Stuc’A Chroin Hill Race 2018

Stuc’A Chroin at Scottish Hill Racing website

The race website

As a preparation for LAMM I scheduled this race for mileage and hill training. However, too much travel this year, battling with a cold few weeks ago, and not much endurance training suggested this race might turn out ”interesting”. I managed to persuade Romana and Janez to join me as spectators and spend a glorious day out hiking. We left sunny Penicuik in high spirits only to realise that weather was getting grimmer as we neared the destination. Sadly, Strathyre was completely overcast and one could not see a hill from the valley! I met Rob and Gillian at registration, while Romana and Janez started their hike soon after this to gain some distance. After a short warmup a sizeable crowd of runners gathered for the start. Weather conditions made it tricky to judge what to wear – I opted for short sleeves and gloves and obviously full body cover in the backpack – organisers made sure you had all the required kit even before giving you a number – this is so much better than kit check just before the start. Rob ensured us that even in bad weather there should be no problem with navigation in this race as there are many marshals and flags, which was indeed the case.

This year race organisers moved the initial track to a forest road (the original/old route?) due to waterlogged forest. I found the runnable road a nice way to burn into the race, but with the steady climb I found it quite hard to keep with my “progress meter” – Gillian;) She is stronger on climbs and if I manage to keep her pace I am content, but weary I might burn out too soon. After we left the road underfoot conditions changed – there was so much water everywhere that even running in Inov8 x-claws was tricky and slippery business. At some point I jumped over few “streams of water” and suddenly left Gillian behind. Soon after that Romana and Janez gave me additional boost, but it only lasted few meters for me to slip on my all four in an instance – bloody water! I was muddy all up to my knees even before the first mayor climb. I pushed towards Glen Ample. The descent into the glen was steep, and did I mention wet?, but keeping to the heathery side I managed good pace. It felt very encouraging. However, the climb to Beinn Each out of the glen was tough. I could not really see where we were heading. I simply followed the well-trodden track, which had massive steps in places. It felt more like a never-ending cross-fit training than hill running. Gillian caught me in that section and we stayed together for quite a while. The visibility up there was very limited, but it would have been hard to get lost with the well-trodden track and so many marshals and flags. More importantly, underfoot conditions were bad – lots of stones and rocks everywhere and boy were they slippery! Very tricky. It took quite a while before we reached the Stuc. In the morning I was hoping for nice views from this Munroe alas no luck. I took a sip of water from the kind marshals and started to descent. I dreaded this part with all that slippery rock, mud, and water, but it went surprisingly well. I started to feel the legs, but somehow completely forgot about them by focusing on the active descent  When we passed the turning point the rocks and stones were gone, but heather and tussocky grass made the going still challenging. I managed to leave Gillian behind at this point and dashed towards our spectators. This time they managed to take a photo of me and Gillian, but they missed Rob who was well ahead. The contouring descent was gnarly, but I was able to dash through heather and overtook some runners. I reached the bottom of Glen Ample in no time and in high hopes to smash the final climb out of it. Dang! At the start of that climb I got a massive cramp in groin area and could barely walk – only to realise that Gillian is just few meters behind me. I guess a sachet of tailwind and two bars did not provide enough electrolytes and energy to prevent cramps. I can’t see how I could have drank or eaten more. Anyway. I pressed the cramp area with fingers in hope for the better and with tiny steps climbed the darn hill – at places it felt more like walking up a stream than a hill! The cramp eased and ahead of me was a mild long final descent – just what I like most. I managed to pass some runners on a grassy/bogy part and some more on the road. I reached the end with a good finish. Gillian followed soon after me. Rob was already well rested by then. This was definitely a challenging race and great training for LAMM. I kind of like its toughness and the weather definitely made it “interesting”. I am looking forward to run it in nicer conditions.

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Posted in Race Reports | 6 Comments

London Marathon 2018

I was thinking about running the London Marathon from the moment Susie and Julie shared their emotional memories about this special race with me after hill training. Since I loved my first marathon I decided to put my name in the hat for the club place and was lucky. As trade-off for this luck, we got a harsh winter, with a lot of snow, ice, more snow and dangerous traps covered under the snow…

Although I managed to stick to my training plan most of the time I felt less ready than for the Loch Ness marathon and after the ‘manhole incident’, I started to have aches almost everywhere from the hips downwards.

I felt much better closer to the race (thanks to my running buddies with their encouraging words and a nice walk in the Pentlands the weekend before) until I saw the weather forecast. Here’s Juliane’s Marathon tip (JMT) number 1: When you’re training for a spring marathon, you should consider running on a treadmill… In a sauna….

My fellow club runners Raymond and Amy (ok, she is running in other club colours in reality but I definitely consider Amy as huge part of the Penicuik Harriers) were going to run London Marathon as well.

On the day before the marathon, it was hot and humid in London, but you could already sense the buzzing atmosphere that gives you goose bumps on race day. On top of that, everything was so well-organized!

 

I slept well, got up early, had my champions breakfast (1/2 dry bagel) and hopped on the bus. While I shared the bus primarily with people who were on their way to work, London Bridge train station was bursting with runners. Chatting to some of them and seeing all the happy and excited faces, the spirit of London Marathon started to take over.

