Athletes out in force for double forest challenge

The inaugural Kirroughtree Hillbilly Duathlon in the Galloway Forest Park last weekend has been hailed a roaring success by participants, organisers and spectators who turned out to see the runners and bikers give it their all.

The challenge for the seniors taking part consisted of a 10km trail run followed by an 18km mountain bike around the forest trails using paths and forest road.

The start of the inaugural Galloway Hillbilly Duathlon at Kirrouightree. SGGY 190514 22

The start of the inaugural Galloway Hillbilly Duathlon at Kirrouightree. SGGY 190514 22

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre played host to the start/finish line and categories included pairs, individuals and juniors. On Saturday, MC Jim McDowall delivered commentary as the junior duathlon kicked off at 11am with the 8-11 age group. There were 26, mostly solo, entries with competitors in this race facing a short 500m run followed by a hilly three kilometre mountain bike route.

Taking first in the solo male category was Douglas Copeman in a time of 14 minutes 23 seconds with Jack Parker taking second place and Ben McMullen, third. Emily Hunter put in a fantastic effort to take first in the solo females in a time of 14:42 with Maria Stachnio scooping second place and Bronagh Beattie third. First team in the 8-11 category went to Ruby and William Graham.

In the 12-15 junior category there were 24 entries including 9 teams. The older junior category faced a tough course consisting of a 3km run followed by an 8km mountain bike section. Alistair Cannon took first in the male solo in a time of 43:55 with Barry McTeir taking second and Cameron Oliver third.

First female solo was won by Rosie Sinden in 54:03. First male team went to Sam Hodson and Callum Wrathall who recorded the fastest course time of 37:51. First female team was won by duo Maura Wilson and Eilidh Fisher in 52:49. Great prizes for all were supplied by Kirkcowan Cycles and MPG Cycles. A generous supply of yoghurts was also on offer supplied by Rowan Glen and bananas by Sainsbury’s.

On Sunday, the day began early for the Galloway Hillbillies and MC Bruce McKenzie also turned out early to build a good atmosphere with his commentary. By 11am almost 100 teams were lined up and ready for the off, taking to the hilly 10km run up to Bruntis and upwards still to the Larg Hill loop. Later on mountain bike riders headed out to complete the red route Seven Stanes trail. There were many local runners and riders on the podium for prizegiving. Among them Jim Haworth (Galloway Hillbillies) who took the fastest run time and third in the Male vets; Stuart Barr (Team 3B) who was second male vet home; Phil Nuttall (The Breakpad) who came third equal in the solo mens; Rowan Armstrong (Galloway Hillbillies) who won the female solo; Matthew Robinson and Bruce McCleary (Galloway Harriers/Galloway Hillbillies) who won male team; David Howat and Murray Kirk (2nd in male team); Norman Neilson and Jamie McCreath (3rd male team); Mark Wilcox and Kerstin Leslie (Next Level Bikes) who won the mixed team and Sally Pattinson and Ruth Asbery (The Breakpad) who won the female pairs.

Summarised results are shown here but for full results see