Lomonds of Fife Hill Race Sunday, 16 August 2015

Distance 16.2 km
Climb 800 m


Six of us travelled through for this race with a girls car and a boys car. The weather was lovely and sunny. Once you register at Strathmiglo Village Hall there is a 2K walk/jog to the start that allows for a warm up. The route starts on a quite steep uphill on forest track before reaching a wide and more solid track which levels out a bit so you can catch your breath. Soon you reach another narrow track through the forest that is boggy in parts. There is a fence to climb over and in these early stages of the race Andrea and I kept overtaking eachother. Coming out of the forest you head over the moors to the summit of East Lomond, once you reach the summit you turn round and retrace your steps back towards the road where there is a water station. As I headed towards East Lomond I was passed by the faster harriers in the group as they headed back down and we were all shouting encouragement to eachother. Once off the summit the route is more gentle and allows for good stretches of running, Andrea and I were still neck and neck at this point. The path is quite narrow at points and the hill drops away quite steeply on your right hand side. There is a nice clambering section at Craigen Gaw and then you make your way towards West Lomond. Once you reach the summit there is some fast downhill running followed by the bit everyone looks forward to – the bum slide. This is fun and gives your legs a little break. From here you head towards the bunnet stane, then you have the last uphill section of the race. I stayed high as Rob had suggested as I made my way back towards the forest and this worked well for me, I think I even passed a few people at this point. Then once you enter the forest it is a very pleasant run along a wide track then down a quite steep downhill back to the finish. Some people were lingering to feast on the abundance of blueberries growing in between the trees. I was very thirsty so headed back to the village hall where there was bananas and crisps etc, and tea and coffee available. The race is well marked and marshalled and there are checkpoints with orienteeering style stampers.

9 Stuart Sanderson 01:39:41
28 Mike Brooks 01:51:29
31 Rob Wilson 01:52:50
61 Gillian Cairns 02:09:32
72 Sadie Kemp 02:16:59
79 Andrea Wilson 02:20:32

Action shots courtesy of Pete Bracegirdle:

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5 comments on Lomonds of Fife Hill Race Sunday, 16 August 2015

  1. Gillian Cairns says:

    Great report, Sadie! You beat me to it – promise I’ll do the next one :-).

  2. Rob says:

    There are 3 route options for the last 2 kms after the last checkpoint. Route choice is crucial here due to the run out zone of the rock avalanche at Craigen Gaw that occurred in 1928. It is rather bouldery and technical if you get your route wrong.

    1.stay high and contour along the path (with an extra 50m climb) to essentially traverse above the rock avalanche just below Craigen Gaw, then run diagonally down to the style at the woodland edge;
    2. run diagonally down to almost the valley bottom until one reaches the path and run through the technical track going through the bottom of the rock avalanche;
    3. run diagonally down, but not as far as option 2, and try and find the a through the middle of the run out zone – there is track but tough to find.

    Option 1 is clearly wrong – Sadie – did you go so high?. Stu and I took this and lost time and places. The extra 50m gain in height and thick heather on the descent destroyed my time!!! Mike was behind me at the final check point and I lost about 2 mins and 3 places :-(.

    Options 2 and 3 are optimal, but if I run this again next year, I am definitely going to scout these route options before hand.

    However, this is a great, but tough race. Still got a PB, so no real complaints.

    • Sadie Kemp says:

      Yes Rob, I did Option 1 this time. Last year I think I did Option 2. I got a much better time this year, last year I got: 2:35:13 but maybe I was just faster in the earlier sections trying to keep up with your lovely wife. I think if I do the race again I will go with Option 1. It was hard going over the heather but I felt I saved a lot of distance contouring higher up the hill. I may join you on the scouting mission next year 🙂

      • Rob says:

        you, me and Stu will have to organise a little evening jaunt next year and try all 3 🙂
        I think going low, albeit longer, will be quicker simply due to the path

        • Gillian Cairns says:

          I ran diagonally down the hill but would have liked to reach that bottom track quicker than I did. Not easy!

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