Baddinsgill Round Hill Race 2013

Sunday 25th August, 10am
only £5 entry. Places are limited to 50
Online entry at

As I enjoy running in the hills so much I thought I'd organise a hill race so I could share this with others! And what better way to do so than a CAAC race in my local hills, the Pentlands.
The Pentlands, being such a great place for running, already has it's fair share of races, from the famously long Pentland Skyline and extremely popular Carnethy 5 to several mid-week Bog and Burn series races; but I wanted something a little different, covering new ground, so I have created a route in the much less trodden and remoter western end of the hill range.
While training for the LAMM a couple of years ago I regularly ran round the hills above Baddinsgill reservoir, and have grown to know and love these hills really well. Far fewer people venture out here, and it's common to not see another soul all day while out running over the tops. However access is easy from both West Linton and Little Vantage and there are reasonable hill tracks over almost all the hills making for decent running. The views, both north and east to the people studded main Pentland ridges, and to the south and west across Midlothian to the Borders and the Southern Uplands are excellent.
Read reviews/reports of last years race here.

The start is at the end of the public road at Baddinsgill Farm, which is approximately 2.5 miles up Medwyn Road from West Linton which is itself about 16 miles from Edinburgh along the A702.
Parking is limited in the area, so please share cars when possible. There are a few lay-bys along the final mile of the road for total of perhaps 4-5 cars, and space for perhaps 6 cars outside the logging station at end of the public road about 20m from the start area. There is also parking at the larger level area about 1 mile before the start next to the filter station. This is about 15 minutes walk from the start/finish area. (All these areas are marked on the map below)
There are no specific changing or toilet facilities at the start area, so please come prepared to race.
Enter on EntryCentral at Declaration, where you will be issued with your race number, is at the start area from 9am. Entries will be taken on the day but as places are limited to 50, your adviced to entry online asap. This also greatly helps with simplifying organisation.
Now in its second year of running, the race is being held under SHR race rules and is categorised as a BM race.

Route Description
The route is on faint hill tracks and sheep trods of some description pretty much all the way round (with the exception of the area around Wolf Crags between West Cairn and Byrehope Mount), making up much of the natural skyline of a circuit of the hills around Baddinsgill Reservoir. The ground covered is often soft, and largely over grass, heather or mossy terrain. It is 11.4 miles with 700m of height gain as measured using a garmin watch. There are 9 waypoints, all unchecked and unmarked, although there are 4 marshalled points. See the map below.
The start is at the junction of the Old Drove Road and the road leading to Baddinsgill house. From there is 1/4 mile of tarmac through the grounds to a gate (first waypoint, with a marshal) leading off right of the road to the open hillside. A well worn track leads up hillside towards Faw Mount. Before the summit of Faw Mount, near an enclosure (second waypoint, with a marshal), the track trends diagonally across the slope to the East crossing several wet areas, before becoming a broad obvious track running parallel to the fence line that rises to the summit of Mount Maw and trig point on the summit (third waypoint). This broad track continues along the ridge again, parallel to fence line, over more wet ground in places, passing Grain Heads, and onwards towards the summit of the Mount. The views east from here are excellent. Before the summit of the Mount the fence line bends sharply left (forth waypoint) beginning a descent over rough heather to very boggy ground around Deer Hope. Once across the boggy ground a long stone wall/fence line runs up and across the west side of Weather Law (avoiding the flat summit area) before another rough heather descent to Henshaw Mouth and more boggy ground. The wall continues on it's step ascent of the south shoulder of East Cairn. After a false summit and another small climb the summit ridge of East Cairn is reached. On the north side of the stone wall is a good, though often boggy, track running west all the way to the large stone cairn of the summit (fifth waypoint). From here care is need to pick the correct track that quickly steepens as it descents over rough heather and rocky ground to the Cauldstone Slap and the crossing of the Drove Road (sixth waypoint, half way, with a marshal, and escape route for those retiring). Crossing the style a often very wet track runs parallel to a fence and wall line west all the way up the big drag to the summit of West Cairn and its cairn and trig point next to a fence corner (seventh waypoint). A fainter track continues beside the fence line along the summit ridge of West Cairn before eventually turning south towards the large open heather covered moor of Wolf Crags. Here the track begins to peter out and the best line through the heather must be found before crossing the burns round Wolf Crags. Another long climb, picking the best route were possible reaches the fore summit of Byrehope Mount where a better, though still soft, track, running parallel to a fence line crossing more wet ground, eventually reaches the almost flat summit area and a bend in the fence line (eighth waypoint). The finish can be seen from here, but there is still 1 more hill to go! Over a fence (marshal) and a fast descent to the south passing several sheep feeding stations is all over too quickly before the final short sharp ascent of King Seats (ninth and final waypoint). Return briefly back towards the col and quickly decide which way to race round Lamb Rig (to the north, over the top, round to the south? Which is quicker?!) before a quick sprint across the open but rough ground to the finishing line and glory!
Did I mention the ground is usually soft and wet?! :-)

