Neil Page and Murdo Macleod took part in the 2008 running of the Heaven and Hell Half Marathon, so called because of the ascends to heaven and the descends to hell reflecting the challenging course. The run takes in a number of long steep climbs, including one of 400 feet and one of 700 feet, with corresponding steep descents. Not an easy course but both found it scenic, very rewarding and enjoyable. Recommended – could be that we get more members there next year. Thanks to Perth Road Runners for an excellent event. By the way, as no club had three male runners taking part, that particular prize wasn’t given out. Something to aim for next year?
Murdo wrote “Really enjoyed this. Wasn’t looking forward to it since I’d seen the profile and the weather was windy, bitterly cold and it had snowed the night before. We entered on the day (£10 + £1 late entry fee) at the race reception at the Hanger, Scone Airport. The Hanger is a modern function hall with toilets and bar. Areas had been set aside for changing and you could have a hot coffee while you waited. Needed it as the temperature outside was around zero before the wind-chill!
There was a short briefing before we set off to walk to the start which was a couple of hundred metres away across the main road on a quiet local road. There were numbered bags where you could leave your warm-up clothing and they’d be taken to the finish for collection. Simple and worked well. The route was on single track local farm roads, very quiet with minimal traffic. St Andrews were there to provide first aid cover on route and the run was well marshalled at every junction. There were water stops (bottles) at mile 5, 7 and 10. The hills were relatively steep, the first like the short side of Arthur, the second steeper in parts, each of about two miles from mile 2-4 and 8-10. I found the downhill’s just as hard as they were also steep in parts and there was always a fear you’d pick up to much momentum. It was very exposed at miles 10, cold and windy but elsewhere it wasn’t that bad once you’d warmed up.
The run itself was great fun, good size field (115) given the weather but never crowded and as the hills started at mile 2, it didn’t take long to spread out. I ended up walking a steep corner just before mile 9. It wasn’t that steep but it was constant. Finish was on a side road about a quarter mile from the hanger. Safe and functional. Short walk/run back to the Hanger (we got a lift) once you’d collected any left clothing. There was an excellent spread awaiting everyone in the hall – sandwiches, cakes, tea, coffee etc. Best I’ve seen. Goody bag included a Heaven and Hell bag, water, wafer, banana and crisps. No medal or t-shirt but for the money and especially the food, can’t complain at all. Along with a sizeable portion of runners, once changed and fed, we stayed for the awards ceremony – which was well handled.
Great sense of achievement on finishing. Given the terrain, very happy with my time but more importantly being involved in such a good natured and well organised run – thanks to all involved. If you haven’t done it before, put it in your calendar now for next year.”
Some photos below including some from Road Run Pics