Vogrie Parkrun Takeover 2 December 2017

We had a great time doing the volunteering at Vogrie Parkrun. Tracy Philp had made her delicious Tablet which was enjoyed by all at the finish. I would urge anyone to give Parkrun a try, run, jog, walk or get involved with the marshalling there really is something for everyone. All the Parkrun events are completely free all you need to do is sign up on line and print your barcode and bring it with you and you are good to go. All the information you need is on the Vogrie Parkrun webpage http://www.parkrun.org.uk/vogrie/


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Dunbar Cross Country Sunday, November 26, 2017

A passel from Penicuik made the trip to Dunbar this year where clear skies and sunshine were enjoyed by all. A huddle of harriers took an after run dip in the water to ease tired muscles and raise spirits on a cold November day.

 

Seniors:

25 Billy Colvin M40+ Male 27:56.50
60 Michael Greens MS Male 31:30.70
63 Allan Dunbar M40+ Male 31:36.30
65 Gregor Gorjanc MS Male 31:41.70
74 Gillian Cairns F40+ Female 32:31.90
90 Alasdair Hind M40+ Male 33:48.00
96 William Dickson M50+ Male 33:57.10
106 Ian Forrest M60+ Male 34:33.90
110 Robin Hall M40+ Male 34:42.70
113 Jan Dawson F40+ Female 35:05.80
114 Charlie Crawford MS Male 35:11.70
122 Daniel Greens MS Male 36:17.70
132 Julie Hand FS Female 36:59.60
137 Sadie Kemp F40+ Female 37:25.10
144 Juliane Friedrich FS Female 37:42.20
145 Tracy Philp F40+ Female 37:48.70
153 Chris Downie M50+ Male 38:10.90
159 Gilly Marshall F40+ Female 38:42.90
170 Andrew McDermott MS Male 40:21.60
199 Romana Gorjanc F40+ Female 45:19.40
212 Margaret Forrest F50+ Female 47:36.50

 

Juniors:

84 Calum Hind M10-11 Male 20:21.20
106 Duncan Hind M8-9 Male 24:00.30
107 Glen Dawson M8-9 Male 24:00.80

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Braids Cross Country 2017

   

It was a cold but bright and sunny day for the Braids this year with the gals doing the 5k and the guys doing the 10k. Poor Charlie had a dicky tummy so didn’t finish his race, but the rest of us got round in one piece despite the stampede at the start. Great results all round with Billy having notable success getting first V40. Susie and David were there doing official stuff and dishing out encouragement. 🙂

 

 

 

5K:

 

Pos. No. Name Category F Pos. MV Pos. FV Pos. Cat pos Time
222 405 Tracy Philp F40 106 5 4 24:28
226 489 Sadie Kemp F40 110 6 5 24:41

10K:

68 284 Billy Colvin M40 1 1 37:55
101 374 Michael Greens M 92 40:02
136 388 Allan Dunbar M40 10 10 42:29
164 275 Kevin Anderson M40 20 20 44:53
189 378 Daniel Greens M 132 47:18
195 325 Ian Forrest M40 27 27 49:15
203 384 Chris Downie M40 30 30 50:53
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Wooler Trail Marathon

I’d heard this long twenty eight and a half mile trail marathon was a tough route over the Cheviot hills in Northumberland. It’s organized by Trail Outlaws who also run the St Cuthberts Way amongst quite a few other races, and they are really well organized with a very well marked route over the hills.

There were other Harriers going so I booked it as an extra on the back of some ultra training I had just finished. A bit too close together but I thought I’d get round fine if I taped up my creaky knees before the race which really helped. There’s quite a lot of kit requirements which makes sense with it being well into November and very icy at the tops of the hills. Trail Outlaws had booked all of the Hostel where the race started and ended from which made it affordable to stay over before race day. There was also time to register if you were wanting to go on the day from 6:00 to 7:55 for the start at 8:00.

Wooler is just over the border so not too long a drive down and you actually run along the Scottish/English border on one section where the Pennine way joins the St Cuthbert’s Way. Yan picked me up and we headed down the evening before the race to stay at the hostel. We had a few hours to pass by before turning in so we went for one pint in the local bar. I’ve never done this before a race before but Yan was quite up for it so thought one wouldn’t hurt. With it being Saturday night the locals had clearly been out for a while and some were very merry.

The hostel beds were very good so I had a good sleep. We got up early and got our kit checked before getting our bib numbers and were all set. This was great as it was really busy later with so many people arriving on the day. It was a very frosty morning and we were warned about the icy conditions on the tops. The weather was brilliant for running though as it was a fantastic clear day with no wind. The half marathon which is held on the Saturday was quite windy but we were lucky on the Sunday.

