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Carnethy Five

13/02/2016

On Sat 13th three Dumfries Running Club runners were lucky enough to gain an entry to the 46th Carnethy 5 hill race near Penicuik in Midlothian. The route which involves ascending & descending 750metres includes 5 peaks and finishes back where the runners started.

This year the race was run under snowy conditions which made the route especially challenging. The mass start is something to behold as over 500 runners like extras from Braveheart line up to do battle, fittingly at the site of the Battle of Roslin. The race starts with a chaotic charge across a flat(ish) marshland on their way to the first climb.  Scald Law is a steep climb where passing is awkward and at the summit runners were exposed to horizontal snow and a freezing northerly wind for the ridge run to South Back & the 2 Kips.  After west Kip the runners descend rapidly to pick up the trail and the fast run down to the Howe.

 

With the snow showing no signs of easing the route from the Howe back up looks pretty daunting. A gradual climb leads to a sheltered gully which steepens until it reaches a ridge that leads to the summit of Carnethy hill. Once round the huge cairn runners descend steeply back down towards the marshland and ultimately to the finish.

 

The fastest DRC performance came from Will Nicholson in his debut in the event in 69.43 in 134th place. Next up was Craig Malcolmson who was handicapped for being sluggish across the marshland and arriving at Scald Law near end of the pack .However he recovered well once on the open hills to record a time of 72.52 in 167th place. Sebastian Pflanz was running his first hill run for 5months and started tentatively gaining places on the descents to record a finishing time of 78.52 in 235th place. As a result of the difficult weather conditions even the race winner’s time was around 5 minutes down on usual and the post-race curry at Beeslack High school was most welcome.

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