In the start area, I tried to stay out of the sun if possible, drank more water and applied the tenth layer of sun cream. The procedure at the start had been changed this year: the runners were starting in waves and although I don’t know how crowded the start was in the last years, I think this was a huge improvement. The start itself was a bit unreal: from one moment to another, the silence of nervous runners was replaced by the insane noise of spectators and event staff, which was going to follow us everywhere along the route until the finish line.

I felt so emotional during the first 3K: seeing the runners running for loved ones, the children waiting for high-fives (this might be the reason why I ended up doing 43.5k), the fancy dresses (‘Beatles’ playing ‘Here comes the sun’ while running and every runner around joining in) and one of my highlight was when I passed the firefighters (in full equipment!!!) running for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. Another plus was that all the aches I had the weeks before the marathon had disappeared. So JMT number 2: my physiotherapist is a magician (or I do express a severe case of Maranoia).

After 3k, I saw the first collapsed runner and this was the moment when I realized the brutal heat. Seeing more and more runners in distress the next miles, I allowed myself to slow down yet I still started to struggle from around 10k onwards. I just couldn’t imagine running in the heat for so long… The water stations were quite frequent, there were six showers along the route (how stupid I was making jokes about them in the winter!), and several fire hoses were in use. Also, members of St. John Ambulance were present everywhere doing an amazing job and spectators were handing out water and fruits. Seeing everyone working so hard for our well-being made it feel save to continue running.

Although running in this heat was not pleasant, I still could appreciate the marathon. It was a giant party in the centre of London along the famous landmarks, with people having BBQs, bands playing weather-appropriate songs (‘Gimme shelter’ was my favourite, has anyone ever tried dancing while running?) and, at the risk that I repeat myself, the crowds cheer you on as if you are a star or a kind of superhero. The moment I remembered the most was crossing the Tower Bridge, people went absolutely crazy, just wow!!! And then you have these little moments of kindness with other runners: I had a lovely wee chat with a Scottish guy whose daughter was born in Edinburgh Castle, we helped each other with water and applauded the extraordinary runners (I was especially impressed by the visually impaired runners). It’s also funny how memories stick in your head when you suffer: I’m still thinking about the pink Gin Tonic (that’s at least what it was in my imagination) in an ice-cooled carafe I saw in a woman’s hand and the taste of oranges! Here’s what I’ve learned next (JMT 3): Never ever have gels with Mojito flavour, even if it’s warm. Absolutely never!

While I was craving for all these things somewhere in the middle field of runners, the amazing Amy and the brilliant Raymond were in a heated head-to-head race far ahead of me. Thinking about running that fast in these conditions makes me feel slightly uncomfortable 😉

Luckily, Amy, Raymond and I finished save (and more or less sound) with 03:47:50, 03:48:59 and 04:26:44. While Raymond was enjoying his well-deserved reception with the MS Society, I was so happy to see Christian again and to catch up with Amy at the “P” (for Penicuik 😉 ).

Another amazing thing about London Marathon: it doesn’t end at the finish line. I had to catch my plane to Germany on the same evening, and no matter where I went (train station, tram, airport) people started to applaud and congratulate me, I guess I scared some of the children because I was so touched that I started to cry.

Despite all the suffering I’m grateful for this experience. The London Marathon left a profound impression about what the body can endure and foremost about how special the running community is. Finally, everything is put into perspective when one of us didn’t return from this race and thousands #FinishForMatt instead.

 

Juliane

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Posted in Race Reports | 7 Comments

Highland Fling 2018

Saturday 28 April, 2018

Ten hardy (or just plain crazy) harriers gathered on the start line of the 13th Highland Fling Race, a 53 mile ultra along the first half of the West Highland Way, from Milngavie to Tyndrum. A few of us had met up the evening before in the Burnbrae Inn, Milngavie, to register for the race and grab some food. Fling virgins (Mark, Allan D and myself) took on sage advice from experienced veterans (Chris, Sadie, Tracy, Lori and Gilly) over dinner, along with super support team Michael and Ngeme, who was crewing Chris in preparation for the full WHW race 6 weeks later. Yan and Alan Marshall were on finish line duties in Tyndrum and we were looking forward to seeing them the following day.

Alan T and Tim joined us the next morning and we lined up at the start, ready for the 6am start gun from Milngavie train station. Michael took ‘before’ photos of us all, to compare with ‘during’ and ‘after’ pictures he planned to take later that day. Much hilarity and silly poses helped ease race nerves and get us into the spirit of the Fling, one of the most popular ultra races in the Scottish calendar with around 800 runners taking part.

After letting the speed goats off first at 06:00 sharp, the 10-12 hour wave started at 06:03. Allan and I set off together and eased into a steady pace, trying not to get carried away and run too fast, the downfall of many a Flinger before us. We had a double marathon ahead of us, and I was trying only to think of the race in sections, concentrating on getting to the next checkpoint, rather than focusing on the intimidating distance as a whole.

The first third of the race is fairly flat and runnable, and progress was good. The chat was flowing and before we knew it we were past the first checkpoint at Drymen and scaling Conic Hill. Monument photos were at their usual spot near the top, ready to take our photos as we soaked up the incredible views before a quad-crunching descent off the other side.