Michael and Tracy arrived for Tracy running and we got a pre race photograph in front of the race banner. We set off at 8:00 and I kept to a 10 minute mile to save energy for later with it being such a hilly route. I had started far to quickly three weeks earlier at the Jedburgh Ultra and found the last 10 miles really hard. Everybody was in good spirits and it was great to chat to other runners as we ran over the various hills. The marshals at the check points were great and they had water, juice and sweets. CP2 was for emergency only so we had to fill up with water at check point 1 at about 6 miles as it would be CP3 at 18 miles before we could get more. As we got to the top of the hills there were large slabs as a walkway through the boggy ground. This kept us dry but was quite hard going on the legs as it went on for quite a way. Somebody told me they were from an old mill and they got helicoptered up. I was really surprised to hear of so many people doing this as a first marathon since it was so tough going. One guy had only run the Great North Run before and his longest run was 14 miles, I hope he managed round okay. The slabs were very icy in parts but as the organizers had gone round marking the route with little yellow flags they had put lots around the worst areas. It was totally fine though as the ice was easy to avoid. It was more going down the steep descents of the hills where the grass was very frosty that there was more likelihood of taking a tumble where I landed on my back once. I was taking it quite easy as I was worried about jarring my knees and putting myself out of training for the Highland Fling which I had to pull out of this year. Since the 50 mile Ochil Ultra in October I’d not had enough recovery time before doing the Jedburgh Ultra three weeks back, so knew I’d not have fresh legs for this but really enjoyed it anyway and I was sure I’d make it round fine. I’d never been up the Cheviots before so it was brilliant to see so much of them on such a fine day.

I was pleased to finally reach The Cheviot summit as I’d heard that was the hardest part of the race covered. There were quite a few smaller climbs here and there though which were great. Especially the eccentric older guy half way up one of the hills beating a drum and shouting out words of encouragement, “The spirits are with you!” We were then heading down into the valleys and CP3 where the marshals were very helpful and filled my water up. It was good hearing the Geordie accent too which made the race a bit different. Where the Pennine Way joins St Cuthbert’s Way there was a great spooky wood section to go through. My legs were getting quite tired now with so many hills and boggy ground over large areas. I had plenty of jells and bars to keep me going though and I started counting down the miles as I got closer to the finish. I had no idea how long the race would take but was surprised how much longer it took compared to the Glencoe trail marathon, this was a far tougher route! I got scanned for my time at the finish and there was great soup and sandwiches in the hostel. The medal was brilliant and the T-shirt was great too in Harriers Purple!

Everybody staying over on the Sunday night were taken out to the pub for a few free beers from Trail Outlaws. Yan and I left the bar at closing time and had a few drinks back at the hostel. Quite a finish to a great day on the hills.

I had taken a camera in my bag but it was too cold to stop and take it out so I’ve taken images from Michael Philip’s Facebook page and others found on the Trail Outlaws page.

Yan Horsburgh: 5:27:32
Tracy Philip: 6:58:10
Mark Dawson: 7:21:43

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Tweed Valley Ultra 50k – Sunday 19 November

 

The alarm woke me at 06:00 after a short but deep sleep. After breakfast, I made up my bladder of drink and was away at 06:35. I forgot my running shoes but, fortunately, remembered them just after Leadburn so had time to get back for them. It was very cold: -3.5 on the Moors. I got to Glentress with ten minutes of registration time left but, back in the car, I discovered that my Garmin hadn’t charged overnight so I had no means of checking my pace other than by doing calculations with the time and dodgy GPS of my FitBit. After the shoes and this, I did wonder whether I should do the race since my shins were still rather tender from the two 49″ and 56″ Estate 10k runs I’d done on Thursday in an attempt to make up for not having run for 2.5 weeks. What would a 50k trail race do to my shins – if I finished? I’ll give it ago, I thought. At the start, I soon found myself up at the front. Four guys shot off, and I was 6th, soon dropping to 9th as a group of four got away from me by the time we got through the Glentress section. One was a young Polish guy, with whom I chatted briefly, and he gave me a high-five when he discovered that this was also my first Ultra. To Cardrona and into the forest, they were still in sight. On the descent to the Traquair road I overtook the older guy with the stuttering cadence, bringing me up to 8th. At Traquair village hall – which we had to enter as a check point, I snatched some jelly babies and a banana, so was out before another of the group, and must have overtaken the Pole, too – so 6th. The tall skinny guy was still ahead of me on the climb, and the runner with the stuttering cadence caught me up – particularly when I got my phone out to take photos. The weather had been stunning. Early on there was low light on the frosted fields below us, and then beautiful sunlight on the hills. At the top of the descent to Walkerburn I put the phone away and thought “Back to business”. The tall skinny guy was 200m ahead of me, and I thought I’d catch him easily, but he was also well equipped to make the descent at speed. I was also wanting to be careful not to run too fast, as I had on my recce three weeks earlier, when I did the 6km descent in 26.5 minutes. I caught him towards the end and we ran together for a couple of kilometres, chatting about races. Once we got onto the grassy trail by the Tweed, he couldn’t keep up with me so I found myself 5th. From there to the Innerleithen car park it was fine, I could feel a little tightening in my hamstrings – particularly the left, but was running better than three weeks ago – and with 11 kilometres more covered. I grabbed a piece of flapjack and two chunks of cut banana and carried on. From there to Cardrona was tough – once over the Tweed, the first half was a grassy trail and then the interminable tarmac trail of the old railway, but I kept it going. Just before Cardrona I overtook someone who had been going well, but cramped up. No time for sympathy, and I didn’t see his number to know if he was a “50”, but he must have been, so I was 4th. This took me to about 40km in just over 3:45. It was hurting to keep up the pace, but I knew I was running a good race. By now I was thinking that there would be the odd 65km drop-outs to overtake, so when I saw two runners ahead of me I wondered if they were too. However, they were moving only a little slower than me. When I finally caught them, I saw their white numbers. It was a real lift and I made an effort to run through them so was soon well ahead – up to 2nd, although I was starting to not want to believe I was so well up the field. I eased off, but still didn’t see them. Passing two officials, they confirmed that I was second. By then I’d entered Glentress forest and the final 200m climb. Although I could run up the easy angled path initially, I had to walk as it steepened. My hamstrings were raw and, even when the slope eased off, it was very hard to run. At the end of one open straight section I looked back and saw nothing, so I felt confident that I had sufficient lead to hold off the two behind me. Finally, I got to the downhill and, although it was easier to run, I couldn’t stretch out on the gentler sections, and didn’t have the control to run fast down the steeper parts. I could tell that it wasn’t far to the finish, and even my Fitbit was approaching 50km. The finish was 20m up a steep hill from the Peel Centre, and I managed a pathetic jog, but made it, and second was confirmed (4:37:33). Within seconds, third (4:37:38) and fourth (4:37:44) arrived. I didn’t know whether I was glad I didn’t know how close they were or not! Although I was in a mild state of shock (and some discomfort – even in my arms!) places 2-6 chatted amongst themselves. Eventually we identified the winner, and it was sobering to learn that he’d finished over 50 minutes ahead of me (3:46:37). Cold and uncomfortable, I made my way to the car to change and let my wife know I’d finished OK. Then I verified that prize-giving would be no earlier than 15:00 and retired to the warmth of the Peel Centre café. I sat alone and wrote my account of the day, drinking a large mug of coffee, then wandered up for the prize-giving. This was shambolic, and ended up with folk collecting their prizes as they turned up. I was asked whether I wanted 1st M50 or 2nd Male, and chose the latter since it’s more prestigious and worth £15 rather than £10 in Run-for-It vouchers. I’ll use these to get a new pair of gloves, since I lost one from the mesh pocket into which I’d stuffed them once the day had warmed up a little. So, I collected my prize and “trophy” and drove home.

