Dunoon Hill Runners 2018 Summer Series

Dates for DHR 2018 Summer Series races have been announced, as below. Full details will be released in due course (keep an eye on the club calendar):

  • 10K Trail Race, Glenkin – 10 am 31 March 2018
  • Kilbride Hill Challenge – evening, 17 May 2018
  • Long Hill Race, Bishop’s Seat – evening 5 June 2018
  • Vertical KM (combined with Breakfast Run) – morning, 7 July 2018
  • Cowal Highland Gathering Road 5K – evening, 23 August 2018
  • Cowal Highland Gathering Hill Race (Camel’s Hump) – 25 August 2018
  • Downhill Race – evening 20 September 2018
  • Handicap Race, Glenkin – TBA

Dunoon Hill Runners 10K Race and Family Day – 31 March 2018

Dunoon Hill Runners will be kicking off its 2018 Summer Series with a 10K trail race at Glenkin forestry on 31 March 2018. This will be followed by a Kids’ Fun Run, an Easter Egg Hunt and a barbecue. All members and their kids are welcome. Please let us know if you plan to attend.

The schedule is as follows:

9 am – Registration for 10K Trail Race – upper car park at Glenkin entrance

10 am – 10K Trail Race

11.45 am – Kids’ Fun Run followed by Easter Egg hunt/kids’ activities  – Abernethy Bothy, Glenkin

1 pm (or after kids’ activities) – Barbecue – Abernethy Bothy, Glenkin

DHR Braves the Beast from the East

You would think that a few feet of snow, courtesy of the “Beast from the East”, might put folks off venturing on to the Cowal hills this past weekend, but not so for the Dunoon Hill Runners. In fact, if numbers were anything to go by, the snow would seem to have attracted club members on to the summits and trails of the area.

Through the weekend, runners teamed up to enjoy the scenic winter conditions, and an impressive total of over 350 miles was tramped out on the snowy pathways. Run routes of distances varying between 2 and 24 miles covered the length and breadth of the peninsula, including Glenkin, Bishops Glen, Heronlea, Ardnadam, Strone Hill, Loch Striven, Toward, Benmore and Bishop’s Seat.

A club Breakfast Run had previously been scheduled for Saturday 3 March, and was one of the few sporting events in Scotland that was not cancelled. A group of about 25 members and some of their children took to the trails around Hunters Quay Holiday Village before finishing up with a vigorous snowball fight and a hot drink and cake.

It certainly proved that, despite the unseasonal weather, running on the hills isn’t so beastly!

Dunoon Hill Runners Breakfast Run March 2018

Dunoon Hill Runners Breakfast Run March 2018

Dunoon Hill Runners 2018 AGM and Prizegiving

As has become traditional, the day of the Dunoon Hill Runners annual AGM and Prizegiving, held on 24 February 2018, commenced that morning with the last club league race of the year. This was the Handicap Race, a 4K loop in Glenkin. Start times were allocated to runners based on their season’s performance, and first across the finish line this year were Ann Keenan and new member Steve Danby.

The evening’s proceedings were held at Cowal Golf Club, starting with the AGM when Club Chairman, Ian Marshall, reviewed a year that had seen a sizeable intake of new runners, expanding the membership total to over 100. In acknowledgement of this, attendees voted in an additional 6 committee members, with positions covering social events, training co-ordination and membership.

The club prizegiving ensued and included the presentation of a new trophy which had been designed and hand made by Holly Lyons of Dunoon Grammar School.

DHR 2018 Prizewinners

LtoR: Back – Jean Bryson, Lucie Noakes, Ann Keenan, Sheila Ireland, Ian Marshall, Lindsay Moss, Kat Ullrich. Front – Ricky Reid, Bryan Fitzpatrick. Not pictured: Michael Tweedley, Grant Mackellar, Steve Danby


Michael Tweedley collects his 4 trophies from Vice President, Ricky Reid, and Treasurer, Morven Walsh

List of Prizewinners

President’s Trophy for Most Inspirational Runner – Bryan Fitzpatrick
Most Improved Male Runner (as voted by members) – Bryan Fitzpatrick
Most Improved Female Runner (as voted by members) – Eilidh Paterson
Summer League Series:
Senior Male Winner – Grant Mackellar
Senior Female Winner – Kat Ullrich
Senior Veteran Male Winner – Michael Tweedley
Senior Veteran Female Winner – Jean Bryson

