This was the 34th running of the Chapelgill hill race, organised by Robin Morris of Lothian Running Club. Five Carnethies were in the field of 40 runners, whose average age was around the fifty mark, the young fast guys saving themselves for the SHR Championship race at Criffel the following day. I had last done this race back in 2010 when it was a championship counter, finishing back in 56th place.
The start by the sheepfold was sheltered from the cold wind. The race itself is one of the shortest in the SHR calender, but packs in 410m of climbing in less than the mile it takes to reach the summit. After the steep climb to the short runnable ridge I was back in 6th place, but managed to gain 3 places by the turnaround point at the cairn, where Hilary was marshaling. The descent is ludicrously fast, and by taking slightly better lines, stumbled my way to the front to finish just ahead of Stuart Malcolm of Highland Runners, but some way off Phil Davies’s record of 18.50. Joan Wilson of Lomond Hill Runners was first female. The first senior in 6th place was Thomas Knox of Anster Haddies, finishing just behind father Jonny.
The prize giving finished off a grand afternoon out, with 1 in 4 runners receiving prizes of Run and Become vouchers and whisky. This is classic Scottish Hill Racing, turn up in a muddy field at the end of a remote glen, pay £2, race, and back home for tea (and rugby).
Many thanks to Robin for organising, and those that helped out, including Gordon, with registration, and Hilary & Jonathan marshaling.
Would be great to see this as an SHR Championship race again in the near future.