Friday 2nd July
Despite being only twenty minutes from my front door and being run over one of my favourite Sidlaw training routes, it’s about ten years since I last managed to run the White Tops. The race almost folded this year when long time organisers Dundee Roadrunners pulled out, but Hawkhill Harriers stepped in and it was encouraging to see a healthy turn out of fifty odd runners taking advantage of the near perfect conditions. It’s not a race much frequented by Westies so it was good to bump into the prolific Mr Brennan preparing to tick off yet another race.
I started fairly far back, gradually working my way through the field as we winded our way out of Balkello woods and onto the steeper path up through the gorse and onto the hillside. Past the green gate and on to the main path up to Auchterhouse, I managed to pass a few more folk before reaching the top and then heading down the heathery descent into the pine woods below. I caught up with Ewan Taylor of Perth Road Runners just before the route cuts off across the stile and onto the narrow trod across the bog and from then on was running by myself for the last three miles or so of undulating track. After the final descent back into Balkello woods and with less than half a mile to go I could hear footsteps behind as Duncan Coombs of Edinburgh Uni closed in on me but I just managed a final effort to hold him off until the line.
Oleg Chepelin finished well ahead in 33.38 with Veronique Oldham of (Cosmics) taking a similar lead over the women’s race in 39.33. Well done to the Hawks for their excellent organisation and post-race refreshments back in the village hall.
1 O. Chepelin Shettleston MS 33:48
2 B. Bonnyman Westerlands MS 36:02
3 D. Coombs Edinburgh Uni MS 36:11
4 E. Taylor Perth RR MS 37:00
5 A. Davis Carnethy MV 37:13
7 M. Laing Fife AC MSV 37:40
12 V. Oldham Cosmics FV 39:33
34 B. Brennan Westerlands MSV 45:28