Last Saturday I attended the Alva Games Hill Race, part of the BOFRA championship series. 89 runners started and finished the senior race, in a pretty stacked field (no chance of me snatching a cash prize).

The course is a short (2.6km) and sharp (385m, also lots of thorns) out-and-back. After a lap of the clamorous games field and a climb up through the golf course, we’re into the gorse and choking on hot dust. About halfway up the hill the scrub peters out, by which point most of us are on all fours. A quick 180 at the top of Wee Torry, and we’re retracing our steps back down. The descent is steep and slippery – I think my mudclaws would have gripped better if the ground had been wetter. There’s lots of bum-sliding, but that’s not my style.

I was all geared up for a battle with Scott H (we finished neck-and-neck at the Kilps, he beat me at Dumyat and RMK, and I beat him at Lawbreaker and the Whangie), but there was no competition this time. He finished a couple of minutes ahead of me – a massive lead for such a short race. The only possible explanation is gear choice. I opted against gardening gloves, which was probably a mistake – I only came away with a couple of splinters, but I had to slow to a walk at a few points on the descent, for fear of colliding with a gorse bush.

Full results are here. Notably (I am noting it, anyway) 6 of the first 10 finishers were from English clubs.

Overall impression: probably not quite as mental as Ben Sheann.

1M Simon Bailey (Staffs Moorlands) 20:05

1F Lizzy Knox (Carnethy) 27:16


16 Scott Henderson (Westies) 25:05

23 Tom Finch (Westies) 26:55

44 Tom Partington (Westies) 32:22

50 Rachel Findlay-Robinson (Westies) 33:41

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