The first drop bag station at Balmaha is almost 20 miles in, so a welcome pit stop to refresh water supplies and have a bite to eat. I was surviving mostly on Tailwind though, which I’d put in small bags to top up my hydration pack with. They looked very suspicious though, so I felt the need to clarify…

Balmaha to Rowardennan is a lovely stretch of the route, heading up the east side of Loch Lomond, which was still and like a mirror in the lack of wind. In fact the weather was perfect, cool and sunny and the rain stayed off until well into the evening. I hit a wave of fatigue just after Balmaha, and was explaining to Allan that this always happens to me at 21 miles in, but it is usually followed by a wave of euphoria a few miles later (Yan can confirm this!). Sure enough, as I hit Rowardennan I was buzzing. Allan was beginning to feel the fatigue, and thinks I probably got his wave of euphoria as well as my own! After spotting Sadie at the checkpoint and saying hello I was raring to go. I felt bad for speeding ahead but really needed to use the energy while I still had it. It lasted well into Inversnaid, and I ran most of the hills until I got to the checkpoint, where Michael was ready to take our ‘during’ photos. I chugged back some orange Tango and breezed on, blissfully unaware of what was to come next.

The route out of Inversnaid hugs the Lochside, in a twisty, rocky, muddy, wet and slippy assault course of narrow paths, where it was not only impossible to run, but sometimes to stay upright. It was slow progress, and difficult to get past folk who were struggling with the challenging terrain. There were slips and grazed knees, but we all looked out for each other and picked up those who had taken a tumble. There were also a fair few walkers on this stretch, so I made sure I thanked every one of them as they let me past, and apologised for ruining their walk! After a few miles of this I started to huff and sigh, and a runner in front said “Oh, sorry do you want past?”. I apologised and explained that I was just getting a bit frustrated and was looking forward to being able to run again.

Eventually, after about 3 miles (which felt like 10) the route left the Lochside and headed into a glen. Although the elevation picked up, it was good to be running again. My wave of energy had been totally zapped, so I ate some Kendal mint cake – food of the gods – and took a good drink of water.

The Lochside section had dampened my spirits a little, but as I had practised in training, I pushed the bad thoughts out and replaced them with good ones, along with a good dose of gratitude for being able to take part in such an event. I’m not a religious person, but ultra-running has become my pilgrimage, my celebration of the human spirit. I began to think to myself, after witnessing many acts of kindness, support, encouragement and community from both participants and marshals alike, that the world would be a much better place if ultra-runners were in charge! That really lifted my spirits, and the fatigue began to abate a little.

The Inversnaid section had put an end to my dream of a sub 10 finish, but I had gold, silver and bronze goals for this. Silver was sub 11, and as long as I got to the A82 checkpoint in 10 hours, I knew I could do it. The last 6 miles is familiar territory for me, having run various bits of it over the years. I just had ‘Cow Poo Alley’ to tackle first, a grim section on the other side of Beinglas which is infamously covered with large amounts of mud and cow pats. Just before I hit this, at the 45-mile mark I spotted a familiar face. Chris Downie was out to support us, having fit in a hike up a Munro earlier that day. It was such a tonic to see him, and a big hug gave me a much-needed power up. I did warn him I smelled like a mountain goat, but that didn’t stop him! I’d seen the wild goats just before the Beinglas checkpoint, as they casually munched away, nonplussed by the steady stream of traffic. I’d been warned you would smell them before you see them, but on this occasion it was probably the other way around!

As I trudged my way through the cow pats I could see Ewich in the distance, the rollercoaster section through the forest. I made it to the bottom of the hill with my shoes still on my feet, to be greeted with a fence covered in flags and some lovely ladies handing out Irn Bru – heaven. I bounced up the hill towards the sound of accordion music, where two ladies were sitting under the trees blasting out tunes. I attempted a wee jig, but the hill made it look more like a half-hearted Morris Dance. Still, I got a cheer for the attempt.

I’m not sure where the energy came from, as everything from my head to my toes hurt, but I ran pretty much the rest of the race without walking. I passed quite a few folk, exchanging a few encouraging words along the way – mostly about how beer was not far off (although I was really craving a huge mug of sugary tea). I crossed the A82 and just before St Fillan’s kirk there was Gordon Donnachie, taking photos and shouting encouragement. I was still smiling, and was on target for sub-11. I ran through Auchtertyre to clapping and cheering from campers and crossed under the A82 again to reach the last 2-mile stretch. Adrenaline was flowing, and I could picture the finish. I spotted Michael again – who’d been having a grand day out on boats and trails, cheering on the club. He took a few photos and said, “Only a mile to go!” which gave me a boost. Sure enough, before long I could hear the clamour of cow bells and cheering crowds. I spotted the finish line in the trees up ahead and ran past a piper with a huge grin on my face.

Turning left onto the red carpet is something I will never forget. It’s insane! The flags, the camera flashes, the hands held out for high fives, and that carpet. You are made to feel like a superhero. I slapped as many hands as I could and headed towards the finish, clocking 10:47:09. Incredibly happy with that!

