Saturday, 28 May 2016
TGO Challenge 2016 - Day 14 - North Water Bridge to Kinnaber Links and Montrose
Route: roughly as planned
Distance: 17 km (Cum: 320)
Ascent: 100 metres (Cum: 9900)
Time taken: 5 hrs including breaks
Weather: sunny periods, cool
We left North Water Bridge at 8.15 am as a team of seven - me and Sue, Alistair, Andy, Vicky and Toby, and Ian C. Scott, a publican from Glasgow and first time Challenger happened to be setting off at the same time and soon joined us. I hope we made him feel welcome. There's a danger perhaps of seeming a little cliquey at this point.
We took a mainly off-road route towards Kinnaber Links, pausing for a lengthy stop at Charleton fruit farm. JJ had recommended this. We called him to thank him. Many others who in earlier years may have headed for the now demised café at St Cyrus followed our example.
Soon we were at the coast and skipping through the waves, before heading off down the beach and beside the golf course to sign in at Montrose. The Park Hotel was humming with Challengers and after a visit to Madisons for lunch, and a lazy afternoon, we assembled early for dinner, as Ian and Jenny had chosen that time to have their wedding ceremony.
The wedding went well, and the meal was very good. JD is away, so Russ Mannion stood in with a fine speech welcoming first timers, who comprise about a third of the 300 or so participants.
It's a long evening, with lots of 'components'. Ali and Sue ably conducted proceedings, with Roger Smith, Hamish Brown and Humphrey all having their say. Those of us to reach landmark numbers of Challenges (10 or 20) received plaques and bottles of Prosecco, and got to shake hands with Hamish (it was a pleasure to meet him at long last) and Al Hinkes (who I already knew).
[The TGO Challenge is Hamish's brainchild, and Al is an Ambassador for boot maker, Hanwag, one of the Challenge's sponsors. Emily Rodway, TGO magazine's editor, was also present.]
The evening passed all too quickly, as always, and before we knew it we were on the train home, cogitating over next year's route.
I hope readers have enjoyed the past fortnight's postings. I'll try to produce an index and some short slideshows soon.
Comments will be made below, if I get round to it. And if anyone is interested...
Slideshow for the Day
Click on the first image, then click 'slideshow'.