This is a hill race, with all that entails. It is not a trail or cross country race.
The route is not marked and there is no support out on the course.
Full body waterproof cover and map/compass are compulsory. There may be kit checks.
Rough terrain so fells shoes required.
You should be happy running in the hills and over rough and unmarked terrain and be prepared to be self reliant. You must know how to use your required map and compass. The area between West Cairn and Byrehope Mount, crossing through Wolf Crags can be a particular navigational challenge as it is open, with few if any tracks or features, and in poor visibility care should be taken to choose the correct line.
If you find others injured, distressed or in need of help please stop and assist even at expense of your own race.
If you withdraw or retire from the race you must let the race organiser know as soon as possible.
There is an escape point half way round the course where the Drove road is crossed that leads back to the start/finish area.
There are no suitable sources of drinking water on the route of the race. Water and bananas will be provided at the finish.

1st senior man (18-39) +  1st in every 10 year age bracket over 40
1st senior woman (18-39) + 1st in every 10 year age bracket over 40
(If at least 2 people racing have also run the Ochil 2000's Race the day before there may be a prize for the lowest combined time!)

Presentation will take place after the the last person finishes (probably no later than 2pm) in the Gordon Arms in West Linton. It's got a lovely bar, also serving food, with an outdoor beer garden, not far from the start/end. It's a great place for everyone to relax their weary legs while recounting tales of their race adventure!
Previous results can be found at here.

View ;text-align:left">Baddinsgill Round Hill Race in a larger map with full details.

Baddinsgill Round Map.pdf

Nick's picture

Only 6 days to go, and only

Only 6 days to go, and only 17 places left. Get your entries in now! I went out and recced the course yesterday, and after being dry and firm under foot for most of the hot summer the last couple of weeks of rain have returned it to its normal state of being shoe suckingly soft. It's wouldn't be the Baddinsgill Round if it wasn't! :-)
Nick's picture

Prize winners were:

Prize winners were: 1st senior male: Fergus Johnston (1:38:49) 1st V50 male: Peter Buchanan (1:46:53) 1st V40 male: Adam Anderson (1:51:24) 1st V40 female: Hilary Holding (2:01:15) 1st senior female: Fiona Drake (2:17:22) 1st V50 female: Andrea Pogson (2:28:55) Lowest combined time with Ochil 2000's: David Dickson (3:38:25 + 2:20:41 = 5:59:06)
Nick's picture

Race reports:

Race reports: -A great report by Peter Buchanan and his usual set of photos from during the race (clearly didn't slow his running , taking third place). -Report from Moorfoor Runners, including an excellent aerial photo of the eastern part of the race route.
Christopher's picture

Great work organising Nick,

Great work organising Nick, and some really positive feedback again. Thanks for doing all the hard work and for the idea in the first place. From the photos looks like all the CAACthletes had fun too!
Jan-Bert's picture

The day had started so

The day had started so brightly. I’d got up in good spirits and even having to pick up Tim and Fiona before 9am on a Sunday morning had not managed to put a dampener on the day. The chat in the car was upbeat and jovial and I had decided I was going to be in for a good day. That is until I turned off the A702 at West Linton and started driving towards Baddingsgill farm. It started to dawn on me I was actually going to run up these hills…….not altogether surprising as this is the Baddingsgill HILL race.   Tim, who is a very experienced and very good hill runner had told me not to warm up as the first climb would get all my muscles nicely prepared for the next 11 miles. Fiona warned me not to follow her as her navigational skills are sometimes a bit shaky. I had decided that she was playing mind games with me as she had done the course before and was  - somewhat harshly DQed at her first outing for missing the last hill. Surely she wouldn’t get lost this time……..   Still after a short briefing from organiser Nick – who informed us he trusted us to navigate ourselves correctly and fairly around the course we were sent on our way. The first half mile was decent, however not until mile 9.5 was there much chance for getting much running rhythm going. This is a challenging hill race with many hills! Steep hills with a lot of spongy ground and when the ground isn’t spongy, it’s heathery, and if it is not heathery it’s pretty uneven. Now you might be thinking I’m not selling the course very well. Well possibly not, I am just recounting what I found – a pretty tough and challenging hill race expertly organised and well marshalled by a courteous and friendly bunch of CAAC'ers.   During the race there were points where I considered that this just wasn’t my kind of thing, but I stuck in followed Fiona, got lost, found my way back. Was encouraged to stay ahead of Dave Law, failed to do that and eventually finished the thing! If you like hill running this is your race. It has everything you would desire of a hill race, challenging climbs, tricky conditions underfoot and stunning countryside to enjoy as you are darting round it. If you are a bit of a novice like me, it reminds you just how amazing hill runners are, what strength stamina and agility these people must have! So for me that’s a whole load of other things to work on then! Will I be back next year, I reckon I will, I am not going to let a course like this get the better of me. It’s a challenge, but a challenge I – kind of – enjoyed!   Well done to Fiona for coming 1st senior female, all the other CAACers and everyone who took part. A great race on a lovely day and perhaps by the end of the week my legs might feel quite normal as well!