From the age of 11 as a young boy I did the Ayr Advertiser Walk this was race walking (big in the 60,s )and it started in Ayr from Ayr Grammar School
and went over the local Carrick Hills. The route was about 13 miles and about 800 feet of ascent. It was a huge event then for Youth Organisations with lots competing and we trained hard for it. Every week for months we were out training with our team from the Boys Brigade after tea it was hard work.The hardest part of the walk was the climb up over the Carrick hills. I completed in this for 3 years 1965 – 67 and our team won the team event for our age twice.
Our team and I were trained by a member of the church who used me to go of fast over the hill and I can remember being in bits, “hitting the wall” at the old Butlins Camp, four miles from home. I had collapsed exhausted and give my all at 11 years old and 6 stone and Dad and Mum were there to see me. I had little stamina then and was out of it that first year.
I wanted to give up but was told in no way a “Whalley” drops out by my Dad, he was a great runner in his day and Captain of the Hares and Hounds at Edinburgh University. Mum was in tears for me as Dad got me on my feet and hastened me on. It was a hard lesson for life at the time but one that I never forgot, poor Mum was in a state and wanted me to pull out of the race. This was a hard test but that experience was to help me in the really hard times on the mountains when I was exhausted, my Dad’s words were in my head pushing me on.
Yesterday after a stunning warm drive to Ayr I had planned to cycke the route but my ribs are still sore after my fall on bike! I took my car round it! The hill though only 200 metres high was steep in places and I remembered the pain and exciting days we had here growing up.
I stoped at the top of the road at the viewpoint and there were grand views of Ayr and Arran in the sun! What a mess was left it was sad to see the bottles, cans and rubbish left I took some back and cleared up a bit. Why oh Why? The ground is so dry and there is another big horse fire near my home in Burghead!
It was then back to my sisters for a grand tea and a wander by the river Ayr folk in swimming in the evening sun! Then we watched the football after sitting outside in the heat !
Good memories that help make you who you are?