Ben Gullipen Hill Race & Junior Hill Race plus Canicross
Having read Donald Trump’s tweet that the Ben Gullipen Hill Race was to be a SHR Championship Race in 2018, myself and Andrew decided to head across to Callander on Saturday to check out the race route.
The race is organised by Skidaddle (a not for profit enterprise, developed to use adventure sports to address social and economic needs in rural central Scotland), and sponsored by Tiso and Breathing Space Scotland. The Hill Races are run at the same time as the Canicross (the sport of running off-road with your dog whereby the human wears a waistbelt which attaches via a 2-metre bungee line to a padded dog harness), which in effect is either being pulled along by your dog (if its one of these dogs that never walks to heel) or pulling your dog (if its one of those dogs that isn’t very keen on walking).
The Hill Race itself is a straightforward out and back totaling just over 8 miles from the the car park on the Invertrossachs Road to the radio mast on the summit of Ben Gullipen following landrover tracks (you could do it in road shoes if it was dry). The Junior Hill Race and Canicross follow a similar, lower level route of just over 4 miles.The £12 junior entry fee maybe deterred a big field (there were 250% more juniors at last weeks Bishop Hill Race).
After a comprehensive 10 minute Health and Safety briefing the race was underway, and Donald McPartlin (Garscube Harriers) soon took the lead, which he retained to the finish in a time of 51.12, a minute or so outside the course record held by Andy Fallas since the inaugural race in 2015.
In a reversal of last weeks results at Bishop Hill, I managed a 2nd place, and Andrew was first in his race. There was bottled water and a crate of fresh fruit for finishers, plus tea and cake (for a donation).
The only other Carnethy present was Andy Lamont, who finished 13th despite taking a bad fall on the descent. Andy smashed his GPS watch, ripped his shorts and suffered numerous cuts and bruises – fortunately his new Carnethy race T-Shirt was unscathed, must be made of some Kevlar® aramid fiber.
Prizes were awarded for first 3 finishes (male and female) in each race, but unusually no vets prizes (although if you were a vet category winner you could purchase a winners medal for £5 after the race).
Myself and Andrew each received our medals (nice, quirky, homemade ones), and vouchers totaling £25 for The Happy Go Lucky Dog Company (they sell everything you could need for Mushing, Canicross, Dog Scootering, Agility, Flyball, Obedience, Showing and more) https://en-gb.facebook.
As we don’t own a dog, any Carnethy members are welcome to take the vouchers off our hands if they can make use of them. Just get in touch on the dog and bone.