It’s 5 years since I last did this event and it has grown into a very well organised and supported event, a credit to the Kinross club. Theer are a choice of 3 routes : Black is 89 miles, Red is 68 miles and Blue is 44 miles.
Wasn’t sure who from the Wheelers was doing the Black route so was prepared to go solo, but bumped into Deeside Thistle’s Steve Cunningham at registration and joined a group of his club mates and Perth United at the start. We set off at a good pace, with 12 or so working well dodging the inevitable pot holes and passing the slower groups. Unfortunately after only a few miles one of the Deeside guys punctured, but apparently it was every man for himself and his club mates left him to it , so I carried on too 🙂
The rise up to Leslie saw the group split with Deeside Steve in good form as we hit the first climb up Lomond Hill. I decided there was no way I fancied trying to keep this pace for the next 80 miles, so sat up and Steve disappeared never to be seen by me again. We regrouped at Falkland and was a good bunch working well on the flatter section to Newburgh and on to Wicks o’ Baiglie. The group split on this tough climb and from here on to the finish I was pretty much on my own!
The middle section of the route is very undulating as we go over Stronachie, Pathstruie and a number of unnamed short sharp shocks before the technical descent to Dunning. The climb up Dunning is the longest of the day and a good test, but by now my legs were pretty shot so it was steady as she goes for me.
The weather was non too pleasant now with rain, hail and then a really heavy downpour, so pretty cold and wet through. Bad for the riders, must be even worse for the marshals on the course (big thanks to them all). It’s a slog from the bottom of Dunning to the finish. The route climbs up to Knockhill then a blast down to the last climb of the day at Cleish. Tried as best I could to get in under 5 hours, but the headwind for the least 5 miles saw an end to that.
A tough day on a tough lumpy course, would recommend it.
Good setup at the end with plenty of free food to choose from and showers etc too.
Very well run and marshalled with a load of folks at pretty much every junction. The event raises a lot of money for various charities, so supporting this event helps a lot.
My time was 5:03 for the 89 miles and about 7,000 feet of climbing for around 16th quickest overall and 4th in my old man age category. The results for the Wheelers over the 3 routes are available, click here – http://dundeewheelers.co.uk/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=395&sid=b9cb3d162e4751fc94d93abe11aff0f0
Here’s my Garmin stats: