Although only 3.2 Km long with 230 m of climb, this race has the feel of something much grander. The race starts deep down in the tub with everybody lined up against a barbed wire fence, having positioned themselves to take what they hope is the best line up the steep grassy slope to a monument beside the main road some 120 m above. I opted for the most direct route, and crawled up on all fours for most of the way. The route from the top proceeds clockwise around the tub, at first following the road, then going alongside a wood, before climbing gently up to the trig point on Annanhead Hill. Most of this was fairly heavy going, struggling over tussocks and through bogs. Once over the hill, however, there was a fast run down, following a dyke, then traversing a gully, before a short rise of around 50 m up to the summit of Great Hill. From here it’s tottering, staggering, sliding and a little running downhill all the way to the finish back at the starting position.
The weather was good with clear visibility all the way. Anyone who has driven past the beeftub a few times, however, will know that this is not always the case, and last year five runners went astray, three of them taking an extra hour or so to come in, through following the dyke from Annanhead Hill too far.
Being the final SHR Championship race of the year there was a large field (for this race) of 113 runners, and I finished in 38-18 , being in 100th place out of 113, and 2nd V70 out of three. As with the Caerketton Doonhiller the previous Wednesday, (23 prizes for 51 runners!) Carnethy were very generous with the prizes, with a bottle of wine (appropriately Castillero Diablo – the Deil’s Cellar) for my efforts plus some cheese from a lucky dip in a “beeftub” for all taking part.
With a bike ride from Moffat to the farm at the end of the road, a 1 Km hike from the farm to the start, the race itself, the sun shining, and a handy burn to get scrubbed up in, it was a great day out! We must get more Tintos along next year!