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Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

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Frank's Valentine Run 2017

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Dentdale 2017

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Criffel Hill Race 2017

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Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

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Moffat 15k 2016

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Screel Hill Race 2017

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Santa Run 2017



The Highland Fling Ultra

25/04/2015

Few events can encapsulate the hard work, effort and dedication shown by members of Dumfries Running Club any better than the 53 mile Highland Fling ultra race which took place on Saturday 25th April. There were 11 individual Club runners plus a 4 person relay team as well as 9 supporting or helping in the race...

Run on the first part of the West Highland Way, this trail race starts at Milngavie near Glasgow with the first relatively flat section past Mugdock Country Park towards Drymen. After that the runners climb Conic Hill by Balmaha and negotiate the rugged eastern side of Loch Lomond towards Beinn Glas farm beyond the northern tip of the loch. The final section involves twisty climbs as the route reaches the final destination, the village of Tyndrum, where very welcome bottles of ice cold beer await.

Now in its 10th year the Fling has expanded to 1,000 individuals and 50 relay teams and always attracts experienced athletes as well as novices with the double selling point of superb organisation and cheerfully enthusiastic helpers at the drop points spurring tired legs towards the finishing line. With clear blue skies and warm temperatures, mixed with occasional snow flurries the conditions helped bring out the best in the competitors.

With the first and second in the race running two of the three fastest times in a decade, the fastest DRC runner was Jacob Tangey who was 32nd in a superb 8 hours 49. Typically Jacob ran a carefully judged race and managed to speed up in the final stages whilst others ahead of him were slowing down. Norman Neilson in 9 hours 14 had another strong run. Vicky Hart, supported by husband Paul and the children, struggled for the first half of the race but gained in confidence over the second part and knocked a massive 30 mins off her previous best time in 10 hours 58 and was especially delighted to complete the final 100 metres with her daughter Annabel.

Alison Groat in 11 hours 8 mins also had a very positive experience as her initial aim was to finish under the 12 hour mark and the extra encouragement from many club supporters really helped push her to do so well.

Craig Malcolmson, running his 6th Fling race, was pleased to run with his South African friend Jaco Venter and to get a chance to show off the beauty of the Scottish landscape. However he struggled with blisters on both feet over the final 18 miles which slowed him in 11 hours 21 mins.

Marian McPhail used every inch of her experience to prepare for the upcoming full West Highland Way race in June by starting slow and steadily, over taking many competitors in 12 hours 18.

The most inspiring runners were those who were venturing into the unknown. Sebastian Pflanz used his experience to mentor Kirsty Gaffney and Stef Smith from Dalbeattie in such a daunting event to finish in 13 hours 48 and hopefully raise a large sum of money for the Beatson Cancer Care Centre into the process.

Margaret Gray has put in months of dedicated effort in training for this event as well as continuing her role as an inspiration to the Monday night beginners and improvers group. Running with Richard McDougal she ran very strongly in the final stages to finish in 13 hours 57.

Another inspiration has been club chairman Peter Hutchison who has not been able to compete in many races over the past few years. Again, months of sheer effort and hard graft were put in to help his son and daughter in-law, Stuart and Ruth, mark her 40th birthday in the hardest possible fashion by completing this tough challenge. Stuart and Ruth finished together in 14 hours 2 mins and supported by his wife Barbara, Peter showed outstanding willpower and determination to  finish in 14 hours 57 mins.

In the relay event the “Up and Doonhamer” team of Kerry Walker, Sue Jeffrey, Frank Skachill and Mo Khan were competing with 50 other teams with each completing a distance close to a half marathon. Starting an hour after the individual runners at 7am, the team got off to a bright start with Kerry reaching the Drymen checkpoint in just under 2 hours. Sue used her hill running strength to overtake several teams on Conic hill and on the lengthy stretch to Rowardennan and handed over to Frank for the tough and technical leg three. Frank powered on and managed extra support to some individual club runners at the same time with a fine run in 2 hours 46 and handed over to Mo on the glory leg and he brought the team home in 9 hours 16 in an excellent 14th place and eighth mixed team overall.

Stephen Mohan.

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