On Saturday 17th June, Jamie Thin and I completed a 112km circuit of the hills to the south of Edinburgh in a time of 20hrs and 14mins. The route has 5,573m of ascent and descent and starts and finishes at The Steading pub.
After both having done the 3 big UK 24 hour Rounds (RR, BG and PB) we figured it was time to do something a bit closer to home so we set out to create an ultra that takes people over the hills we train and race on all the time, along with pushing people to explore some of the more esoteric spots the Pentlands has to offer. There’s such a lot to explore south of Edinburgh so we focused on trying to join some of our favorite races together to create a round that would be challenging but accessible, also as we both turned 50 this year we decided we’d like the route to cover 50 hills.
Leg one of the route follows the outward Pentland skyline but carries on south west from the Kips to West Linton. The second leg takes in the hills to the east of Romano Bridge with Stephenson Hill being thrown in to tempt Olly to have a go at some point. Leg three takes us back west towards the southernmost point, and mid-point of the round, at Trahenha (if you thought you were tired climbing this at the end of the Two Breweries then spare us a thought last weekend in the heat). Leg four is a short one taking in The Mount (the hardest hill to work out how to ascend) and the masts at Broomy Law. Leg five is also short but climbs the magnificent Black Mount and less impressive White Hill. Leg six is a long one, starting at Dunsyre and charting the trackless heathery wastes of the southern Pentlands to Cock Rig where a final (wobbly) bog trot brings you back to the Drove Road. At that point with only the second half of the Skyline to go what on earth could go wrong.
Well, what went wrong was that we missed closing time at the Steading by about 10 minutes, which, in all honesty, was probably a good thing. Thanks to our fantastic support crew, Steve, Mike S, Mike L, Neil, Jonny, Phil and Mark we could not have done it without you guys.
For anyone keen to follow get your maps out as here’s a list of hills you’ll have to visit to take the record away from two 50 year olds . For the eagle eyed you’ll see there are 51 hills but as we did Allermuir twice we figured we should only count it once.
START – The Steading
Leg 1: Caerketton Hill, Allermuir Hill, Castlelaw Hill, Turnhouse Hill, Carnethy Hill, Scald Law, South Black Hill, East Kip, West Kip, Green Law, Spittal Hill, Paties Hill, The Mount, Grain Heads, Mount Maw, Faw Maw
Leg 2: Wether Law, Green Knowe, Wide Hope Shank, Stevenson Hill, Hamildean Hill
Leg 3: Tourbank Hill, Riding Hill, Ladyurd Hill, Penvalla, Hog Knowe, Trahenna Hill, Hammer Head, Clover Law, Green Law, Broughton Heights, Wether Law
Leg 4: The Mount, Broomy Law
Leg 5: Black Mount, White Hill
Leg 6: Dunsyre Hill, Mid Hill, Bleak Law, Darlees Rig, White Craig, Craigengar, West Cairn Hill, East Cairn Hill, Cock Rig, Hare Hill, Black Hill, Bells Hill, Harbour Hill, Capelaw Hill, Allermuir Hill
The Steading – END
Happy running – a very tired and hungry Mick James