28th July 2012


With a couple of Corbetts still to do in the area around Ben Rinnes …it seemed appropriate to make the fairly long drive north. Broke it up with a visit to a pal who was on holiday in Aviemore for a beer before the last wee bit to Dufftown itself.

For anyone who hasn’t run Ben Rinnes before, it is actaully part of the Dufftown Highland games so it makes for a grand day out. Arrived in good time to see some of the heavy throwing events and wondered is I would actually be able to lift some of the things that were getting thrown about the field. Nice to catch up with Mel Gaff and fill in the missing blanks from the post Glamaig pub / ceildh evening and to compare beards with Dirk Verbiest. Other Westies running were George Douglas and Kevin Doonan.

Being the longest hill race I had done it a while, I opted for a steady start since from distant memory, the whole route is very runnable (i.e. sair). Initially felt like I was going backwards for about the first twenty minutes before the legs got warmed up (and the previous nights beer evaporated). Managed to gain some places on the first true hill section after the golf course and also made up some time of the descent from Little Conval. The downhill soon turned back into uphill with the ascent of Meikle Conval before the last steep section down to the road crossing and some welcome water.

The ascent of Ben Rinnes itself was fine with the usual walk / run …blow up / walk combination working well. Squeezed past Carnethy’s Jacqui Higginbottom shortly before the summit. The top section of the descent was great fun …rocky enough to make it interesting without being silly. Down on the “easier” track, ma poor legs were complaining and longing for the wee trods that would allow a fast walk on the return up Little Conval.

The rest of the race was a bit of a blur and I crossed the line gubbed but happy. About five minutes slower than the last time I ran Rinnes (2008 ?) but happy none the less.

Topped with weekend off with an ascent of Corryhabie hill later that evening (aye …stupid …should have been in the pub) and Brown Cow Hill the next morning !

Winner was Finlay Wild won the race in 01:59:21.

First girl was Veronique Oldham in 02:34:30

Westies were:

  • Maself in 02:38:26
  • Kevin Doonan in 03:09:58
  • George Douglas in 03:23:29


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