Breakfast Run on 31 December 2018

Finish off the year right and get a head start on New Year’s resolutions by coming out for a Breakfast Run on Monday 31 December 2018 at 10 am at the Whistlefield Inn by Loch Eck. Dunoon Hill Runners are hosting a social run which is open to non-members. So bring the family, friends and dogs for a run on a short or longer route. There is also a lovely one mile loop that can be walked with children.

A festive warm drink will be provided by the Whistlefield Inn. Anyone wanting to stay for lunch should contact the Whistlefield to book a table.

Runners should meet at the Whistlefield Inn car park at 10 am.

Beginners’ Training Sessions Starting November 2018

Dunoon Hill Runners will be starting a new beginners training group from 6 November, for 8 weeks. Sessions will take place each Tuesday evening from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm. There will be a maximum of 20 places and no waiting list.

Each runner will require trail running shoes and a head torch (120 lumens and up are suitable).

The cost will be £10 for the 8 week training period and a temporary membership form must be completed before attending. All data is confidential and will not be shared with any other party.

If interested, please contact the club here, and submit your form no later than 23 October 2018. Forms can be handed in to Lisa Marshall at HELP, John St, Dunoon. Once 20 forms have been received, the group will become closed.

Dunoon Hill Runners’ Summer of Achievement

It’s been a highly productive summer for Dunoon Hill Runners, with club members pursuing a broad range of distance and personal fitness goals. The club has been represented in races ranging from 10K to almost 100 miles in length, mostly on hilly trail but with an occasional foray on to tarmac.

The longest distance, at 96 miles, was the West Highland Way Race. This was David Wilson’s third outing and saw him take almost 3 hours off of his 2017 time, coming in at 22 hours, 55 minutes. Ricky Reid took an almost identical time off of his previous year’s time, coming in at 23 hours and 21 minutes this year.

Ricky went on to earn the title of “Triple Crown” winner, after having run all 3 major races on the West Highland Way in 2018, including the 53 mile Highland Fling and the 42 mile Devil O’ The Highlands.

Dunoon Hill Runners could be found in numbers at races across the country such as the Goatfell Hill Race, the Glen Lyon Ultra, the Cowal Way Chase, the Fort William Marathon, the Devil O’ The Highlands , the Lakes Sky Ultra, the Dunoon Presents Half Marathon and 10K, the Calderglen 10K and the Bute Highland Games 10K. The 2017 President’s Trophy winner, Bryan Fitzpatrick, has kept busy, competing in over a dozen Scottish Hill Racing series events as well as club races so far this year – too many to list!

The second year of the Cowal Way Chase produced a second place for Roger Stewart in the 18 mile trail race, plus a first female place for Marion Mcmillan and third overall for Ricky Reid in the 30 mile ultra race.

Elsewhere, new member Stuart Greenway snagged first place at the Dunoon Presents 10K while Ross Morley-Trapnell was first in the MV50 category. It’s been a great season for Jean Mclennan who came fourth in her FV50 category in the Highland Fling among other accomplishments. And returning to the Devil O’ The Highlands, Grant Mackellar finished in an impressive twelfth place overall.

Kat Sims ran the Lakes Sky Ultra in the Lake District, a race described as “extreme mountain racing”, where she was the fifth female finisher.

No stranger to distance running, Morven Walsh had set herself her most ambitious challenge yet by taking on the 73 mile Great Glen Way Ultra in July. The route follows the major natural faultline from Fort William to Inverness and starts at 1 am on a Saturday morning. Runners have 22 hours to complete the race with no support crew allowed. Morven finished comfortably in 19 hours and 41 minutes.

Wrapping up the summer, the club, including several beginners, was out in force at the Cowal Highland Gathering competing in both the road and the hill races.

Of course, it’s not all about huge distances and podium places as there have been many other personal achievements, including Ciorsdan Taylor’s first Dunoon Half Marathon, where she raised over £500 for Olly’s Wee Bothy. Whilst several members have used their club training to assist with fitness for other disciplines such as triathlon, Eilidh Brown attributes her DHR training with enabling her to obtain 10 international refereeing caps at the European Touch Rugby Championships. For others, still being able to fit into their running vest was noted as being the height of attainment.

Member Catriona MacIntyre summed it up by saying, “I’m happy to have stuck at it for more than a few weeks! Thank you DHR for getting me there.”

Dunoon Hill Runners Raise Funds for Local Charities

Swapping their usual activities for something more sedentary, Dunoon Hill Runners recently held a charity quiz night to raise funds for two charities previously chosen by a vote of its members: Olly’s Wee Bothy and the Cowal Community Palliative Care team.

The combined brains of the 8 teams in attendance engaged in a hard-fought battle which tested on specialist subjects as well as general knowledge. In addition, a raffle containing lots of excellent prizes donated by local businesses contributed to the proceeds.

The evening resulted in a very impressive £1,140 being raised, which was subsequently rounded up to £1,500 by a donation from club funds. This amount was then split and cheques for £750 each were presented to the two charities.

Dunoon Hill Runners wishes to thank all the members and guests who contributed to these worthwhile causes, Dunoon Lodge 335 for the use of their hall on the night, as well as the many local businesses who kindly donated raffle prizes.

Vice President Ricky Reid presents cheque to Kathy Graham of Cowal Community Palliative Care Team

DHR Vice President Ricky Reid presents cheque to Kathy Graham of Cowal Community Palliative Care Team

DHR cheque presentation to Olly's Wee Bothy

DHR cheque presentation to Olly’s Wee Bothy


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!”