Race date: Wednesday 24th April 2019
Report by Simon Bayliss
Starting in the village of Luss on the shore of Loch Lomond, the Beinn Dubh Hill Race is a straightforward affair. Go directly up the hill, climbing 2,000 feet in 2¼ miles, before turning round and running back down.
I was in the area for an Easter break, so it was the obvious way to spend the Wednesday evening. I paid my £5 and walked a few metres to the start, which was halfway up a steep grassy field. After a quick warm-up and a safety briefing from the race-organiser (“it’s blowing a hooley up top, take care”), we were off, and straight into the hardest start of a race I’ve ever had. It was relentlessly steep for two thirds of a mile before ‘levelling out’ into merely steep for a few minutes respite, before rearing up viciously again.
After what seemed like an age of climbing I rounded the summit cairn and started on the breakneck descent, which was possibly the most white-knuckle descent I have ever run. It was mostly grassy so not technical, but very steep and very fast and I was teetering on the edge of what seemed like free-fall for large parts of it.
The only Strider, I finished in 48th place (out of 114) with a time of 46:31. The men’s race was won by Finlay Wild of Lochaber AC, setting a new course record 33:19, and the women’s race was won by Jill Stephen of Hunters Bog Trotters, also setting a new course record of 41:00.
Full results are here