“Aaaarggh, it’s not flat!”. Hill running is not for everyone and is often a shock to the system of those runners used to running on miles of flat, rock-and-heather-free Tarmac. Tearing down steep slopes with often very difficult conditions underfoot takes a particular mind-set; however the fantastic variety of runs, the challenge and above all hill-running camaraderie are enough to enable most wannabe hill runners to overcome their inhibitions.
The hill running season runs all year but the main Scottish races get started early in February with the Famous Carnethy 5, a very challenging but fantastic run, going right through to November and the Tinto Hill race. Both races are put on by the Carnethy Hill Running Club. Many races around Glasgow are organised by the ‘Westies’ (Westerlands Cross Country Club).
Hill running is probably the most difficult but ultimately rewarding type of running you can do as the views from the tops (when you’re not gasping for breath!) are fantastic. Not only that, you can escape from the grind of the city and pounding the Tarmac. Hill running is extremely tough and strenuous on the way up, technical and demanding great concentration on the way down. Some runners are good at going up, some at going down. Those who are good at both tend to win races.
There are lots of part-time hill runners in the Club, who find that it’s a brilliant way of improving fitness and strength, so if you fancy giving it a try why not speak to one of them and get running up that hill?
In 2009, the club decided to host it’s first hill race. Read more about the Bella Ben Venue Challenge here.