Morven Walsh

Morven WalshHow/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?

David (husband) suggested it and I don’t think he even guessed how much I would fall in love with this sport. I had never run so, nearly 7 years ago David suggested we go  for a run … of course this was not on the road or flat but up Glenkin. To say I found it hard was an understatement, but it pushed me more and more. When I could run Glenkin all the way, I then joined the all female running group in Dunoon and met my lifelong friends, Jean Bryson and Kirsty Mundell. The rest as they say is history as I then found my passion in trail and hill running with Dunoon Hill Runners.

Why do you run?

Because I am lucky to be able to, and it’s my passion, my freedom, my time out, my head space. It’s my challenge exploring new trails and hills that you can only reach on foot. Oh and I love rivers and mud and being out with my buddies – Jean, Michelle, Clare and Kirsty have joined me on many runs where laughter is very much on the agenda. When Ricky joins me on long runs he just wants to bury me with a shovel and leave me on the trail!! Think my enthusiasm grates after 20 miles …

What is your favourite running route?

In Argyll, we are so lucky to be able to enjoy what is on our doorstep and it is all beautiful. I never tire of the Loch Eck loop.

What have been your favourite races?

The Devil o’ the Highlands Ultra – 43 miles from Tyndrum to Fort William, a stunning route where you are running through what has got to be the most magical place, Glencoe.

The Cateran Trail Ultra – 55 miles through the Scottish Highlands (even though Jean said my feet looked like tripe at the end!).

The Carnethy 5 – a mad 6 mile hill race in the Pentlands.

What is your greatest running achievement?

I ran my first marathon in Lochaber with Jean Bryson in memory of my mum Violet who sadly lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer 11 years ago. I ran for the charity The Eve Appeal and raised nearly £2,000. Since then I have raised money for Breast Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis charities all from my running.

What are your goals/ambitions?

To run my seventh Ultra but my first solo race in a few months in the Lake District. As Bryan said to me, I’ll always find someone to talk to and I love that I return from every race with new friends. Also running with our club and enjoying old and new challenges together.  Watching our club grow and develop and having this amazing bunch of friends who really are the best.

Who is your running hero?

I admire anyone who gets up one day and takes action, pulls on their trainers and starts running because that really is the hardest part.  I also love Simon Pegg who plays the character Dennis  in the movie “Run Fat Boy Run”. It tells the tale of what every non runner goes through to become a runner and the challenges faced – and also because his shorts are more micro than our very own coach’s! You have to watch,  and run with the coach in the summer 🙂

What is your most essential piece of kit?

My shoes – I have a lovely variety for all different terrain (say nothing, Pup!), Shock Absorber bra ( girls know why),  my mobile phone in case Ricky did take me out with a shovel, snacks and £10 just in case – although on a beautiful hot race last July in the Lakes it almost got spent as Jamie and I passed a beer garden and the temptation was nearly too much!

Do you have other interests/pastimes?

My brilliant family and watching my daughter Bethany develop her own love for running. Our working spaniel, Jess, and friends and our running club. I’m happy being with them all and having fun on my runs.

What is your favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice?

“It’s  just a wee tootle” and, “It’s just round the corner”. You’ve all heard them and you’ve all said them back 🙂

Ronnie Cairns

How/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?
I started running one year ago by putting one foot in front of the other! My original goal was to run the Cowal Gathering 5k raising money for CHAS and then I just carried on.

Why do you run?
To slow down the ageing process!

Ronnie CairnsWhat is your favourite running route?

Beach running on Tiree or running up Loch Eck side

What have been your favourite races?
I enjoyed the Polaroid Eyewear 10k Series this year and the Run & Ride in Dunoon.

What is your greatest running achievement?
My biggest achievement will be at the end of the year when I am able to hand over a sizeable cheque to help the children at Yorkhill Hospital. Other that it has to be winning the Father & Grandfather race at the Kirn Nursery School sports – result!

What are your goals/ambitions?
I set myself the challenge of running 10 races this year finishing with the Glasgow half marathon (Great Scottish Run) whilst raising funds for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity. I would like to run a marathon next year and am keen to bag an ultra before I am 60 – time is running out!

Who is your running hero?

Anyone who gets a pair of trainers on and challenges themselves, no matter what their age or physical ability is.

What is your most essential piece of kit?
Being a bit of a techy, it has to be my shiny new Garmin Fenix3. I never thought I would see the day when I would turn my back on an Apple watch for a Garmin, but I now have more running data than I know what to do with!

Do you have other interests/pastimes?
I have always had a passion for photography and of course my five lovely grandchildren.

Favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice
“Success is making it to the start of the race and not necessary when and where you finish.”

