More Scottish Hill Running Stars

 

The Ben

The wonderful world of hill running has produced many top class runners, most with their own individual take on sport which is different from the attitude adopted by track and road runners.   As an example of this there was the international hill runner who was asked to run for his club in a track race and replied, “I’m sorry but  I don’t need to run on the track to know I’m fast; I just know within myself that I’m fast.   That’s enough.”   The runners on this page have done enough to prove anything that needs to be proved, all top class runners. some of whom have run over the country or on the road but all are in the main hill people.   Some will be the subject of full profiles elsewhere on the site.   The list is not comprehensive and will grow as the weeks and months go by.   Colin Youngson has compiled the following notes.

Go to the Scotstats website. At the top of the page, click on Competition, then on Off Track and then on Mountain, to find many facts about the international achievements of Scottish hill runners. 

Catriona Buchanan (Ochil Hill Runners)

Scottish Hill Running Champion 2010, 2012, 2018. Ran for Scotland in the Junior Women race at 2007 World Mountain Running Trophy; and then for GB in the same event in 2009 (7th, first Briton, team bronze). In the Commonwealth Mountain Running Championships, Catriona contributed to Scottish team silver in 2011. She won the prestigious Snowdon Mountain International event in 2010 and led Scotland to team silver. She finished second in 2011 and Scotland secured team gold. In the 2017 Home Countries International, Catriona finished second and Scotland secured team silver

Claire Gordon (Hunters Bog Trotters)

She ran as a Senior Woman in the World Mountain Running Trophy in 2006 and 2008. In the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge, she made 6 successive appearances 2009-2014. Best position 4th in 2013; team medals – silver 2013; bronze in 2010, 2011. In the 2009 Commonwealth Mountain Running Championships, Claire contributed to Scottish team silver. In the 2006 Snowdon Mountain International event, Claire finished 5th and Scotland secured team silver. In the 2013 Home Countries International, she was fifth and Scotland won team silver.

Catriona Graves (Garscube Harriers, Edinburgh University, Carnethy)

She ran for GB Junior Women in the European Mountain Running Championships in: 2013 (6th, first Briton, team silver); 2014 (7th, second Briton, team silver); and 2015 (33rd, fourth Briton).  Catriona Graves also ran for GB in the Junior Women event at the World Mountain Running Championships: 2013 (6th, third Briton, team gold); and 2014 (5th, first Briton). As a Junior, between 2012 and 2018, Catriona Graves ran cross-country seven times for Scotland (in the Celtic Nations event and the Home Countries International). She won the Scottish National under-15 title in 2012; under-17 in 2013 and 2014. In the 2016 Scottish Cross-Country Relay Championships, Catriona was part of the winning Edinburgh University team. In the 2021 British Hill Running Championships (Senior Women), she finished 6th and contributed to Scotland team gold.

Anna Macfadyen (Forres Harriers, Edinburgh University)

In 2016, Anna won the Scottish National under 17 XC title. She was first in the North District XC championships, won the Scottish Schools XC and ran for Scotland in the Czech Republic, finishing seventh in the International Mountain Running Youth Cup. In 2017 Anna won the Scottish Schools XC title again; was second in the under 20 National XC; won the Celtic Games/GB Cross Challenge in Cardiff; and then won the English Inter Counties XC/GB Cross Challenge outright in Loughborough, which ensured GB selection for the Junior Women race in the World Cross-Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, where she finished 48th (third Briton). Also in 2017, Anna ran: 3km on the road for a Senior Scotland team, which lost to England but beat Ireland and Northern Ireland; and for GB in the Junior Women category of the European Mountain Running Championships, finishing 7th (second Briton) and contributing to team gold. In 2018, having: won the Scottish National Under-20 XC title and led EU to team gold, and subsequently having run for Scotland as a Junior Woman in the 2018 Home Countries XC (the team came second to England but beat Wales and several other teams); Anna raced for GB in the Junior Women category of the World Mountain Running Championships. She finished 29th and third Briton. Anna also ran in the 2018 European Mountain Running Championships (individual silver, first Briton, team silver). In 2018 and 2019, Anna Macfadyen won the under-20 Scottish Short Course XC title.

Christine Menhennet (Bellahouston, Clydesdale, Westerlands ) has been and is a superb hill runner over all  distances at home and abroad, including the Australian Island Peaks race.   She has summed up her career as follows:

I also became a successful mountain runner; I held several ladies’ records, have been Scottish Ladies’ Champion (1995), have won paired adventure races and have competed at International level. The Scottish hills are my playground; I have also trekked in the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Dolomites, Corsica, the Andes and the Himalayas. I love everything about the mountain and hill environment – the shattered peaks, the squidgy bogs, the changing light, the dark burns and the fragile flowers. I climb, trek, run, camp and bothy in the hills, and have done so for over 40 years. I was a founder member of Scottish Hill Runners, have been Ladies Captain of Westerlands Hill Running Club and I am a member of the Mountain Training Association and Mountaineering Scotland. 

                                                                                                           Charlotte Morgan

In the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships, running for GB, Charlotte Morgan (Carnethy Hill Runners) took part in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In June 2018 Charlotte ran brilliantly to become World Champion and led her team to silver medals. Earlier that year, Charlotte (born in 1976) became Scottish Masters Cross-Country Champion. In December 2018, she was named  Scottish Athletics Masters Athlete of the Year. Back in 2013, she won the Scottish Hill Running Championship. In 2014, Charlotte was third in the prestigious Snowdon Mountain International and led Scotland to team gold.

