Run and Become Tinto Hill Race 2013

Although marred slightly by politics, this was a grand day out.
Several cars turned up at Penicuik Centre just after midday on Saturday, but
we managed to sqeeze most Harriers into two cars. It was only half an hour or
so down past Biggar to Symmington and we stepped out of the cars to be
greeted by damp and cold and the hill was suspiciously sprinkled with white
stuff with the top shrouded in cloud. Even more worrying, as we were writing
emergency contact details on our numbers, it started sleeting outside!

However, it was just a shower and milling around the start at the bottom of
the hill it didn’t seem too bad. Until it came to the kit check. Rob wasn’t
going to be allowed to run! What! Apparently we had to carry waterproof full-
body cover (perfectly normal) and the jacket had to have a hood (perfectly
un-normal). OK, so everyone had read the small print on SI Entries but it
hadn’t really registered. Fortunately most runners did have hooded jackets
(thankyou Ronhill) but there were several non-runners – notably Ngemi who,
unlike Rob, didn’t put up a fuss and wasn’t able to beg and borrow a spare
Carnethy top. So Ngemi very stoically ran the Junior Race instead.

On to the race itself. As I didn’t have to kill myself chasing Stuart, I
enjoyed the run a lot more. It was quite muddy at the bottom, but the path
soon became easier underfoot with a mixture of gravel, rocks and peat. After
the initial 5 minutes of leg- and lung-burning, things settled down to a
steady threshold pace and run-jog-walk depending on the gradient. In fact
quite a lot is runnable with only a few really steep bits. Ah, here was the
white stuff – weird! It became deeper and deeper but didn’t seem too slippery.
The last couple of hundred feet to the summit cairn was fairly arctic and
quite exciting. I started counting the descending runners but got bored after

Round the cairn stepping daintily on the snowy, jaggedy rocky path and then
the mental descent. It was a mixture of high apprehension (would the worn
Walsh’s hold?) and extreme fun. The gradient of Tinto is not particularly
steep and you can run down at a stupid speed if you have the confidence (and
the calfs). With the first lady breathing down my neck I found an extra gear
and it must have looked like the Tinto Troll was after me at the finish. I
survived though and was quite pleased with ‘first lady’ (Rob’s jargon).

Within a couple of minutes, Carl pounded down (what an excellent run)
followed by Rob and the remaining Harriers, all with big grins on their faces.
As it was beginning to rain again we jogged back to the cars. Two strange
apparitions then appeared mistily through the windscreen. The first was one
of the Harriers’ ladies (I’ll mention no names) who was showing actually
quite a lot of thigh (we supposed that she was changing but she got a hoot
from Rob anyway) and the second was what looked like somebody wrestling with
a flan dish. Oh it was a flan dish. Both wrestler and wrestlee then squashed
soggily into the car and proceeded to hand out rather wet but exceedingly
tasty golden syrup tart – excellent work Carl!

Thankyou Carnethy for an excellent race. No doubt they will get a few emails
about the hooded tops, but you can see their point. Rob suggested filling in
a disclaimer form so that we could run wearing whatever we wanted (no thongs

Harriers results are:

Duncan 26th 38:52
Carl 45 41:05
Rob 73 42:58
Jan 156 50:12
Andrea 161 50:44
Amy 166 51:12
Mark 178 52:25
Chris 183 53:09
Helen 216 59:43


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7 comments on Run and Become Tinto Hill Race 2013

  1. Amy Kerr says:

    Fab report Duncan! Thanks for not mentioning my name………lol. My first hill race was an experience, and an enjoyable one also. I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning, as I didn’t know what to expect, but the team soon put me at ease……….it’s great to be a part of a running club with such nice people 🙂 Thanks Jan, Mark and Carl for the banter in the car……….it got rid of my nerves! Oh, and I’ve just got my legs back today………..they’ve been missing for 3 days!!


  2. Amy Kerr says:

    Couldn’t see a thing Susan, not even Ikea………ha ha! Was looking at my feet the whole way and ignoring the burning sensation in my legs 🙂

  3. Jan Dawson says:

    Great report Duncan. And great tart Carl! I would make a joke about soggy bottoms but I think we covered most of those in the post race banter on the drive home!!

    That downhill was mental indeed, so much fun. My legs disagree though and are still aching two days in!


  4. Mark snodgrass says:

    Well done to all those girls and boys in the hood….or maybe even Rob-in Hood!! I should stop now!! Good times.

  5. Rob Wilson says:

    Luckily Duncan wrote a post before I did as I was all prepared for a major rant.
    Having a buff AND a beany hat, gloves, plus full body waterproofs, I was gobsmacked to being turned away from the race. Many thanks to Willie Gibson (Carnethy) for providing me with a spare hooded cag, but honestly, the flimsy nature of it was no way as “robust” as my normal head gear.
    Shame on Carnethy for bowing under H+S pressure. I understand the reasons, but most runners are well equipped and surely a signed disclaimer is enough for insurance etc.

    Anyway – was great to get back running. My mojo is almost back!


  6. Mark Dawson says:

    Great race report! A fine race to do for my second hill run. Hopefully my Walsh trainers come before the next race though, a but slushy at the top for trail shoes! Thanks to Amy for the lift and Carl for the fantastic home baked tart.

  7. Susan says:

    A hooded jacket for running? Is that not what a hat is for? Great running everyone, some brilliant times posted. Well done to Amy in her first hill race too. Could you see IKEA from the top of Tinto, Amy?

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