The marshals in the finishers tent were incredible, bringing that much-longed for sugary tea, fetching my kit bag and showing me to the showers. They were so sweet, every single one of them, all along the course. After a shower I got a great massage and headed to the tent for a feed. Sadie wasn’t far behind me, having got a huge 53-minute PB in just over 11 hours, despite knee pain and feeling sick in the last stages. Allan came in within 12 hours, managing a victory jig on the red carpet, followed by Gilly, Tim and Tracy (who finished together), Mark, Lori, Alan and Chris. All harriers home in one piece and injury free! Ding Ding!

But the party didn’t stop there. A few of us gathered in the food marquee, cracked open some beer and reflected on the day. Yan, who had made himself hoarse shouting at the finish line, and Alan joined us when duties allowed. Later on, Yan broke out his Bodhrán and joined a few other musicians to deliver a cracking session of fast-paced Celtic music. Mark and Gilly eased off the legs with a Gay Gordons, while I jumped around to “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers. Motion is lotion, after all!

All in all, an absolute belter of a day out. I can see why this race is so popular, it has just the best atmosphere of any race I’ve done (including Boston). I was contemplating London marathon next year, but the Fling has stolen my heart. After all, why do one marathon when you can do two for the same price? The scenery is much better too!

A last word is saved for Gilly and Chris, who are taking on the full distance of the WHW in June. Kudos to you two, I couldn’t have run another step at Tyndrum, much less another 42 miles! You guys are absolute legends in my eyes!

Results:

174 Jan Dawson 10:47:09
200 Sadie Kemp 11:06:16
323 Allan Dunbar 11:54:55
343 Gilly Marshall 12:12:28
348 Tim Doyle 12:16:43
349 Tracy Philp 12:16:44
430 Mark Dawson 12:40:03
460 Lori McCrae 12:53:20
616 Alan Thornburrow 14:11:53
649 Christopher Burns 14:38:19

Full results here: https://highlandflingrace.org/results.html

I was hopeless at taking photos (couldn’t be bothered taking my phone out of my bag) but here’s a cracker Mark persuaded a fellow runner to take of him. Says it all really! Michael is putting together an album of the day, as there are just too many to include here. Check the PH Social Page for more!

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Posted in Club Members, Race Reports | 11 Comments

Hunters Bog Trot

A few of us harriers made it along to the Hunters Bog Trot race this year on a lovely sunny day, possibly our one day of summer :-). This is a short and fun race hosted by the Hunters Bog Trotters. It always involves a hilarious pre – race briefing and some crazy spot prizes at the end, such as a brown jigsaw puzzle, some brown fabric dye…..

The race was as painful as always; the climb up the Radical Road is tough and none of us had been training in warm temperatures until now, so it felt a bit toasty. It’s a great speedy race to do, with a bit of hill thrown in, and much handier than most of the hill races. We had some ice cream at the finish too.