                                                                                        Bev Redfern: Buttermere Horseshoe 2018 

Beverley Redfern (Carnethy Hill Runners).

She was born in 1956 in Malta; but later became a teacher in Fife. In the 1990 World Mountain Running Trophy, Bev won a superb individual gold medal, when the Scottish team secured bronze medals. Bev won the Ben Nevis race (1989), broke the Ben Lomond Hill Race record (1990), and won Coniston Fell (1993) and the famous Sierre Zinal (1993). Years later, Bev returned to hill-running.

Joyce Salvona (Law & District, Livingston AC) Born 14/3/1958.

Joyce (or Jackie) ran for Scotland in five successive World Mountain Running Trophy championships (1988-1992). In 1990, along with Bev Redfern, Tricia Calder and Jane Robertson, she contributed to team bronze.

 John Brooks (Lochaber AC)

John was North District Cross-Country Champion in 1992 and 1993; in 1995, he equalled the Tinto Hill Race record; and in 1997 set the Creag Dhubh record. Between 1991 and 1994, John won the Scottish Junior Hill Running Championship four times in succession. He was Senior Scottish Hill Running champion in 1997 and 2000. In the World Mountain Running Trophy (running for Scotland as a Junior Man) John finished 33rd in 1991 but was first Scot in 1992 (8th and team bronze), 1993 (6th) and 1994 (5th). John also ran for Scotland as a Senior Man in 1998. John raced for his country in the 1996 European Mountain Running Trophy (first Scot in 14th place)

Iain Donnan (Aberdeen AAC)

He raced particularly well for Scotland in the Junior Men category of the World Mountain Running Trophy, finishing 4th in 2003 and 6th in 2004. Back in 2001, he had run well for Scotland as an under-17 in the Celtic Nations XC.

Alan Farningham (Fife, Aberdeen, Gala) won the Scottish Hill Running Championships in 1988 and 1991. He was second in 1985 and 1986; and third in 1989. In the late 1980s, he was Secretary of the Scottish Hill Running Association. Races that Alan won included: Craig Dubh; Tinto; Tiso Seven Hills; and Eildon Two Hills. He gained top three placings in many other events. In his 1988 Scottish Championship win, he gained more points than good hill runners like Denis Bell, Des McGonigle ….. and even Colin Donnelly and Jack Maitland. Alan ran for Scotland in the World Mountain Running Trophy (Senior Men) in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1991. His best position was 26th in 1988, when the team finished fourth.

Jethro Lennox (Shettleston H). Born 6 December 1976.

He was Scottish Hill Running champion in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

In the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge, Jethro Lennox won individual gold in 2008. The Scottish team was third in 2009 (when he was first Scot in 10th); and won team gold in 2011 (when he was fourth). In the World Mountain Running Trophy (Long Course) championship, Jethro ran for Scotland in 2007 and 2008 (when he was first Scot). In 2017 and 2018, Jethro won the M40 Scottish Masters Cross-Country Championships.

Jethro Lennox: Dumyat 2008

 Dermot McGonigle (Dundee Hawkhill H, Shettleston H)

He was Scottish Hill Running champion in 1986 and 1996. In the World Mountain Running Trophy (Short Course), competing for Scotland, Dermot finished first Scot in 1988, second Scot in 1987 and 1990 (when he was 18th) and third Scot in 1991 and 1992. Running for Scotland, Dermot finished 20th in the 1996 European Mountain Running Championship.

 Phil Mowbray (Hunters Bog Trotters)

As a Junior Man, Phil ran twice for Scotland in the World Mountain Running Trophy. In 1992 he finished 9th and contributed to team bronze. In the European Mountain Running Trophy, Phil ran for Scotland in 1999. When he was aged between 34 and 48, Phil raced in many Scottish Hill races, nearly always finishing near the front.  

Tom Owens (Mercia Fell, Shettleston H). Born about 1982.

In 2011, Tom won the Mourne Peaks race, including the British Long Race Championships. He was Scottish Hill Running Champion in 2015 and 2016. In the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships, running for Scotland, he finished second individual in 2011 and contributed to a marvellous team gold. Racing for GB, Tom was fourth (1st GB) in 2016 and contributed to team silver. In 2017 he was fifteenth but still first finisher for his team. In 2018, Tom was 25th in the World Trail Running Championships; and in 2019, fourth in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.

Brian Potts (Clydesdale Harriers, 9 June 1962)

Brian was an excellent club runner who really found his event when he took to the hills.   Brian won races such as Kaim Hill, Tinto, Melantee, and Half Ben, in addition to taking part in cross-border ‘raids’.  His level of consistency was indicated when he won the Midweek League (Whangie, Dumyat, Kilpatricks, Ben Sheann and Cort-ma-Law).  When he won Kaim Hill in 1988, the Scottish Hill Runner commented that “solid performances in both uphill and downhill brought a well deserved victory.”   (Second was Alan Farningham, third was Dermot McGonigle).   Brian ran for Scotland several times –  at the World Mountain Running Championships in 1989 and 1991 and there were others.  He enjoyed every one of them.   

