12th May 2024 - Entries have gone live on SI Entries The main change is the Start day which is now Saturday and Time which is now 2pm for Walkers and 4pm for Runners. This is because we wanted to move the Start time to earlier so that the Teams are all over the first section in daylight and therefore it makes sense to move the day to Saturday to help people with travel.

As it's possible to enter a Team with one or more members please can people enter when they know they want to take part? That will help us immensely in planning for next year.

5th May - I do now have the trophy in my hands - thanks Spyke and Emma. I will get it polished and engraved before passing onto Girls Night Out for a year!

30th April - Spyke (Stephen Pyke) contacted me as soon as he heard about me resurrecting the Bruce's Crown race as he had won the trophy back in 2006 on the last running of the old race. After much searching in his barn (since he recently moved) he has located the trophy and it's on it's way to me, and then to the new rightful owners - Girls Night Out once I've engraved it. I've got ideas about creating other trophies too so keep watching this space!

I have collated as many photos as I can and added them to a Gallery along with the ones that Eric Murphy took. I hope to add anymore that are sent to me here along the way along with links to race reports that I have found in the Archive reports. I have also written up my race report here -  Bruce's Crown2024

And ......2025 entries will open this week on Si Entries and close three weeks before April 4th 2025. We've changed a few small details so I'll update the Information page and put the link to Si Entries up here then.


16th April - I had a meeting with Galloway MRT on Sunday and it's been decided that the date for next year (2025) will be Friday April 4th to Saturday April 5th. Entries will open in May on SiEntries and close in March 2025. Walkers will start from 2pm on Friday and runners from 4pm. Get the date in your diaries and check back here for entries and details in May!!

11th April - Opentracking sorted the Results into a proper order for me here and I've added Team photos so the results looks good now.

8th April - We did it! Galloway Mountain Rescue, me and all our helpers organised the Bruce's Crown race last weekend and eight teams came and tackled the tough route with the added hardship of Storm Kathleen to deal with. I'm still recovering from organising and running so it's hard to put into words how happy I am. It's always stressful organising a race for the first time. I have started up and but nothing compared to "Bruce's Crown race with Storm Kathleen". I am so grateful to James Anderson and Galloway MRT for helping me make some tough decisions about the possible weather and options that we had. The final decision was to leave the "low level route" decision to the latest possible time which gave the runners the best chance of being able to complete the full course.

We set walkers off at 4pm and then a relaxed approach meant that teams could start when ready, within reason. All the teams wanted to get off asap to do more in the better weather and daylight. From 4pm to 10pm the weather was warm, a bit windy and claggy. But nothing too awful. The terrain and navigation is the most challenging on the first leg but all the teams succesfully got to CP5 on the Dee Bridge track where there was a checkpoint with hot soup, drinks, cake etc. One team retired here so there were seven teams that carried onto Leg 2. Around the time the teams arrived at checkpoint 5 the rain started (10 to 10.30pm) and it hammered it down for six hours as the teams were crossing the Corserine ridgeline.  After the initial two tops of Darrou and Miekle Milleau the route follows a ridge which has short grass and a well defined path so "better" terrain than a lot of the first leg meaning you can move faster. The rain and increasing wind meant that the teams had a torrid time and arrived at CP11 on the track wet through and needing sustenance. This they received in quantity and quality from MRT with more soup, hot drinks, cakes and snacks. Another two teams had to drop here due to sickness and injury so five teams headed down the 5 mile valley track to CP12. This section I thought everyone would hate, but actually it was a godsend in the weather to be able to have a break from navigating and be able to digest food and keep moving. CP12 was a smaller checkpoint with hot drinks and snacks before teams headed onto the final stretch up Shiel Hill, Craigmansheenie and onwards and upwards to Merrick. The rain stopped at 6am when the skies cleared and the tops could be seen from the valley. Unfortunately the winds were forecast to pick up around 11am and a decision was to be made then. At this stage there were three Ladies Teams, one Mixed team and one Male team left in the race. One ladies team decided to stop before Craigmansheenie and took a safe route back to the CP12. Four teams then made it over the final hills and were rewarded with clear views, a little sunshine and extremely strong, gusty winds. Shallock on the Minnoch was the worst hit as it's a big round plateau with no shelter. Once off there the teams were slightly sheltered by Merrick and even the summit of Merrick was not the worst place to be. Surprisingly halfway down Merrick to Bruce's Stone carpark the wind was pushing the teams uphill and this was extremely tiring. At the last checkpoint the Bruce's Stone the teams were met by Glyn Jones, the creator of the Rings of Fire round and the first race organisor for the Ring's of Fire races which comprised of the Bruce's Crown and the Heart of Granite. They then had a hard slog down the road / footpaths back to Caldons and a warm welcome at the Finish.

