‘Usually blessed with good weather’ is how the web site puts it. Not today. Today the weather got as bad as it’s ever got since its inception in 1988. It was a good start to the day, record numbers for a non-British Championship race, 206 runners, no wind and sunny. By the time kick off time arrived, it was cloudy, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary. By the time 15:30 arrived, the elements had closed in; near zero temperatures, gale force winds, heavy rain/sleet. 2 runners and a marshal taken off the hill near Stuc a’ Chroin summit and several runners suffering from varying degrees of exposure. (You can download the full results here)
The front runners came in sporting a number of injuries and strains caused mostly by the low temperatures and high winds. Hector Haines of Hunters Bogtrotters came in 1st (2:11:11), an excellent time for the conditions. Findlay Wild of Lochaber was 2nd (2:18:30), and Andrew Fallas of Carnethy was 3rd (2:19:40).
Front runners for the females came in as follows; 1st Charlotte Morgan (2:46:33) of Carnethy, Eilidh Raistrick of Hunters Bogtrotters (3:00:49) was 2nd and Ciara Largey of Cosmics Hillbashers was 3rd (3:02:05)
The 3 village runners all finished, Robin Versteeg (just missed under 3hrs at 3:02:34), Dougie Aitchison (3:34:11) and Adrian Walters (3:35:05)
This wasn’t the way we wanted the runners to celebrate our 25th anniversary, but that was how it was. But throughout, the runners maintained focus, helping other runners and marshals if needed. The marshals sacrificed their own clothing when necessary, and the race was completed as best it could under the circumstances.
Normally, there's a long list of people we'd like to thank, all of whom contribute greatly towards making the race a lttle bit special. This year though, in these conditions, those thanks don't quite seem enough but we'll crack on anyway. We’d like to thank the runners for their resilience, participation and help when needed; the mountain and base marshals for their dedication to the welfare of the runners and abilty to withstand atrocious conditions (and evidently in good cheer as well, you crazies!); mountain rescue for their ‘Just Do It’ ability to save the day in whatever way was necessary; the Inn for caring for the sick and infirm, the police for their direction and everyone else who helped in whatever way they could.
To all our sponsors, your contribution is invaluable. To the army of people that carried, dragged, served, dressed, recorded, cheered, organised, set-up and took down, the race wouldn't be what it is and we thank you.
2013 sees the Stuc a' Chroin 5000 race in it's 25th year and in commemoration of what is now a popular race in the calendar, this year it is the 2013 scottishathletics Senior Championship event and one of two of the Scottish Hill Runners Championship (Long) series.
The race is run annually on the Saturday before May Day Bank Holiday Monday. This year, it falls on May the 4th. Called the Stuc a' Chroin 5000 because of its approximate total climb (in feet!), the race is 22k long and the course record is 1:59:22 for the males, and 2:22:47 for the females. Organised under British Athletic Rules and classed as a Category A Long Hill race, in its 21st Anniversary, it was a British Championship event with over 300 runners. We're expecting a large number of runners this year.
Usually blessed with good weather, its timing at the beginning of May does mean that there may be a variety of conditions - consult the forecast before your journey ... and don't forget the midge repellant! There will be an up-to-date forecast of local conditions right up to the start on this web site in the Stop Press section opposite.
You can register in the Inn at Strathyre Hotel at the South end of the village from 10:00am - 12:30pm, admission fee is £7. The race is well marked all the way to the top; (note that there are no maps available); stewards and water stations are aplenty and well supported by the local community. Renowned for its plentiful supply of water all along its 22k (courtesy of our new sponsors, ASDA and Bookers), jelly babies and chocolate, rumours that some runners actually put on weight during the race are to be treated with caution! Even though our new sponsors, Lomond Distilleries, are giving a bottle of spirits to the top 3 runners in each category, they drew the line at dispensing whisky at the water stops!
Some of the runners comments from the last couple of years
".. privilege of enjoying a well-supported hill race in stunning scenery and immaculate weather ... Many thanks to the organisers of this epic hill run which was well-organised and well-supported. We will definitely be back next year."
"Brilliant views and perfect weather conditions for this (my favourite) hill race."
"Stuc is a great race and is really well supported, I think I managed to eat about a full bag of Jelly Babies and half a bag of Fruit Pastilles dished out by the numerous marshalls."