Am I converted to trail running or Ultras? I have to say “no”. Although Glentress was pretty, the best part of the course was from Cardrona to Walkerburn – the bits in the hills, surprise, surprise! The trail running in the Tweed valley was rather boring, so I’d want a race in more interesting terrain than that. Anything longer than today’s race would need a lot of training to be able to attack it the way I did today – when I treated it a bit like the Edinburgh Marathon and “hung on” for the last 8km. So, even though I might be better suited to flatter races [and Mountain Marathons, which  are completely different, being fast hill-walks with sporadic running on the tops and descents, and route finding plus navigation being important.] my heart’s still in the hills.

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Tinto hill race 11-Nov-2017

Distance 7 km
Climb 460 m

A crisp and cold day for Tinto this year, no cloud on the hill and good running conditions. Great turnout and fantastic effort all round from the harriers. Also very well done to Bill’s grandchildren coming first and third in the junior race. It was lovely to see Bill there cheering us all on.

Pos. Runner Category Time %Winner
23 Billy Colvin M40 00:36:51 114.70%
34 Michael Greens M 00:38:21 119.30%
69 Rob Wilson M40 00:42:39 132.70%
72 Mike Brooks M50 00:42:46 133.10%
92 Allan Dunbar M40 00:44:06 137.20%
95 Gillian Cairns F40 00:44:14 137.70%
103 Gregor Gorjanc M 00:45:30 141.60%
133 Robin Hall M40 00:48:03 149.50%
137 Alan Thornburrow M40 00:48:14 150.10%
157 Andrea Wilson F40 00:50:16 156.40%
159 Craig Davenport M40 00:50:42 157.80%
166 Julie Hand F 00:51:20 159.80%
177 Daniel Greens M 00:52:24 163.10%
179 Charles Crawford M 00:52:33 163.50%
189 Sadie Kemp F40 00:53:29 166.40%
190 Chris Downie M50 00:53:50 167.50%
212 Andrew McDermott M 00:56:23 175.50%
218 Tracy Philp F40 00:57:38 179.40%

Junior race:
1  Struan Bennet Fife 18:14:25 also first MU14
3  Ailsa Bennet Fife 21:21:18 also first FU14

Full results here: http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0108&RaceYear=2017
and http://carnethy.com
Sadie’s Relive: https://www.relive.cc/view/g15489075380

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Glen Ogle 33 Ultra Marathon 2017

I can’t remember when or why I decided it might be a good idea to run an ultra.

I suppose some might say it’s a logical progression once you have done a few marathons to dip your toe in the water of an even longer distance – and I can’t resist a challenge. But it wasn’t like I had done loads of marathons, only three by the time I registered for this race, and usually in the middle of it I tell myself to stick to shorter distances in future. However, encouraged by a decent few months of running, and having sought the advice of Jan and Gilly who had run this one before, I was reassured that this would be a reasonably achievable race for an introduction to the “dark side”.

The course looked OK; a mixture of trail and tarmac, a few hills but not too bad. It was essentially a 20 mile out and back with a ten mile loop between the “out” and the “back”.

So date in the diary, I booked onto Loch Ness marathon six weeks prior as a “training run”. The plan was to run that slowly and finish fresh, feeling like I could go a few more miles. That went out the window on the day when I realised I was on for a decent time and I was completely spent by the time I finished. I hadn’t done a huge amount of long runs since then, with the exception of the Skyline which didn’t go well. So I was unsure how I was going to fare.

