Arctic conditions did not deter athletes in gruelling hill race

Wintery conditions during Carnethy 5 Hill race.   Pic by Susan Harley
Wintery conditions during Carnethy 5 Hill race. Pic by Susan Harley

Nearly 500 brave souls weathered the wintery

conditions on the Pentlands to complete the Carnethy 5 Hill race last Saturday.

The runners started off from Silverburn in hospitable conditions before heading across five summits in the Pentland range.

It was during this period of the race that competitors ran into gale force winds and blizzard conditions.

Organised by Carnethy Running Club, race organiser Olly Stephenson said: ‘‘It was the worst conditions I’ve known for the race, and I think there are grounds for suggesting it was the worst it’s ever been run in the 47 year history of the race.

‘‘But I was confident in the safety arrangements we had in place including marshals, TA, Mountain Rescue, Red Cross, rescue and finish teams, all of whom do an amazing job and in many ways have it tougher than the competitors as they are standing stationary for two plus hours.

‘‘The runners did really well and it’s always nice to get their feedback afterwards which has been overwhelming positive and complimentary to all the volunteers that helped out.’’

Fellow Carnethy Running Club member Andy Spenceley added: ‘No records were broken as for the second year running we had extremely testing conditions for the race.

‘‘The snow wasn’t quite as deep as last year but with the extremely strong wind and sleet at lower levels it was probably worse.’’

The conditions, however, did not stop 472 runners from finishing the race wth and Finlay Wild, of Lochaber Athletic Club, being the first man home in a time of 52 minutes and 50 seconds. Second was Tom Addison, of Helm Hill Runners, with Andrew Douglas of 
Inverclyde third.

Five times race winner Rob Jebb of Bingley was first Over 40 in fourth place.

The Helm Hill Runners, from Kendal, were out in force with 38 runners competing and they took both the men’s and women’s team honours.

Hannah Russell, of Helm Hill, was first in the ladies race, in a time of one hour two 
minutes and 54 seconds, just in front of holder Charlotte Morgan of Carnethy, who took the Over 40s prize.

There were three runners this year who were awarded a Quaich for completing 21 races and all were from Westerlands CCC.

A list of results feature on the Sports Digest pages