Penchrise Pen Hill race …
Penchrise is a little known hill nestled near Hawick , full of history and with an epic view on a bright day. It is also the main feature in my local hill race “The Penchrise Pen race” , a relatively new hill race organised by Keith Murray, one of the borders finest hill runners , a man who can climb hills like a Kenyan runs the flat. Keith has found a little gem with his race and I’m sure it will gain in popularity once word gets around. As a fledgling hill runner and a training buddy of Keith I had looked forward to it for a while, so it was with sadness that I could not run on the day due to the tendinitis in my knee. Not to miss out entirely I went along to help out and I was lucky enough to Marshall from the summit on what was one of the nicest days of the year.
The race starts at the old Stobs camp near Hawick GR500094 , it was the base of a military camp from 1903 and later became a prisoner of war camp during the second world war , loads of info and pictures can be found here: Stobs camp . Nowadays it’s used for everything from Mini Rallys , a quiet place to practice reversing your caravan and even teaching your kids to drive for the first time , none the less a beautiful setting and the perfect staging post for this cracking hill run.
The race would start at the camp and head up towards Penchrise following cattle trails and sheep trods before heading steeply up to pass Barnes loch before joining a rough track for a short distance before veering up to the summit of Penchrise to touch the trig point and head down the other side dropping all the way home. The run at only a little over 8 km and a pretty gentle climb of only 280 metres its pretty easy in comparison to a lot of hill races in the calendar but with the beautiful setting and the easy access it is definitely a race worth doing , a great introduction for a novice or a speed trial for a seasoned campaigner, you can go as hard as you can for the top, see what you have in your legs and once you get there grab a few seconds of that view before tearing down the other side for home … a race day that everyone is sure to enjoy.
This years date for the race although perfect for the late good weather was also the day after the Two Breweries hill race over at Traquair , an 18 mile hill-fest of epic proportions so it was always going to be a tough call for entries , however a decent amount of dedicated runners arrived including several Two Brewery racers going for the double crown and a bunch of local stalwarts from the Teviotdale harriers, it would definitely be a closely fought race at the front and a great day out at the back .The weather was a beautiful cool sunny day so visibility was to be outstanding and the views would be enjoyed to the full.
I headed up to the summit to set up my marshalling station (get my camera out) … and below are a few shots from the day . A great race ! with fabulous cake …