Or

“Don’t talk about it – Just do it”

Or

“Run for those that can’t”

Ronnie’s Just Giving page

Ronnie’s blog

Bryan Fitzpatrick

Bryan Fitzpatrick

A selfie of Bryan

How/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?
I started running a few miles with my main man, Ricky (Reid), and he was telling me about the Kintyre Ultra Marathon. I was then a support runner for them – it was supposed to be a nice 6 miles but ended up being 21, so I guess that’s where I started.

Why do you run?
I run because hill running is probably the hardest and most challenging thing I’ve ever done and the buzz you get is awesome.

Bryan Fitzpatrick, Ben Lomond

Another selfie (and Goatfell, Arran)

What is your favourite running route?
Anywhere up the back of Dunoon and Benmore. I was going to say the Loch Eck loop but I would be lying 😀.

What have been your favourite races?
The Carnethy 5 and the Ben Lomond Hill Race.

What is your greatest running achievement?
The Glencoe Marathon – how I got my big ass over that finish line, I’ll never know. I have to say, Ricky pushed me a lot and really helped me even though I wanted to burst him at some points.

What are your goals/ambitions?
My goals are really just to keep enjoying it and taking more selfies of ma handsome face 😀

Bryan Fitzpatrick

Another selfie

Who is your running hero?
Well I know Ricky will expect me to say him, but it’s everyone in the Dunoon Hill Runners Club that gets out there and pushes themselves.

What is your most essential piece of kit?
My phone to take pics lol – and my tight shorts to keep the ladies happy.

Do you have other interests/pastimes?
Calling other Irish family members out for fights and disco dancing.

Bryan and Kieron

Bryan and Kieron (not a selfie?!)

Favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice.
Don’t believe anyone when they say this is the last hill!Bryan Fitzpatrick

Jamie Laing

Ian, Morven, David and Jamie on Beinn Ime

Ian, Morven, David and Jamie on Beinn Ime (click to enlarge)

How/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?

I have always done a little bit of running since I was a kid. This was mostly to do with football training. I then ran with my dogs but again, nothing serious. My baptism of hill running fire was in December 2013 when it was suggested I would enjoy joining Ian, David and Morven on a nice easy run up Beinn Ime. When we reached about three quarters of the way up we hit the snow line and met walkers coming down with ice axes and crampons. I had a knackered pair of inov-8s on. I fell repeatedly on the way down. I have never looked back since.

Why do you run?

If I didn’t, I would end up on “Britain’s Biggest Loser” with my kids feeding me snack boxes at regular intervals through the day. Also because Lorraine just tidies the house all day Sunday and the longer the run I do, the fewer tasks I get.

What is your favourite running route?

I really enjoy the Loch Eck loop or different sections of it but my favourite is the 6 mile loop at Glenbranter. It’s always quiet and has the best part of 3 miles down hill on the back half.

What have been your favourite races?

I have only ever had 2 good races where I got close to where I wanted to be but these were both road races. I have loved every ultra-marathon I have done but the Kintyre Way Ultra is my favourite because it was just a laugh all day and it was the furthest I have run (run/walked).

What is your greatest running achievement?

I don’t really have one. I am proud that my girls are keen on running. Romily has just started and Emmerson has been running since she was 10. If they both enjoy it and keep at it, that will be my greatest running achievement.

What are your goals/ambitions?

Some of them are a bit adventurous at the moment but the main goals for this year are to complete the Cateran 55 Trail Ultramarathon, the Fort William Marathon, and the 55K Ultimate Trails Challenge. And hopefully to stay injury free.

Jamie and Morven

Jamie and Morven (click to enlarge)

Who is your running hero?

Jean Bryson and Morven Walsh are an inspiration to me. To see them running so well into their 60s really gives us all hope. Apart from them, Timothy Olson is an American ultra-runner whom I have heard interviewed on podcasts and he just seems like a great guy who loves running and never takes anything for granted, and is a reminder that we are fortunate enough to be capable of running and should enjoy it when we can.

What is your most essential piece of kit?

Ibuprofen

Do you have other interests/pastimes?

My girls and I have been training in Karate for a few years. I am passionate about wine and wished I had more time to spend enjoying it in its many forms.

What is your favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice?

I hear a few repetitive quotes that are rarely inspirational and normally mean I need to start running again – “a wee tootle” or “it’s not far now” etc. My favorite quote isn’t really running related but it works:

“Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are right”.  Henry Ford

Jean Bryson

Jean BrysonHow/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?

I started road running at age 39. I got bored running the streets and didn’t fancy bilateral knee replacements, so decided to try DHR. The rest is history!

Why do you run?

I run to stop myself becoming a homicidal maniac. And of course to keep my six pack.

What is your favourite running route?

Anywhere off road-except Glenkin – with Dunoon Hill Runners for company.

What have been your favourite races?

My favourite official run is not a hill run – the Great North Run is brill! I also loved the Volcano Run, run by Kirsty Mundell and family.

What is your greatest running achievement?

