Hill runner number 45 in brown vest heading up heather hillside.

Crickmore up front. Credit: Selkirk Fund Runners

Jonathan Crickmore continued his winning streak in the Scottish hill racing calendar by smashing the Feel the Burns record.

Running for Hunters Bog Trotters (HBT), the staple in the early racing calendar saw Crickmore beat Mark Sutherland’s 2017 of 1:33.30 by over 5 minutes in 1:27.52.

According to Scottish Hill Racing, this year was the Burns’ most popular year, with 238 runners competing in a race which sold out before the start of 2019.

Crickmore said he had his eye on the record: “With the conditions being so good I knew there was a chance and I have been running respectably in some cross country, so I knew the fitness was there. It feels great to have the record and I was really happy with the way I raced with a quite a tough field as shown by the first four of us going under that record.”

The win means he has now won four SHR races on the trot (pun intended), with wins at Caerketton, Lomonds of Fife, Caerketton Downhill and now Feel the Burns.

Underfoot, conditions were dry and hard, and with only a brief interlude in the clouds the racing was fast from the off.

However, despite winning form, Crickmore reckons this weekend’s Devil’s Burdens relay race in Fife and the early February Carnethy 5 races will be more of a challenge.

“This weekend is the Devil’s Burdens relay in the Lomonds, where hopefully I can help HBT out. Then I have finally decided to run the legendary Carnethy 5. I feel this will be the end of my winning streak but there is a big sword to win in the team competition so we shall see what happens.”

After Carnethy, Crickmore says his usual target of the orienteering championships will be taking a backseat to allow him to focus on his PhD thesis and doing some hill races he has wanted to do for some time.

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Kirstin Maxwell of Gala Harriers. Credit: Selkirk Fund Runners

In the women’s race, it was Kirstin Maxwell (Gala Harriers) who took the victory over Gillian Cairns (Penicuik Harriers) in a time of 1:56.02. Scout Adkin’s 2014 record of 1:46.30 still stands strong.

The Feel the Burns race takes place in Selkirk and sees the runners cover a half marathon distance of 21.4km with 800m of climbing over Peat Law, the Three Brethren, Brown Knowe and Foulshiel Hill.

This year, the race organisers raised over £3000 for the Tweed Mountain Rescue Team.

All photos can be found on the Selkirk Fund Runners Facebook, with full results on the SHR website.

Posted by Ross Brannigan

“It is worth ascending unexiting heights if for nothing else than to see the big ones from nearer their own level.” - Nan Shepherd

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