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Saturday July 16 saw the return of the Cowal Way Chase, now in its second year.
The route was chosen to incorporate the Strachur to Lochgoilhead section of the Cowal Way, one of Argyll’s most scenic long-distance routes.
True to their word No Fuss Events promised better weather and athletes were treated to almost perfect conditions, overcast, not too warm, with a slight breeze keeping the midges at bay.
Shortly after the event briefing, the race kicked off at 10am with runners being given a 15-minute head start before the cyclists followed in hot pursuit.
There were some minor changes to the original route – early sign-ups expected gravel, hard mud and stone path all the way.
Nearly £750,000 has been spent upgrading the path, however the section at Curra Lochain was not completed in time for the race. Thankfully the recent hot spell dried up this usually boggy section helping to make it a real adventure for the cyclists.
Cowal Mountain Bike Club’s Maxx MT, returning after injury, damaged her wheel on this section but still finished in a very respectable 5hr 18 for the full course.
The grass track rejoined the forestry road loop around Beinn Lagan, depending on the race category participants entered, with riders deciding the number of loops, which included a 1,000m of accent, before making their way back to Lochgoilhead and a well-earned descent and rest.
Between all the different categories, the field of 80 participants reported a great experience on the Cowal Way. No Fuss reported that although relay numbers were down, the trend of people pushing themselves further saw the numbers almost maintained against the first year of the event.
The athletes enjoyed the course, with smiles all around, especially given the entertainment provided by Gary Logan’s son – he showcased various tricks and stunts, training hard in the hope of joining his dad riding in future cycling events. Spook gave him a well-deserved medal for his efforts.
1st Jon Shutt 3:15:04
2nd Stewart McNee 3:36:05
3rd Neill Kininmonth 3:39.16
Helen Docherty: 4:40:08
Michelle Green: 4:48:14
Lydia Davis: 5:04:50
1st Scott Brown 2:39:13
2nd Rodger Stewart 3:02:20
3rd Stephen McKeown 3:03:20
1st Lee Muir 3:26:51
2nd Callum Elder: 4:00:01
3rd Ricky Reid: 4:07:36
Photos by Grant K Gillon.
1st Trail Run:Scott Brown SBF Next Level Gym & Bootcamp 2:39:13 no_a29CowalChase18
Callum Elder Ultra 2nd Perth Road Runners 4:00:01 and Ricky Reid Ultra 3rd Dunoon Hill Runners 4:07:36 no_a29CowalChase19
Stewart McNee Chase 2nd: 3:36:05 no_a29CowalChase02
Allan Cameron – Chase: 4:45:30 and Ross Mt – Chase: 5:18:22 no_a29CowalChase04
Sara Cairns – Chase: 5:17:02, Catriona Maitland – Chase: 5:35:58 and Matt Dean – Chase: 4:51:58 no_a29CowalChase07
1st across the finish line Scott Brown – Trail: 2:39:13 no_a29CowalChase08
Helen Docherty: 4:40:08, Michelle Green: 4:48:14 and Lydia Davis: 5:04:50 no_a29CowalChase13