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Criffel Hill Race

22/03/2015

Nine Dumfries Running Club members turned up in the heart of New Abbey for this annual slog from the Corn Mill to Criffel summit and back. The race is now organised by Ranjit Thomas and with the help of Sandy and Linda Shankland, it again went like clockwork...

Apparently this 10.5km, 550 metres ascent and descent is a 'Classic' in hill racing terms, which is probably due to the mud and it is certainly a technical and challenging route.

A fast start for the first kilometre on tarmaced road, which suits the road runners, soon stretches out the field. It is then followed by a pleasant inclined wooded section. However this is as easy as it gets as the trail soon gets muddier and muddier and for the next 1.5 Km the runners have to negotiate deep black peaty mud, hidden rocks and tussocky grass, a tortuous route which only got slightly easier at around 300m and the top of the summit of Knockendock where the trail begin to dry a little. The clag was beginning to come down as runners veered left over the back of Knockendock and onwards to the summit of Criffel (no view of the Solway today then!)

Runners then retrace their tracks back towards Knockendock summit from where fortune favours the brave on the brutal mud strewn 1.5k descent to the road when runners do well to stay upright for any length of time, such is the difficulty of the descent in this mud pit! Once clear of the wooded section it is back onto the undulating tarmac road section to the finish at the Corn Mill.

Front runners from DRC were Jacob Tangey (65.46 in 8th place), Adam Dickie (66.04 in 9th place) and Norman Neilson (66.14 in 10th place) who had a ding dong battle on the final road section as times reflect. Next Home in 12th place was Craig Malcolmson in a time of 67.04 (a PB for him on the course). Craig was 500m adrift of Norman and Jacob but in front of Adam at the turn however by Knockendock Adam was in front of Craig and on a mission to chase down his club mates. Craig then used his down-hilling experience to get back on the tail of his three team mates but lost the ground he had gained on the final kilometre of road section to the finish.

Next home was stalwart Simon Mortlock (73.42 in 24th place), who ran a steady race with the added spice of competing against his son Jonathan. Then followed race organiser Ranjit Thomas (did anyone see which shoes he had on?) who ran steady to finish in good shape with the forthcoming London marathon at the back of his mind. Ranjit's time was 79.43 for 35th place. Next home was Mo Khan who found the going tough but was pleased to get up and down in 86.06 (44th place).

Vicky Hart was the only DRC female to attempt this tough hill race and judging by the huge grin on her face as she finished to huge applause she thoroughly enjoyed her experience. Vicky's time was a very respectable 86.41 in 45th place.

Terry McCloskey acted as sweeper.

A big Thanks go to the Moffat Mountain Rescue Team who again turned out in numbers to ensure the runners' safety and to club members Graeme Cross, Sue Jeffrey and Steve Mohan for officiating at the finish. A special mention must also go to Adam Anderson Senior who got the race off to a stuttering start with his malfunctioning hooter!

The race was won by Andrew Gilmore of Carnethy in a time of 56.56. and 1st female was Jane Jackson, also of Carnethy, in a time of 78.35.

Craig

Results: Criffel Results 2015

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