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Lairig Ghru Race Results and Report (Part 2)
Jun 28, 2018

There was a high quality and very diverse women's field this year, with international orienteers, triathletes, ultra-runners, as well as the reigning Scottish hill running champion.

It was difficult to predict the winner but Tessa Strain (HBT) was keen to emulate husband Murray's success last year and looked very determined on the start line. At Luibeg, Cat Morrison of Stirling Tri Club had a lead with Tessa not that far behind, and with this year’s Highland Fling winner and Scottish Ultra Trail Champion Rachel Normand (Carnethy) running well it looked like there would be no podium place for Scottish hill running international Steph Provan of the host club, Deeside Runners.

Tessa's strength started to tell and all that hill training she has been doing in Cambridgeshire(!) must have helped tremendously as she powered to an excellent win and 9th place overall in a great time of 3:40:17, fantastic run, this goes to show how good Lucy Colquhoun's record actually is. Never underestimate the hill runner, Stephanie stuck to her race plan (you probably will do it again!) and ran a commendable 3:54 to take 2nd place ahead of Cat and Rachel, the latter two also breaking four hours by a minute or two.

A battle scarred Sally Wallis rounded out the top 5 with an excellent time of 4:05, thus improving the Wallis household record for the race (sorry Dirk, you'll have to do it again) by around a minute.

Tessa was extremely happy to have matched Murray but was more insistent on praising his time from last year, which to my mind was one of the best hill runs of 2017.

Double success for the Strain household as Murray finished 8th in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Poland on the same day.

As Cat was on the podium for the overall, Charlotte Black from Shetland AAC was awarded the FV40 prize, she ran well to record a time of 4:31 and finish about 6 minutes ahead of Mary Lye from Carnethy, Ros Baxter from Insch Trail running club took the 3rd place, in well under 5 hours, recording 4:50:09.

Deeside were looking for another winner in the ranks and Sarah Dunn duly delivered, in emphatic fashion, running 4:51 and finishing more than 50 minutes ahead of her nearest rival, Mo MacInnes of Garioch Roadrunners, with Judy Leslie rounding out the podium for the FV50's.

Team prizes went to HBT, the heat got to me at this point (you will see the reason on the TV show) and I gave the beer to Stonehaven, sorry HBT!

Deeside clinched the ladies prize comprehensively from Carnethy and Insch respectively, with the triumvirate of S’s, Sally, Sarah and Steph all running well.

As always, this event cannot take place without the hard work and support of numerous people, thanks to Mar Lodge and Rothiemurchus for providing the access to the estates willingly, to the Mountain Cafe for the fabulous spread, Bremners of Aviemore for getting everyone back home, Braemar/Cairngorm Mountain Sports for the number sponsorship, Braemar Village Hall for the use, Deeside Spring Water for, well, for the water, and Cairngorm Mountain Rescue for providing the hill support. Most of all I would like to thank all my club mates, and others from rival clubs and anyone else I have forgotten to thank, who willingly gave their time to assist in organising the event, without the volunteers these events cannot take place. I am sure all the competitors would agree.

The race is run primarily to provide funds for CMRT, this year we had a situation which required a helicopter rescue, the runner involved suffered from heatstroke and was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital where he spent the night under observation and was thankfully released the following day and is fine now.

Special thanks to all the runners and marshals who assisted him, especially to Natalya Wallek of Insch Trail Running Club who gave up her race to ensure he was looked after until the chopper arrived, this is what typifies the spirit of hill running.

Looking forward to actually seeing the race for a change, if not running it again.

All the best,

Andy Bain (Race Organiser)

Full results on the SHR results tab

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