Arisaig, 18/19 August
The Purple Thistle is a “barebones” event, organised by a small group of people with the minimum of fuss - no allocated start times, and just a small selection of courses, ranging from the Baby Thistle (2.3km) up to the Mighty Thistle (12.8km). This time the event was at Arisaig (on the Road to the Isles, west of Fort William), where there is wonderful coastal scenery with beautiful sandy beaches. Camping was available within walking distance of the starts, and offered good views of the Jacobite steam train passing too, on its way to and from Mallaig. The same area was used for both days, but it was big enough to give plenty of variety. The terrain was open hillsides, mostly grassy, with some bracken in places. There were a lot of contours and plenty of rock features and marshes, and as we were high up, the views were glorious. On Saturday there were some very heavy showers in the morning, but fortunately the weather was fine for the event itself, and then more heavy showers overnight gave way to sunny weather on Sunday morning. There was a pleasant breeze on both days, keeping the midges at bay.
Some stayed another night to explore the area further, and enjoyed a lovely evening with stunning sunset views as the hills of Skye and Rum finally emerged from the clouds.
ESOC members in the top half of the results were as follows:
Medium Thistle (87 competitors) – Mike Stewart 8th, Alison Cunningham 18th, Roger Garnett 28th, Sally Lindsay 39th
Small Thistle (34) – Jamie Cunningham 4th
Big Thistle (41) – Crawford Lindsay 18th
Medium Thistle (85) – Mike Stewart 7th, Alison Cunningham 14th, Roger Garnett 25th
Small Thistle (31) – Jamie Cunningham 3rd
Full results, Routegadget and more details about the event are available on the Purple Thistle website.
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