A Baker’s Dozen at Dollar

Being a Grand Prix Race, the Harriers were out in force.

10 Harriers and 3 “friends”: Kevin Anderson, Duncan Ball, Chris Downie, Tim Darlow, Tim Doyle, Kirsty Loudon, Sarah MacKechnie, Susie Maxwell, Carl Proctor, Stuart Sanderson, Janice Smith, Andrea Wilson, Rob Wilson.

The Dollar Hill race is a great mid-distance fell run. At 15kms (960m), it provides a nice challenge without completely wrecking you for days or even weeks afterwards. The weather was sunny, hot in the valley, with a stiff nicely cool south-westerly wind up in the hills.

Dollar Route: http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/Graphics/Maps/RA-0071-main.jpg

The route starts on the small road just north of the Dollar Academy with an initial 500m sprint. For those wanting a good place, it is important to stay up front at this point as the zig-zag stepped path up through the Glen provides little opportunity for overtaking. I am not sure about the others, but Duncan, Sarah and I were well upfront at this initial stage in the race. On leaving the Glen, the path rises gradually (Tim and Stuart passed me around this point) and then contours a little until the route crosses the “Burn of Sorrow” – a well apt name in my mind for the ascent to come. The climb up to Saddle Hill and Whitewisp Hill seems never ending and is hellish. Probably one of the steepest ascents on any race – esp. the final stage up Saddle Hill. Going on all fours is likely a good technique here although I am sure Sarah was powering up in her usual gravity defying way. However, from Whitewisp Hill the route becomes highly runnable and some might say a “joy”. It always takes my legs a good half kilometre to recover from the steep ascent and I did feel a little wobbly at this point. However, at about the half way point, sometime after Tarmangie Hill, I looked behind to see Carl hot on my heels. I could not see Duncan, Sarah or Stuart ahead so the race was on to stay ahead of the Captain! I felt pretty good going up Andrew Gannel and on the final climb up to King’s Seat a quick look back told me that Carl had slipped back a little. All I needed was to keep the pressure up. From Kings Seat Hill, there is only way to go – down! For over 3 kilometres. Being drugged to my eyeballs with ibuprofen, I did not feel the grating and creaking of my knees or the snapping of my tendons as I plunged downwards trying to keep ahead of the runners behind. This is a long fast descent and by Bank Hill your shaking thigh muscles just want it to stop. Unfortunately, you plunge back into the Glen and have to negotiate the zig-zags and steps again. On hitting the road, my legs often cramp up. This year, they behaved, but that last 500 metres along the road seems the longest of the race. I crossed the line in 01:43:29 – not my best, but not my worst either, so no complaints.

Time and places (from 112 runners)

14th: 01:35:09: Duncan Ball – 2nd super-vet (yes – he has red underwear)

21st: 01:38:51: Tim Darlow

23rd: 01:39:25: Sarah MacKechnie – 1st woman!

31st: 01:41:34: Stuart Sanderson (or is it Samperso?) – sprained left ankle on final descent – he milked it well while stuffing his face with cake

37th: 01:43:29: Rob Wilson – ach – 3rd woman again!

41st: 01:45:27: Carl Proctor

67th: 01:54:15: Kevin Anderson

73rd: 01:56:55: Tim Doyle

86th: 02:03:53: Andrea Wilson (PB by over 6 minutes!!!)

89th: 02:06:34: Chris Downie

103rd: 02:15:28: Susie Maxwell

107th: 02:22:12: Janice Smith

111th: 03:00:35: Kirsty Loudon (not last :-))

Photos in the gallery :
[picasa width=”600″ height=”450″ bgcolor=”#000000″ autoplay=”1″ showcaption=”1″ user=”penicuikharriers” album=”es_DollarHillRace”]

So, what does this all mean for the GrandPrix. Well – results at this time are:


1st: Duncan – no one can touch this whippet!

2nd: Rob

3rd: Mike – but only 3 races ran. For me to stay second, I would have to beat Mike at Caerketton 🙁 – or get rid of him somehow :-).



1st equal: Susie and Andrea. Andrea only has 3 races under her belt so Susie is going to have to injure Andrea somehow to retain 1st place.

3rd: Sadie – who also has a chance to win if she gets 10 points at Caerketton.

SO – it is all still close. Last GP race – Caerketton. August 14th (not 7th).


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7 comments on A Baker’s Dozen at Dollar

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  3. bill bennet says:

    Great report from Rob and others. Great results especially Duncan and Sarah. Dollar is a superb course and it would be particularly difficult in Saturday’s heat. I was also impressed by the Club result, there were some well established hill running clubs behind the Harriers – WELL DONE ALL!

  4. Hilary says:

    Great report! Fantastic running everyone, well done!! Now where’s that Pimms..

  5. Dave C says:

    Sounds like a grand “relaxing”day out for a picnic. Very proud to see so many Harriers out for this one. Well done to you all.

  6. Susie says:

    Questioning my sanity during most of this race!
    Before the race we all agreed it was weather for sun-bathing, bbq-ing, nice game of cricket – but no, we will run nearly 10 miles up and around the Ochils!!!!
    At the Bridge of Sorrow looking up Saddle I will agree with Rob it looked hellish – and trying to get up it was hellish. My calves were screaming at me and I was climbing on all fours, so glad to get to the top and actually run again! I stayed with Janice from then until the last hill when knowing it was 3km of downhill off I went (somehow) and passed 5 people on the way down felt really strong as had not pushed too hard during race (shin pain fear) that was until I hit the tarmac and all strength left me until I saw the Captain who gave me the loveliest cheer and more importantly told me, in metres when this hell would be over 🙂
    Total respect to all of those who finished especially Sarah 1st Lady, Duncan 2nd M50 and Rob 3rd Lady – you are all incredible!!
    Without the breeze I would have been back paddling in the stream with the locals – maybe next year I’ll support you all from there…..

  7. Kirsty says:

    View from the back!

    Felt very sick going up first hill. Desperate for drink but thought if stopped would fall over, it was so hot! Had drink from marshal as he congratulated me after I thought he was about to time me out…. I was caught by one chap and had nice position of knowing guy behind and in front done race before so knew where to go, not that I couldn’t see! Bleached white bog cotton waving in the wind like teeny wee cotton sheets, yellow tomentil (good for upset tums in case you ever need it – maybe good anti-inflammatory tea for you Rob), pretty pink thyme and only few flying saucer clouds! Wow! What a lucky girl I am to be able to do this!

    I was tired going up last hill, Kings Seat and the guy in front got away just went he thought might be catching him but I did stretch the lead from the guy behind. The marshal David met me and then ran down the hill with me and my jelly legs to the wood before he took off. Helluva lot of steps hadn’t remembered going up the glen, hard to go alongside! Got to the park and was thinking oh my, not sure legs will take me but carnethy lady Karen there w water and Carl from PH encouraging got me actually finishing quite strongly after got off “that” road! Thought bike and gears and helped! Was quickly resuscitated with juice, scones and quiche by the gang! Thank you so much for all your kindness!

    Next time will ease off running before, not worry so much cant do this hill running lark – just so love being up on the tops with the skylarks.Well done to everyone! You are such a great bunch, love being out with you…even if just beginning and end ; )

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