Prasad Prasad (Clydesdale Harriers, Squadra Porcini)

Callander-based Prasad is a cyclist as well as a hill runner who has represented Scotland internationally in the Commonwealth Hill Running Championships (2008), Snowdon (2008), and the Home Countries International in 2010.   He also won the Scottish Hill Running Championships in 2010.   Between 15th June 2005 and 13th February 2016, he competed in 53 races and won 33 and had 6 second places.   He has won all of the Trossachs hill races – Ben Ledi, Ben Sheann, Stuc a Chroin, Lochearnhead, Tarmachan, Callander Crags (winter and Callander Crags (summer).   He also has victories at Tinto, Carnethy, Dumyat, Ben Lomond and many other of the classics.  

 Chris Smith (1977-2020)) Aberdeen AAC, Thames Valley Harriers.

Born in Daviot, Aberdeenshire, Chris took up cross-country running as a schoolboy at Inverurie Academy. As a Junior, he went on to run cross-country for Scotland twice, in 1994 and 1996. On the track, he won the Scottish Schools Group A 2000m Steeplechase in 1995. In 1999, he won the Senior Scottish 3000m Steeplechase title. In the European Mountain Running Championships, Chris Smith ran for GB five times: 2012 (Turkey), 2013 (Bulgaria), 2015 (Portugal), 2016 (Italy) and 2017 (Slovakia). His best position was 8th (second Brit) in 2013, when the team won silver medals. Chris also contributed to team silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016. In the British Athletics Mountain Running Championships, Chris Smith won silver in 2017 and bronze in 2015 and 2016. He won the Snowdon Mountain International in 2016 and, representing England, the Home Countries International in 2017.

Chris Smith

Tragically, Chris died from hypothermia, having become lost during a very cold training run in Glen Lyon, a remote, mountainous area of Scotland. Tributes were given to him as a fine runner, enthusiastic, selfless team-mate and true gentleman. A fund has been set up in his name to support promising young runners.

 Joe Symonds (Dundee HH, Kendal, Shettleston H). Born 1983.

He was Scottish Hill Running champion in 2016 and 2021; and 2012 British Fell Running champion. As a Senior, Joe ran for Scotland in the World Mountain Running Trophy championship in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. He finished first Scot on three occasions, including a brilliant fourth place (same time as the bronze medallist) in 2007. In 2008, running for Scotland, Joe was 9th in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge. In the 2009 and 2012 WMR Championships, Joe represented GB teams. In the World Cup series, he was third in 2007. In the 2007 and 2008 European Mountain Running Championships, he ran for GB. In the Commonwealth Hill Running Championships, racing for Scotland, Joe won individual bronze in 2011 and contributed to team silver.

Neil Wilkinson

Neil came originally from Helensburgh but lived for many years in England. In the World Mountain Running Trophy (Long Course), Neil ran for Scotland in 1993 (first Scot in 15th place), 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 (first Scot again). In the European Mountain Running Trophy, Neil ran for Scotland in 1999, 2000 (7th place, team silver) and 2001. Neil won the Snowdon Mountain International in 1999 and 2000. Later, Neil became an England Mountain Running team manager.

In the 2019 European Mountain Running Championship, 23-year-old Jacob Adkin (Edinburgh University, Keswick) secured an excellent individual gold. He was backed by fellow Scots Robbie Simpson (7th) and Andy Douglas (9th) and GB won team gold.)

Jacob Adkin

 

 

 

Angela Mudge: The Photographs 3: Presentation Ceremonies

World Mountain Running Trophy, Gros Glockner, Bergen, 2000

Angela win; Isabella Zaitkowszca (Poland 2nd), Ludmilla ???(Slovakia,  3rd)

World Mountain Running Trophy, 2001

European Mountain Running Trophy

European MRT

 

Alaska WMRT: AM 2nd and Tracey Brindley 3rd (1st Team) and Lynne Wilson

Team in white France? Team in red Austria??

WMRET, Bergen: Angela 1st with Birgit Suntag Germany 2nd, Isabella Zatakowski Poland 3rd

Three Peaks

Photographs 1     Photographs  2

..

 

….

Angela Mudge: The Photographs 2: The Runner

 

Alaska WMRT: Melissa Moon ( NZ) leading Angela 

 

The European MRT 1999.

Sierre-Zinal: at the highest point of the race 

Copyright: W Stinn

Edinburgh WMRT:  Arthur’s Seat

World Cross-Country, Belfast

World Cross-Country, Belfast

Denis suggests that this one could be Reunion ’98 or Borneo ‘99

Sore injury in sunny Madeira

 

Photographs  1          Photographs 3

Angela Mudge: The photographs: 1

Three Peaks Race, 1999:  “Still pushing hard in the closing stages

 

 

Rear L to be R : Andrew Lemoncello, Phil Davis (team mgr), Graeme Bartlett, Chris Robison( team mgr behind)? Kyle Greg, Graham Bee? Iain Donnan 
front L to R:  John Newsom, Andrew Lenoncello, Angela, Tracey Brindley, (with tammy) ???, Sarah Blake…
 

