40 hills in 40 days

I turn 40 this year and wanted to set myself some personal challenges, the 1st is to run 40 hills in 40 days! I have decided to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support Centre in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness who cared for my cousin through the cancers that she suffered from. Yvonne lost her life in the Summer last year and I wanted to do something for those who helped her, so the challenge begins…..

11th March
Have started my challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer support. 40 hills in 40 days. Have managed 6 today – just 34 to go!!!

13th March
Thanks so much for all the sponsorship guys – what a great start!!! Lots of people have asked me which hills I did on Sunday and basically I ran with my friend Andrea from Nine Mile Burn to Flotterstone over Monks Rig, West Kip, East Kip, Scald Law, Carnethy and Turnhouse – legs a bit sore today but no rest for me! Some hills I do will be just one like Berwick Law, but then I will drive to Traprain Law and do that on the same day. I plan to get a few Ochils in one day and may manage Largo Law whilst over that way on the same day. Am trying to only include hills that I have to make a good effort to get up, so sneaking over to South Black on Sunday and including that whilst on Scald Law was not really on. Am heading North over Easter hols so will do a few hills near Nairn and Newtonmore finishing with Arthurs Seat when I get back and you are all invited to join me to do (or meet me near the top with cake). So exciting!

18th March
40 hills total now up to 10! Had a beautiful run on Saturday behind Broughton and managed Cat Cleugh Head, Trahenna & Grey Yade. Amazing experience being up there all on my own in the beautiful sunshine – felt fantastic! Then headed in the car down to Glenholm for the Chapegill Hill race, although just one hill it was brutal! Very steep calf burner on the way up through the heather, got to the top just when I thought my legs couldn’t take any more just to turn around and run back down again! 38 minutes of agony but another hill bagged so just 30 to go now….

22nd March
40 hills/40days total now 12 on 12th day
Amazing hill runs this morning with my good friend Bill Bennet! We did Mendick Hill near West Linton and South Black hill in the Pentlands. Weather was truely superb as was the company, I was glad I could keep up with 77 year old Bill on the downhills as he can fairly shift!

Will work out how to get photos off phone soon….

23rd March
40 hills in 40 days – total now 16 hills in 13 days
Gord left the house with boys and pals to go biking in the Clark Estate at 3.30pm today – I had my Camelbak filled, running gear on and was out the door by 3.35pm, prob 3.36pm by time I went back for Jelly Babies. Drove to Carlops and had a pretty tough run up Paties Hill before heading over Spittal and Green Law. Nice to run in the hills that I normally see from Monk’s Rig and wonder why I have never been over there. I ran back down to the saddle and off the back to Cock Rig as hey, it didn’t look that hard. Unfortunately very boggy and no path but made it down across the stream and up the Cock Rig climb. No path off there but terrain okay so just headed towards the North Esk Reservoir. Could have done with a lift from there as legs tired and had quite a long way back. 12 km and 4 hills, think I need a rest tomorrow…..

25th March
What a day, did the Sport Relief Mile with the boys then in the afternoon hit the hills with Chris Downie.
We managed 8 hills in a circuit around the West Water by West Linton. It was the most amazing day and I am so grateful to Chris for agreeing to come with me for what turned out to be 8 hills, 20km, 3hr 22min run in the most beautiful weather. I have now run a total of 24 hills in 15 days- couple of days rest now I think….

28th March
Nice trip down to East Lothian for just about the only hills there. Started with Traprain Law then Berwick Law. Drove back to Athelstaneford to run up Byres Hill and Skid Hill but they’re not very high so counting them as 1. Total now 27 hills in 18 days, beautiful weather and views – again!

29th March
Wee run today up Braid & Blackford hills, not very high but I did run between them too…. As ever, the weather was glorious. On track with 29 hills run in 19 days 🙂

30th March
Not such a ‘fairly easy run’ after all! Ended up being a 10 hill, 3.5 hour run with 1,411m of climbing. Great time had by all despite our detour, only counting 8 of the hills as 2 were ‘fairly easy’. Lots of fences to climb and a few worries about the electric ones, Susan & I clambered over but Chris vaulted them, very impressive (he was just REALLY worried about getting electrocuted). Beautiful part of the world I haven’t run in before and neither had Chris or Susan. The views from the top of Dundreich were astounding and very well earned by 3 pretty tired runners. We didn’t hang about long as were much later than we were meant to be. So grateful to C & S for chumming me, challenges are more fun if you are with friends. Day 21, 37 hills bagged…..
Chris has now run 18 hills in 7 days because he can count the 2 I am not – pretty impressive!

2nd April Total now 39 hills in 22 days
Hills 38 & 39 were lovely, no snow though! Chris chummed me again and we had the nicest run up to Allermuir chatting all the way as usual and then a wee jaunt over to Castlelaw for #39. As we ran back down I stopped us a couple of times as the mist was clearing and the landscape around us was so still and quiet, we could have been anywhere and not just a mile or so from civilisation.
Looking forward to Saturday and my 40th hill 🙂

7th April
Well today I ran up my 40th hill and what a joy it was! Some great friends joined me to run up and we were met at the top by my family and some dear friends who cheered us right up to the trig point. After a bit of a photo session nearly everyone ran back down with me and the ‘runners’ had to put a bit of effort in to keep up with the kids!
I came up with the 40hills in 40days challenge idea last year but thought I could never do it, however losing my cousin Yvonne spurred me on to do it and raise money for the charity that helped her at the same time. Well on the 27th day I finished and at 10pm this evening 50 people have sponsored me an amazing total of £860!
I have spent 19 hours (exactly) running in the hills, have covered 108km/67m and climbed a total of 6244m/20285ft which is the equivalent to almost 7 munros.
Thanks to those who ran with me, especially Chris who ran 21 of them, thanks to those who have shown an interest in my challenge, thanks to those who have sponsored me and thanks to my family who have happily let me disappear for hours to bag some hills – I have absolutely, totally and utterly loved it 🙂
Have been asked if I’ll do 50 when I’m 50 but what’s wrong with 41 when I’m 41, anyone want to chum me….?

Nearly forgot – my justgiving page is http://www.justgiving.com/Susie-Maxwell

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3 comments on 40 hills in 40 days

  1. susiwoosi says:

    Huge well done on completing your challenge! I’m glad I could accompany you up some of the Maxwells, only wish I could’ve done more of them with you. Maybe need to practice reading maps for next time though…

  2. Rob says:

    As I only made the 1st hill before age crept up on me and my body fell apart, I am very jealous.
    I look forward to doing the 1st Maxwell next year!!

  3. bill bennet says:

    Well done Susie, you’re doing really well. Thank you for taking me over Mendick Hill ( and thanks for arranging for that bench on the top for me to recover on – when did you carry it up?) And that was an absolutely magical run down South Black Hil! Well, there are Munros, Corbetts, Donalds and Marilyns but what about a new category “Maxwells”. Susie really has to publish her full list of “Maxwells” and then we can all have 40 runs over them. “Keep right on to the end of the 40” Susie – I’m sure you will. Bill

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