Highland Boundary Races

Birnam Hill and Deuchary Hill Canter : Andy Russell

Deuchary Hill Canter – photo: Andy

This year I successfully managed to coordinate a visit to my parents in Perthshire with running in two of the three Highland Boundary Races held in Birnam and Dunkeld on over the weekend of March 28th & 29th.
On the Saturday I lined-up behind 200+ runners for the start of the Birnam Hill Race (6.5km, 535m), the first Scottish Hill Runners Championship race of the year.  After the first 500m on the road, the route took us straight on to the stiff climb through the woods. As the gradient eased I tried to coax my legs back into action for the run across the top of Birnam hill which comprised a series of small rocky, steps, tree roots and bogs. The main descent to the old quarry was mainly via a gravelly-trail after which a series of short sharp hills remained before the final steady run down to the finish line.
On the Sunday I joined about 60 runners at the Dunkeld Hilton Hotel for the start of the Deuchary Hill Canter (19km, 700m).  After an initial stiff climb up to and around the foot of Crag a Barns the route formed a figure of eight along a series of well-defined tracks and trails taking in some excellent views of Strath Tay and the higher snow capped mountains.  By the time I’d reached the steep final climb on to Deuchary Hill (509m) and my legs were starting to feel it.  The route back made for some nice running along grass and mud covered trails with only one small hill to stagger across before the final descent to the finish at the car park near the Cally Sawmill.
All in all a very enjoyable weekend of hill running with surprisingly good conditions for the time of year.  Many thanks to Adrian Davis and his team for organising two very enjoyable races.
Video of the Birnam Hill Race:
Organiser’s report and results here:
Andy Russell

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