Frequently Asked Questions
Can I come along to try out club events?
If you are interested in hill-running or cross country, then feel free to come along. There will always be a friendly face to welcome you, whether you are a member or not.
You don’t need to me a member to join in our Monday and Wednesday training sessions; reps training sessions and start-of-the-month runs. For details of what’s on see our Calendar.
Also, feel free to contact the committee if you have any questions.
Why is the club called Westerlands?
The club was formed by people connected to the University of Glasgow and is named for the University’s “Westerlands” training grounds at Anniesland Cross where the club would regularly train. The grounds were sold in 1997 and are now Morrisons and housing.
What kind of running does Westerlands do?
We do all kinds!! We are registered for hill running, cross country, trail running and road running.
Hill running is our main focus from around March to November whereas the cross-country season takes place over the winter.
One of our core values is placing equal emphasis on social and competitive aspects of the club so we caters for those who just want to run for reasons of fitness, enjoyment, mental health, vanity, etc.
What kit do I need?
Footwear: You need good shoes with a good grip for running in the hills. There are several specialist hill or fell shoes. The most popular brands in the club are Innov8 (X-Talon and Mudclaw), Salomon (Speedcross) and Walsh.
Full body cover: In case of emergency in the hills you need to carry full waterproof body cover: waterproof top with integrated hood; waterproof trousers; hat; and gloves. This is a requirement for most races. You can get lightweight gear specially designed for carrying in races. Look for waterproofs with taped seams that are higher quality, more waterproof and can be required for some races.
Head torch: The sun setting is not an excuse to come in from the hills. Lots of our events are in the dark so a good head torch is a requirement.
Running vest: Fly the clubs colours in our beautiful yellow running vest. We offer one free running vest when you first race for Westerlands.
Map and Compass: Maps for many races are available on-line for printing – race organisers don’t normally provide maps. The working knowledge of a compass is essential in case of bad weather.
When you join the club you get access to discounts at popular outdoor retailers.
Map and compass?
While most hill races have well-defined routes, there are occasions where runners will need to navigate across complex terrain in low visibility. This is particularly the case in longer races, races run in poor weather and races with small fields, where it is not possible to simply follow the runner in front. Knowing when you have strayed off course and how to navigate back is an essential skill.
Navigation practice should be included as a part of your hill running training. Organisations like the Mountain Council offer training courses to get you started, and the club has many experienced members (including a number of Mountain Leaders) who are more than happy to offer practical help and advice.
What is a Bog'n'Burn race?
A series of Wednesday races held across central Scotland between April and August. Your best six results count toward your overall score.
What is a handicap run?
We designate a selection of Wednesday night runs as timed “handicap” events. Runners are given staggered start times, with the aim of getting everyone at the finish at roughly the same time.
The most important handicap is the Simon Triger Memorial Trophy, run over a Blanefield to Dumgoyne route in Spring. Simon was an active member of the Westies who died climbing Mont Blanc in 2008.
What is there besides the running?
Plenty!! There are many social events arranged throughout the year. Once a month we have a “curry night” after the Wednesday run, attendance at which earns you points for the fiercely contested Curry League.
There are also post-race celebrations after the bigger races like the Devil’s Burdens (typically a Celtic Connections concert), and the unmissable Christmas Party.
In early November we head off to Loch Ossian for an unforgettable weekend of running and fun at a remote SHYA hostel set amongst some of the finest hills in Scotland.
At all events, there is very much an atmosphere in which everyone is welcome. No one is expected to conform to any stereotypes. Beer-guzzlers and T-totalers co-exist in complete harmony. There is no pressure either way. Just come along see.
How do I get involved in the committee?
The AGM takes place around the end of October each year. This is when the committee for the following year is voted in. Details of all the positions available and the voting procedure are published a few weeks in advance of the AGM. Do get involved: anyone who has will tell you, it is well worth it.
How can I join?
Contact the secretary using the Contact Form for more information.
What do I get for my membership?