As usual, I hadn’t been quick enough to get the good deals on hotel rooms so we ended up in a self-catering holiday let for a couple of nights, which was lovely and actually worked out perfectly for us with the kids. We travelled up to Killin on the Friday evening. I had reset the trip meter on the car as we left the house and as I pointed out the Kelpies to the kids on the way up the road I noticed that we had come exactly 33 miles. That made me feel a bit apprehensive about the idea of running the equivalent distance the next morning.

We got there in good time so we got checked into our accommodation then went to the village hall to register and leave drop bags. I had prepared the bags the previous night and knew I had put too much in them, but being my first time I didn’t know what I would fancy and figured better too much than too little. Then we went home for a huge plate of pasta and a couple of glasses of wine and I got my kit ready for the morning.

I was up at 6am, giving me loads of time to eat some porridge, drink some tea, get dressed, faff around with my bag – taking stuff out and putting it back in, change my outfit, another tea, kiss the girls and walk down to the start area.

Alan Thornburrow and Vicky Lyon were also doing the race and I hoped to see them at the start. I found Alan immediately but unfortunately didn’t see Vicky all day. Alan told me he had a bit of a manic morning – having slept through his alarm, not waking until 5.30am, and driving all the way from West Linton. He clearly has a time machine for a car as he was in Killin by 7.25am and standing in the registration queue when I saw him.

The place was busy with the chatter of excited runners. The atmosphere was very jovial, not as serious as some road races; there was a real feeing that we were about to embark upon an adventure and we were all in it together. Mel and the kids wandered down to give me a cuddle and see me off at the start which was fantastic, though I look a bit nervous in the start-line photos.

Mel asked how long I would be, but I hadn’t a clue. I didn’t have any time goal or expectation but guessed at between 5 and 6 hours.

After what seemed like a very long pre-race briefing, all of a sudden we were off. I wasn’t quite ready, busy fiddling with my watch, and forgot to wave to the girls.

“Nice steady start, don’t get carried away” I kept telling myself. I’m generally not good at keeping myself reined in, see Loch Ness, above. I then spotted Alan just in front so pulled up alongside as we ran through the village and over the Falls of Dochart. I figured if I kept to a pace where I was able to chat it should mean I’m not going too fast.

Since running Loch Ness I had had a slightly dodgy knee, which starts nipping after about 6 or 7 miles, but today it felt it before I’d run one mile. I feared the worst but just decided to ignore it in the hope it went away, or at least didn’t get any worse.

We quickly left the road and onto forestry tracks heading steadily uphill. They were mostly runnable but on any steeper bits I made myself walk to conserve energy. After a couple of miles Alan said he was going to ease off the pace a little bit but I felt OK so kept on going. I briefly saw Alan again a few minutes later when he caught me on a walky bit, but after that, despite expecting him to overtake me any minute, I didn’t see him again for the rest of the day. I had to make lots of new friends, and set about chatting to anyone who seemed vaguely receptive to my overtures.

The first 3 and a half miles are uphill then it flattens out for bit before heading sharply downhill. I had spoken to a chap who had run the race a few times and he said he always makes the mistake of going too fast on that downhill bit, so I let him go off ahead and held myself back – for about 30 seconds – then decided there is no point fighting against gravity. After a little while the forest track evened out and joined a tarmac cycle path. There were a few groans from those around me but I was quite happy, I don’t mind tarmac – you don’t slip, you don’t get muddy, you get back what you put in. I had been advised to wear road shoes and it was definitely the right call. There were two or three times I slightly slipped on hilly trail sections, but the comfort of the road shoes more than made up for that.

We crossed the A85 and there was the first check point, not even 6 miles in. I grabbed a couple of things from my drop bag, and chucked a few bits down my throat, leaving anything that seemed like it was going be challenging to either get into (orange) or get down (dry cereal bar), stuffed the rest in my bum bag and headed off. Total time at CP1 about 2 minutes, but I thought that was too long so resolved to be quicker next time.

The next section was a nice, long, flat section on the old railway, now a cycle path, that goes over the Glen Ogle viaduct then continues above Lochearnhead, with stunning views down the loch. At this point I was averaging 8 minute miles, including time to stop and take the occasional photo, but I wasn’t worried as I was relaxed, forcing myself to eat and running easily, despite still feeling the knee. I didn’t really notice at the time but it was on a significant decline, hence it felt so easy. Somebody I talked to a little bit later said something about always struggling on the long uphill railway section on the way home, and I didn’t know what he was on about as I hadn’t noticed it being downhill on the way out.

There was a steep zig-zag section of switchbacks on the path taking us down to some nice trails and before I knew it checkpoint 2 was there at about 11 miles in. I guzzled my smoothie, took a few things I thought I could stomach and left the rest of my drop bags to be picked over by anyone else. That checkpoint seemed a bit slicker, but my Strava tells me I was still there for two minutes.

At this point I got chatting to a nice woman, Gayle, from Tinto Hill Runners who was telling me she had done the 120km UTMB six weeks previously where she had been second FV40 and has another big run in four weeks time so was just doing this as a training run. We hung out together for the next few miles chatting away. It was good to chat to her as it stopped me from getting too eager and going too fast, just kept it nice and relaxed, reminding myself to eat and drink.