Tasmanian Boat Race: Angela and Joyce Salvona

Rear L to R: RSonia Armitage, immediately behind Peter Dymoke, John Hepburn, Colin Donnelly, ???, Graeme Bartlett, Alan Milligan, Grant Stewart
Front L to R: Sue Ridley, Megan Smith, Elspeth and Peter Baxter ( team managers), Angela, Helene Diamantides
 

 

Angela, David Rodgers? Mark Rigby, possibly one of the juniors? Martin Hyman, (behind )Alan Milligan? Tracey Brindley, (Helene Diamantides behind flag) ‘Chunky’ Andrew Liston (with flag) and Megan Smith

 

 

 

 

Behind flag in fireground –
L to R:   Peter Dymoke?, Sonia Armitage,  junior??,  Alistair Anthony, Tommy Murray, Alistair Lorimer ( team Mgr), Penny Rother, Billy Brooks ( junior), David Weir(behind) then Dermot McGonigle

Photographs  2     Photographs  3

Angela Mudge: The Injury Troubled Years

Event 2004 2005 2009 2010 FV40 2011 FV30 2014 FV40 2015 FV40 2016 FV40 2017 FV40 2018 FV40 Note
Stuc a Chroin - - 1st 20 of 255 0/a2:29:00 - - - - - -
Dumyat - - 1st - - - - - - - 20/255 o/a
Bens of Jura - - 1st 10 o/a 4:23:46 1st 20 0/a3:59:11- - - - - -
Carnethy - - - 1st 57:25 - - - - ran not raced 5th 64:07
Ben Nevis - - - 1st 1:51:14 31 o/a - - - - -
High Peak Marathon - - - 16th - - - - - Vet Ladies team w H Dawe F Maxwell A Priestly
FRA relay Luss - - - - - - ??? -
Tinto - - - - - - - 2nd 37:07 1st 37:15 21 o/a
Braveheart Triathlon - - - - - - - - 1st 6:51:50 24/150 o/a -
Cale Wrath Marathon - - - - - - - 1st
Meall nan Tarmachan - - - - - - 1st 1:02:20 12 o/a - -
Chapelgill. - - - - - - - - - - 3rd 24:19 34 o/a 1st J Stephen 23:19; 2nd S Provan
Celtman Tri - - - - - - - - - ???
Ben Resipol - - - - - - - - - 2nd
Kirk Crags - - - - - - - - - 1st 12 0/a

Early Years   Cross-Country   Hard Racing Years 1   Hard Racing Years 2

Angela Mudge: The Hard Running Years 2

2001 – 2019

Event 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2011 2012 2013 2018 2019 note
Euro Mtn Trophu 2nd Slovenia 5 o/a Madeira 2nd Trento - - - - - - - - Trento uphill only
WMRT 5th Italy - 2nd 20th NZ 2nd 2005 - - - - - team 2nd 2003&2005
Berglauf GP 2nd - - - - - - - - - - Sierre-Zinal
Berglauf GP 1st - - - - - - - - - - Innsbruck
WMRT 3rd 1st Innsbruck - - - - - - 0 - - 2001 – 6 races/275 pts
KIMM Series - 1st - - 6th - - - - -
Glas Tuleachain - 1st rec - - - - - - - - - 7th o/a
Stuc a Chroin - 1st rec - 1st. - - 1st - - - -
Cowal HG - 1st - - - - - - - -
Dunyat - 1st - 1st 1st - - - - - -
Donnard Commedagh - 1st - - 1st - - - - - - 06 GB Champ
Bens of Jura - 1st rec 1st rec - - 1st - 1st Vet rec - - - -
Event 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2011 2012 2013 2018 2019 Note
Traprain Law - 1st rec - - - - - - - - - -
Seven Hills of Edinburgh - 1st rec - - - - - - - -
Carnethy - - 1st - 1st rec 56:19 1st rec 56:09 1st rec 55:13 1st 57:45 FV40 21 o/a 1st FV40 rec 56:03 19 0/a 5th FV40 64:07 83 o/a 1st FV40 60 o/a -
Mourne Mtns - - 1st - - - - - - -
WMRT 5th(Italy) - 2nd Sco team 1st 20th Wellington Sco 2nd - - - - - - -
World Masters - - - 1st O35 - 1st O40 - - - -
GRABS Uphill GP - - - 1st - - - - - - -
SHI (duathlon?) - - - 3rd - - - - - -
Scottish Islands Boat Race - - - 1st - - - - - - - w Geraint Florida-James
Pikes Peak - - - 1st - - - - - - - 4th o/a
Cathkin Braes - - - - 1st - - - - - -
Morven - - - - 1st - - - - - - -
Kaim - - - - 1st - - - - - - -
White Tops - - - - 1st - - - - - - -
Coniston - - - - 2nd - - - - - - Lost in Mist!
Moffat Chase - - - - 1st - - - – - -
Creag Dhu - - - - 1sst - - - - - - -
Dollar (Med) - - - - 1st - - - - - - -
Whangie Whizz - - - - 1st - - - - - - -
Ben Lomond - - - - 1st - - - - - - Sco Champs one-off
World Sky-Running - - - - 1st* 1st - - - - - *won all races/note below
Event 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2011 2012 2013 2018 2019 Note
Aonach Mor - - - - - 1st - - - - - -
Ben Nevis - - - - - 1st 1st? - - - -
Highland Cross - - - - - 1st - - - - - 20 mi run/30 mi bike
Tinto - - - - - 1st - 1st - - - -
Cort-ma-Law - - - - - 1st - - - - - -
Anniversary Waltz - - - - - 1st - - - - -
Bergamo Marathon - - - - - 1st - - - - -
Sierre-Zinal - - - - - 1st - - - - - -
Trans Alps - - - - - 1st Mixed Team - - - - 8 day racing across the Alps w Ben Bardsley
Ultra World Tral Champs/Fr - - - - - 2nd - - -. - - - GB Team
Commonwealth Champs - - - - - - 2nd - - - - Ultra& Mtn running 54 K
Trans Rockies Ultra - - - - - - ** - - - - Partner dropped out so stand-in ran
High Peak - = - - - - 1st - 1st - - 1st team record
Tap o Noth - - - - - - - - 1st - -
Ochils 2000 - - - - - - - - 1st - -
Run of the Mill - - - - - - - - 1st - -
Event 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2011 2012 2013 2018 2019 Note
Birnam - - - - - - - - - - 1st -
Cioch Mor - - - - - - - - - - 2nd -
Canter - - - - - - - - - - 2nd -
Pen Run - - - - - - - - - - 1st International Skyline in Czech
Celtman Tri - - - - - - - - - - 98th o/a;3rd FV
Arrochar Alps - - - - - - - - - - 1st L/LV 23 o/a 4:07:15
The Brack - - - - - - - - - - 1st 7th o/a 1:03:05
Kirk Crags - - - - - - - - - - 1st 11th o/a 45:00 -

