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Lomonds of Fife Hill race

17/08/2014

The sleepy village of Strathmiglo in Fife was a hive of activity this Sunday when it hosted the Lomonds of Fife hill race. Being a championship race, almost 200 runners, including DRC's Mo Khan, entered the event. BBC Alba were also present to film the event, bringing some much needed glamour to the Scottish hill racing scene! Mo reports as follows...

"The race covered 10.5 miles, a detour to the original route adding on an extra half a mile, and the total climb was just over 2,400ft. Having recce’d the route earlier in the week, I knew that the first half of the race was runnable, whilst the second half was quite technical, with some tricky climbing and descending. With the large numbers running, and a very narrow forest trail for the first 500m, it took a while to get going. Once onto a fire road, I began to find my rhythm, and enjoyed the run via Craigmead to the first checkpoint at the summit of East Lomond hill. Strong winds hindered the descent from the first summit but this was followed by fast running to the second checkpoint.

By now the legs were already feeling heavy, which was not ideal as the next 5 miles involved mainly running over tussocky grass and sheep trod, with a fair bit of ascending still to come. Caution was needed whilst contouring the West Lomond as the path was barely wide enough for 1 foot. A steep scramble up a gully led to the final slog up to the summit of West Lomond hill. The race organisers claim that the descent from the West Lomond is the steepest on the SHR circuit. And this is no exaggeration as the only way to tackle it is to bum-slide down it. A word of advice for anyone running this race in future – wear lycra shorts and not baggies! I lost a couple of positions during the bum-slide due to my choice of shorts. The pain was still not over as the route then involves another climb before a completely unmarked descent back down to the tree line, and the final run in to the finish line.

Donald Naylor was the first male, finishing in 1h 27m 39s. Jasmin Paris continued her recent great form and was the first female in 1h 34m 22s. Having found this a technically demanding route, I was pleased to finish in 2h 23m 25s.

Big thanks to the marshals who had a tough day contending with strong winds on the summits, and also to photographer Allan Gebbie."

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