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Tap O`Noth Hill Race Report & Results
Aug 26, 2018

52 runners started the Tap O’Noth hill race on Saturday the 18th August 2018. The day was bright and sunny however strong winds affected not only the runners but the organisers as well, with several tents threatening to take off and join the hill race.

Due to being on a tea-break the pipe band were unable to conduct the usual pre-race procession however one of the ITRC race organisers was able to acquire a fiddle, so all the runners were still guided up through the gala to the start line with some accompanying music!

At 2pm the runners set off out of Rhynie before making their way through the fields and hitting the climb right up, past the archaeologists and dig site, to the trig point. By the top of the climb James Tullie (HHR) had stretched out a lead from the rest of the field. Behind him however was a close battle for 2nd with Peter Henry (Deeside) and Clyde Williamson (Cosmics) ascending at the same time. Closer still was the race for 4th to 7th with Stuart Pringle (Deeside), Jason Williamson (Cosmics), Steve Ord (ITRC) and Oliver Newman (HNOC) separated by less than a minute at the summit. In the womans race Veronique Oldham (Cosmics) was looking good for another Tap O’Noth victory as she ascended in an impressive 10th place with a comfortable lead from the close battle between Ruth MacKenzie (Deeside) and Josephine Bjorkqvist (Aberdeen Uni AC), who were only separated by seconds at the top. If we thought the wind down at the Gala was strong then up at the top it was even worse with several runners having to use the trig for balance and cling onto there vests to prevent losing them!

Onto the descent back into Rhynie and James Tullie continued to extend his lead to win the race in a great time of 36.31. Local favourite Clyde Williamson used his knowledge of the hill for some impressive descending to take 2nd place (for the second year running) ahead of Pete Henry in 3rd. Jason Williamson just failed to make it 2 family members on the podium (like 2017) but still took 4th place and the MV40 category prize. Narrowly behind in 5th place was Oliver Newman and 6th place was Stuart Pringle (in what must have been a great downhill race as only 7 seconds separated the 3 runners)! Taking 1 st in the MV50 category and 7th place was Steve Ord.

In the womans race Veronique Oldham won in 42.39 to make it her 7 th victory in this race (at what point does she get to keep the trophy?!). Behind her, Ruth Mackenzie managed a quick descent to pull away from Josephine Bjorkqvist to take 2nd place. Demonstrating the quality of the field throughout the age categories Veronique and Ruth also took 1st and 2nd in the FV50 category. Slightly further back in 4th place was Marie Entwistle (Deeside) who also took 1st in the FV40 category.

At just over the hour mark all 52 runners successfully returned, even with a few runners unfortunately taking a wrong turn on the descent and having to back track (the joy of hill racing I guess!).

Overall a great race with Cosmics and Deeside especially having a good day and sharing most of the spoils throughout the categories.

Special thanks go to Rhynie Gala for allowing us to hold the hill race and also to ITRC and all the other helpers and marshalls who made the race possible. Also to everyone who baked cakes and took them along for the runners, most enjoyable!

Graham Aitken

Insch Trail Running Club

Full results on the SHR results tab.

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