Saturday, August 6, 2011

Scottish 6 Day - Day 5 report from Ian Jones foreign correspondent

Day 5 report is somewhat late due to the correspondents hotel hosting the local weekly Music Night on a Friday. This means that there was some incredible traditional and modern music played on Scottish instruments by the locals which carried well on into the night. The haunting sounds of the pipes, whistle and fiddle accompanied by a sung gaelic melody really seemed to match the scenery, its mix of sea and islands, peat and heather in a summer evenibng where it never seemed to get properly dark. Of course, listening to the evening's music required consumption of malt whisky, so a good result for Day 6 probably more of a pipe dream (ha!) than a real possibility.

Back to the event - Day 5 was on a coastal area surrounded on three and a half sides by the sea, rather than the high moorland of earlier in the week. Did this mean that the area had less climb and was more runnable? Not a chance! All but the shortest courses started about 2km south of Assembly, winding their way back through to the finish through a mix of complex terrain separated by large areas of marsh or, in a few places, sea!

The thick heather cover over some of the marshes hid deep drainage channels. Your correspondent ran straight into one, much to the amusement of the competitor running alongside him - now you see him, now you don't! (though there was the sound of muffled cursing...)

The other big excitement of the day was the lorry carrying the Portaloos getting bogged down to the axles in Assembly (also known to Uringans as 'doing an Audi'). There was a tractor in the area to pull out the stuck vehicles but nobody to drive it. It was a refreshing request that sounded around the Assembly field 'If anyone here is a tractor driver, could they make themselves known to the captain'. A driver was found, the vehicles were moved and the sun came out to reinstate the festival atmosphere that is The Scottish 6 Days.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Scottish Six Days - Day 3 etc

Each day has been more challenging. Day 3 offered courses through all possible terrains and vegetations available. Bracken still played a significant part in the open areas (of which there was much, though with so many knobs and lumps it took careful map-reading), and, yes, there was heather, but not much, and the marsh plants were very well represented.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Scottish Six Days - Days 1 and 2

The Scottish Six Days - really seven days, since there is a rest day midway. Somewhere between 3500 and 4000 participants, depending on whom you talk to.

The NGOC tent graciously loaned to Uringa and Australian associates filled up with gear and people. Only mild rain on Day 1 afternoon, but enough to make us all grateful. Look for the Aussie flags! (Day 2 Finish Shute and Assembly Area)
View from the car park, which was just off the A85, the road to Oban. Car park the same for Day 3 but a longer trek to the Assembly area.
The maps below are W60short. We've learned a lot about marsh... and bracken (sometimes as tall as me). A new one for me was the 'linear' marsh.