Ran race. Enjoyed race. Wrote summary. No full gallery this time because I was busy trying to beat my last time.
I was lucky enough to run the Run Mhor Hidden Glen 10k this past weekend for the second time. In it’s third year, it’s a strong race with a challenging route and is excellently managed, as well as having possibly the greatest race village in Scottish running events – boasting a chippy van (chips and pesto, who knew?!), a large barbecue (veggie chilli dogs) and loads of baked goods – all of which add up make this one of my favourite races in my calendar (this ties for 2nd). Hosted on the beautiful grounds of the Monachyle Mhor hotel, overlooking Loch Doine, we’re surrounded by hills, two of them separated by Monachyle Glen which we’ll be running up. It turned out to be a beautiful, warm day, making the race a different beast from the last time when it was smirry and cold.
The race sees us set off in waves (grouped subjectively by what you estimate your finishing time to be) along Loch Doine for a kilometer before doubling back towards the hotel and beginning the climb, about 160 meters over 2 miles over very rough terrain, before turning back at the end of the road and speeding back down the hill to the hotel. The climb is tough, with occasional patches of flat ground or even slight descent, only then for you to be hammered with a steep climb as punishment for enjoying the break. The route is narrow throughout and only gets moreso further along. This makes it tricky to pass people (or be passed), especially when the runners at the front of the pack hit the turn point 3.5 miles in. This is easily forgiven when you take in the delightful forest around you and sometimes the hills peeking in over the tops of the trees, however. Just don’t focus on the scenery so much that you cause a collision.
The final leg of the race, post turning point at the top of the glen feels like the longest part. The rough and uneven terrain on the way up is twice as treacherous on the way back down, with the slightest misstep resulting in something sprained (thankfully I think only one person of the 400+ entrants hurt themselves badly enough to DNF), but in trail running that’s part of the fun. I got caught behind a few folk on this section (which meant we could chat), with over taking being just as tentative as on the way up. Though thankfully as you progress there are fewer people coming the other way making it much easier. The last 200m or so sees you running alongside the Loch one final time before turning into the race village and getting your medal and pint of beer (a nice surprise for me, Laura was gutted at being told she had to drive though).
All in all, a great day out. The weather was perfect and the setting picturesque. It would be nice to see a winter version of this run, but a lot of the race village being outdoors, I’m not sure that’s a great idea given Scottish weather.