All the results are on Opentracking  and the  tracking can be viewed here . I hope all the teams that didn't make it come back next year to get the job done and I thank all the runners for entering, preparing, running and making good hill decisions. It's a tough event and the weather made it doubly tough. Well done to all of you, no matter how far you got.


Thank you to for joining me in organising the race, especially Karen Brownlie, James Anderson and Ross McConchie who made up the core team from the beginning (November 2023). And to all the Galloway MRT team members who turned out on the day to make it happen. They were incredible out on the hill and in the checkpoints. My thanks go to Teresa Wall and Nick Whittingham along with Charlie Elliot who travelled from Yorkshire to help out and my neighbour Rus. There are many other personal friends of MRT who baked cakes, donated equipment and helped out.

Thanks to our very generous sponsors Crafty Distillery for Finishers gin miniatures and Overall winners prize, along with Inov-8 for Ladies, Mens and Mixed prize vouchers. We had donations of food from Tesco in Castle Douglas, Co-op in Newton Stewart, William Lindsay Family Butchers in Creetown and Chia Bars. Thanks to Dabby of Dabhands blog  for taking photos and organising everyone into taking more! Also to Eric Murphy who popped up on the first climb and last descent. I will upload his photos to a gallery here soon. Thanks also to Chris and his team at for First Aid cover.


4th April - We have been studying the weather forecast and if the winds are making it impossible to summit Merrick we have a low level route from Shallock on the Minnock, to the fence line which leads to Loch Enoch and then down the valley on a footpath which turns into a forest track to above Culsharg bothy where you pick up the tourist path to Bruce's Stone carpark and onto Caldons. This is the Low level route 1 to 40,000.pdf map and a Level route 1 to 25,000.pdf map with the detail to Culsharg bothy shown. If you can please print off a couple of maps and mark up your Harveys map with this route. We understand it is very late in the day so we will hope to have two maps per team to hand out at Registration and you will be told at CP11 whether you are using the low level route.

1st April - OpenTracking have sent me the link to the public webpage This shows the Team Leader who will be tracked and timed and then all the Team members who will be tracked but their timings don't show on the Leaderboard, otherwise it just gets too cluttered. The line is roughly the suggested route but it's not 100% accurate so we will divert off it in places.

Other than that things are getting there - we are going to have hot drinks and soup at Checkpoint 5 and 11. With hot drinks and snacks at CP12. There will be quite a lot of various food like bananas, Tunnock wafers, sweets, coke, Iron Bru, small cakes, traybake lemon drizzle, orange and sultana, chocolate cake, flapjack at these checkpoints as well. At the Even Centre there will be hot drinks etc at the start and then hot food (vegetable chilli and vegan option) at the Finish.


26th March - We're getting there. I have added Start Times to the Race Information page and below. You can start anytime within your Start Window. Let me know if you can't make the time because of Travel. I have added cup to the Kit list as the checkpoints will have limited cups for soup and not for hot drinks. I have also added a FAQ page and answered the questions that I have been asked via email. If you can't find something and would like an answer then please email me and I'll reply and add it to the FAQ too. I will be sending out an email before the race but just want to get things on here first so the email contains everything.

Team Name Start Time Window
Apocalypse Now 16:00 16:30
Seaforth 16:30 17:00
Carnethy Mixed 17:00 17:30
Ladies from the Dark Side 18:00 18:30
Merrick Muppets 18:30 18:45
Carnethy Roughgrounders 18:45 19:00
Bog Hags 19:15 19:30
The Four Tussockteers 19:30 19:45
Girls Night Out 19:45 20:00

11th March - I have added the Timings to a page of their own Pre Race Timings to help people/teams decide when they would like to set off. Personally I think between 5pm and 7pm is good. But it will depend on when the Teams can get here.

