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.
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.
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 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.)