We passed a signpost pointing us towards Rob Roy’s grave at Balquhidder. I was slightly disappointed not have time to go in for a look. It was mostly undulating, hard-packed, but slightly muddy tracks at this point, as it was until we came to the timing point at the halfway mark at Strathyre. I dibbed my dobber, filled up my water bottle and was on the move again in 30 seconds, crossing the A84 then heading uphill on forest tracks.

As we made our way up the track then we were suddenly presented with the most amazing rainbow I have ever seen. I slowed down as I fumbled to get my phone out my bag for a photo and waited for it to switch on, just about walking so I wouldn’t go past it, but it took ages and by the time I got a photo I was well past the place it had been most impressive. The photo I did get doesn’t do it justice at all. One for the memory banks instead of the hard drive.

After 1.5 miles of uphill we came down the other side for 2 miles which was nice and quick, then it was under the A84 and back to the point where the 10 mile loop had begun. I was now heading home. A mile of trails and checkpoint 3 was right there so I pushed on and got to my third drop bag, where I had stashed some cola and a few other goodies I thought I would like. But when I got there I pretty much didn’t fancy anything. I took a couple of swigs of my cola, grabbed my cheese spread and crisp sandwich and tried to force it down my neck over the next 4 miles.

At just over 24 miles I was back on the switchbacks, but this time climbing rather than descending the hill. Then it was the long railway section that I had so enjoyed on the way out. I swear, somehow the path had been tilted since I came the other way, it definitely wasn’t anything like this sort of incline earlier. The words of the runner who had basically predicted my misery came back to haunt me at this point and I struggled on with a jog/walk strategy for the next couple of miles, trying to eat a dry sandwich washed down with warm electrolyte drink. This was probably the low point of my race.

A good number of runners were overtaking me on this stretch, so I eventually pulled myself together and got going properly again. Crossing the viaduct I came across Fishy Gordon who had chosen that spot to take his photos. I don’t know how he did it but the picture he took definitely shows that he managed to tease a smile out of me with his enthusiasm and energy.

From there it wasn’t far back to the final checkpoint where a lovely lady peeled my orange for me when I was just staring at it wondering what the heck to do with it. The guy who spoke for ages at the start line was at the checkpoint encouraging people on. “Only four miles to go, all downhill to Killin!” he was shouting. Looking at my watch, I was trying to do the maths – I only had a tad over 28 on my watch so clearly 4 wasn’t going to add up to 33, therefore he was talking rubbish and couldn’t be trusted. I was convinced it was going to be 5 miles of hills.

But as it turns out, he was a nice man who didn’t tell porkies, the paths and trails to the finish were downhill and it was just a bit over 4 miles, along lovely cycle paths through the woods. At 30 miles I started to imagine the finish line and how Mel would be there with the girls, who would both run to me and I would cross the finish holding hands with them both. I got quite emotional at this image and really hoped it would come true.

I managed to run reasonably strongly to the end, making back a place or two that I had lost earlier as I ran through the village. I turned into the park and saw the finish arch, but was sent for a lap round the park. As I plodded round I was looking to see if my family were there but couldn’t spot them. As I got closer I realised they weren’t. As I crossed the finish line I felt a strange mix of emotions. Satisfied to have completed the race, but a little bit deflated.

I was disappointed that I had crashed a bit towards the end and had to walk on bits that weren’t that hilly, and disappointed that I didn’t have anybody there to welcome me in, and weirdly a little bit sad that it was over. But the disappointment didn’t last long; I was pleased to have got round without incident and I was happy with my time of 5 hours 15 minutes – towards the lower end of my prediction.

I went inside to get some dry clothes and was just getting changed when Mel and the girls showed up. They had been sitting having lunch in a cafe when they saw me running past. It made me feel better that at least they had seen me. I want all of them to be proud of this old man. We hung around at the village hall for a while waiting for Alan to come in, me drinking tea, the kids eating cakes. I wasn’t remotely hungry after the moving feast of the race. Eventually we decided that we must have missed Alan and went home where I had a long shower and a nice lie down.

Rob and Andrea were staying the night in Killin so we made plans to hook up with them for some drinks in the Killin hotel. They went off for dinner, we stayed where we were for dinner, then the plan was to meet up again at the post-race Ceilidh. But when we got there it was busy, there were no seats available and it was getting on and we were all kind of tired so just headed for bed, and back home in the morning.

It was a great weekend. An experience which I loved, and such a fantastic race. But now I think I could have done it quicker…

I’m now looking forward to doing another ultra – which is just as well as I’m in the Fling next year!

Results

Position Name Category Race Time
00:00:00 Allan Dunbar MV40 05:15:23
00:00:00 Alan Thornburrow MV40 06:17:45
00:00:00 Vicky Lyon F 07:54:04

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Borders XC Lauder 2017

After picking up our numbers some of us went off for a very civilised cuppa and watched the tractor show making its way through Lauder. The weather was cool but sunny. A fantastic turnout for the Harriers with some youngsters following in their parents footsteps and taking part in the junior race.

