Knockfarrel is an annual five mile hill race up and down Cnoc Mor, a 269-metre hill that rises to the south-east of Strathpeffer. Despite its modest height, the race involves a climb of almost 400 vertical metres, two of which are up devilishly steep tracks. On the second one, to the trig pillar on the summit of Cnoc Mor, my legs were swimming in lactic and shook uncontrollably as I began the descent.

Despite the pain of getting up, for me it’s getting down that’s the problem, as I still haven’t mastered the art of switching off any semblance of common sense while I descend. In this game, the crazier you are, the faster you run. The winner is the one who shows least fear.

I showed fear, tiptoeing downhill, over-calculating the risk involved in hurtling down a muddy, slippery and steep slope. It served me right therefore that sixth place at the summit became ninth at the end as three runners screeched past me. Next time I must be braver.

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