With Covid restrictions across the country slowly easing this has meant some welcome opportunities for the hill runners to get back out and race. In this new landscape of waved starts, social distancing and no prize giving the experience is not the same but it’s a much anticipated move back to mass participation events. Most races are now pre-entry online only so for the popular ones it helps to be quick off the mark with your admin as well as running. Here is a summary of recent hill races where Shettleston Harrier athletes have featured…..

Maddy Moss, Ochil Hills by Rod Reis

It was great being allowed to race again! (ed – at least for those living outside Glasgow) The classic Ochils race route, Maddy Moss, took place on 22nd of May, 2021. The Blue and Gold was represented by Rodrigo Reis (68.14), 32nd (3rd V40). Andy Douglas (Inverclyde, 48.29) unsurprisingly took the win, over two minutes ahead of Rory Abernethy (Ochil HR, 50.53) and former Shett Ali McLeod (Ochil HR, 51.29). In the Ladies, Carnethy HRC Catriona Graves was first home (56.56), followed by fellow clubmate Kirsty Dickson (59.29) and Megan Crawford (Fife AC) was 3rd (60.55). Thanks to Angela Mudge for organising – Full results

Red Moss Kips, Pentlands by Rod Reis

In the East, the Red Moss Kips Race took place on the sunniest Wednesday evening of June 2nd. 151 runners negotiated the rush hour traffic to visit Balerno village, at the foot of the Pentland Hills. The race starts by the Red Moss Car park, and runs south towards Bavelaw Castle, climbing West Kip and East Kip after which it descends to the Howe, where runners make their way back through the estate on a fast section to the start/finish line. Strong fields seem to be the flavour of the season and Andy Douglas (Inverclyde) took over two minutes off the previous course record being first home (38.48), followed by Carnethy HRC Eóin Lennon (40:46) becoming the East District winner, whilst 3rd male was fellow club member Sam Tosh (40:59). Carnethy also took Team prize. The ladies race winner, East District winner and breaking the course record was Megan Crawford (Fife AC; 47.39), followed by Kirsty Dickson (Carnethy HRC) , who also broke the 2016 course record, in a time of 48.24. Elizabeth Leason (Carnethy HRC) finished 3rd (49.41).

With few Shetts living outside tier 3 (on June 2nd, that is!) it was up to local Robert Simpson to wear the blue and gold vest, taking a solid 7th place in the category (42.23, 8th overall), and Clackmannanshire-dweller Rod Reis who finished 7th in the V40 category (52.54; 68th overall). Thank you to the organisers, Jamie Thin and the rest of HBT ‘squadra’, for putting together a brilliant event which was never an easy feat but certainly deserves a heartfelt THANK YOU these days. ResultsPhotos

Coniston Trail half marathon, Lake District by Ross Golan

The Lakeland Trails Coniston trail half marathon took place on a characteristically warm Saturday at the beginning of June. The race starts and finishes at the Grade 2 listed Coniston Hall on the shores of Coniston Water, the location of Donald Campbell’s multiple world water speed records throughout the 1950’s. The race rigmarole started with the usual rush to collect numbers and secure a place in the sinuous portaloo queue. A covid secure wave start at midday insured that competitors were suitably warmed up prior to any attempt at an actual warm up! The course climbed towards Tarn Hows on a mixture of tarmac and winding forest trails. Having set off at my customary unsustainable pace I was glad to reach the top of the final climb in the knowledge that it was literally all downhill to the finish. Unfortunately, in my race day absentmindedness I had forgotten about the lap of the tarn, made more complicated by the throngs of happy Lakeland day trippers and their precious pets. Having successfully navigated around many a wandering dog and fun run back marker I picked my way down the descent and into the finishing funnel, remembering to reapply my face mask and sanitise my hands. A far cry from the customary pre global pandemic ‘handshake and chilled beverage with fellow competitors’ finish line routine. Unseeded wave starts are a race format I hope I don’t have to get too used to given the confusion that ensued after my chip failed to register a finish time. The organisers were very obliging in sorting it all out and after a wait of a few days my name magically appeared on the results. All in all, it was great excuse to visit the Lakes, catch up with friends and scope out lines for future races.

Ross won in 1.14.28 – impressive for a hilly off road half marathon!! Full results here

Up n Doon Dearg, Blair Atholl by Jethro Lennox

June 5th was the first day Glasgowegians could travel further afield. Moray Lennox made the most of the opportunity and ran his first race for the club. He was also competing in the first Blair Castle Trail Weekender and opted for the 30km circuit which included an accent of the remote munro Beinn Dearg. The race was won by Milan Misak (Carnethy) 2:27:50, first female was Katie White (unattached) in 2:49:24, Moray finished 8th in 2:48:19. As is becoming the case in today’s Covid secure races it was hard to tell where Moray finished as he crossed the line in 5th but dropped to 8th once results from all the waves were combined. The young Shettleston was actually in 2nd place for a lot of the race but suffered in the heat towards the end of the long race with cramp. Results

Full Tilt Ultra, Blair Atholl by Jethro Lennox

Not to be outdone by his younger brother, Jethro Lennox, competed in the ultra hill race the next day over a 60km course that took in the munros of Beinn Dearg and Cairn a Chlamain and several miles in between. He continued his strong performances in ultra races and won in a time of 5 hours 27 minutes 24 seconds. Claire Gordon of HBT finished an impressive 5th overall in 6:08:40. Results


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