The ridges of Arran were bathed in a hazy, early-evening sunlight; just the sort of view to give a tingle of excitement at the thought of fair-weather hills. It felt like the first non-winter week of the year, new life & all that, and I was looking forward to the first Bog n Burn race of the season, my first hill race in ten months.


Twenty Westies toed the starting line, an excellent turn out. I asked Chris Upson if this was race one-thousand-and-one and he said it was more like race one-thousand-and-eight; I shouldn’t have been surprised.


Hoping to get a photo of me at the head of the pack I started out strongly, leading to the end of the road, before dropping several places on the first hill and falling in to step with Gwynn. Thurlbeck Jr of Shettleston quickly established a considerable lead and I thought he was definitely in for the win. Gwynn and I swapped places on the way up; a lung-buster this one, I’d forgotten how hard hill-racing can be. When I turned at the trig-point at the top I was surprised to find Thurlbeck Jr behind me, something had clearly gone amiss on the ascent, but he quickly shot off in to the distance not to be seen again.


I’d been there or there abouts with Gwyn on the way up but I pushed at the start of the descent and soon managed to overtake him. I’d never beaten Gwyn at a short race before, I know he’s maybe not as fit as he could be, but could this be my day of glory? It wasn’t. No sooner had I overtaken him did I notice that my shoelace was untied. The valuable seconds I used to stop, kneel-down, re-tie and get started again were more than enough for Gwyn to open up a sizeable gap. Despite doing some of the best descending I’d ever done in my life I was never going to close it down. For want of a knot, the race was lost…Crossing the line with a PB should have been a consolation. But it wasn’t.


Others had better performances than me – special mention to Ruth (2nd lady), Margo (1st FV50) and ‘youngster’ David D (1st V60), brilliant results!


Well done to all the Westies who took part, roll on the rest of the series!

  1. Kieran Cooper (Unattached) 29.46

7 Gwyn Bellamy 31.44
8 James Callender 32.18
15 Christina Rankin (Kilbarchan) 35.24
19 Christopher McKiddie 36.24
21 Chris Upson 36.42
22 Ruth Crewe 36.45
26 David Dickson 37.39
28 Don Reid 38.04
30 Peter MacNab 38.18
44 Ian Easton – 40.19
45 Margo James 40.21
48 David Atkin 40.38
50= Murdo MacLeod 40.41
54 Chris Furse 40.49
62 Graham Kelly 41.39
63 Ally Boyer 42.55
69 Brian Brennan 44.03
79 Peter Midgley 46.22
85 Jenn Ruddick 47.45
86 Andrew Fullwood 48.29
102 Rhona Bennie 53.04


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