Handicap Race Male – Steve Danby
Handicap Race Female – Ann Keenan
Handicap Race Overall Male – Bryan Fitzpatrick
Handicap Race Overall Female – Kat Ullrich
Vertical KM Male – Michael Tweedley
Vertical KM Female – Lindsay Moss
Long Hill Race Male – Michael Tweedley
Long Hill Race Female – Sheila Ireland
Downhill Race Male – Ricky Reid
Downhill Race Female – Lucie Noakes
10K Trail Race Male – Grant Mackellar
10K Trail Race Female – Kat Ullrich
Kilbride Hill Race Male – Michael Tweedley
Kilbride Hill Race Female – Lindsay Moss

Medals were also presented to all members who had participated in the club league.

An Upward Trend For Dunoon Hill Runners

2018 is off to a strong start for Dunoon Hill Runners. Attendance was boosted lately by the presence of over 30 beginners, most of whom concluded 10 weeks of training, culminating in a 10K trail run around Glenkin forestry. The club is now delighted to welcome many of these new runners aboard as full members, bringing the membership total to over 100. It has been encouraging to see the surge in interest in running on the scenic hills of Cowal, even attracting residents of Inverclyde along to training nights.

Meanwhile, the first hill race of the season took place on 10 February, the tough and notorious Carnethy 5 on the chilly Pentland hills. A strong team of 11 Dunoon Hill Runners was entered in this edition, each of whom put in a formidable performance which was a credit to the club. Overall, the men’s team placed eleventh, and the women’s team seventh.

Team DHR, Carneth 5 2018

LtoR: Jean Mclennan, Fiona Ramsay, Kat Sims, Bryan Fitzpatrick, Sara Cudahy, Lucie Noakes, Steve Danby, Ross Morley-Trapnell, Richie Longster, Ricky Reid (missing: Grant Mackellar)

First to complete was Grant Mackellar in a very speedy 1:00:23. Despite beating his previous year’s time by nearly 4 minutes, Grant’s reaction was, “I’m a little disappointed not to break the hour, but it gives me a target for next year”. Ricky Reid took over a minute off of his 2017 time, coming in at 1:05:23. A delighted Bryan Fitzpatrick saw a personal best of 1:09:34, an almost 9 minute gain over the previous year, and a colossal 28 minutes off of his 2016 time.

First Dunoon female in was Fiona Ramsay in a superb 1:16:05. She was followed by Sara Cudahy in 1:17:20 and Lucie Noakes in 1:19:41. Sara and Lucie improved on their 2017 times by almost 2 minutes and over 4 minutes respectively. Also notably, Jean Mclennan took over 8 minutes off of her 2017 time, and placed seventh in her category of F50 with a time of 1:24:52.

Completing the team were Kat Sims (who set a PB of 1:20:11), Ross Morley-Trapnell (1:20:26), Richie Longster (1:24:37) and Steve Danby (1:35:53). This was Fiona, Ross and Steve’s first experience of the Carnethy 5, which Ross described as “brutal”.

The club will be having its AGM and Prizegiving at Cowal Golf Club on 24 February 2018 (at 7 pm). This will be preceded by a Handicap Race at Glenkin earlier in the day.

Lucie Noakes

Lucie Noakes

Lucie’s Account

This was 20 year old Lucie Noakes’ third year of racing at Carnethy. Here is her account of her 2018 experience:
“The Carnethy 5 hill race is a 6 mile run which takes you on a loop around five peaks (totalling 2,500 feet of ascent) before returning to the finish.

Having the race in February makes it that little bit more interesting and leaves us all wondering each year what weather we will face. The last two years I have taken part, the weather has been nothing short of horrendous, so this year we were ready for anything.

As luck would have it, the weather was in our favour – some sunshine, a little bit of rain and some strong gusts of wind – much better! It was strange for once to be able to see the tops of the hills and where you were going, it made it a bit more enjoyable.