2006: World Sky Running: won all races, broke all records except Kinabalu

 

Early Years   Cross-Country   Hard Running Years 1      Injury Troubled Years

Angela Mudge: Cross Country

1995 – 2002

Angela also had a very good career as a cross-country runner running in all the major championships domestically at club, unioversity, national and international levels.   It would doubtless have been even more impressive had she not chosen to exercise her talents in other branches of the sport. 

Event 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2002
East District 4th 8th 1st - - 1st
National 12th 9th - - 1st** 2nd
Inter District 8th - - - - -
Stormont SHI - - - - 18th 11th
Inter-Counties -. - - - 1st 7th 4th?
World Cross Belfast - - - - 45th -
SA 4K - - - - - 1st

** with Cupar

2003 – 2020

Event 2003 2004 2006 2007 2011 2013 2014 2020 Note
East District 1st 2nd** - - - - - - **1st McColgan
National 4th 3rd 4th 3rd - - - - -
Masters - - - - 1st (Kircaldy) 3rd 1st (Hawick) 2nd {Johnstone) 1stLV45
Five Mills Cross Country - - - 15th - - - - Sco Int'list

 

Back to  the early years   Forward to the hard running years  1   and   Hard running years 2   The Injury Troubled Years

Angela Mudge: The Early Years

We have Angela’s early years of running here and then her career thereafter deals with  Cross Country Running,   The Hard Running Years on two pages and as with all runners there were years plagued with injuries and we also have the racing done during the Injury Ridden Years.

Event 1992 1993 1994 Notes
Carnethy5 5th 2nd 1994 with Carnethy
Angus Munros 1st
Scottish Champs 5th - - w Ochil
Ben Sheann - 2nd 2nd
Calderdale Way (Stage 4) - - 2nd team 6 stage relay w H Diamantidea
Lairig Ghru - - 2nd w Ochil
Pentland Skyline - - 2nd
Tinto - - 2nd
Knockdhu International - - 6th Scotland 1st team
Stuc a Chroin - - 2nd
Dumyat - - 2nd

 

Angela Mudge  Cross-Country   The Hard Racing Years  1   The Hard Racing Years  2   The Injury Troubled Years

Back to       Angela Mudge: A Special Person

Angela Mudge: An Overview of Adventures by Angela in November 2021

Travels

In 2000 after winning the World Trophy, Adam Ward (Carnethy) and I set off to New Zealand for nearly 6 months via Borneo to race in Mount Kinabalu.   The ladies race was going to the summit (the first time in a number of years) but unfortunately a monsoon hit, the trails were treacherous and we only raced to the half way point Laban Rata, a mountain refuge.   I  ‘finished’ as first woman.

We then spent a month in Oz before hitting the trails of New Zealand. We found very few races out there but made the most of the great walks, travelling extensively on both North and South Islands, running and backpacking various trails.

When I returned to the UK I spent a short time in Scotland before heading out to the Alps on my bike, to train and compete for the Summer.

2000 to 2002  I cycle toured round the Alps stopping at various locations to race and train.

In 2003 I spent the Summer training in Colorado, before heading to Alaska for the World Trophy, then competing in Pikes Peaks Marathon (1st lady) that Summer. 

In 2006 I inherited some dogs, so from then on I took the car when I spent an extensive period training and racing in the Alps. 

 Cycle touring 

When I’m injured I normally turn to the bike and go cycle touring, and that became more common after 40! 

South America

From Oct 2009 to April 2010  I cycled down South America with Steve Bottomley, a hill runner from Pudsey and Bramley (Leeds club).

I spent 6 months clinging on to Steve’s back wheel, a far stronger cyclist than me.