Getting to the end of the 2014 Glencoe Marathon. Thanks to David Walsh.

What are your goals/ambitions?

To get faster! How hard can it be?!! I want to finish Glencoe next year with some runners behind me, not a man walking his dug!!

Who is your running hero?

All the Dunoon Hill Runners – for just doing it!!

What is your most essential piece of kit?

My Garmin watch. Would be lost without it! Lol …

Do you have other interests/pastimes?

Socialising – oh, and socialising.

What is your favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice?

“For ****’s sake, another ******- ****** of a hill!”. Oh, and – “Pull back!” (Can’t say that next year though, cos need to speed up!).

(Editor’s note: For the uncensored version of the above, please speak to Jean!).

Ali McCrossan

Ali McCrossan

Photo courtesy: Ken Clark Photography

How/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?

October 2013, after marshalling at the Benmore Gardens 5/10k (Cowalfest).

Why do you run?

Because I feel better for it.

What is your favourite running route?

Bishops Glen, Glen Fyne – across the burn, to Innellan and back to Bishops Glen.

What have been your favourite races?

The Wee Beastie triathlon and the Glencoe Half Marathon

What is your greatest running achievement?

Completing the Glencoe Half Marathon

What are your goals/ambitions?

I’m thinking of trying to get to the top of the Cobbler at a quicker pace than I would walk it!!

Who is your running hero?

There are a few – the lady that started it all, Kirsty Mundell, mountain marathon runners, and Niamh and Popaidh Evans – who will not be afraid to try.

What is your most essential piece of kit?

My trainers.

Do you have other interests/pastimes?

Swimming in and across the River Clyde.

What is your favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice?

Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.

Roger Stewart

Roger StewartRoger will be running the Edinburgh Marathon on 25 May 2014 in order to raise funds for the Dunoon Multiple Sclerosis Society who are benefiting local people living with MS. His JustGiving page is here if you would like to donate.

How/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?

I was a keen runner at Sandbank Primary School. I took running up again 7 years ago and was running mostly on the road. I started running on trails 8 months ago, with the Dunoon Hill Runners and I enjoy different challenges with this group.

Why do you run?

I run because I enjoy it  – getting outdoors and it’s a good way to switch off. I run to keep fit and healthy … also to confuse my family as running is mostly alien to them!

What is your favourite running route?

The “Loch Eck Loop” has become my favourite. I’ve only done it 3 times, but it’s a great challenge and the views are the best.

What have been your favourite races?

The Great Scottish Run Half Marathon, which I’ve done 3 times, and the Glasgow Santa Dash (done 5 times). Both have a great atmosphere as the Glasgow people are so friendly.

What is your greatest running achievement?

Winning the Willie Jukes Memorial Trophy (first local at Cowal Highland Gathering 5K) in 2012, and first local at the 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering 5K (Camel’s Hump) in 2013. Also, first local at Cowalfest’s 2013 Benmore 10K. The last 2 races were my very first hill races.

What are your goals/ambitions?

To complete my first marathon – Edinburgh in 2014, and one day the London Marathon. I’m also competing in Tough Mudder as part of Team Dunoon in June 2014 and I aim to survive to tell the tale!

Who is your running hero?

Mo Farah is a runner to aspire to, but anyone who gets out there and runs any distance and pace is a hero – including my wife, who has the drive and determination to run despite having MS.

What is your most essential piece of kit?

My new club vest 🙂 And a good pair of running shoes.

Favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice.

I’m a fun runner  – my advice is not to take things too seriously. We’re only here once, so enjoy!

Kirsty Mundell

How/when did you start running, in particular hill/trail running?Kirsty Mundell
I started running almost 2 years ago when my horse developed arthritis, I was lost without her and the hacking we had done. Trail running began from the very start, the sense of achievement of running up a decent hill without stopping – need I say more!!

Why do you run?
It’s too darned addictive to stop.

What is your favourite running route?
Hill run to Inverchaolain but recently east Loch Eck where I grew up!

What have been your favourite races?
My first the BUPA 5k in Edinburgh, what an atmosphere, I was so frightened!

What is your greatest running achievement?
Ha ha that has got to be the Carnethy 5, though my first half marathon was under 2 hours I’m proud of that one too.

What are your goals/ambitions?
A marathon this year Glencoe or French Riviera.

Who is your running hero?
Not a runner but David Weir the paralympian and Ali McCrossan, she is just unbelievable in her dedication and madness!! I created a monster.

What is your most essential piece of kit?
Skins compression tights.

Do you have other interests/pastimes?
The horses obviously I would like to get back to competing, and Facebook – catching up on all the Hill Runners antics lol!

Favourite inspirational running quote or piece of advice.
Hubby’s remark every time I leave ‘Don’t fall’ and love this picture it’s just me – a bit dozy!!

Dory