After the mass start of 500 plus runners, you find yourself in a disorderly line to begin the first ascent up to the top of Scald Law – a real test for the legs and not the easiest of starts. You then take on 3 more hills (South Black Hill, East Kip and West Kip) before running right back down to a flat stretch for about a mile until you start the final climb up Carnethy Hill. This is the last hill, the one that puts your tired legs to the test especially with a nasty false summit!

After a jelly baby half way up, which took me a good 5 minutes to eat, I was at the top of the last hill – a massive relief with only the downhill left to go. This is my favourite part – head down, arms out and letting my legs do all the work.

I always find it hard to describe the feeling you get crossing that finish line but, I love it. The endorphins are flowing, and then you get a cuppa, a biscuit and a pat on the back … brilliant! Can’t wait for Carnethy number 4!”

Dunoon Hill Runners 2018 Membership Form

The Dunoon Hill Runners 2018 Membership form can be found below:

Payment details are contained in the form.

Beginners/Returners Group Starting – 14 November 2017

Dunoon Hill Runners will commence training sessions for beginners and those returning after an absence from running on Tuesday 14 November 2017. These training sessions will take place over a 10 week period (not including Christmas/New Year) and participants will be asked to complete a Temporary Membership form on the first evening. A fee of £10 will be charged to cover the 10 week period.

A base level of fitness is recommended.

Runners must be 12 years of age or over.

For anyone between the ages of 12 and 16 years, please note:

  • a disclaimer form must be completed
  • they must run with an accompanying adult at all times
  • the maximum distance permissible for this age group is 2 miles

Attendees will be asked to register at 5.45 pm and runs will start at 6 pm. Please keep an eye on the club calendar for locations.

Trail running shoes are advisable, and a head torch will be needed.

Anyone who is interested in coming along, please let Morven Walsh know.


Extra places released for Dunoon 55K Ultramarathon!

Important message from race organisers Dunoon Presents:

“Thanks to all the ultra runners who contacted us to say how disappointed they were to have missed out on a place in this year’s sell out Dunoon Ultra Marathon on Sat 7th October – we listened and with one month to go until the big day…. we have released a VERY LIMITED number of EXTRA PLACES! These places are available for solo runners, not in the relay.

We know these will sell out so you will need to be quick!

Register now at: Race Space


Running the West Highland Way – 2017

At 1 am on Saturday 24 June, four Dunoon Hill Runners lined up at the start of the prestigious West Highland Way Race. Over a course distance of 95 miles, competitors would spend up to a day and 2 nights running between Milngavie and Fort William, a formidable prospect for even the most experienced of ultra runners.

Always a highlight in the club calendar, a full crew of supporters was in attendance, either providing assistance at checkpoints or pacing runners from Auchtertyre onwards, as permitted by race rules.

Fresh off of his Kintyre Way Ultra race win, Michael Tweedley set a fast pace from the outset, which saw him holding a place in the top 5 leaders for some time. Club hopes were dashed, however, when Michael succumbed to injury and withdrew from the race after over 60 miles of solid running. Remaining on the course were Lisa Marshall, Ricky Reid and David Wilson. This was Lisa’s first time attempting the full course, having run over half of it in the Highland Fling race earlier in the year. It was unfinished business for Ricky, having had to withdraw mid-race in 2016, and David was returning with an eye on improving his completion time from the previous year.

With memories of the sun-baked, midge-infested 2016 race, very different conditions faced competitors and supporters alike this year as bad weather closed in during the later hours of Saturday. Full waterproof attire and a tough mental attitude were needed to cover the final sections in the eary hours of Sunday morning.

David was the first club runner to complete the distance, in a time of 25 hours and 45 minutes, successfully achieving his goal by taking over two and a half hours off of his previous year’s time. Proving that persistence pays off, Ricky was not far behind at 26 hours and 17 minutes. It was an emotional finish for Lisa as she reached the course end in 30 hours and 19 minutes, a tremendous effort of stamina despite a niggling injury. All finishers were presented with the much coveted West Highland Way Race goblet in recognition of their achievement.

Despite some disappointment at this race for Michael, it was some consolation for the club to find extensive coverage of his winning performance in the Kintyre Way Ultra race on the BBC’s “Adventure Show”, aired on 27 June. With the Dunoon Hill Runners vest on prominent display, it provided excellent publicity for the club and for the area.

