TISO Carnethy 5 Hills Race

The 42nd TISO Carnethy 5 Hills Race Saturday 11th Feb. 2012

After the icy weather of the past few weeks it was a nice change to have a few days above freezing and importantly there was a good chance that most of the ice had melted from the Pentlands.

The forecast was OK and Saturday looked good for hill running – a respectible 4 deg, overcast and a light breeze.

A select few were given a lift to Silverburn by Susie who had taken advantage of a friend being away on holiday leaving a us free driveway. It was a short walk to the start and the tent in the sheep field where runners were organising gear and warming up.

The hills looked promising – we could see the tops and there was only a couple of patches of snow visible. In stark contrast to a training run last Saturday when I ran the course in a blizzard with horizontal snow stinging my face, poor visibility and very dodgy ice underfoot.

The field was becoming increasingly busy with the buses dropping off more runners and we were getting slightly nervous, conscious that this was quite a big national event (although no Adventure Show
cameras thankfully!).

Almost 2 o’clock, the Juniors had set off and runners were starting to congregate at the start. My preparation had gone well in the last week or so and I was determined to get a good position on the first climb so I put myself scarily near the front and prepared for the sprint. A few words from the organiser and we were off. Fortunately cross country races had prepared me for this sort of effort and I found myself beside Steve Fallon. Right, that was it, he wasn’t going to drop me. I kind of had the feeling he could take off at any time
but managed to get to the top of Scald Law a few seconds before him.

Legs and lungs stinging we pounded across to Black Hill. This was feeling a bit too fast. On the way across to the first Kip, Steve confidently pulled ahead. I tried to reel him in again up East Kip but he was too strong. I throttled back a bit to avoid blowing and paced more sensibly up to West Kip, checking behind that no-one was gaining.

Now for the tricky bit – the wild traverse off the Kips down towards the path to the Howe. Usually a couple of loony descenders pass me at this point, but amazingly they didn’t today. The cross country run down to the Howe was almost a joy – it felt good underfoot and again no-one passed me.

Turn right and the start of the Carnethy ascent. I tried to jog up the first bit (especially as Dave C. was there) but was forced to walk after about 20 yards to avoid blowing again.

And then the dreaded gully. This is always difficult to pace – the aim is to get to the top of Carnethy with just enough muscles working and energy left to survive the descent. At the top I thought I had overdone it. I sort of wheezed and staggered around the cairn cheered on by a huge crowd of spectators, and then the big relief of
going down!

There were a couple of runners just in front, but there was no way my jelly legs could have passed them without incurring serious injury. I heard Bill’s encouragement at the gate and even with no-one behind me I still managed a vague ‘sprint’ across the bog to the line.

Phew – under the hour and maybe a PB.

Well done Harriers runners and especially Richard who posted a cracking time, joining the club only recently. And well done to Susie who looked so puggled at the top of Carnethy that she was offered several energy bars by concerned onlookers.

40 172 00:58:50 Duncan Ball Penicuik Harriers M50
69 472 01:01:57 Richard Osman Penicuik Harriers M
146 612 01:08:18 Rob Wilson Penicuik Harriers M40
189 17 01:11:25 Sarah Blake Penicuik Harriers F
282 581 01:17:34 Robert Walker Penicuik Harriers M40
355 261 01:22:13 Chris Downie Penicuik Harriers M50
394 144 01:26:03 Andrea Wilson Penicuik Harriers F40
469 91 01:35:55 Susie Maxwell Penicuik Harriers F
480 89 01:38:44 Gilly Marshall Penicuik Harriers F40

We were 13th Mens Team and 8th Womens Team.

Results in full on the Carnethy website.

Thanks to Olly and the Carnethy team for the (as ever) well-run event.

Duncan Ball.

Thanks to Bob Marshall for his photos and Andy with Jonah, Ellie & Sophie for being our photographer and chief supporters on the day! Andy’s photos are the slideshow ones first below.

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4 comments on TISO Carnethy 5 Hills Race

  1. Roger Thomas says:

    I used to live in Rullian Rd Penicuik in the 1970s. I remember the annual Carnethy Hill race and the runners, I’m sure, used to pass near us on the way up from and down to Penicuik town centre. Am I correct that then the start/finish was in the town and were 5 peaks then included and what were the winning times then?

  2. Rob says:

    Nice PB Duncan.
    Alas, I missed mine by 4 seconds although my Garmin said I ran a longer race (by 60 meters!!) than last year and had a quicker pace. Hmmmm?

  3. bill bennet says:

    I agree Susie, well done everyone, it’s a tough course especially that terrible climb from the Howe to the summit of Carnethy. Special congratulations to Duncan, 1st V50 and 1st Harrier, Richard Osman in his first Carnethy 5 for the Harriers, and Sarah Blake in her first Carnethy 5. Congrats also to Andy for a series of superb photos.

  4. susiwoosi says:

    Well done everyone, another great turn out by the Harriers! But a huge well done to Duncan who managed sub 1 hour! Must’ve been the training you put in at the ceilidh Duncan!

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