Another Saturday, another classic Scottish hill packed full of character and history.
But if Arrochar is finishing a bottle of whiskey in under and hour, Glamaig is three shots of tequila in quick succession. Both are steep sure. But Glamaig’s short, not long. And Glamaig’s simple, not complicated.
In fact, Glamaig couldn’t be simpler: See that hill over there? Well, run along the road and up to the top, yeah you can see it from here, and run back down again. ‘This is a very honest race,’ Brian B the Elder wisely noted.
An impressive number of Westies had made the long trek North – Championship points combined with the allure of the Cullin making for a strong draw.
After a 30s count-down there was about a miles’ worth of fast running at start and then it was very quickly an on-all-fours grind to the top. Dr Wild came hurtling past when I was seemingly ages from the summit – on the way to break his own record, Sam was a couple of minutes behind and then Manny & Gregor a couple of minutes more.
Soon enough I was at the top and hurtling back down the steep screes of South-West side of the hill. It was quite something; eyes stinging from the clouds of dust thrown-up by careening feet, concentrating on not losing the runner in front while at the same time desperately trying to outrun what sounds like an avalanche of loose rock roaring down the hill from behind. ‘What a ride!’ someone screamed near the end. Couldn’t agree more, best descent I’ve ever done.
Back on the flat I had energy to spare and was able to make up three places on the final mile and I crossed the line feeling remarkably fresh, should’ve pushed harder on the up. But what a course – class from beginning to end, one of the best I’d say. And the £5 entry fee includes a meal & a pint – definitely making it the best value hill race on the calendar.
A great turn out from the Westies and some great results – pleased that we were able to bully Nick from Carnethy in to creating a team prize and awarding it to us.
The rest of the evening was taken up with penalty shoot-outs, quality chat and general merriment. I had no party to me so sulked off to bed after the first dance at the ceilidh, I clearly don’t have the stamina of my club-mates!
Excellent job by Finlay Wild and (ex-Westie) Jill Stephen for smashing the records!
Photo Credit: Phil Hindell & Highland Hill Runners