Scottish Long Coastal Relays
Six Harriers teamed up to compete in the Scottish Long Coastal Relays on Saturday 2 October 2021. This race involves teams covering the Fife Coastal Path which starts in Kincardine and ends in Newburgh, covering 116 miles and is organised by Carnethy Hill Running Club. The race is split into the following:
- Leg 1 – Kincardine to North Queensferry (16.8 miles) – Kerry Hunter
- Leg 2 – North Queensferry to Dysart (20.8 miles) – Sarah Wellcoat
- Leg 3 – Dysart to St Monans – (20.8 miles) – Nicole Jackson
- Leg 4 – St Monans – St Andrews (21.8 miles) – Jamie Harte
- Leg 5 – St Andrews to Wormit Bay (20.9 miles) – Jonathan Millar
- Leg 6 – Wormit Bay to Newburgh (15.6 miles) – David Greig
The race is set up as a relay but there are mass starts for each transition, if required, to make the race run more smoothly and to try and ensure the runners are not too spread out. Each transition had it’s own start time where runners would be set off, even if there team member hadn’t reached transition yet. The route is signposted, however it can be easy to miss these so knowing your leg or reccing it beforehand was essential, especially in the earlier legs which take place in complete darkness and can be difficult to spot the coastal path signs and arrows.
It had been a wet couple of days beforehand, however, fortunately it stayed dry during the night, with it getting slightly windy when the path hit the coast at points. Head torches at the ready, leg 1 runners from the 10 teams started off at midnight (Friday night/Saturday morning). Kerry had a strong start with a steady run, with Stevie Greer giving her some company later in her leg until a fall at 12 miles hindered her running. Kerry powered on through, with the support of the legend that is the Greer, and kept going to finish her leg with a swollen ankle and a sore knee.
Next was my turn. I set off at 3.00am with the mass start, feeling quite comfortable and safe as I had the tail cyclist with me, Roddy, who was great to chat too and keep me company. With a new chest torch and a borrowed hand torch (thanks Kenny) it was quite clear to see the route in front of me. I was feeling good until mile 12 (maybe mile 12 was unlucky for Kerry and I) when I reached Burntisland. Luckily, Neil Anderson was there and was only supposed to run with me a couple of miles but ended up keeping me going until the finish, providing so much needed support and encouragement. I even managed to overtake another runner in the final mile!
Nicole started at 6am in the mass start and ran a solid and impressive run on leg 3, enjoying the sunrise over the beach at Lundin Links then handing over to set Jamie off for leg 4 at 8.49am.
Jamie too had a solid run and the longest distance, although got stopped by a marshal at the golf course while some golfers were teeing off!
Jonny set off for leg 5 at the mass start at 12 noon along with 6 other runners and ran a very impressive run with the rain starting. Jonny had also been there since the start of the race at midnight, following all the runners through their legs to support them before completing his own leg.
Finally Jonny handed over to David at 1.56pm, who just a week before had ran an impressive 45 miles with 11,000ft of elevation on the Ochils. David, by far, had the leg with the most elevation although enjoyed feeling like he was in a race for the first time in over a year, particularly enjoying running through the pinewoods near Balmerino dodging in and out of the trees. Coming down Norman’s Law, he felt fresh and his legs still felt strong, however, towards the end, he missed a turning and needed some navigational assistance to get back on path. David did make it to the finish line where the rest of us were all there to cheer him on.
Overall, it was a very well organised race, with lots of communication beforehand to ensure we all knew what was happening on race day/night. Each runner also received a coaster, banana and beer. It was a great and unique experience to take part in a team relay race with the club and I couldn’t have asked for better team mates! I would highly recommend adding this to your list of races to experience.
- Leg 1 – Kerry Hunter – 03:09:12
- Leg 2 –Sarah Wellcoat – 03:33:52
- Leg 3 –Nicole Jackson – 02:49:32
- Leg 4 – Jamie Harte – 03:45:30
- Leg 5 –Jonathan Millar – 02:42:05
- Leg 6 – David Greig – 03:09:05
Total Time = 19:09:16 Total Position = 8th
Neil Mclure was also running, completing leg 2 in 02:59:24, the fastest time for that leg in the 2021 race.