Dunoon Hill Runners at the races

It’s been a busy summer running season so far for the Dunoon Hill Runners, with club members competing in races throughout the country.

Kat Ullrich took part in the Salomon 50Km Ultra Trail Race at the Keswick Mountain Festival, a very tough route on mostly technical single track and featuring 2000 metres of ascent. She placed an impressive fourth in her category of Senior Female.

In other races, Lucie Shaw, Kate Taylor and Nicola Newman completed the Edinburgh Marathon, while Rachel Wells saw success in the Polaroid 10K race series in Balloch. Jean Bryson and Morven Walsh finished the 8.5 miles Milngavie Trail Race which they reported as a well-organised and enjoyable event. Shona Ritchie, Lucie Shaw, Christine Boyle and Sheila Ireland all completed the Simplyhealth Great Women’s 10K Run in Glasgow. John Colquhoun and Michael Pearce went slightly further afield, racing in the Blackpool Half Marathon.

Bryan Fitzpatrick at Goatfell Hill Race

On slightly hillier terrain, Bryan Fitzpatrick, Lucie Noakes, Grant Mackellar, Claire McFadden and Kat Ullrich successfully finished the challenging Goatfell Hill Race on Arran in impressive times, with Grant coming in 34th out of 220 runners. Bryan took 37 minutes off of his personal best time for this race, despite a nasty tumble! Kirsty Mundell came in third in the Senior Female Vet category of the Rattray and Blairgowrie Half Marathon. And last, but definitely not least, Jean Mclennan led the way at the Brack Hill Race in Arrochar, coming in first female.

Jean Mclennan at Brack Hill Race

The club’s own local summer series of races starts on 20 June with a 10K trail race in Glenkin. The series will also include a long hill race in July, to which other running clubs will be invited.

And 4 club members are presently preparing for the 95 mile West Highland Way overnight race on 24 June, an annual calendar highlight for participants and their support teams alike.

2017 Summer Series Race Dates

Race dates for the 2017 Summer Series have been added to the Club calendar, and are listed below:

Glenkin 10k – Tuesday 20th June, 6pm

Kilbride – Thursday 13th July, 6pm

Bishops Seat – Tuesday 1st August, 7pm

5k Road Race – Thurs 24th August (Cowal Highland Gathering)

Camels Hump – Saturday 26th August (if Cowal Highland Gathering race doesn’t go ahead Club will arrange another night)

Vertical KM – Sat 16th September, 9.30am

Downhill Race – Thursday 28th September, 6pm

Glenkin Handicap – Feb date TBC

Off to a great start!

Dunoon Hill Runners club member, Michael Tweedley, has won the Kintyre Way Ultramarathon in a blistering time of 4:52:17. Conditions were sunny and warm for the race, held on 6 May, which covers a distance of 35.5 miles from Tayinloan to Campbeltown. Michael is no stranger to local podiums, having won the inaugural Dunoon 55K Ultramarathon last year. The Kintyre route was also successfully completed by fellow club runners, Elaine Graham and Michelle Cameron.

Michael Tweedley, Grant Mackellar and Bryan Fitzpatrick all produced fast results in the short but tough Beinn Dubhh hill race at Luss on 26 April, with Michael coming in seventh. And David Walsh saw success at the Stuc a'Chroin long hill race on 6 May, a gruelling 22 km with 1500 metres of climbing, described as one of the most arduous races in Britain. Bryan Fitzpatrick and David Walsh then went on to set personal bests in the Ben Lomond hill race on 13 May, with Bryan taking over 30 minutes off of his previous time. Race season continues apace and Dunoon Hill Runners will be found running up Goat Fell and Ben Nevis, among many other hills, as well as taking on the 95 mile West Highland Way race in the coming weeks.

Michael Tweedley being interviewed by BBC

Michael Tweedley on the podum

Michael Tweedley on the podum

Presenter Dougie Vipond was filming for the BBC’s Adventure Show and took the opportunity to meet the Dunoon Hill Runners, interviewing Michael at the finish.