Results:

Place Name Category Time
25 Billy Colvin M40+ 29:31.6
59 Michael Greens MS 32:19.5
83 Gregor Gorjanc MS 34:15.1
86 Gillian Cairns F40+ 34:24.0
112 Alasdair Hind M40+ 36:43.1
126 Ian Forrest M60+ 37:35.1
133 William Dickson M50+ 37:50.1
137 Jan Dawson F40+ 37:56.6
143 Robin Hall M40+ 38:15.1
144 Charlie Crawford MS 38:30.9
170 Sadie Kemp F40+ 40:32.7
180 Tracy Philp F40+ 41:34.6
182 Chris Downie M50+ 41:45.7
193 Andrew McDermott MS 42:48.9
197 Gilly Marshall F40+ 43:09.8
226 Daniel Greens MS 47:26.4
234 Romana Gorjanc F40+ 48:11.6
248 Ngeme Ntuli M50+ 51:22.7
252 Margaret Forrest F50+ 51:38.3
262 Mike Pearson M70+ 56:12.2

full results: https://www.webscorer.com/racedetails?raceid=119602

67 Lewis Cairns M10-11 16:28.4
74 Calum Hind M10-11 16:47.5
101 Glen Dawson M8-9 18:48.7

juniors: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=119603

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Jedburgh Ultra Marathon and Relay 2017

A very enjoyable and fun event for all of us who took part. There was a nice bit of competition between the 2 teams Too Many Cuiks (Hawaiians) and Peni Coo Coo Katchoo (Ninjas). Chris Downie was out supporting, Susie Maxwell was marshalling, tail running and supporting. Aldo was marshalling and dishing out hugs. Course PBs for Tracy, Gilly and Sadie and Jan was fourth lady. Our teams did fantastically too taking third and fourth spot. I think most of us will be back next year for more!

Individual results:
Overall Finish Time to CP1 CP2 CP3 CP4 finish

44 Jan Dawson 06:48:11 F 01:32:12 01:14:59 01:09:29 01:10:05 01:41:26

81 Sadie Kemp 07:26:43 F 01:35:40 01:21:05 01:07:44 01:19:01 02:03:13

89 Tracy Philp 07:38:01 F 01:40:14 01:26:18 01:12:48 01:20:16 01:58:25

95 Tim Doyle 07:41:18 M50 01:40:18 01:26:47 01:12:01 01:20:35 02:01:37

111 Gilly Marshall 07:58:16 F 01:40:16 01:30:13 01:15:06 01:25:19 02:07:22

147 Mark Dawson 08:51:41 M 01:42:30 01:30:46 01:25:55 01:33:20 02:39:10

Full results: http://protaytiming.com/j3p/

Team results:

3 Too Many Cuiks MIXED 05:57:01 01:33:29 01:22:43 00:44:26 00:56:55 01:19:28

4 Peni Coo Coo Katchoo MIXED 05:59:41 01:16:33 01:20:12 00:58:36 00:58:53 14:01:41 (can’t be right!)

Full results: http://www.protaytiming.com/j3p/teams.php

Some highlights:

My relive: https://www.relive.cc/view/1250804422

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Manor water hill race 14-Oct-2017

At 10 miles and 2300 feet climb this is a testing route, especially with the very muddy conditions underfoot this year. The cloud was low so visibility was poor for much of the race. As it’s an out and back you are rarely running on your own and its nice to be able to cheer the faster runners on as they pass you on their return. All runners were handed a beer at the finish and some of the ladies won more booze. Andrea scooped third lady, while Julie and I got the category prizes.

Results:
21 Rob Wilson M40 01:35:44 120.00%
23 Michael Greens M 01:36:15 120.70%
27 Stuart Dun M 01:38:55 124.00%
30 Alan Dunbar M40 01:39:18 124.50%
41 Gregor Gorjanc M 01:45:15 131.90%
51 Robin Hall M40 01:53:29 142.30%
54 Andrea Wilson F40 02:00:49 151.50%
56 Daniel Greens M 02:01:10 151.90%
57 Sadie Kemp F40 02:01:47 152.70%
60 Julie Hand F 02:03:41 155.10%
69 Romana Gorjanc F40 02:35:15 194.60%

full results: http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0106&Year=2017

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Des Crowe wins GB Team Silver at World Masters

Des Crowe ran for GB at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Slovakia on Saturday 2nd September 2017.

Stewart Whitlie ran an excellent race finishing third and claimed the Bronze Medal.   As Des Crowe was also placed well up, they were part of the GB team which claimed the Silver Medal just behind Italy.

Scottish Masters land World hill medals with GB

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Penicuik 10k Road Race 2018

Our 2018 Road Race will be held on Satuday 12th May at our new start time of 11am. Planning is well underway 🙂

 

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Grand Prix Results

Final Club Grand Prix Results for season 2016-17

Cross Country

Men:  1st = Charles Crawford 2nd = Allan Dunbar
Women: 1st = Rachael Lees 2nd = Gillian Cairns and Julie Hand

Road Race

Men: 1st = Allan Dunbar and Michael Greens
Women: 1st = Sadie Kemp

Hill

Men: 1st = Des Crowe 2nd = Stuart Sanderson
Women: 1st = Gillian Cairns 2nd = Andrea Wilson

The most improved runner award went to Michael Greens.