We set off from Quito, Ecuador and finished in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego…..passing through Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina along the way.

It was an amazing experience, passing through some very harsh landscapes at high altitudes and experiencing ‘communities’ poverty’ for long stretches of the way.

We didn’t plan a route before the trip, just made it up as we went along, using recommendations from other cyclists and trying to avoid the impossible winds.

Several friends said you don’t want to cycle in Patagonia, the winds are strong, that was an understatement some days you couldn’t even sit on your bike without being blown over!! Other days the tailwind gave an exhilarating cycle……

Along the way we stopped at various mountains, volcanoes, to climb them and do a bit of running. We got into the routine of 100 mile plus days which was pretty hard going for days on end at altitude.

We stayed in hostels and camped along the way. 

Great Divide

In March 2014 I tore my Spring ligament (whilst reccy’ing for the LAMM (Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon) in Strath Carron hills) and was unable to run for a very long time.

In mid August 2014 I set off to cycle the Continental Divide with Anna Lupton an English hill runner.

The route starts in Banff, Canada and follows the watershed across the Rocky Mountains to the New Mexico – Mexico border.

There is a continuous race along the trail but we chose to pack heavy, i.e. cycle with the traditional overloaded panniers and take our time.

The route is nearly 3000 miles and travels down the backbone of the Rockies, British Colombia, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico.

For very long stretches there are no amenities so you have to carry four or five days worth of food and even several days worth of water in some stretches.

In these very remote areas, the route map gave information about where you could find water and food.

It’s unlike anything else I’ve experienced, travelling vast distances across high desert in boiling temperatures through the day, then freezing at night.

We quickly learnt to camp low! Most of the route follows dirt tracks, approx 20% of the route is on road, the majority on gravel, and a bit of single track.

When we reached New Mexico we thought it was going to get easier and didn’t appreciate that we still had days left of cycling above 2000m and had to contend with the rainy season which left the dirt roads impassable.

The mud clogging up the mechanisms.

Luckily the Aspens were changing to Autumnal colours which made it all worth while.

We were cycling for about 6 weeks and spent over 75% of this time camping rough and getting very smelly.

I love the nomadic nature of a long tour where you set off but never know where you will end up that night.

Iron Curtain Trail

In 2015 after an ankle operation on my ‘spring ligament’, I did very little competitive running so headed off on the bike to cycle some of the Iron Curtain Trail.

This runs along the ‘old’ Iron Curtain, following the boundary as closely as possible.

I started in Norway and spent 6 weeks heading south, no planned destination, just phoned Adam (Ward) to book me a ticket home when I was five weeks into the trip.

I travelled down the length of Finland, across Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and finished in Vienna, Austria.

I’d never visited the Baltic nations before so it was interesting to experience a different culture and see the contrasts with the Europe I know.

The route followed the old East – West German border; even today you can witness how much poorer the East is.

To this day I’m still unsure why I cycled over 1000km through the forests of Finland, the road surface was perfect, but the scenery  very repetitive and the mosquitos a nightmare.

 Iceland

Adam and I also cycled round Iceland over a 3 week period.

Norway

In 2012 I cycled-toured in Norway, racing at Fanaraken Opp and Skaala Opp 

My inputs into ‘racing’ Events…

It’s also probably worth mentioning the LAMM (@Lowe Alpine@ Mountain Marathon)- I spent 19 years helping out at this event.

In 1999 Martin Stone (the leading exponent of long-distance or ‘ultra-type’ mountain events, for a great number of years) asked if I would help place controls (‘orienteering’ markers) for the event….I couldn’t race because it was too close to the European Mountain Running Championships, so I spent the week before the event helping put controls out.

This continued for a few years then in 2003 at the Spittal of Glenshee event, I was promoted to ‘Controller’ and in 2004 I planned my first MM in Glen Carron – it snowed in June!!

From 2003 onwards I was either the event planner, or controller, planning the final event on the Isle of Harris in 2018.

I was working with Andy Spencely (Carnethy) for several of the events.                                                       

I loved working on the LAMM, since the nature of the event took us on remote terrain which very few people visit, giving a very different perspective to the Scottish hills.

Some of the areas we never wanted to visit again (exceedingly ‘tough experiences’!) but others are gems that should be kept secret. 

 

Footnote – by Denis Bell

Angela’s recounting of these ‘expeditions’ tells us so much about the ‘calibre of the Woman’ and what makes her tick…it is recounted that Angela’s passion is for the mountains, and wild places… ‘any day’ she would rather explore and yomp the hills than go to ‘a race’…’any race’.

Her nature is … -to be challenged, rise to the challenge, and see what happens-.

Such is the drive that when injuries started to take their toll on her racing abilities, she immediately swung onto ‘different things’ and recounting these bike-trail walking ventures, shows the determination to have a go and succeed…

   —- this is the absolute reflection of her wonderful running career from relatively meagre beginnings towards being a ‘superstar’…(Angela will be scornful of that type of appreciation because she is so very humble and self-effacing).