Des Crowe: 29th 33:58

Michael Greens: 39th 35:35

Rob Wilson: 43rd 36:28

Gill Cairns: 50th (1st F40) 37:09

Sadie Kemp: 84th 43:55

Chris Downie: 100th 47:08

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Pancharevo Trail Marathon

A Facebook post about the landscape of Bulgaria from the mother of my PhD student, Ivet, put the thought in my mind “might there be a mountain marathon I could enter as an excuse to visit to visit this country I’d heard so much about!”. Thus I found out about the Pancharevo Trail Marathon and, ten days into a great two-week trip to Bulgaria, was on the start line of the race – with Ivet running the half marathon. Although it was only April, and the race started at 09:00, the weather was forecast to be as warm as I’d feared (28C at 16:00). My plan was to run hard for the first ten kilometres so that I could get as far round the course as I could before it got too hot! It begins with 3km on a tarmac cycleway beside Pancharevo Lake, and I covered these in less than 14 minutes before entering the forest for a steady 8km climb from 600m to 1140m. By then, half the route was in open country, with extensive views of Vitosha – the snow-topped 2300m peak above Sofia which my wife and I had walked up earlier in the week – and the more distant Rila mountains which reach almost 3000m. A gentle descent took us down to a col (1050m) where the half marathon runners double-back. I was glad of the second refreshment station to keep myself hydrated without using up too much of the 1.5 litres on my back. Indeed, the six well-placed refreshment stations were welcoming both morally and nutritionally. We were then faced with a stiff climb and, even walking, I started to get warm, and then hot. The route goes over three tops, with about 50-100m climb for each, and at the first it passes close to the edge of a big drop, so I took two minutes out to take some photos and cool a little! At the final top, the highest point of the route at 1182m, we were given a “Pancharevo” wrist band to prove we’d got there. I picked up speed on the descent, but was limited by the roughness of the trail. After the 21km refreshment stop, the route undulates and, with no-one around me, I started to wonder whether I was on the right track! [Ivet and I had done a recce of half the course the week before, but this section was new to me.] Although I should have been able to run harder, not being sure I was going the right way dampened my enthusiasm. It was also rather warm! Eventually the route turned downhill again, and I ran well into the village of Dolni Pasarel which, 28km into the race, was its low point (720m). We’d come down to Dolni Pasarel on the recce, so I knew where to leave the village. I also knew that it would be a long climb back up to the col (1050m) I’d passed through earlier. I managed to run bits of it which were not climbing, but it all felt very slow. I was steadily overtaken by a couple of young women – who were chatting all the way – and another guy, but I also picked up a place. From the col (34km) there was an undulating section I knew, and I could run its shady and downhill stretches. However, I was “Garmin-watching”, looking forward to the last 6.5 km which drops steadily from 1150m to the finish at 600m. By now my feet were killing me, with the thick skin under both big toes and one heel having separated and “shifted”, and I cursed every time a bruised toe hit something – for the trail was far from smooth. As the track steepened and went into the forest I sped up, but could feel the temperature rise as I descended and worked for pace. I wasn’t catching the guy about 100m ahead of me, and thought I had no danger from behind, until I head footsteps in the last kilometre. By now I could see through the trees to the lake, which getting nearer below me as I descended. I sped up and was going flat out as I reached the last 50m back on the tarmac track and flew through the finish into an area bustling with people. Fortunately I managed not to hit anyone before I could bring myself to a halt. I’d held off the woman behind me by 9 seconds, only to find out later that her chip time was faster! At the finish there was a great atmosphere, partly because there was a free, quality, craft beer for every finisher. Mine soon went down, and when I found Ivet, her parents and twin school friends (who had also done the half) in an open-air bar, I was immediately provided with another beer by her dad! It was a great way to relax as the twins also spoke perfect English. Ivet had taken 2:47 for the half which was the same time as I’d taken for the extra 21km loop she hadn’t done. I’d done the half marathon course in 2:14, indicative of my fast start and its easier terrain. Thankfully the Bulgarians had data on their phones, so could follow the excellent on-line results service. With a time of 5:02, I was first Brit (of 3), first M50 (of 5) and, overall 26/137, so was satisfied. Taking the photos might have cost me a sub-5 hour time, but I was on holiday. The running standard in Bulgaria isn’t what it is here, particularly at the older end of the scale, as measured by my placing of 2/49 for runners over 40. Although an impressive-looking young woman was first in 4:16 [the men’s winner took 3:51], women’s running also doesn’t appear to be strong. Indeed, Ivet [a judoka by sport] came 10/25 for women in the half, but only 84/127 overall.

All in all, it’s a well organised race through beautiful countryside with a great atmosphere. The organising club, Begach, arranged for photos to be taken professionally, and then put them up on Facebook rather than selling them! I definitely recommend it as a “running holiday”, particularly as race entries, flights, accommodation, food, and beer are all cheap and good in Bulgaria! I’m keen to go back next year: anyone up for it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Race Reports | 2 Comments

Run Balmoral 15 Mile Trail Race 22/04/2018

Three intrepid Harriers set off for the long drive to Royal Deeside for this picturesque race around the estate of Balmoral Castle. A 1pm start time meant an early rise was not necessary and Ngeme did the honours and picked me and Robin up at 9am.

This was the second time I have done this race, the first being in 2015. I have entered each year since but have unfortunately always been injured or ill when race weekend arrived. Pleased to make it to the start line this time, hoping to take a couple of minutes off my previous time of 2:01:20 and dip under two hours.

The first mile or so of the race is fairly flat along a road leading away from the castle then as the road peters out and turns to tractor track and then forest trail it gently climbs. After about three and a half miles we are sent down a track which loops around through the woods, steadily climbs back up then heads us back the way we came along the forest tracks. So far, so straightforward.

At 8 miles comes the first of the more challenging climbs, up a slightly steeper incline through nice woods which eventually open up onto a more exposed hilltop and barren terrain. The track circumnavigates the peak of Ripe Hill, but still climbs until about 10 miles in where a downhill section is welcome. However the respite is temporary as the tracks heads upwards once again.

From 11 and a half miles in the track levels out then begins a long descent back towards the Dee valley and the finish line. But there is a sting in the tail shortly after reentering the woods, we are sent up a steep, muddy trail which after half a mile evens out. Then it’s a really nice finish through the woods, down the other side of the hill, back to the road and a sprint for home.

Despite having one eye on the Fling the next weekend I ran pretty hard and didn’t walk any of the uphill sections. At about two miles to go I counted seven people within a couple of hundred meters in front. I set my sights to catch as many of them as I could. I managed to reel all but one in before the end, overtaking a few on the final descent. Just shows it pays to practice fast descents.

The scenery is really nice, most of the course is easily runnable and was pretty solid underfoot, despite some rain that day. The weather was perfect for a good run, cool with sunshine and showers and light winds.

Medal, t-shirt and bottle of water for all finishers. By the time we all finished and got changed we had missed the burger vans that smelled so good before the race, so had to stop for a chippy in Braemar on the way home.

I would thoroughly recommend the race, and the Hungry Highlander chippy. A great Harriers day out.