7th March - yesterday we (Steve and I) tested two trackers to find out where the dead spots are and also to make sure the checkpoints that are given on the Information page and the tracking map reflect the physical object that we find on the ground. I set off from Caldons (the Start) and ran to the bottom of Sheil Hill where I left the route. Steve started at the bottom of Sheil Hill and walked to Caldons. We then drove our respective vehicles home. The forecast was for clag lifting to sunshine and it was correct although the clag seemed to be annoyingly off every summit for both of us until 1pm! I will put the timings up when I have downloaded them to help people figure out how long they will be out. I will be asking Teams when they would prefer to set off. We would like Teams to finish before 2pm on Saturday but apart from that we are flexible as we know people have to travel etc. We are hopeful that the Forestry will let us allow runners to camp at Caldons overnight which should help logistics.

I took loads of photos and I have written up some notes here. Route notes.htm

27th February - I am having regular meetings with Galloway Mountain Rescue and the event is taking shape. The Forestry are being very co-operative which we are very grateful for and Inov-8 have offered prizes to the winning Open, Ladies and Mixed Teams. I've decided to upload the maps that I have made from my recce back in 2023. These are on the Race Information page and they can be printed off and used on the race itself but do note that the purple line drawn is the suggested route. You do not have to follow it. I just want this first year to go smoothly and I want to encourage more teams to enter. We will run the event with the entries that we have but half the reason for putting on Bruce's Crown is to raise money for Galloway Mountain Rescue so we really do not want to run at a loss!


10th February - the last bit of route checking for organising purposes was to see what the flags were like on the descent from the mast on Bennan to the Bruce's Stone carpark. I carried Bruce in his rucksack most of the way up and then back to the big deer fence stile. He was quite happy! The weather was foul and it was pretty hard work - hopefully it won't be like this in April! I haven't been that way since the Merrick Hill race in September and the path is much more defined than it was before the race. There are also a number of canes with either red and white tape or yellow tape. Since everyone will be in daylight I think it will be easy to follow the flags and the path down.

To find the path you cross the deer fence on the huge stile, head up the track and just at the end of the loch which is on the right, the path starts there and goes left. It contours and drops along the plateau before dropping steeply to a deer fence stile, then down the side of that deer fence to cross the forest track and continue on the other side. Here it goes right and along the ridge line before plunging left down a steep and very tussocky descent. The path makes this a lot easier. Then you bend right onto a good grassy path down through the bracken to the top carpark. Bruce's Stone is a checkpoint (you've got to visit the namesake of the race and it's not far out of your way!). Then down to the road and left on the well signposted footpath which takes you to Caldons Campsite. Photos with description in the file name of Bennan descent

If you are thinking of putting in a team then please can you do so - even if you just enter the Team Leader's details? This is so we have an idea of numbers for catering, toilets, trackers etc. Thank you.


3rd February - Steve and I have been reccying again - Shiel Hill this time. And again I know it's a navigation event but for this first one, because it's in two months time so people haven't much time to recce and because I don't want teams turning round halfway up Shiel Hill and heading back to the safety of MRT in the valley (!!!) I have cut back the worst of the brash on this ascent and partially marked it. This is because on the map it looks a simple "follow the stream up" decision but in reality there are too many dense trees near the stream and it is not possible to stay near the stream. I have taken photos and labeled them in order. Basically

1) Leave the track at the gate. Follow the smaller forest track up and round to the right. When it ends head through the passageway on your right. 2) There is only really one way through the trees, heading slightly uphill to your left. Looked for clippings on the floor. Cross the stream on your right into a rough area.3) Leave the stream and head right. The stalkers have chopped down about three bigger trees, Head right and climb up through these trees. You're now on an open grassy bank. DO NOT keep heading directly uphill.4) Turn left and follow the bottom of the grassy area, slightly uphill and back towards the stream. I have taped this.5) Contour and climb slightly, parallel to the stream. 6) You need to look for where you can get back to the stream. Drop slightly back into a wide stream valley with flattened rushes in it.7) Follow the rushes up hill. They end and you have to go right again up the banking. 8) Then contour left back to the stream when it is a grassy. Follow the grassy stream bed up until it gets very steep, there are fallen trees across it. 9) Climb out, up a very steep, grass, heather bank.10) Head parallel to the stream again to a wall of standing trees. I have cut a way through on the right. Go through this.11) Once through contour left again.12) Cross the stream to the forest edge and stay on the low side of the forest edge to the open moorland where you head directly up grass to the Trig point on top of Shiel Hill.From Shiel Hill there is a faint path all the way to Craigmasheenie and onwards to the other hills.