Another key item to highlight is that during the challenges of serious injury, remedial surgery, the aspect of ‘natural’ wear and tear, Angela always took the steady and wise road back…stretching over many, many months and even covering ‘years’,…this in itself is remarkable because, as the results and achievements show, the outcomes went from outstanding to outstanding one way or another…

My reflections and considerations indicate that such is the range of events, the scope and types of races and events participated in, the focus and dedication, the drive to do things so that ‘the impossible or very tough might be achieved’, the indomitable attitude to year after year competing with the very best (even in remote and ‘exotic’, ‘strange’ places) etc then Angela Mudge has to be clearly recognized as an outstanding competitor and challenger.

Angela has proven to be inspirational to many peer athletes, and younger people entering ‘athletics’ but naturally focused on the strange environment of HILL RUNNING…!!! In what other sport can there be such complexity of variation?

Angela too has given back in huge effort ‘a balance of what she has gained and taken for hill running’ by dedication to the furtherance of the sport and always active in its development and promotion (it is no wonder that Angela and our sport’s dear departed maestro Martin Hyman got on so well, as athlete benefiting from coach and mentoring, the athlete to develop into a ‘mentor and coach’ herself).

Compiling a Profile of such a Talent is a big job! The athletic career spanning so many years; some years of prolific racing in all manner of events….races, various Championship races, Trials/ selection races, Internationals, Grand-Prix series, etc.

Trying to understand ‘the person’ the background, the introductions, the development, the range of performances (look at ‘overall placings [o/a] in races’, which some peers will understand included positions high up in amongst top-class male athletes!), the motivation when things go badly wrong, the recovery and courage to go again, the humility in both winning and being defeated, the drive, and the passion, the utmost LOVE of the HILLS (Angela is a die-hard woman of Scotland!)/ MOUNTAINS (or elsewhere in the World!) and WILD PLACES …Angela Mudge …a complex, hugely successful Woman who is a super-star by any account.

Angela Mudge: a career in the hills

Angela’s beginnings were humble… (read perhaps Jonny Muir’s ‘Mountains Calling’) and my recollections of Angela starting out in the early 90s…not very long before my own career was running out…and her introduction to Hill Running, and Cross Country, and running events …was not exceptional, and in most respects belie what was to come in the not-too-far-off future…

Angela was not a classy runner of style, more a competitor who tried …as we all have to, at one level or another.

Angela’s story of the beginnings in Scotland… (Angela and family all hail from Devon, dare I say then proud ‘Celts’…?)

‘’…Arrived in Stirling in 1991 to study MSc Environmental Management at Stirling University.    I was an orienteer having got disillusioned with the running scene at Leicester University as an undergraduate – too many short road relays for me.  I was introduced to hill running by the guys that worked at the Uni and ran up Dumyat in their lunchtimes and then went on to form Ochil Hill Runners. As a junior I competed at county level in Track and Cross-Country, so think the talent was there but I lost fitness at University and suffered from sports anaemia so was always running low on iron.

I worked in a chemistry lab (Forth River Purification Board) in my early 20s.   I hated it, but the move to Edinburgh helped me with my training, leading to more quality work rather than long slow runs. I left to study for my PhD at Edinburgh Uni in 1995.   

On graduating I spent a period travelling, and then returned to work as a temp at the Scottish Executive for around 3 years. My boss let me disappear in the Summer to race, and re-employed me when I returned. The job was in the education department so I wasn’t required over the Summer months (good compromise – DB).

In 2005 I decided to train as a sports and remedial massage therapist, so I had the freedom to travel/race and work with athletes.

I’ve been on the ScottishHillRunning committee for many years, think I started in my late 30s and still sit on the committee. I now work for Scottish Athletics, a day a week, as their Lead for hill and mountain running.    In theory I’m starting a part time role with UK Athletics as their mountain running expert: still to get a contract!!

(Denis says “We should probably mention that Angela spends more time with her Jack Russells than human company, training mates on the hill until they break….”)   

Denis again: As Angela developed and gradually matured into a ‘runner’ with a honed runner’s physique, she gained confidence and results, and stuck with it over those early years….gaining more and more success, getting closer and closer to the then ‘top ladies’ … ladies who I may say had already a decent number of years as ‘good athletes’ and also matured into top class race winners and high placers (some of those stars of the time were Helene Diamantides (married name, Whitaker); Angela Carson (Brand-Barker), Christine Menhennet, Sarah Rowell, Trish Calder, Janet Kenyon, Joyce Salvona, Jane Robertson, Sue Ridley, Menna Anghared, Megan Smith, Sonia Armitage, Penny Rother, Tracey Brindley, Jenny Rae, Yvette Hague, Sue Ridley, Carol McCarthy, Kate Jenkins, Karen Powell, Wendy Dodds, Victoria Wilkinson, Lucy Colquhoun, Jill Mykura, Dawn Scott, Claire Gordon, Nicola Davies, Anna Bartlett, Elke Schmidt (married, Prasad) and a goodly list of many others, including more of the top English ladies … fine athletes all…).

You’ll see this pattern of performances from the results lists, that results were very varied (mediocre, earlier on… to brilliant overall), and prolific (up to about 20 events some years) all achieved over the years from the purple period 1995 to 2014.

Angela got going in 1992, then over a few years really got stuck in and started to show her mettle and competitive spirit. The results speak for themselves, and right through to about 2004 when she got a damaged knee (osteochrondal defect, leading to surgery in August that year and two months non-load bearing, followed by many months in rehab…). The canny approach led to a busy season in 2007 which produced grand results, until an Achilles injury all through 2008-into 2009 Winter.    This led to a lighter number of events programme.

