Durisdeer 2014

Five Westies endured a warm day out at Durisdeer last weekend. This was the first time I have run this race, and can recommend it in spite of the heat. The race starts by an old church in the charming wee village of Durisdeer. We trot out past the field that doubles as a car park for the 30-odd competitors, then slog up to the summit of Black Hill. I follow the route map to Pettylung, missing a trick of descending earlier and soon find myself alongside the cunning Mr Brennan, who started out slowly and is now making up places. Nay bother - Brian is not one for the heat, and I fancy my chances against him today. A sharp descent to the road gives my thighs a thorough workout. Some shade from a short forest section is welcome relief, but soon passes as we head up the valley below Steygail. I manage to latch on to a local called Nigel, and squeeze out valuable seconds following him up the high trod rather than the burn. My water bottle is now empty, and I quietly question the decision. Soon enough we are climbing again. There is precious little breeze on on the tops, and this long stretch through the valley is stiffling. I stop for water as we descend to the second road crossing. Another climb, the last major one up Well Hill. I have lost sight of the rest of the field by now, and follow a compass bearing across to Black Hill. The final descent is slow. My body is drained by the heat. At least there is water at the finish, and I walk back to Kirk Burn to cool off. Stacks of home baking in the church - the organising committee have done themselves proud. The race has been dominated by vet-50s (showing no respect for age!) and so Gregor wins third prize after coming in 6th. The results show Marc had a good run, but he doesn't stay for buns. Graham is his usual self, full of smiles. All that Mexican training must have put him in good stead for today's conditions. Brian and I agree on how much better it is to be running in proper Scottish rain and wind. The cakes are superb. Next year this is down as a Scottish championship event. Yeah, I'll be back.

Posted by John Hamer on Fri 20 Jun 2014 | 4 comments

Category Hill Race


  1. James said...

    Well done guys, a brilliant course - just a shame about the slow-roasting running experience. Wilting Westies.

    Sunday 22nd June 2014 6.50pm

  2. Marc said...

    Oh, I stayed for buns alright, but after consuming the equivalent of my body weight decided it was time to leave. This is an excellent race and we all agreed that it's astonishing that the numbers are always so small. It does require a little bit of navigational ability, or at least a degree of familiarity (the race is completely unmarked). I too overshot the first descent and also the short-cut through the bracken to avoid the zig-zagging path. This started to cause much amusement to those behind/temporarily in front of me and reminded me why I gave up orienteering all those years ago. Determined not to make any more mistakes I settled for a hot, grumpy plod around the rest of the course, trying to retain what form was possible in the humidity. Once at the top of Well Hill the hard work is done - the route to Black Hill is a good one with a short uphill drag at the end, and then a lovely 2K descent to the finish where there's a stream for cooling down. Then it's into the church hall to try and make a dent in the aforementioned baking. Glad to see it's a future championship race as it deserves a better turnout.

    Sunday 22nd June 2014 9.30pm

  3. Brian B the elder said...

    I came I saw I cooked .....great race, beautiful countryside.....not ridiculously hot but very close, air was like soup at times......but got round ok and recommend the race to one and all for next years championship......hope it's cold and the clag is down

    Sunday 22nd June 2014 11.15pm

  4. Graham K said...

    Hot ...aye, very hot indeed. Within minutes of starting it was clear ma beard was going to be acting as a sweat catcher. To avoid trying to run with the chin dragging through the heather, I stuck a Buff round ma baldy dome worked.

    The first descent was mental ...not Lomonds of Fife mental but steep enough to hurt. Cross the road and up the farm track. Without any cross marking, slowed up a tad to ehhhh ...check the map (i.e. the quads were still trying to go downhill instead of up).

    Thankfully caught the wee turning and started up the high trod above the burn see another runner making better progress down by the burn (not sure if this was better route choice or just better running). Big climb up the gully and fun descent with a short rise to the road crossing. From then on was holding on and trying not to cramp up. Was glad to finish and promptly sat down for a while before heading for an impressive feed.

    Accept it is just my own messed up thinking but I don't get the whole Championship thing really. The vast majority aren't going to win anything other than the mug - surely it is more interesting to do races that you simply enjoy ?

    Monday 23rd June 2014 5.07pm

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