The 2017 race season has well and truly commenced for the club, which has been represented at several other prestigious events across the country. This included the 53 mile Highland Fling Ultramarathon through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, held on 29 April. The five individual club runners who completed this formidable race were returnees Ian Marshall, Ricky Reid and Lisa Marshall, all of whom set personal bests, as well as first timers, Richie Longster and Sabrina Collins Brolly. This was Sabrina’s longest ever distance, having completed her first ultra last October, the Dunoon 55K Ultramarathon. In addition, the female relay team, consisting of Angela Wilson, Lucie Shaw, Sara Cudahy and Kat Ullrich, performed very well, reaching the end in an excellent time.

Sabrina Collins Brolly at the Highland Fling finish

Sabrina Collins Brolly at the Highland Fling finish

That same weekend, Annie Lloyd Evans completed the Fellsman for her fourth time. This consists of a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles over very hard rugged moorland in the Yorkshire Dales. The route has a total elevation gain of over 11,000 feet and requires good navigational skills.

Nearer to home, Morven Walsh and Jean Maclennan finished strongly in the 31 mile Glen Lyon Ultra on 6 May – an achievement made all the more challenging by the warmer temperatures that day.

Michael Tweedley, Grant Mackellar and Bryan Fitzpatrick all produced fast results in the short but tough Beinn Dubhh hill race at Luss on 26 April, with Michael coming in seventh. And David Walsh saw success at the Stuc a’Chroin long hill race on 6 May, a gruelling 22 km with 1500 metres of climbing, described as one of the most arduous races in Britain. Bryan Fitzpatrick and David Walsh then went on to set personal bests in the Ben Lomond hill race on 13 May, with Bryan taking over 30 minutes off of his previous time.

Race season continues apace and Dunoon Hill Runners will be found running up Goat Fell and Ben Nevis, among many other hills, as well as taking on the 95 mile West Highland Way race in the coming weeks.

Another Year of Success for Dunoon Hill Runners

Saturday 18 February 2017 commenced with the last event of the Dunoon Hill Runners 2016-17 league series, the Handicap Race. Start times were allocated appropriate to each runner based on their season’s performance, and competitors set off chasing each other down on a damp and muddy Glenkin 5K route. First across the finish line was Bryan Fitzpatrick, followed by Lucie Shaw.

Later that day, the AGM and prizegiving were once again held at the Kirn and Hunters Quay Bowling Club. Dunoon Hill Runners Chairman, Ian Marshall, reviewed another successful year, with members continuing to represent the club in both local and national events. Two new committee members were voted into the positions of Secretary and Race Organisation Officer.

The prizegiving came next and included 2 handsome new trophies hand made by Dunoon Grammar School students, Isaac Lines and Elizabeth Stirling. In addition to the official shields and trophies, some light-hearted recognition was given to specific members for their outstanding contributions in the fields of swearing, sob story-telling, weight loss, animal rescue and a special award for heroic efforts in under-training.

List of Prizewinners:
President’s Trophy for Most Inspirational Runner – Ali McCrossan
Most Improved Male Runner (as voted by members) – Bryan Fitzpatrick
Most Improved Female Runner (as voted by members) – Lucie Shaw

Summer League Series:
Senior Male Winner – Ricky Reid
Senior Female Winner – Lucie Noakes
Senior Veteran Male Winner – Roger Stewart
Senior Veteran Female Winner – Morven Walsh

Handicap Race Male – Bryan Fitzpatrick
Handicap Race Female – Lucie Shaw
Handicap Race Overall Male – Grant Mackellar
Handicap Race Overall Female – Lindsay Moss
Vertical KM Male – Ricky Reid
Vertical KM Female – Lucie Noakes
Long Hill Race Male – Ricky Reid
Long Hill Race Female – Ronee McCarthy
Downhill Race Male – Ricky Reid
Downhill Race Female – Morven Walsh

10K Trail Race Male – Grant Mackellar
10K Trail Race Female – Lucie Noakes
Kilbride Hill Race Male – Grant Mackellar
Kilbride Hill Race Female – Lucie Noakes
Medals were also presented to all members who participated in at least 3 league events.

DHR 2017 prizewinners

L to R back: Morven Walsh, Lucie Shaw, Roger Stewart, Grant Mackellar, Bryan Fitzpatrick, Ricky Reid.
L to R front: Ronee McCarthy, Lucie Noakes, Richie Longster