The 2019 TrailFest Solstice Trail Series got underway last night with a cracker of a race! The weather played its part and lived up to the season, blessing us with sun, warmth and a wonderful yellow light cast over Glasgow to the south and the Campsie Fells to the north.
The course was designed to test runners and ensure wits needed to be kept about them. With the course often leaving the main tracks to venture into thick woods, it meant the front runners needed to match their speed with their navigation. The race leader at this point (Stephen Campbell) took a wrong turn, yet managed to regain the lead after retracing and re-joining the course. It is possible this also happened to the second runner (Rudy Romain) as they vied for an early lead.
In the women’s race, Suzannah Drummond (who was the last person to enter the race before entries closed – was this a tactic?) put in a really strong run to not only finish 1st female, but 5th overall. She was pushed hard by the Czech Dynafit Ambassador Johana Mackova.
With some tasty sections of unavoidable mud to go through, the runners were dealing with hard-packed rocky trails, deep, squelchy mud and everything else in between. In the design of the route, we used as much of the vertical we could find making it a very challenging 8km – as testified by every finisher. Nobody left anything on the trail!
The marshals on the course (what an amazing team they are) were doing their best to bring an alpine feel to the races with cowbells and encouragement to keep everyone on their game. It made for a great atmosphere, especially at the Finish Line where the noise resembled a ski jump competition!
As Race Director, my most favourite part of these races is seeing everyone’s faces as they reach the Finish Line. Wether the Finisher is the first or the “lantern rouge”, the emotions, the feelings, the effort and the smiles are exactly the same. That’s what I love about it – there are fast runners and not-as-fast runners, but everyone does the same journey.
Thank you to the amazing Timing Team (ProTay Timing), the course marshals (mentioned above), the brilliant volunteer team who helped set up, welcome, register, and congratulate you, our retail partner, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and the staff at Mugdock Country Park.
I’m looking forward to next week where we add 4 more kilometres but add a LOT more hills and technical trail – I can’t wait!
Ryan, Race Director and Co-Founder of TrailFest