Six of us met in the Penicuik Centre and bundled into Susie’s people carrier for a trip to Peebles. Andrea, Chris Downie, Mike Brooks and Rob (who was our photographer) had all run the race before, however Susie and I were completely ignorant as to what lay ahead, not even knowing the distance let alone where Gypsy Glen actually was!
Whilst we registered and attempted to warm up on what was a dry, yet chilly evening, Rob got (slightly hesistant) permission to drive Susie’s car further up the track to position himself for some photo taking and knowing Rob, the best vantage point to shout abuse at us all.
It was a slightly smaller field than last year, a bit worrying in a hill race as we all started to wonder who’d be last! Mike Pearson sounded the starting hooter and we were off! I settled into quite a quick pace as the first mile or so was essentially a road race which suited me quite nicely! We headed over the river, through the park, through a housing estate then hit the trails. I’d been running well till this point, but as soon as the route turned muddy and started to climb I started to struggle. Quickly others started to pass me, including Chris D, who then pulled away from me. I “hung in” for the rest of the climb, passed Rob who was yelling “come on babe”, much to my disappointment I realised this was aimed at Andrea who was quickly closing the gap on me! I tried to smile for Rob’s photos but grimace was all I could manage. Note to self – must train uphill more!
Finally the summit came into view and suddenly I felt good again. Wish I could’ve appreciated the stunning view a bit more, but it wasn’t possible to do that and hurl myself down the sweeping, fast trails to eventually follow the same route back. I had a nice little battle with an HBT female, who I managed to pass and then after some wicked little tarmac climbs in the final km, I was delighted to see Victoria Park and the finish line ahead. Rachael was there to give some final encouragement and take some (probably awful) photos and then phew, finish line crossed!!
Cheered in the remaining Harriers whilst eating some homemade clootie dumpling and getting eaten alive by vicious midges. Results were: Duncan – 11th in 36:39, Mike B – 14th in 37:35, Chris D – 34th in 45:15, Susan – 37th in 46:02, Andrea – 41st in 47:53 and Susie – 45th in 49:37.
Well done everyone, and thanks to Mike Pearson who awarded me a prize for being 4th female!