Runners ready for Carnethy 5 Hill Race

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Over 500 entrants will be running in this year’s challenging Carnethy 5 Hill Race around the Pentland Hills in Midlothian.

In what is described as “one of Scotland’s biggest hill races” on February 10, 2pm the 48th edition of the sell-out race will get underway, with participants pushing themselves to the limit, scaling five peaks over six gruelling miles. It also marks the start of the hill running season.

Although it is a relatively short race, runners can be exposed to the elements and organisers are hoping for better weather this year compared to the blizzard conditions of 2017.

Olly Stephenson, race organiser, said: “It’s a pretty tough race, it’s a high quality field and it is sold out.

“It’s a great community event with five hills over six miles and we’re hoping for better weather than last year.

“It’s open to all abilities but there is usually a very high standard. There are some top runners from England from the Lake District that come up here and test themselves.”

Stronger runners will hope to run the race in under an hour. Last year’s winner Finlay Wild from Lochaber finished in 0:52:50 slightly off his winning time of 0:49:46 he ran in 2013.

Gavin Bland of Borrowdale in the Lake District set the course record of 46:56 which has stood for 19 years, while 13-time female winner Angela Mudge set the women’s record time of 54:20 in 2002.

The race was established in 1971 to commemorate the battle of Roslin that was fought in the area in 1302 during the month of February.

The route has had slight alterations since the beginning but has remained the same since 1981. Only once has the race been cancelled due to thick fog in 1980.

Stephenson added: “There are usually over a 100 hundred plus spectators and 100 people volunteering.

“We are very grateful to these people as without their help on the day it wouldn’t be possible.

“A special thanks must also go to our sponsors Pete Bland Sports and Run 4 It.”