The 2nd edition of Scotland's most scenic short hill race proved popular with the runners who turned up on the day, plus we were lucky enough to have Scotland's leading hill runners Prasad Prasad and Angela Mudge setting new course records.
|The ridge off Conic Hill|
Not surprisingly Prasad launched off into the distance straight away, but it was great to see new Westie Alastair Graves giving chase. I pottered along further down the field, and reached the gate to the open hill path level with Angela Mudge. You then get a short section of flattish running before hitting the steep section of wooden steps leading up to wet area below Bealach Ard. From here the race route picks up a small indistinct path that leads straight up the nose of the hill, with patches of steep and slippery conglomerate pudding stone.
|Prasad in a class of his own|
Once on the lower section the running suddenly got a whole lot easier on smooth billiard table grass. I could sense I was catching runners in front but tried to stay relaxed. I worked hard to close the gap across the rough boggy section before the wall, and ended up in a walking bottleneck at the fenceline and clambering up through the forest. But this allowed me to get my breath back and time my final attack on the plummet to the finish. Just as we crested the rise into the forest I jumped past Catriona Buchanan, Paul Thompson, and a couple of others before launching my kamikaze descent where I jumped Grant MacDonald and John Hammond just before the line, with 8 of us piling in within 11 seconds.
|Dropping off the ridge at Conic Hill|