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Criffel Hill Race 2017

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Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

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Criffel Hill Race

21/03/2018

On Sunday March 19th, Dumfries Running Club staged the Criffel Hill Race, organised by Ranjit Thomas and his team of helpers on one of the coldest and windiest days of recent years. 

This race is around 6 miles long and involves 550m of ascent and descent on a route that was pretty hazardous in places and 39 runners set off from New Abbey, ready to face the unpredictability of the course. The route starts (and finishes) with a fast road stretch, before heading off the beaten track to climb up to the summit of Criffel at 569m, via the top of Knockendoch. After reaching the summit cairn, the runners then retraced their steps (well, more or less, as route choice was very individual depending on each runner’s personal choice).

The cold dry wind had the benefit of reducing the amount of mud which meant that the route was drier than usual and this helped the runners many of whom returned with barely a speck of mud on them. The race was won by Matthew Sullivan of Shettleston in 55.10, three minutes in front of Andrew Cox with Stuart Malcolm of Highland hill runners third in 62.15. The best finisher of the host club was Adam Dickie in 6th place in an excellent 64.07. Craig Malcolmson in 69.05 is getting back towards his best in 13th place, ninety seconds in front of Simon Mortlock. Race organiser Ranjit Thomas enjoyed his run in 82.02 and in her debut hill run, Saty Burns enjoyed the whole experience of such a different style of running and was pleased to get up and down in one piece. Thanks are due to Moffat mountain rescue who ensured the safety of all competitors and to Mike Jardine as the back marker who made sure everyone got off the hill safely. Thanks were expressed at the prize giving to  Sulwath brewery for their generous donation of Criffel ale and all proceeds from the race will be donated to Moffat mountain rescue.

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