> 2012 race reports
11/02/12 Carnethy 5 - from John Tollitt

7 NFR members lined up amidst a record breaking field of 523, for the start of the 42nd Carnethy 5 Hill Race in the Pentland Hills, just to the west of Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon. Conditions were surprisingly good with only the smallest of snowy patches and ice confined to the sheltered northern faces of the 5 hills that make up this Scottish classic. The start was slightly delayed by an incident involving one of the buses taking competitors from race HQ to the start, and a Landrover! The usual pinchpoint near the start was alleviated by the introduction of a new gate just before the first big climb up to Scald Law, the highest of the 5 hills at 579m. Quick progress was made over the tops of South Black Hill, East Kip and West Kip, before a steep descent which saw a number of people coming a cropper on icy patches. The final big climb up onto Carnethy Hill involved grinding down into the lowest gear and negotiating a few false summits before circling the cloud shrouded summit cairn, atop Carnethy Hill at 573m. The descent off Carnethy was through heather, with care needed to avoid any boulders lurking underfoot. The only final hurdle was a couple of boggy patches before tea and biscuits at the finish and school dinners back at race HQ.

I came in first for NFR in 1.06 (knocking 5 minutes off last year's time), followed by Billy Fraser in 1.09, Geoff Davis (running his 22nd Carnethy 5) in 1.12, Alistair Paul in 1.13, new boy Paramjeet Bhogal proudly sporting his NFR vest for the first time in 1.23, Susan Davis (running her 20th Carnethy) in 1.25 and Dexter, returning from injury and coaxing a friend round in 1.29.
The mens race was won by Shettleston Harriers' Thomas Owen in 50.31, whilst Carnethy's own Angela Mudge was first lady home (for the 13th time) in 57.25.
A youthful NFR men's team (I was the only one under 50) were a creditable 16th out of 24.

Results, photos and reports can be found on the Carnethy website.

John Tollitt

> top