 

Pos. Bibno. Finish time Chip time Participant Category Club/Company Speed Pace
53 244 1:54:11 1:54:02 Allan Dunbar (M) V40 Penicuik Harriers 7.88 mph 7:36 min/mile
190 278 2:10:29 2:09:43 Robin Hall (M) V40 Penicuik Harriers 6.90 mph 8:41 min/mile
394 363 2:39:47 2:38:49 Ngeme Ntuli (M) V50 Penicuik Harriers 5.63 mph 10:39 min/mile

 

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56th Tom Scott 10 Mile Memorial Road Race 01/04/2018

This event was added to our road grand prix calendar in place of Lasswade 10 mile which was cancelled this year. I have to say I think it was a great choice. Not too far away, just an hours drive. Loads of parking. Facilities in the watersports centre such as lockers (for a fiver deposit) and showers. The route was picturesque making circles around the loch in Strathclyde country park. It was reasonably flat with only a few small inclines making it a great PB course. There was also a 6k race that started with us so you had to beware of trying to keep up with those runners before the split. The first couple of miles I was running at just over 7 minute miles and was thinking ‘no way can I keep this up!”. Bottles of water, mars bars and caramel wafers at the finish hit the spot and we all got a nice medal. Stuweb did the electronic timings so we were able to get a printout of our times right away. A fab morning out helped by the lovely weather, we were all home in time to spend the afternoon eating easter eggs with our families. Happy days! 🙂

POS NAME CAT FINISH TIME
82 Ritchie Thomson M 75 SEN 52 01:01:30
144 Allan DUNBAR M 125 V40 31 01:07:00
157 Michael GREENS M 134 SEN 77 01:08:12
225 Sadie KEMP F 41 V35 26 01:14:58
236 Gordon Campbell M 193 SEN 94 01:16:39
264 Ian FORREST M 209 V60 10 01:18:48
335 Ngeme Ntuli M 247 V50 48 01:28:39

Full results: https://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/1Ny/
Race summary: https://www.tomscottroadraces.com
Map: https://www.tomscottroadraces.com/10-mile-maps

Thanks to the organisers for a very enjoyable and coordinated event and to Stuweb for accurate and timely results.

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NATIONAL 6/4 STAGE ROAD RELAY CHAMPIONSHIP 25/03/2018

Realising I had a flat tyre in the morning wasn’t the best start to the day as I was meant to be driving us through for the race. Luckily Jan was able to take her car so we all piled in and headed off to St Margaret’s academy where registration was being held. There was plenty of parking at the stadium next door. When we entered the academy there were huddles of runners organising themselves. We found the registration table and queued for our declaration form. We filled in our names and these we tallied with numbers. Then we queued again for our numbers and timing chips. There was yellow numbers for the long legs and red numbers for the short legs. We each got a timing chip for our ankle and I had an extra one being the last leg. Once we were sorted we headed outside to watch the mens race start which was 10 minutes before ours. There was a lot of young fast folk and we were just hopeing not to be last. Dave came over to give us some last minute advice and then Lynne was off in the first rush of the ladies race. It was really fun to see the runners start to come in and do their changeovers. Although there was some waiting around the time went fast as there was so much going on and lots of other runners to chat to. We roughly estimated when each of us would come in so we had time for a warmup and were in position at the right time. The route was undulating and because Livingstone has so many underpasses we were able to cross under and over roads with ease and no waiting for traffic. Susie and Yan were out marshalling and gave us loads of encouragement as did the other marshals, the route was well marked with arrows and red and white tape. I couldn’t beleive it when I ran in and the comentator shouted ‘third vet team Penicuik Harriers’ it was very exciting and we were handed medals and had our pictures taken. Dave came rushing over to congratulate us and he looked so happy. It was a great day out, helped by the fact it was lovely and sunny. I hope next year we get more teams in as it was a fantastic experience.

Leg 1 00:25:37 Lynne Stevely
Leg 2 01:08:33 Jan Dawson
Leg 3 01:39:29 Romana Gorjanc
Leg 4 02:24:54 Sadie Kemp
Total 02:24:54

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Chirnside cross country borders series 2018

This race had been cancelled due to snow the previous week so we were all glad to get a chance to complete the series and do the final race. There was still a bit of snow on the ground but it was a lovely mild day. Conditions underfoot were extremely muddy in places. The route was changed slightly from previous years being 2 laps instead of a longer loop. Massive well done to all who made the long journey down and put in a great effort. Special congratulations to Gillian who won herself prize.

Juniors:
51 Lewis Cairns M10-11 18:49.0
59 Calum Hind M10-11 19:48.0
70 Duncan Hind M8-9 21:36.0
76 Glen Dawson M8-9 23:03.0

Full results: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=129818

Seniors:
6 Billy Colvin M40+ 29:34.5
19 Michael Greens MS 33:13.6
27 Gillian Cairns F40+ 34:52.5
31 Alasdair Hind M40+ 36:20.6
50 Jan Dawson F40+ 38:50.9
59 Sadie Kemp F40+ 40:53.0
66 Chris Downie M50+ 41:40.0
72 Daniel Greens MS 44:41.2
91 Ngeme Ntuli M50+ 54:11.9

Full results: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=129817

Series standings:
Juniors:

