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Dunky 2021 Race Report and Results

The Duncan Macfarlane Race, the Dunky, named after Michelle’s grandfather, was an event that should have taken place in January to mark what would have been his 100th birthday.

It would have been Acorn Trails first event. As the pandemic rolled on into its second calendar year, it quickly became apparent our plans would need to change.

The 100th birthday Dunky went virtual and raised nearly £500 for The Woodland Trust.

The “Real” Dunky

The ‘real’ event was moved into an autumn slot. An autumn that was quickly becoming a busy race season, as race after race in the spring cancelled and rescheduled.

Local landowner issues moved the event from Dunky’s home turf on the banks of Loch Lomond at Balloch, to a new venue of Mugdock Country Park – an old stomping ground of Dunky’s during his time with Victoria Park AAC.

A list of stipulations from local council almost put paid to the new venue as well as costs mounted. But we persisted. Mugdock offers too much for a few overheads to get in the way of a good race.

And it was a good race.

Early morning torrential downpours greeted the race team as they awoke to setup the course. They also helped add a bit of mud to a route described as “Acorns Trails’ flattest and least muddy”.

Those who took part at Linn Park Centenary Trail Race and the Pollok Park Trail Race will understand this claim. Others would be surprised by the dirt and inclines on this two lap course!

Right up to the start, there were hiccups. Some missing marshals, led to a late reshuffle on the deployment with Alex and Paddy forced into a good pace run to get folk in the right places.

With a 3-2-1, 80 runners scampered away from the start line along the tree lined path over a surface of soggy wet leaves.

Race time

Quickly pushing into the lead, Bellahouston Harriers, Jack Arnold led the line in a position he would maintain and stretch right through to taking the tape in a blistering 26.46

A battle for the podium places saw a tussle between Richard Cooper (Cambuslang Harriers), Andrew Merry and Allistair Grey. The first lap pace would catch up with the old guy(🤣) with Merry and Grey taking the podium steps in 27.31 and 27.35. Merry’s late push along the finish straight enough to keep Grey at bay.


Epic Trails, Nicola Duncan, took advantage of her home turf and pushed from the start. She had designs on that first spot and was rewarded for her hard work, taking the top spot in 34.23 quickly finding time for a selfie with the race director as soon as she crossed the line!

Similar to the male battle, the female podium spots were also a close call. Second place Sharon O’Leary in 35.44 only a few seconds in front of third place Tonya Sheridan in 36.07.

The ladies were quickly corralled for a podium photo in true BBC style, Nicola still tanning the obligatory complimentary Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer!

Race sponsor, Migo Sports, had their slower team member out for this race. Mikey dodging the mud in his white ON trail shoes could ‘only’ manage 5th place! His sidekick Duncan was taking it easy on this Sunday morning!

Family affair

With two daughters, three grandchildren (plus two “grandchildren-in-laws”), two great grandchildren, two son-in-laws all involved in the event in some fashion, Duncan’s family were very well represented. We think he would have enjoyed that legacy.


Once again Nelson’s team rolled into town to take part. With Nelson on marshal duties, the jolette team was ably led by Ted McPake with support from Finola Ashe, Dayle Burnside, Collete Connell, William Martin, Scott Walker, and Sharon McColl.

Credit: Richard Cooper

Jolette pilot, Margaret Goodfellow thoroughly enjoyed the event.

We look forward to hosting JAPES at future Acorn Trails events. Anyone interested in crewing with JAPES can either send us a message or contact JAPES direct. It’s an experience we highly recommend for both pilot and crew.

Full results

Can be found on this link…


Massive thanks to our team of hi-viz heroes, without whose help this event could not go ahead. In no particular order:

Brian Hughes, Robert Hill, Sam Hampton-Smith, Wendy Fraser, Gina Cameron-Macfarlane, Rose Macfarlane, Mary Donaldson (and sidekick), Alison Paterson, Paddy Gibbons, Paul Collins, Claire Taylor, Harry McPake, Terry Sinsheimer, Nelson Liddle, Keira Hill, Andrew Anderson, Jim the Dog

Additional thanks to Tesco Milngavie, Tunnocks, Migo Sports