Four Carnethies ran at Yetholm on Sunday 4th May and, for me, it’s the perfect Scottish hill race – entry on the day for a fiver to raise funds for the mountain rescue, parking in a field in the middle of nowhere within 20 metres of the start and finish, a circular route which is run either clockwise or anti-clockwise at the organiser’s discretion (anti this year), a modest turn out with no ‘big names’, a bare-foot runner (that’s Brian Marshall who runs with ‘real’ bare feet, not those funny shoe-glove things) and a lovely route which has plenty of good running without a single metre on a road and the opportunity to run with one foot in Scotland and the other in England (it follows the border at one stage).
There was the added bonus this year that the race was the day after a long SHR championship race at the very other end of the country so not only were there no ‘big names’, there weren’t even any ‘medium names’ which was reflected in the winning time of 75 minutes (Brian Marshall) which was around 25% slower than the course record. This also allowed 2 Carnethies to feature in the top 10 with Matthew Currie achieving a very creditable 7th place only 5.8% behind the winner. The only downside is that since it’s in the middle of a field at the end of a road to nowhere there was no tea and cakes afterwards but it’s still one of my favourite races which I’d recommend to everyone (so long as you’re not a big or medium name). Results here http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0056&Year=2017
Sadly, the race may to have to be cancelled in the next few years due to border restrictions, either that or the mandatory kit will have to include a valid passport and the course record is going to be almost impossible to beat due to queues going through security. #Neverendum2