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.”