59 Lewis Cairns
65 Calum Hind
77 Duncan Hind
78 Glen Dawson

Full results: https://www.webscorer.com/seriesresult?seriesid=119217

Females

8 Gillian Cairns
20 Jan Dawson
26 Sadie Kemp
29 Juliane Friedrich
38 Tracy Philp
50 Gilly Marshall

Males

28 Billy Colvin
35 Michael Greens
52 Allan Dunbar
62 Alasdair Hind
79 William Dickson
89 Daniel Greens
92 Ian Forrest
92 Robin Hall
102 Charlie Crawford
114 Ngeme Ntuli
121 Andrew McDermott

Full results: https://www.webscorer.com/seriesresult?seriesid=117523

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3 Eildons Trail Race

Allan, Andy and I made it to this year’s Eildons trail race, a lovely 10 miler starting with the hills and then lots of muddy trail. This is a great race for getting a little bit more mileage in after the short XC races over the winter. Conditions were good for running and there was slightly less mud than last year. Allan and I managed PBs by a small margin, despite going past the turn to the hills along with two thirds of the field, not so great when you’re nearer the front group of runners. This made the hills section slightly less enjoyable only because we were trying to pass folk who’d either turned back before us or actually gone the right way. We really should know the route by now!

As usual there was a great spread of food after the race, much needed after losing all of our body heat on the cool down back to the rugby club. Definitely one of my favourite races!

25th Allan Dunbar 01:35:04 (always catches me!!)

26th Gill Cairns 01:35:16 (2nd lady)

101st Andy Briggs 02:08:53

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Glentress Trail 42K

It was a new format this year with the 10K and 21K being held on the Saturday and the 42K being held on the Sunday, instead of the three races being held on the same day with staggered starts and I much preferred it without the speedy 21kers trying to get past you on the narrow mountain bike tracks.  We also had the best conditions of all the years I have run this, although it was very cold the sky was blue and the sun was shining.  The course does not get any easier with a seemingly never ending uphill followed by a leg shattering downhill before turning around and doing it all over again.  The course has been extremely muddy and wet in previous years but this year we got lovely hard packed ground with just a few icy and snowy patches on the exposed hill tops, and a new route over the top of the hill by the hut at the top by the mast instead of round the side of the hillside.

Thanks to Michael and Molly for your support at the end and getting us up that last hill!

Julian got first MV50

Results:

26 04:31:18 Julian Hall
91 05:13:14 Sadie Kemp
106 05:26:00 Gilly Marshall
118 05:35:39 Tracy Philp
142 06:03:13 Mark Dawson
146 06.08.01 Lori McCrae

There are some fab pictures on the Grand Day out website. https://www.granddayoutphotography.co.uk/high-terrain-events-glentress-42k

T

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Borders series cross country at Galashiels 17th Feb 2018

Harriers did themselves proud again at the borders series at Galashiels. Superb effort from young and not so young. 🙂 Great to see Yan out on the course cheering us on even if he did have a green hoodie on!

Race report and footage of the starts can be seen here: https://planetradio.co.uk/borders/local/news/watch-borders-cross-country-series-helps-get-name-5-doddie-foundation-running/

Juniors:

75 Lewis Cairns M10-11 10 14:53.6
92 Calum Hind M10-11 11 16:05.0
100 Duncan Hind M8-9 8 18:27.1
101 Glen Dawson M8-9 8 18:31.4

Seniors:

46 Michael Greens MS 26:58.8
56 Allan Dunbar M40+ 28:13.7
63 Gillian Cairns F40+ 28:55.6
74 Alasdair Hind M40+ 29:53.3
86 Ian Forrest M60+ 30:54.4
98 Robin Hall M40+ 31:46.5
99 Juliane Friedrich FS 31:50.5
107 Daniel Greens MS 32:40.7
108 Jan Dawson F40+ 32:44.4
119 Sadie Kemp F40+ 33:35.9
151 Andrew McDermott MS 38:06.3
169 Ngeme Ntuli M50+ 41:43.9

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Carnethy 5 10th Feb 2018

The weather was much better than had been forecast, we had a bit of sleet at the start of the race but this soon blew over and we even had patches of sunshine. It was the usual stampede to Scald Law and once on the uphill your position is somewhat set as there isn’t much room to overtake unless you want to expend a lot of energy jumping over the heather. Once at the summit it is possible to gain a few places as the track widens. Coming off South black hill was a slippery affair and care needed to be exercised in finding a firm foothold. Puffing my way up the Kips there was Billy taking pictures, he appeared again near the summit of Carnethy (how does he move so fast?!), it’s always nice to see a friendly face during a race. Coach Dave was also there doing his bit to help with the timing as we made our way up Carnethy. The descent was frantic as ever and I focused on not losing too many places here (too focused to spot Bill on the hillside!), again I got a bit stuck behind some other runners on a narrow track, once we hit the flat I was off and raced to the finish with all I had left in me. The hot tea being served in the tents was very welcome and after a bit of a blether we quickly dispersed. Congratulations to Robert on completing his 21st C5 and Chris on completing his 30th. The rest of us have a way to go to catch up!