"Thanks for a great race , the marshalling and organisation was first class as usual and along with the weather made it a great day !"
"despite the torture of running this course again it's still one of my favourite events on the hill race calendar."
"the best organised and marshaled race I've been to" (we did check, they had been on more than one)
Note that this year (2013), the prizegiving will take place on the field. In case of inclement weather we are setting up an extra Marquee
The village has a small shop, a car park, and toilets available in the Inn. There is music in the Inn at Strathyre from Voice Box kicking off at 9pm .
One word of warning though - traffic through this popular tourist area, and especially Callander (A84 Stirling - Strathyre ) can be very busy on Bank Holidays so please allow an extra 30 - 60 minutes to pass through particularly with a larger than usual number of runners. Other routes to Strathyre are available.
The race starts at 1300 hrs.
We look forward to seeing you this year.
ipad & iphone users can now see the pictures on-line at picasa here
An update to the Marshals' web page gives a summary of thankyous and web page comments
There are some photos from start, finish & prizegiving. None yet from the stuc summit (can't think why!!!) and a couple from Ben Each. Not as many as usual because of the conditions and the ensuing drama, so apologies for that, but thanks to Tommy and everyone else who contributed for sticking with it. (Also apologies for the lack of Apple support - will endeavour to sort!)
Some adjustments have been made to the finishing times and placings. You can find them here. Slight technical hitch with the photos - I'll try and get them up as soon as poss.
Thank you all very much for taking the time to send an email - I'll get them together and make sure all the marshals get a chance to read them.
The results are in - Hector Haines of Hunters Bogtrotters came in 1st (2:11:11), Findlay Wild of Lochaber (2:18:30), and Andrew Fallas of Carnethy was 3rd (2:19:40). Charlotte Morgan (2:46:33) of Carnethy was first female, Eilidh Raistrick Hunters Bogtrotters (3:00:49) was 2nd and Ciara Largey of Cosmics Hillbashers was 3rd (3:02:05)
You can download the full results here
You can view the prizewinners here
You can view the stats here
More to come later
Weather update. Likely to be a bit of light rain throughout the duration of the race but the biggest threat today will be "Widespread gales over the higher slopes, with sever gales over the summits". Temperatures aren't high so it's going to be cold up there. (Yes I know you'll have climbed 4,000 ft by then.) It's also a westerly which means that the journey up might be against the wind as well. Enjoy. See also the course snow warning as well, below.
The course was marked both up to Beinn Each and to the top of Stuc a' Chroin today (Thursday). Stuc part is in surprisingly good nick considering the dodgy winter we've had and surprisingly dry underfoot but very cold with a 'brisk' wind. Currently raining quite hard so I don't think it'll be quite as dry on Saturday.
There is one snow patch though near to the top of the Stuc, is very steep (200% gradient?) and this is slushy on the top 1/2", and quite solid underneath so difficult to negotiate on the way up or down. Nasty landing at the bottom as well if you lose control so take care here.
Beinn Each was boggy in the usual places so a bit more predictable here.
Weather report. There's a brisk westerly blowing most of the rest of the week, including Saturday. Temperatures don't vary too much at ground level (about 110m) and don't get much above 10°C all week including Saturday. The mixed news is that although late Thursday and Friday are pretty soggy, Saturday looks like being relatively dry with a few spots of rain..
Less than one week to go and it seems unlikely that we'll get anything like settled weather this year. This week looks like there might be quite a bit of rain so it's likely to be quite wet underfoot.
The snow has largely gone (finally!) from the summit but it's still possible that there could be some in the gullies at the top and I wouldn't rule out additional snow falls at altitude this week although probably nothing too major.
Stuc a' Chroin will be marked on Thursday so we'll be able to assess conditions up top then.
The 2013 Stuc a' Chroin 5000 race has been selected for the scottishathletics (L) Championship race and one of the (2) Scottish Hill Runners (L) Championship Races.
Stuc a' Chroin 5000 confirmed for Saturday, 4th May 2013.
The beautiful villages of Strathyre, Balquhidder and Lochearnhead have a variety of accommodation including Guest Houses, Inns and Hotels, Chalets, Bed & Breakfasts and Caravan Sites.