bonaly up towards Capelaw. The sun started to burn through and after a steady climb, we were greeted with wonderful views.  The girls (Hermine B, Rosie D and Sofia R) and boys (Sandy C, Alex C, Ben L, Archie G and Tom W) were great, especially since this was the first time many of them had run in the hills.  We contoured around Capelaw, did some off-trail running to get onto the right path, and had a lovely (flatter!) run back to the minibus. All in all, a fun 9km run, a promising bunch of kids, and a lovely morning in the Pentlands.