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Merrick Hill Race

21/09/2014

On Sunday 21st September three DRC runners took to the Galloway hills rather than the roads of the Dumfries Half Marathon and were rewarded with some stunning late summer weather...

A field of 30 hill runners gathered at the famous Bruce's Stone in the heart of the Glen Trool forest for the 26th running of the Merrick Hill race. Kerry Walker, Terry McCloskey and Craig Malcolmson joined the other eager participants for the straight forward out and back route consisting mainly of the walkers hiking track via Culsharg bothy then up over Benyellary, (Gaelic for 'Eagle mountain'), across the Neive of the Spit then up to the summit of Merrick at 843 metres above sea level followed by the very fast descent back to the finish.

Terry was first of the DRC trio to reach the summit with Craig keeping within touching distance, but on the descent Terry pulled further ahead so Craig decided to consolidate his position. But with a mile to go Craig caught sight of a tiring Terry and reeled him in to pass him on the rocky last quarter of a mile to finish in 8th place in a time of 1:21:12. Terry finished in 9th place in 1:22:21.

Kerry showed great strength over the 8 mile run and finished with a huge grin on her face in 26th place with a time of 2:00:14, no mean feat as this is as tough as it comes. The race was won by Jim Haworth of Galloway Harriers in a time of 1:10:58 to establish the course record for the new route.

The runners all wish to convey a big thanks to Nat Taylor and Girvan AAC for organising the perfect day out in the hills.

 

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