I spotted this late year hill race by accident. It was run last year for the first time and is organised by the Cairnsmore Mile Munchers. It does not appear in the SHR calendar.
I was due to be down in Galloway at about this time of year so decided to give it a go. I’d done the route as a training run last year and knew what to expect.
The weather for the previous few days had been wet and windy, but conditions on the Saturday improved remarkably with calm conditions and sunshine, but it was very cold.
51 runners assembled at the start at the Cairnsnore of Fleet car park. Entry was by donation on the day to Action Against Depression.
The race follows a farm track past Cairnsmore Farm, across an open field, then into an ascent up rather muddy and stony forest trail. It emerges into open countryside where it is now possible to see the runners ahead on the path snaking its way up to the summit. The path up here has been partially paved with stones to make it easier for walkers, but it was a bit slippy for running on. I was able to run most of the way up to the rather boggy summit plateau. The lead runners were already on the way down.
The actual summit was shrouded in cold mist and looked a long way off. I found the descent a bit tricky on the stony path but managed to negotiate it without falling over, but I lost a bit of ground to the rest of the field.
Back in the forest, running was easier, but it was really muddy and I was glad to get back onto the farm road down to the finish.
The most welcome post race soup and sandwiches were provided at the presentation at Brakepad Bike Shop at Kirroughtree Forest Visitor Centre.
The race was won by Bruce McCleary in a new record of 1:04:32. 1st lady Ruth Joss also had a course record of 1:09:41. I finished 39th in 1:37:50.
Thanks to Cairnsmore Milemunchers for organising a great race.
More results and pictures at : https://www.facebook.com/events/392791474442073/permalink/449661792088374/