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Race Reports

Carnethy 5 Hill Race - Steve Peters

Carnethy 5 Race 2015 - Steve Peters


Five Dundee Road Runners turned out for this iconic race. Four of us (John, Elaine, Gillian and myself) travelled through by car on the day. The plan was to meet Ron Fraser in Penicuik at race registration. As it was Valentines weekend, Ron was treating his good lady Aileen to a romantic weekend in Edinburgh. What an amazing coincidence that there was a hill race just a few miles away!

In John’s car we were joined by Jeremy Kibble (Metro Aberdeen - but we’ll not hold that against him) and we all had a good blether about Carnethy race tactics, forthcoming races, past races, running shoes, running shops - and I’m sure there was some non-running talk in there at some point too.

Carnethy 5 ‘ is one of the biggest hill races in Scotland in terms of its popularity. Each year around 610 runners get a place ranging from beginner hill runners to British Hill running champions. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. There’s 2 running stores displaying all the latest shoes and clothing, post race massages, post race school dinners, busses to the start, a lone piper playing in a field and much much more.

The race itself has one of the best starts ever. Hundreds of underdressed nutters charging through a boggy field, many screaming Hhhhh, Bbbbbbb, Tttttttttt -think of the movie Braveheart and you’ll get the idea. This was my fourth consecutive C5 and in each race my time had always improved. Many top hill runners aim for a sub 60 min C5. I’ll only ever achieve that in my dreams but a sub 70-min attempt was a realistic target given my increasing presence at hill races these days.

I started off fast, way too fast. My lungs were bursting after half a mile and we hadn’t even got to the first climb yet. A number of better hill runners past me and the natural race order soon started to sort itself out. At the top of the first hill I was knackered but much to my surprise I was narrowly ahead of Carnegie’s Steve King (could this be the 1st time I beat him?). We exchanged places a few times, him being the better climber and I being the better descender. Coming off West Kip (hill number 4) was a real experience. I had thought my Inov-8 Mudclaw 300s would suit the terrain best. With all the snow that had fallen, clearly a sledge would have been a better option. Steve King disappeared into the distance but I stuck in and got up and over the final hill (Carnethy) to enjoy zooming down the scree at a ridiculous speed finishing in a time of 1:10:38.

After regrouping with the rest of the squad we enjoyed a nice cup before heading back for the bus. As the queue was miles long I decided to jog the 3 miles back to Penicuik along a cracking trail path with Phil Forte (Hawkhill Harrier) for company. Then it was back to the Beeslack High for a school dinner and prizegiving. Our own Gillian Sangster got 3rd Vet 40 so an enjoyable and successful day was had by all.

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