More than 250 runners tackled the popular Dumyat Hill Race in its 40thanniversary year at the University of Stirling last night (Wednesday 8 May).
With neither of the 2012 race winners amongst the field, the opportunity was there for new names to be etched onto the Dumyat shield.
First to complete the 390m climb across 8km of tough terrain was seasoned hill runner Donald Naylor, who crossed the finish line in a time of 35 minutes and 25 seconds. The 41-year-old from Edinburgh, a member of Hunters Bog Trotters (HBT), pipped Andrew Wright (35.29) of Carnegie Harriers after Wright’s shoe came off before the sprint finish.
Naylor said: “I’ve competed in the Dumyat race now five times, but I’d no idea how I would fare as you never know who will turn up. Andrew [Wright] should have won it, and I’d settled for second but that kind of thing can happen.”
The first female home was Tessa Hill (39.02), also with HBT and girlfriend of the current men’s record holder Murray Strain, who was not amongst the 254-strong field. She said: “I raced last year, but wasn’t in great shape and I can be an awful descender. I just gave it my best shot and it’s nice to win here as it’s an iconic event and also as I’m doing some work at the moment with the University sports scientists.”
Stirling staff and students were also out in force, with third year Computing Science student Andrew Gilmore (37.26) taking the honour of first Stirling student over the line, followed by Ashim Burungu (44.05) and Kevin Schenk (44.13), whilst regular staff competitors David Eiser (37.57) and Stephen Winter (39.13) also impressed.
Gilmore, 20, has competed in the event each year since starting his studies at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, and plans to be back again in his honours year.
“I managed to set a PB and be first Stirling student down so I’m really pleased,” said the Carnethy Hill Running Club member. “I used to do rowing when I was at school, but my dad has always been a keen runner so I started to go running with him. Dumyat is one of my favourite events as you get to run with seasoned competitors and people just giving it a go.”
Two people more than giving it a go were veteran hill runners Charlie Love (59.23) of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers and Ian McManus (83.29). Dumyat was McManus’ 192nd career race and the Kilwinning man is closing in on his running target.
McManus, 71, a member of Irvine Athletics Club, said: “The last time I did Dumyat I broke three ribs so tonight went a lot better. I would like to reach 200 this year as I’m on borrowed time. I didn’t start running until I was 47 as I was at sea for a long time.”
The Dumyat Hill Race was first run following a bet by a University lecturer that the return trip from the Sports Centre to the summit was impossible in less than an hour. It now doubles as the Scottish Student Sport (SSS)Hill Running Championship, with the men’s prize going to Tom Martyn (35.32) and the women’s prize won by Jenny Dybeck (44.00), both students at the University of Edinburgh.