You get to be part of what is a very special club full of history and atmosphere. Just browse this website to be convinced. On a practical level, the club will pay your entry fees to any of the many team relay and cross country events held throughout the year, and in many cases will also subsidise club outings. For example,
– Annual “Extravaganza” long-distance relay
– Running and fancy-dress weekend at Loch Ossian
– Paid entry to Devil’s Burdens, Comrie relay, Round Array relay, FRA relays, and all Cross Country events
– Our very own winter version of the Southside Six
– Regular club runs and handicaps
– Ballot for London Marathon entries
– Grudge matches
Do you have to be a hard-core runner to join?
Absolutely not. There are runs and sessions to cater for all levels; see the section on training for details of what is available. In particular, there are several easy runs put on during the week specifically for beginners and those who just like to run for fitness and relaxation. The route and pace on these runs is such that absolutely no one is dropped. In fact, please do not be put off by any of the sessions. Even in the repetition sessions, we regroup regularly and bigger groups make for a more enjoyable workout.
There are many stories of people taking up running for the first time, with Westerlands, only to find they really love it. Even the most competitive athletes love to run just because it feels good. So, even if you’re not yet a member, come along and give it a try. You will always be welcome.
I am a total beginner, where do I start?
Just start! Many members will tell you they could barely run the length of a field when they started. Build up steadily, challenging yourself to run a little further. Set yourself a modest goal, and when you achieve it set yourself another. Once you reach the stage of running 10km comfortably in an hour or less, you should be quite able to keep up with the Wednesday night off-road runs.
Should I wait until I'm fitter?
No! You will not struggle on one of the Monday training sessions. Attending an organized run, setting off at a particular time, is the best way to stop procrastinating. There will be many others there in the same boat. Besides, running is the way to get fitter.
Is there a club mailing list?
Yes there is. It’s available exclusively to all members. The Westies webmaster will add to the mailing list upon completed membership.
How do I find out about the arrangements for training sessions and races?
Training times and venues are posted on the website show the schedule for the next few weeks. However, more detailed information about particular sessions, and any last-minute changes, are sent out to the email list.
Similarly the fixtures section contains a lot of information about forthcoming races, but further details, arrangements and requests for interested runners, are all sent out to the email lists.
The club email list is used for organising informal weekend runs. There is usually someone heading off to run somewhere interesting and looking for company, and you are more than welcome to advertise your own plans by emailing the list.
What is a Mountain Marathon?
A two-day hill navigation event, usually run in teams of two. The first day ends in a remote mid-camp. The pair must carry tent, food, cooking equipment and warm clothing.
Mountain Marathons have a range of entry classes, from elite down to good hill walker level. They are an excellent way of learning navigation and hill skills, and bring another level of challenge that rewards skill and cunning over speed and strength.
What is an Extravaganza?
Extravaganza is our name for an annual long-distance relay. A route is selected by the Extravaganza Eating, Drinking and Planning Committee, and divided into legs of between 5 and 10km. Runners are organised into teams, and each allocated two or three legs spread throughout the day. The day concludes with a shared meal.
In the past years we have run the Cateran Trail, the Rob Roy Way, a circumnavigation of the Campsie Fells, the Real Rob Roy Way, Hadrian’s Wall, the Arran Coastal Path, and the Speyside Way. An unsuccessful attempt was made at running across Skye in 2008.
What other races are there?
Comprehensive details and results for virtually all Scottish Hill races can be found on Chris Upson’s excellent site
Along with the Bog’n’Burn series, there are several other race series.
The SHR Championships series is used to award the title “best hill runner in the country” to whoever accumulates the most points in four of six nominated races. The races comprise two short, two medium and two long events, and at least one race from each distance must be included (although this last rule does not apply to over-60s).
For runners interested in the more challenging events, the Scottish Long Classics series packages up ten long distance events. To complete the series, you must complete at least five of the ten.
In 2016 a new series was introduced consisting exclusively of races set in the Scottish Borders. There are ten races in the series, of which the best five results count. Details can be found at
There is no entry fee for any of these race series – you simply need to enter the individual races. The organisers keep track of the results.
Is Westerlands CCC really the best small-to-medium size hill running club in the West End of Glasgow?