It is exam time at the University of Stirling and almost 300 keen competitors gave their legs a thorough test in the annual Dumyat Hill Race.
This was the 42nd running of the 390m climb across 8km, which started as a bet between a lecturer and a student in 1972.
The student in question won a £1 from a psychology lecturer after proving the return trip from the University Sports Centre to the top of the Dumyat was achievable in less than an hour.
On Wednesday 6 May, gifted Orienteer Hector Haines of Hunter’s Bog Trotters crossed the finish line first in a time of 35 minutes and 14 seconds, short of Murray Strain’s course record which stands at 32 minutes and 23 seconds.
Success runs in the family for the Haines as Hector’s wife Rachel was first female to finish, in a time of 41 minutes and 25 seconds, also shy of the women’s record of 36 minutes and 36 seconds, set by former World Mountain Running Champion Angela Mudge.
First Stirling runner to complete the course was 19-year-old Sport & Exercise Science student Jamie Crowe, the 2013 Scottish 1500m Champion convinced to swap the track for the hill by his dad, who was also amongst the 298 competitors.
So how does Dumyat compare to the track? “It is twice as hard,” said Jamie, from Dundee, a member of Central Athletics Club. “Hill running is a different sport entirely. I found the climb was fine, but the descent was tough going and I didn’t enjoy all the stones and the mud.”
Seconds behind came David Eiser, a Research Fellow in Economics, completing his seventh consecutive Dumyat. And last but by no means least came 12 Stirling students dressed as Minions – characters from the Despicable Me film.
The Dumyat Hill Race was first created when a University of Stirling psychologist laid a £1 bet claiming the return trip from the University’s Gannochy Pavilion to the top of the Dumyat was impossible in less than an hour. On Graduation Day 1972 the £1 was lost by three minutes and, following the first ‘official race’ in 1973, it has been held annually in May ever since attracting around 300 runners. Dumyat is pronounced dum-eye-at, being a contraction of Dun Myat, which was a fortress of the Pictish group the Maeatae. The remains of the Dun Myat fort are near the summit.