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17 hardy Harriers made their way to Callander for the first hill race of the year at Callander Crags. A chance to work off the festive excesses and get some early points on the board for the 2020 Hill GP.

The race itself is fairly low key with registration taking place from a red camper van, with material numbers handed out so as to be re-used (a good idea I thought)

For the first week in January, the weather was particularly mild, and the rain was holding off. That didn’t stop some members wrapping up for an unlikely blizzard (better to be safe than sorry, I suppose)

The race started at 2pm prompt with a blast from the starter pistol. The race started on a brutally steep path up the west side of the crags. This hill just seemed to go on for ever and with tricky under foot conditions, the energy was quickly sapped from the legs and rest walk breaks were welcome and needed. The path eventually evens out, but the race does not get any easier as runners make their way to the top of the crags negotiating muddy bogs, slippy rocks and all manner of obstacles. On reaching the summit, it’s more of the same but all in all is good honest fun!

After 1.5 miles of climbing, runners start the descent through trees and mud to a tarmac path. The path was a welcome relief for many and a fast downhill speed could be achieved, if there was any energy left in the legs after the climb! Finally, it’s an undulating trail along the bottom of the crags back to the start/finish line.

All in all, a great way to start the 2020 hill GP and great to see a good number of members pop their hill race cherry.

There were age category placings for Steven King, Pete Simpson, Michelle Best and Phil Smithard. Well done all!

Race Results

11th Steven King 28:07 2nd M40

13th Peter Simpson 28:25 1st M60

23rd Lee Holland 30:23

40th Michelle Best 32:31 1st F40

41st Brian Miller 32:53

48th Kenny Fairfield 33:40

49th Alan Murray 33:44

69th Colin Reynolds 35:08

73rd Alison Whyte 35:42

75th John Fulham 35:46

80th John Hynd 36:35

83rd Lesley Reynolds 37:11

85th Karen Forsyth 37:28

100th Frances Beattie 40:19

110th Gordon Barrie 43:43

113th Helena Sim 45:39

117th Phil Smithard 48:01 2nd M70