A compact but committed group of Harriers made the not insignificant journey up the A9 on Saturday to Speyside to compete in the 4th of this year’s Scottish Hill Runners Championship races…The Ben Rinnes 5 tops. The race is part of the annual Dufftown Highland Games and as the name suggests there were 5 summits to negotiate over a 22.4 km course with over 1500m of ascent.
A rich mixture of youth and experience made up the 8 Harriers who toed the line for a lap of the track in front of a lively games crowd before heading for the hills. It was a fairly straightforward out and back route over the 2 Conval hills and onto Ben Rinnes before retracing steps back to the games venue with another lap of the track to finish.
Conditions on the day were remarkably forgiving considering the hail and near gale force winds that greeted the runners on the ascent of Ben Rinnes. So favourable in fact that the course record(held by Robbie Simpson, Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in the marathon this year) was beaten by 15secs by Eoin Lennon of Carnethy.
Official results have yet to be published but unsurprisingly it was the Shettleston young crew who impressed the judges with both Alistair Thurlbeck (8th) and Grant Boyne(10th) making the top ten. New dad Mathew Sullivan also ran well finishing just behind Grant in 11th place. The others Shetts to compete were Bill Breckenridge, Ross Cruickshanks, Walter Henderson, Alastair Pringle and Graham Ramsay.
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