I admit it, I’ve never had a lot of time for Fife. I can only guess this pre-set prejudice comes from a deep-set jealousy of the lack of midges and the fertile fields. Once across the new bridge you are surrounded by acres of lovely rolling landscape which produces barley, wheat, strawberries and of course tatties by the mega-tonnes. Yer no in the rock and heather of Argyll now, boy. I have, however, come to appreciate some of the East coast’s treats in more recent times. In this category I’d include: stovies, butteries, Jordan’s nightclub in Cupar and the Devil’s Burdens. Today I will add another to the positive side of my Fife pros & cons list: The Largo Law hill race.

This was traditionally a race held in the middle of summer. Prime racing season. A move to the winter seems to have been very positive and the organisers, Anster Haddies, reported a record field of over 100. Today was a good running day. Nice drive across the country with a leisurely 12:30 kick-off. I met Mr McKiddie at the start. This race has McKiddie written all over it, so the aim of the game was get in front of him and stick it out. It’s an out-and-back. The first 4k is a bit like a mean cross country course. Very runnable but constant climb and descent to get the lungs and the thighs burning. Then the hill. It’s quite steep but far too short to gain many places on the fast road guys. A little further up, down to the summit trig then retrace the steps.

Great views of the low winter sun over the Firth of Forth could have been seen from the descent but were unfortunately spoiled by the sweat, snotters and tears that come with a good short hill race. A few places were gained on the all-too-short steep descent and then the tank was emptied through the woods to the finish. Kieran Cooper set a new course record (haven’t seen the times yet), I think I scraped into the top 10, and McKiddie was just a couple of minutes behind.

Great, simple hill race. Plenty marshals where they were needed and all had a smile. Well organised and no unnecessary faff. Quick prize-giving in the pub in the village and it was back on the road in time to catch the South Africa game. Well worth the £6 entry fee and a good addition to the race calendar at this time of year.

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