Scottish Islands Peak Race

Well, its 11 days to go before the start of the Scottish Islands Peak Race. I've bought a new torch, a new pair of shoes, fixed the toilet and downloaded Wings singing Mull of Kintyre. We are ready.

The description on the web site is:

The race is for teams of hill runners and sailors around the beautiful West Coast of Scotland. The sailing course of 160 nautical miles includes the strong tides and overfalls of the Corryvreckan and the Mull of Kintyre whilst the runners cover 60 miles and 11,500 ft of climbing.

On the basis that none of us are fell runners nor brilliant racing yachtsmen we have had no choice but to enter the extra tough 'all-rounders' class where everyone is expected to sail and run up at least one hill. We will ideally climb more than one each because the more people you put up a hill the more points you get and points mean prizes. In reality our goal is much simpler ... we survive and we finish.

So, the race starts with a run round Oban for two of the team. When they've finished the run they jump in the inflatable and row to the good ship who will be sailing about ready for a high speed pick up (no engines) .. you can sense disaster and we haven't even started! Then we're off 17 miles across to Isle of Mull. We drop the first set of 3 runners off who will complete a 22 mile run up a 1005m hill and back. Up with the anchor and a sail 55 miles down to the Isle of Jura. This will take us past the notorious Corryvreckan (see below).

A whirlpool at Corryvreckan

Assuming the good ship doesn't get sucked in here we will sail on to Jura. The next set of 3 runners will then head off to complete 12 miles up and down the challenging Paps of Jura a total climb of 1798m.

Paps of Jura ... oh well that's alright then

Then back to the boat and head off for the long and tricky sail around the Mull of Kintyre and its infamous overfalls and tidal races. There's an inner route which is tempting. If we're still going at this point then its up to the Isle of Aaron and a cheeky 17 miles and 1219m climb up Goat Fell before crawling back to the boat and sailing 15 miles to Troon for the finish. Estimated duration ... I have absolutely no idea.

I have assembled an elite team to complete the race. Unfortunately their eliteness in no way aligns to the challenges we will face. Hey Ho. We will give it a crack. Team Brimble are as follows:

Rob Parsons
Alasdair Flint
Grit Eckert
Simon Blanchflower

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