Seven Hills Race (Iain)

Edinburgh is famous for its castle…which is on a hill;  its folly…which is on a hill; and its observatory…which is on a hill. Also its zoo…which is on a hill and its volcano…which isn’t on a hill. It is a hill.

The city’s slogan is “Inspiring Edinburgh” but it should be “Edinburgh – hilly as f**K!”

Every year a race takes place where runners navigate to and run up all the hills. I did it once before in 2008. One of my friends was doing it too. He said we should take it easy and treat the race like a training run.

As soon as the race started two good looking woman ran past at a speed faster than training pace. My mate immediately ran off. The last I saw him he was chasing the girls down shouting “Where are you two from?”

This year I was running it by myself as Andrew hadn’t fully recovered from his stomach bug.

The race begins on Calton Hill before heading to Castle hill. Unfortunately the race almost immediately stopped as 300 runners tried to get down Calton Hill’s steps but a group of Spanish holidaymakers were trying to get up. When they got out of the way the race resumed.

After Castle Hill its a long run out to Corstorphine Hill. I wasn’t 100% sure of the way so I followed the crowd. Thankfully the crowd wasn’t Spanish so I went the right way.

It’s another long run to the next hill. This section is not very scenic as its mostly through streets. At the summit a man said to me “Well done Andrew!” I replied “Iain!” He looked disappointed. Which means I must be a disappointing Andrew (to some people!)


The next two hills are the most scenic part of the course. From the top I got great views of the city. One of the summits had a bagpiper. He looked very sweaty as the sun was out and it was very warm. My legs were starting to feel the effects of all the climbing so I’d walked rather than ran to the top.

From there it was onto Arthur’s Seat. You can skip through a halls of residence to scale a wall to get there quicker but the organiser warned us the walls is 7ft high. I took the long route. I walked most of Arthur’s Seat as my ankle was sore.

It was then back to the start. I crossed the finish line and was handed….a medal? No! I crossed the finish line and was handed a beer mat. Which is one of the most unusual finishing prizes that I’ve ever received.


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