Photos with descriptions in the file name - Shiel Hill recce

2nd February - I have had an email asking whether there is any rules over the make up of a Mixed Team. Basically any combination of men and women makes a Mixed Team. I've added this information to the Information page too.

We have also changed the SI Entries entry process so that the Team Captain can enter a Team without completing all Four Team member details until a later date. This helps the Team Captain as gathering all the information asked is sometimes a lengthy process and means changes can be made until mid March. If you do this we will check the experience later of the added Team Members but so long as two or more members are well experienced we are considerate in our appraisal.


30th January - I know this is a navigation event however anyone that knows Galloway will also know that direct lines on a compass bearing can be horrendous. There are a couple of such descents and I've found this to my cost coming off Cairngarroch a couple of years ago hence I found the way to the "Outdoor centre" last year. This is a reliable route as you only have to find the top of the stream and it leads you down to the gully and the house / fields. However you then have 2km on the track to do.

So as I was keen to get back on the mountains and Tuesday being the "best" weather day Steve and I drove round to Clatteringshaws loch and climbed Cairngarroch. The summit has a big cairn on it but it was cold and I didn't get a good photo (sorry!). Then we descended down on what was described by Galloway Mountain Rescue as "good ground near the forest". We headed off passed the lochan / boggy area and gently down and across. It's ok going with grass and small tussocks. You arrive at the felled forest and a cairn. I would avoid the felled area as its been pretty trashed. There was a few deer trods alongside and then down. We found grassy and bracken ramps to descend on. When you get to the still standing forest you can either go in the forest or down the side, which has been planted up but it's ok. And you get to the forest track without much difficulty. There will be a Checkpoint probably at the track junction before the bridge with hot food etc on the race.

And then the Ascent of Darrou. In August when I did the recce I went along the forest track to the standing forest where there is a track leading into the forest. That ends and you head up the forest to the end edge where an old forestry track traverses back towards the stream / quarry. I followed this and crossed the stream. It was then pretty tussocky up to the plateau. Looking at it now you could stay on the right of the stream in the bracken which would be better. In August the bracken was too high.

But another route and one that was ok today was to go into the quarry and follow the tracks leading right, then zig zags. Then through the few trees that are left and climb higher. You need to start traversing right at some point. We went quite high up and traversed. There are lots of deer trods and you can swop from one to another through the tussocks. The tussocks get smaller the higher you go. The summit has three big rocks and some smaller ones on it.

Photos with descriptions in the file names - Cairngarroch and Darrou


27th January - Thinking about the Start times and if Teams are struggling to get up on Friday evening we can start you off later into the night. We would like everyone to have finished by 4pm on Saturday and I took 15 hours in August to run the route. So I think running teams can be set off up to midnight if that helps with logistics.

If anyone wants to recce and needs help with route or logistics then contact me on

I visited Caldons House on Friday 26th January and spoke to the lady there who remembered the OMM fondly and was very happy for us to set up the Event centre on the area below her house. The start also runs through her garden which she is more than happy with too. I called in at the Glentrool Hive and asked about using the showers there (they also have self catering unit available) and also at the https://www.Glentrool Camping and Caravan who said they have 30+ camping pitches for anyone that wanted to camp on the Saturday night / Sunday night.


24th January - so while I was on the Spine Galloway Mountain Rescue have got the entries up and running on SIEntries and I have entered my team "The Four Tussockteers"! I am on the Pre-Selection list at the moment.

I am going to visit Caldons Campsite this week and check the route from the start. I have also been thinking of accommodation and can see that https://www.Glentrool Camping and Caravan have availability for that weekend. The other option I want to check out is the https://www.Glen Trool as they have showers and it would be nice I think if we could offer showers to runners when they finish.

5th January - Things are progressing on all fronts. I am having regular meetings with Galloway Mountain Rescue and we're working through all the organisational tasks. Forestry Land Scotland have been in contact and everything seems to be progressing well there. I've got the backbone of the website up and running! And I'l get a Certificate organised so it shows as a Safe website. The route is up so reccies can begin! I will tape the ascent to Shiel Hill through the forest! Entries will open shortly on Si Entries once the Entry page is created etc.