Very well done to everyone 🙂

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My First Skyline – 2017

Since I joined the club I admired the Skyline race. I find this race name so catchy and attractive. I must be making some kind of translation error. At some point, I made a mental note that one day I will run it. Yet, I dreaded to put this plan into action. I often run in Pentlands and love the area, but how does one go about the whole Skyline? After a good summer of hills reps and an odd hill race I was getting intrigued, albeit afraid. A couple of club members encouraged me to give it a try. I really appreciate such encouragement, but it is easy to encourage someone else! to run that beast! A recent recce with Gillian made me realize that I might be able to do it in time without falling apart. After much deliberation, I entered the bloody thing and hoped for the best. I was not disappointed!

Plan: My plan was to get around without much pressure on time. Recce with Gillian and discussion with Rob suggested that I should be able to get around in ~4h. This is easy to plan, but harder to realise in race. There are so many things that could go wrong with so many hills. So, I decided to take a “stress-free” approach and go with a flow. I uploaded some music to my phone and planned for an “easy” first half to have a chance of battle with the second half. I also decided to walk most hills, but with a decent pace to keep within time. This strategy served me well.

Race: At the start the lead organiser had a funny introduction and started the race at 11am sharp. A long line to Caerketton formed, but the pace was good for burning into the race. At some point the frenzy walk turned into nice running over Caerketton. When approaching Allemuir I noticed a long line of runners along the fence and decided to take the path on the right. In this way I overtook many! by taking seemingly a longer route. Great! Run down towards Castlelaw was nice with all the sunshine and we reached Flotterstone in no time. Going up Turnhouse seemed to take ages and I started to feel my lungs and hearth pumping hard. I focused on steps and climbed the damn long hill. Then finally? some running towards Carnethy and again a series of steps, a dash down, a series of steps, a dash down, … At a couple of points, I saw Gillian and Alan in front, but could not keep the distance to them.

Soon I reached the Drove road. It’s funny. It is a long way from the start to the Drove road, but once you do it, you do not think it is that long anymore. Strange. Perhaps because one still dreads what is about to come next. I was glad I was about to do another stretch of proper running on the Drove road. The only thing is that by the time the Drove road starts to gently climb up, you realise that you cannot run that well anymore. Then the route leads you to boggy Hare hill, which enforces the realisation of tiredness. Despite this, I did well on this section and overtook three runners. The descent from it was … well … interesting. When I reached its edge a lady in front-left of me was waiving at me. I reckoned she knows the way and ran to her only to realise she is asking me which way to go. Well I was not 100% sure either, but we had to get to the hill on the other side. So, we should go straight down the hill into the valley. Straight down on the steepest part! Gosh! It seems a lot of runners were not sure which way to go (I got these Flybys from the Carnethy website):

To be honest, the descent proved “fun”! I considered bum-sliding, but there was too much undergrowth. In no time, I was pumping steps up the Black Hill and cursing its long ascent. I caught and overtook Alan, which gave me a boost. Sorry Alan! Soon I reached boggy top. I still do not understand how can water accumulate on the top of some hills in this country. How does that water defy gravity? I run over the top and did not mid the bog too much, though it does suck energy out of you. Then, a nice descent followed. I enjoyed this bit of the race the most!!! Long downhill that is not too steep and nice underfoot conditions. By aiming straight for the Bell’s hill, I managed to cut some runners that overtook me between Turnhouse and Kips. Awesome! I felt very smug for the second time in the race. Bell’s hill is a pain, but I expected that and got over it eventually. Did not even had energy for cursing. On the descent I started to fell knees badly. Did I over-stride on descent from Black Hill? The Penicuik Harriers “camp” at Maiden’s Cleugh distracted my mind and I was already climbing the next hill. At this point I was getting sick of the race. The taste of gels and Snickers bars I was munching for energy felt disgusting though I felt strong in some sense. I wanted to finish as soon as possible. Easier said than done at that stage! It took me a while to get over the remaining hills as my knees were in agony with every descending step, but I managed to finish somehow in 3.54. Very close to the predicted time without aiming for it. Cool!

I am very pleased the way my first Skyline turned out. There is now a PB that I can race against next time, yay! Gosh! I am also very pleased by all the support we had up in the Skyline from the club. There were so many of you, with so much energy, that it was a pleasure bumping into you guys! Also thanks for the photos that I nicked for this post. Now that I have done the Skyline, I am in a search of a new dreading target. Julian and Rob suggest LAMM. Stay tuned for that.

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Dunoon Ultra 2017

This 55K race first came to my attention last year, it was the inaugural year but I was too disorganised to get myself in gear and enter, but I kept an eye on it and saw all the photos and rave reviews coming in post-race and knew it was one I wanted on my race calendar for this year. So another Hogmanay came round and another race entry in the early hours and I was in. Although this race had only gone ahead once it was no 8 in a top 10 of Ultras due to its scenic route and great organisation. I had initially thought I could drive over in the morning as it was an 8am race start but as I looked into the logistics of driving and ferry times it became clear that this would be another weekend away race and I was quite happy with that, it’s the only time Alan and I ever get away for a weekend on our own, but as it is October and I am a summer camper it was definitely a hotel we were booking. As we drove over on Friday I told Alan how I had got an email from the hotel earlier in the week saying we could upgrade our room for a tenner, so we made a quick call enroute and got ourselves upgraded – turns out we got upgraded to the “Honeymoon Suite” in the top tower of the hotel with nearly 360 views of Dunoon. Not bad! The race is organised by a community group “Dunoon Presents …..” who organise various events to get people to visit Dunoon with help in this instance with the local running group Dunoon Hill Runners. I love races like this that have so much local support. I was able to register Friday evening on the Pier which would also act as our finish line the next day and leave my drop bags so all I needed to do on Saturday morning was rock up and jump on the courtesy bus that took us to the start at Benmore Botanic Gardens a 20 minute drive away. On race morning it was raining and dreich and I knew I would not get to see much of the amazing views that had drawn me to the race. There was a little coffee shop at the Pier where registration etc was and they had opened early and were giving free coffee to all the runners. Once we arrived at Benmore their coffee shop was open and busting at the seams with runners and they were also serving coffee and pastries, they even came round with trays of pastries as were congregating at the start line encouraging us all to grab some. (Rob take note – I think you need to step up to Ultras!)

