Willie Stobie took part in this year’s event, finishing in an excellent time while having a good day out. Well done! Link to the event website at 7 Hills which has a lot more details, photos etc.
Willie said: “The 7 Hills is a unique event – a hill race, with a nod to orienteering, set in a city. It’s one city race that every Edinburgh-based runner should do at least once. The varied route includes tarmac, trails, paths, scrambling and the odd stream to cross. Participants must navigate their way from the start at the top of Calton Hill to the tops of Castle Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hills, Blackford Hill, Arthur’s Seat and squeeze out a final spurt back up Calton Hill to the finish. There is no set route, other than doing the hills in this order, but an optimal route is about 14 miles. At the top of each hill there is a uniquely patterned punch, with which you mark your number.
A record entry (over 300) completed the course this year, in ideal conditions. This was the 30th year the event had been held. Most people enter the challenge, which starts half an hour before the race. To enter the race you should be capable of a sub-1:40 half-marathon. This means that ordinary mortals like us get to see the frighteningly fast folk cranking it up the near-vertical earth cliff at the back of Craiglockhart Sports Centre.
There is a relaxed and friendly feel to the event, added to by the sunny picnic atmosphere on the top of Calton Hill. The water stations were well stocked and had dried fruit as well. There was decent food at the end too – quiche, apple pie, muffins – so much better than a goody bag containing a dry cereal bar and a small sample of teabags. The various views of the city were stunning. Afterwards, I repaired to the Beer & Cider Festival at the Sheep Heid which, all in all, made for a very agreeable day. Of course, I was very….very….drunk…..“