It was early away about 0100 yesterday for the 2 and a half hour drive to
Sheildaig on the West Coast. What a stunning village that takes the Celtman into its heart as does the whole area.
The weather was dry on the way over with no magical sunset as I drove the light came through. The hills still looked dark but the heavy rain of the last few days had stopped.
The wild life was waking up with deer crossing the empty roads there were some big deer involved so I took it easy. The hills were clear and only a little wind.
I was going to watch a pal Mark Hartree who was competing on this magical race .
Mark is a long standing pal who was with me in my Mountain Rescue days. He and another pal accompanied Scouse Atkins me on my Cycle from Lockerbie to Edinburgh in storm Calumn. It was payback for me to come and cheer him despite the 0100 start .
I had also Helped marshall in 6 of the previous Celtman with Torridon MRT so I had never seen the start at 0500 in the village I was not disappointed.
I arrived as the competitors were getting buses from the start of the race. The village of Shieldaig was mobbed with over 200 competitors support crews and supporters. It’s an incredible place to be with all the competitors. I saw many familiar faces and the Adventure Show was filming. The swim today looked okay with the water pretty still. The midges were out though and the first swimmers would be back in one hour.
I had time to get a bacon roll and tea from the Sheildaig Coastal Rowing Club it was so busy and they had been up very early preparing the food. They were doing a great trade for all the support crews and it was out of the midges. Where else would you get food at 0500.
From my mate Pete
“David Whalley great to see you as well mate. I thought the flowers for me 😂. The lady’s who did that breakfast were amazing. If you know any of them could you please say a big thank you from me.
Definitely need to catch up soon.”well done all.
The cycle is massive and I followed them through most of it through impressive scenery. The route is through exceptional country every lay-bye is full of support vechiles.
I know it well Kinlochewe , Gairloch Poolewe, Dundonnell – Braemore and on. Today there was a head wind but I could not believe the effort needed to complete this part of this gruelling event.
Mark was going well with his wife Fi and Jim West Mike Lynch two Carnethy runners in support.
We stopped often as he pushed on. He was like the others pushing on despite the head wind. We stopped and cheered as he and others speed on it was impressive to watch .
At the end there is a meal at the Village Hall it will be a long day and what effort by all.
I stopped at my pals at Black Bridge for tea and a sandwich we had a catch up and then I headed home.
I got home and went to bed. Mark and many others would still be out .
The Celtman is a great event true sport at the extreme. It was wonderful to watch.The local support is immense and it was a incredible day. I met again so many inspirational people as always.
Your all heroes.