KIMM 2001: Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, 27-28th October
Last summer, I decided to enter the KIMM (Karrimor International Mountain Marathon, for those of you who haven't heard of it) again. I'd done the Short Score two years before that in fairly mean weather, and was in base-camp at the 1998 race (my excuse there is that you can't enter the KIMM before you are sixteen!), when the weather conditions were apparently the worst in the last thirty years… Well, so why not do it again, this time in Clyde Muirshiel on the coast west of Glasgow?
Having joined CUOC on arriving in Cambridge in September, I mentioned to Claire that I was planning to go with Radek, a friend from the Czech Republic, and did she know of anyone going from CUOC for transport purposes. Immediately we had a lift sorted with Wayne and Claire, who were entered to run the C class. First of all, a couple of observations - when leaving Cambridge on a Friday afternoon, definitely go about 2-3 hours before you originally planned to… OK, we're definitely not going to be registering tonight, was the thought when at about nine or ten we weren't further than northern England, hunger quenched at a Burger King somewhere along the way.
On arriving in the race car park at about 1.00am we set out looking for the race centre camp to have at least some rest before starting in the morning. Sounded simple: just cross the road and then turn into where the castle is, you should be able to see the race centre soon. Somehow we didn't ("if you get lost finding the race centre what about the KIMM itself??"), saw a bit of Fairlie, including a very drunk guy who must have had much amusement from sending us in the opposite direction (or maybe he didn't know where he was himself), and ended up pitching our tents in the dark on a patch of grass next to a light-house (must have been, the light kept going on and off all night) by which time it was almost two.
Barely registering Claire and Wayne leaving for one of the earliest starts, we slept for another half-hour and then got up and out into the rain (where else?) and then off to the start. I must admit, despite doing the Long Score this year, we were not particularly competitive - I'm quite happy with the certificate that hangs on the wall of my room, nevertheless I think that we probably underestimated our speed a bit when planning our route.
Other memorable moments? Well, the bagpipe to wake you up on Sunday morning (after all, we were in Scotland!), being up to my waist in a bog (yes, that was me!)… The weather was great this year despite what it looked like on Saturday morning - it will be hard for future KIMMs to compete with that….
There were some great results from amongst CUOC members - Mark Bown and Alex Rothman won the short score by a margin of 25 points, and Claire Warner and Wayne Patrick were 9th in the C class, having the 2nd fastest time on day 2. So see some of you at the 2002 KIMM for more CUOC successes
Written by Blanka Sengerová