Then in 2011 the ‘operated-on knee’ flared up again and Angela struggled most of the year.

In 2014 Angela ruptured her ‘spring ligament’ whilst reccy-ing the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon ‘area’, and this specific damage was not properly diagnosed until more than 12 months later  and she  only raced Melantee, with an ankle operation in the December (and guess who met AM after many years of no contact in the Consultant’s surgery?! Yep DB). Again months of rehab and in the June got competing again but only FRA Relays in Luss (hosts were Westerlands with loads of helpers on a very miserable weekend!)   She still struggled with the ankle through 2017 but. nevertheless, going forward to 2020 Angela’s target was to do 50 races in her 50th year but Covid ’19 blew that objective …. and another injury was picked up.

So. looking back over her career so far, what’s the picture?

A very steady ‘apprenticeship few years’ leading through to a matured, honed,  high quality athlete… who took on all-comers across the UK and into Europe, and beyond… Angela very clearly identifies a ‘breakthrough’ occurrence at the European Championships at Ebensee, Austria in 1997…this was  an Uphill only race  [there was a two year switch between ‘Up and Down’ and ‘Uphill only’ between the World Mountain Running Trophy events, and then the following year European Championship events …].

Angela’s passion has been for ‘uphill only races’ — long, hard, steep, tough terrain…the passion and competitiveness shine through when she says this…. and it’s a wee reflection of her own self-effacing admission that on ’standard race courses‘ she was not always capable of taking the race to the very front level… but!!!…. yes,   please see the results.

Angela knew very clearly that you could only race so many, and keep a standard; she also readily admits that if you don’t race against the best you will never beat them hence the regular forays into England (not unfair to say there  are generally tougher fields of participants…..remembering England’s Fell Runners Association had about 4,500 members compared to Scotland’s 400…), sometimes Wales (and of course Ireland for championship events) but also Angela had a great passion for the Continent and further afield.

The picture emerges of an absolutely shrewd, focused, highly-tuned, calculating, driven, ‘Give your absolute best’ performer – who came through the ranks, and simply ‘’Topped the Field’’ at World Class level. Make no mistake, Angela sacrificed and thereby gained. Her lifestyle and brains, coupled with some light touch but hugely valued ‘coaching and mentoring’ by our very own Martin Hyman (R.I.P.,  great man) allowed her to plan year on year, and do colossal stuff in self-fulfillment, and very shrewd physical preparation for the top World race events.

We have:

*Cross Country, Road, Hill (and Mountain), Mountain marathon events and races, local Scottish Championship races; English and Welsh (and later European) raid races, and

*Championships (British, World Mountain Trophy, European, Grand Prixes…);

*selection races for internationals; ‘International’ races;

*one-off championship races;

*ultra-races; spectacular ultra-long-distance travel sorties, including cycling and wild camping,

*self-sufficient ‘unorganised’; triathlons;

*loads of hill walking (a much-favoured, she says ‘beautiful way to spend days and weeks’!); and wild-water swimming! 

A heady mix from an aspiring younger, inexperienced emerging athlete of sorts, to a colossus in the midst of the World’s best.

When you look at the RANGE and SCOPE of EVENTS, thinking about how this was all planned into the weeks and months and years…the focus to peak at the right times, and get the right conditioning done for such a VARIETY of demands on the body is in my humble opinion, tending towards remarkable if not virtually unbelievable, remembering Angela had to work all the while to chase her passions and events calendars.

Angela’s HISTORY speaks volumes.

Angela’s race record HISTORY speaks for itself, as she grew, progressed and pinnacled at the very top.

Angela’s persona as a MOUNTAIN LOVER shines through the most dreich day, the densest fog, the darkest night…above all else ‘being in the mountains, enjoying myself ‘ is the unbridled passion and spirit of life. Simply, a good trip into the Hills beats everything else …even the best results of best races.

Angela is so unassuming that whilst recognizing ‘she’s done alright’ there are others now about (Jasmin Paris, Anna Rutherford, Jill Stephen, Catriona Morrison, Stephanie Provan, Sarah O’Neill, Charlotte Morgan, Sally Wallis, Hannah Russell, Sharon Taylor, Catriona Graves, Kelli Roberts) doing marvellous things that are ‘way ahead of her record’… she believes, and thinks, and says.

My thoughts are that the written history will determine whether Angela’s achievements are as modest as they might seem, when she makes light of herself in comparisons… I think a colossal record over 15 years will be a tough call for anyone to equal.

The accompanying sets of ‘results’ speak for themselves.

Angela has had a career in athletics that is awesome.   

She also committed very many years ago to work in the Sport (Hill and Mountain running) on BEHALF of others, especially youngsters but actually all-comers who want to do the sport and get better…. Angela is so appreciative of what she personally has gained and the way she was encouraged and nurtured through the tough years, developing and then injury-plagued, that her modus operandi is ‘’what can I do for The Athletes’’; she had an exemplary figure in MARTIN, and has a very close-knit selected friends pool, who are like-minded; their commitment to this complex sport is exemplary.

Back to   Angela Mudge: A Very Special Person     Angela Mudge: An Overview of Adventures