Devil Take the Hindmost 2016

Devil Take the Hindmost 2016

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Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

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Frank's Valentine Run 2017

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Criffel Hill Race 2017

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Highland Fling Relay 2016

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Moffat 15k 2016

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Screel Hill Race 2017



Highland Fling Ultra Trail race 2016

04/05/2016

Saturday April 30th saw the running of the 11th Highland Fling Race - a 53 mile trail/mixed terrain race from Milngavie to Tyndrum along the West Highland Way.

Eighteen members of Dumfries Running Club were involved in this year's event which had involved many months of dedicated training with 14 in the individual event and a lucky quartet able to gain a coveted relay slot.

The race can be conveniently divided up into 4 main stages with the first stage on a relatively flat, runnable mixed terrain route (including some ankle deep bogs and many gates) to Drymen. The second stage climbs up over Conic Hill and then undulates along the side of Loch Lomond to Rowardennan whilst the third leg is a rather technical trail along Loch Lomond side to Bein Glas farm requiring much use of the hands for scrambling over rocks and lowering yourself down the other side. The final section is rather a sting in the tail as it involves climbing high up above Crianlarich, before descending towards the finish at Tyndrum.

On a day with excellent visibility and warm temperatures almost 700 lined up for the 6am start. Paul Hart ran well in the early part of the race towards Loch Lomond and was well placed. Unfortunately during the second part he was forced to slow as his lack of consistent high mileage training hampered his progress but he was delighted to finish his first ultra for a number of years in 9 hours 15 in 54th place, especially as he was able to cross the line along with his children Annabel and Daniel.

Alison McKean, supported by her husband Alan, has been training carefully for the full West Highland Way race in June and used this event as a staging post. She built up carefully and gained in confidence with a superb run in 10 hours 41 in 180th place. Les Hill started well and used his experience to navigate the early stages and was running well but was forced to slow down in the later stages to cross the line in 10hours 53 in 204th place.

Sue Jeffrey had an outstanding run. She has been training for this event for many months as not only is she a novice ultra-runner, she had never even completed a marathon before attempting double that distance. She thoroughly enjoyed the physical and mental challenge and was overjoyed to finish in 11 hours 3 mins in 217th place, seven minutes in front of an excellent run by Steven McKillop of Dalbeattie.

Marian McPhail used her excellent pace judgement skills to finish in 12 hours 35 and win the prize as the first over 60 woman in the race. In doing so she overtook Donald Chalmers on the final leg from Bein Glass farm and headed him by ten minutes with Dawn McDonald a further 15 minutes behind, narrowly under the 13 hour mark.

Sebastian Pflanz ran a careful race helping to pace Stef Smith over the terrain in 13 hours 43 and Margaret Gray improved on her time from last year to finish in 13 hours 49 two minutes in front of Jo Johnstone who was completing her first ever long ultra run. Jo found the course very challenging, especially as she had injured her knee three weeks ago in Ae forest. She gritted her teeth and pushed on to the finish and was especially delighted to be welcomed at the end of the race by her husband Jim.

In such a difficult event not everyone reaches the end and several people chose the wiser option of dropping out. Craig Malcolmson stopped at Balmaha after 20miles through injury as did Susan Gallagher who jarred her knee on Conic hill and on medical advice conserved her energies and fitness for the full 95mile race in June. Peter Hutchison slipped and hurt his leg on the tricky lochside terrain and was forced to pull out at Bein Glass. Gemma Leadbetter was very disappointed that she could not start but travelled as a supporter and official marshal to help her club mates from the first half of the event.

The relay team of Kirsten Kellock, Anne McFarlane, James Kellock and Bob Quin, supported by Graeme Cross and Mandy Goldie overcame their 4am start from Dumfries and were ready for their race starting at 7am,an hour after the individual runners. First off was Kirsten who got the team off to an excellent start and did so well that she beat the support vehicle to the first checkpoint at Drymen.With lesson learned the rest of the checkpoints were met in plenty of time to support and applaud both the individual runners and relay teams. Anne ran over Conic hill to Rowardennan handing to James who had the most challenging leg before Bob ran well to cross the line in 18th place in 9 hours 30 minutes

Steve Mohan

 

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