How and when did you get into hill running?
I moved to Scotland in 2021 having been a trail runner for some years. Up to that point I had never done an actual hill/fell race. My first one was Cioch Mhor Hill Race in Dingwall. It totally shocked me how fast people were running uphill…and downhill… and how incompetent I was. Nevertheless, I loved the experience and thought I had two choices…slink away and keep doing what I was doing well, i.e. going long distances very, very slowly…or keep showing up at hill races and gradually get better at it. I did the latter!
When and why did you join the Westies?
I went to my first Wednesday hill run in July 2021 and was immediately sold.
What do you love about being in the club?
The club has a really relaxed, friendly vibe. Even for a wee introvert like myself that makes it very easy to mingle and make friends.
What activities do you take part in (hill reps, club runs, socials, races, marshaling, committee, weekends away) and what do you enjoy about them?
A bit of all of the above, whatever fits. I live outside of Glasgow, so some sessions are harder to get to than others. But weekend races are a lot of fun, and so are socials. I also try to volunteer as much as I can. It is a great way to be involved with the club and with races when you are not running.
Do you have a favourite route or race? If so, what is it?
As for shorter Westies routes/ races probably the Whangie. It actually feels relatively easy in comparison to other races. As for longer ones….do I dare say Arrochar Alps? It sure does not feel like a fun race when you are crawling up the side of Ben Vane, but it feels so satisfying to finish it. It is definitely one that I am the proudest of.
What are you doing when you’re not running?
During a race? Probably walking, mostly likely uphill, moaning that I never seem to get any better at this uphill running thingy.
Please share a fun fact (running or non-running related)?
When I was a mere trail runner I loathed the idea of Cross Country races. I started XC as a Westie because I figured, it is what hill runners do in the winter. Such is the level of my desire to become a half-decent hill runner! Not sure this is a fun fact, or more like a nerdy fact, tough. Especially since I actually quite enjoy XC now.
What is your favourite hill running snack?
I am big fan of Supernatural Fuel.
Is there anything else you want to share?
If you want to give hill running a go, do it. If you think you are too slow, still try it. I am usually
one of the last runners that stumble over the finish line, it does not matter. I am having fun and I am pushing myself, that’s important.