The race was to be started with a piper and then when the piper finished a cannon! That was a first for me and even though we were all warned there were shrieks of shock as the cannon went off. The race began by running through the gun smoke into an avenue of Giant Redwoods and then a little wooden bridge over the river which was in full spate as it had been pretty wet the week before and was still raining. We turned left and along a track that was deep with puddles and everyone was swerving left and right and jumping where they could trying to keep feet dry for as long as possible, I had heard a couple people talking to each other saying to try and get ahead at the start as there was a narrow single file section early on so I was trying to push on as much as I could. Within a mile or so we entered an area called Pucks Glen which is the most magical narrow gorge with ferns and mosses growing up the steep embankments and the river gushing down the centre, it was quite a steady climb up the rocky paths and steps and bridges criss crossing the river, I would love to go back and walk up and take my time and really appreciate it, but for now I was too busy trying to keep up with the runner in front of me and not slip on the wet ground, we reached the top and turned out of the glen onto wide forest track and this was to be our terrain for a while. The forest track we were on was fairly undulating but was climbing steadily, I had got into a rhythm now and was quite happily running along, although it was still wet, it was quite warm and I had ditched my raincoat going through Pucks Glen and would not need it for the rest of the race, the mist was down and as another runner described it, it was very “atmospheric” with various shades of grey. The path kept climbing until we reached a mast which I knew to be the high point of the race, I did not think it would come so early, we were at mile 12 or so. There was a sign saying “view point – turn around” and I am sure any other day you would be greeted with a fabulous view down Loch Eck. The route now headed steeply downhill to the relay handover point. As we came past the handover we hit a short stretch of road that was coned off so we had a lane to ourselves, it was hard coming back down to the concrete and my legs were not enjoying it after the hard downhill, before long we were diverted off the road to full Ultra’s second checkpoint, (the first was at mile 8 but I did not stop). I grabbed some water and food and headed out, a marshall cheerily told me it was pretty flat for the next wee bit and I have to admit my heart sank a bit, I never do very well on the flat. This section took us alongside the Loch and was pretty muddy and giant puddles everywhere which again were jumped or skirted round, this section was taking it out of me and my legs were heavy and I was struggling a bit when another runner came alongside me, Robert from Gourock Harriers, just over the other side of the water, their club had a few running both the relay and the full ultra, we stuck together for quite a while chatting and the miles just disappeared it seemed no time until we reached the 3rd checkpoint, back at Benmore. Alan was waiting for me and it was good to see him, he always gives me a lift. They had coke at this station and I grabbed a cup and it was either this or seeing Alan but whatever it was it gave me a bit of rocket fuel as I headed off on the last leg. We ran the same puddly section as we had at the start of the race but turned a different direction shortly after and began our return to Dunoon. There was a bit of road, then we hit the trails again, I was doing a fair bit of chatting to runners either as they passed me or as I passed them and the sun was starting to come out. I don’t think I have ever seen so many rainbows as I did on this race. I was glad Robert had warned me that just when you can see Dunoon and the water and you think you are heading in the path turns and goes up and away and further into the hill as I might have been a bit disheartened otherwise but forewarned is forearmed and as Dunoon came into sight I readied myself for another hill. Once this was climbed it was a steep descent into the town, past some houses and then a final half mile or so along the Esplanade with the pier just out of sight around the corner, it was a bit of a slog but I kept telling myself nothing was worse than the final road section after the Breweries and that this was a doddle. As I turned the final corner, I could see the Pier with all its flags and crowds. I pushed to the finish and crossed in 6.17.44

Post-race there was hot food and a choice of beer or gin (another first!), a cotton t-shirt with photo of Loch Eck and a lovely little wooden plaque instead of a medal. I also don’t think I have seen so many photographers at a race before, they popped up all over the place, so consequently I have a LOT of photos which is just as well as I did not take nearly as many as I was planning since it was so wet and I nearly killed my phone at the Devil trying to use it in the rain. (Thank you to Ken Clark whose photos I have used here).

This was a really lovely race in a beautiful area that I definitely want to come back and explore some more, the organisation and support from both the community, the marshalls and the local running club was fantastic and I would love to come back and run this again and hopefully get to see the views I missed this time round.

It was not until the next day that I saw the results and was really surprised to see that I had managed to come in 50th overall, 10th female and 3rd in my age category.

 

 

 

Here is a little bit of the start that John Kynaston filmed

 

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Posted in Race Reports | 9 Comments