79 258 01:03:55 Des Crowe M50 4
104 338 01:06:13 Michael Greens M 66
182 289 01:12:15 Allan Dunbar M40 45
183 344 01:12:16 Julian Hall M50 22
218 31 01:15:29 Gillian Cairns F40 25 9
226 361 01:16:14 Alasdair Hind M40 59
305 269 01:21:50 Craig Davenport M40 74
314 579 01:22:42 Robert Walker M50 55
323 286 01:23:41 Tim Doyle M50 56
366 343 01:27:26 Robin Hall M40 91
395 88 01:31:23 Sadie Kemp F40 82 27
419 339 01:35:00 Daniel Greens M 131
432 109 01:36:42 Gilly Marshall F40 102 30
436 30 01:37:32 Christopher Downie M50 74
483 220 01:49:07 Andy Briggs M 135

Full results: http://carnethy.com/2018/02/carnethy-5-2018-results/

Thanks to Billy Colvin for these great pics:

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Peebles – Borders cross country Sunday, February 4, 2018

Another tremendous turnout for the Penicuik Harriers at the cross country on sunday. We were treated to mild weather and sunshine. It was great to see Bill and Sarah there marshalling and Rachael was there at the finish too. The race was enjoyed by all, although Allan was enjoying it so much he did a bit extra. Daniel fell and hurt his hand so that wasn’t so good and this slowed his time also. A few of us went into the Tweed afterwards to get the mud off.

Massive well done to our juniors:

Juniors
100 Calum Hind M10-11 11 Male 13:01.0
105 Glen Dawson M8-9 8 Male 13:42.8
106 Duncan Hind M8-9 8 Male 14:10.9

Full Results: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=126552

Seniors:
29 Billy Colvin M40+ Male 29:10.2
45 Michael Greens MS Male 31:02.3
96 William Dickson M50+ Male 35:55.3
104 Robin Hall M40+ Male 36:35.8
108 Juliane Friedrich FS Female 37:10.3
113 Charlie Crawford MS Male 37:38.4
121 Sadie Kemp F40+ Female 38:10.9
122 Jan Dawson F40+ Female 38:12.5
136 Tracy Philp F40+ Female 39:39.1
137 Allan Dunbar M40+ Male 39:40.3
146 Gilly Marshall F40+ Female 40:26.7
157 Daniel Greens MS Male 42:53.7

Full Results: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=126551

Allan’s extended route: https://www.relive.cc/view/1391281687

Many thanks to Aldo and Michael for taking pics and dishing out encouragement. The support of them and all the partners/families is so important to us runners.


Thanks to Alex Corbett for these action shots:

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Scottish Masters Cross Country Champs

Des Drove Stuart and I (and Haggis) down to Kilmarnock via the M8, M74
and M77 on Saturday morning for the annual Scottish Athletics Masters
Cross Country Championships.

To get there, rather than use phone Sat Navs we old gudgies thought we
would use my more reliable ‘map’ sketched from the SA website instead.
All was going well until we miscounted the number of R turns and ended
up doing a detour through Kilmarnock (by then resorting to our phones).
Fortunately we were very early and still arrived over an hour before
the start.

The event was being held in the Dean Castle Country Park and the
Residential Centre had recently been done up and was very posh – but
about to be trashed by 400 muddy runners.

I had large misgivings about the race as I was only just starting to get
some fitness back after a series of colds. But I was ‘happy’ to make up
the numbers.

We changed leisurely in the Centre until Stu discovered that he had
forgotten his hill shoes! You just can’t trust these old guys.
Fortunately, a very generous chap lent him his spare shoes. Phew. Mind
you it would have been highly entertaining watching Stuart slide around
in the mud in his slippers – sorry, trainers.

We jogged to the start and were greeted with much enthusiasm and a big
grin from Dave – a very rare thing for Penicuik Harriers to field a
whole team in a Championship race. We jogged around part of the course
and watched the women and very very old geezers tackling the mud and a
substantial hill half way round. It looked a good course.

The start was the usual mad dash to get a good position but things settled
down and I found that I had started too near the front and runners started
to huff and puff past me. Boy was it muddy – give me a sandy beach any
day. There were some bits of grass left but even these were soggy with
little traction.

On the second lap I had found some sort of steady pace, but Des
and Stuart were quite a way in front and looked un-catchable. On the
third lap I recognised Yan who gave me his customary enthusiastic
greeting and encouragement. I overhauled him painfully but then got
overtaken by a very loud wheezing M60. Flip, I had to keep up with him.
It was not to be, he zoomed up the hill and disappeared from sight.

At last the final charge to the finish. That was hard and I didn’t enjoy
any of it – except when I stopped running!

We didn’t hang around too long and were soon back on the M77, remembering
to collect haggis who had been immaculately behaved. I did notice that he
refrained from lying on Stuart’s lap on the return trip – Stuart was
obviously too muddy and smelly.

Thanks to Des for driving and being keen and persuading us to enter,
Allan for the paperwork and Dave for the support. I might consider doing
it again next year but only if I was super-fit. Aim for an old geezers
team for the Devils Burden first.

Results:

Des 35:14 5th / 40 M55 (72/237 overall)
Stu 36:49 19th / 54 M50 (105/237 overall)
Dunc 37:17 11th / 40 M55 (114/237 overall)

M50 – 60 team 6th / 14

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Posted in Race Reports | 5 Comments