Carnethy 5: A race for serious hill runners

With 5 hills, over 6miles and over 2000ft of elevation gain, on a good day Carnethy 5 was going to be a challenge for the team.

Yesterday was not what you would class as a “good day”. With sideways blizzards and biting winds, even spectating was a brutal affair. But most of the Carnethy 5 seasoned pros took it in their stride.

This is what sets Carnethy 5 aside from your standard trail race. Carnethy 5 is organised by serious hill runners for serious hill runners. There was no comedy costume or “fun run” participants here. Although I did see one bold runner braving the weather in a kilt, kudos pal!

Anna and I spent the day spectating (due to injuries) and it was a great day to be a part of. Although the set-up was slightly different to a standard race. A start time of 2pm meant I had all morning to faff around, and gave the temperature on the hills a chance to attempt and rise a degree or two.

Once the guys had registered we boarded shuttle buses which were organised to and from the start line (due to course safety). These were super-efficient on way out, however there was couple of frozen toes and impatient faces waiting on the bus back.

Upon arriving at the start-line we huddled in tents and listened to the increasing snow and wind outside.

But the tents couldn’t shelter them all day! A pre-race coffee and biccie and they were off.

Due to the route and weather Anna and I were unable to spectate over most of the course. We took a walk up the first incline and spent our time wisely making snow angels. After a busy week, playing around in the hills and snow was just what was needed.

Snow angels in the Pentlands


52mintutes later and the winner was in. Yes, you read that correctly, 52minutes. I’ll say it again; these guys are serious hill runners. The team did really well coming between 1hr 15 and 1hr 39.(Today’s running team consisted of Jamie, Alan, Lauren and Scott).

Even spectating at this type of race is inspiring, watching the speed and grit of these runners was something to behold. Especially against the backdrop of driving hail and snow storms.

Carnethy 5, I think you might have to go on the ever-growing list of races for next year!

Currently: Still in my jammies
Training today: Heading for a swim and steam room
Adventure this week: Snow angels up the Pentlands