Ben Dubh Hill Race 2024

It was a perfect evening; clear, sunny, cool, a nice breeze to keep the midges off, the Trossachs hills bathed in golden dusk and the new path up Conic Hill shining in the distance.

I’d forgotten that the race starts on an already quite steep slope; no warm-up, straight in to it.

On the start line Alwyn was giving it big licks about his race strategy of hanging off my shoulder for the ascent and then beating me on the way down. He held on for about 2 minutes. Almost felt embarrassed for the wee guy.

Damien had marked out an alternative route to avoid the now well-trodden path. While it was only 30ft east of the standard way-up, I missed all my usual distance markers and the effect was subtly disorientating.

I was feeling pretty good and was running well. I was passed at the top gate on the way down and I let it go; in retrospect I should’ve tried to hang-on. Next time Arran.

Connor had an epic sprint-finish-contest, marred by a painful looking tumble with 5ft to go, allowing Harry Gilmore to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Did Connor fall or was he tripped? All I’ll say is qui bono?

Helen Gordon smashed her run to get 3rd woman. Micky & Murdo dominated in the V60 and V70 categories respectively. (Impressive run from Micky who forgot his trainers.)  Damien’s organisation was superb and the Westies marshals were solid.

Rob, Caitlin and I enjoyed a fine dip in Loch Lomond. Frustratingly the M8 was shut after the Erskine Bridge but the eclectic selections on Sunny G got us through the long journey home.


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