It was a very wet morning when Jan, myself and a fellow runner from Edinburgh Uni, Ross, started our drive down to Moffat for the race. We were very pleased it cleared up for the run on the 50 minute drive south. We thought it would be very busy with the sad news of the race’s founder, John Blair-Fish’s death on Wednesday, so we wanted to get there quite early. 37 runners turned up for the race which I think was a record, one year they only had 3! A quick registration in the field next to Corehead Farm, then a short trek up to the start in the very dramatic centre of the Devil’s Beef Tub. There was a minute’s silence to remember John Blair-Fish after a speech about what a running legend he was and how he’ll be missed by so many which was very moving.
There was then a mad scramble up this incredibly steep 45 degrees hillside to the top! I’ve never noticed the very bottom of my calf muscles having to strain so much! Clinging onto ferns and grass we pulled ourselves up to the top with no running involved at all! Three friendly faces cheered us on at this small monument at the top and pointed us on our way. I kept wanting to look at the stunning view but couldn’t take my eyes of the track for a second as it was so uneven with the rain turning the ground into a quagmire before heading up the next hill. It was great to finally start running though and enjoyed the dash round the ridge, even though it was very tough going. At the top of the last hill we were pointed down in the direction of the finish as many runners often go too far down the ridge. When we came to running down towards the finish the view was fantastic, just like looking down from an airplane to the finishers far below. There’s some great official race shots in the link at the bottom of this post. It looked suicidal to run the first part, so had to take it easy with my trail shoes, no fell shoes yet with still being a road runner really. I managed to get a zig zag motion going though and really enjoyed the dash down the hill which took some time before a proper run to the finish on the other side of a small burn. For a 3km race it was a hard one and at 36 minutes 34 seconds I’ll have to do a bit more hill sessions to get better but was pleased with the time for my first hill race.
Jan: what a race! The most bonkers race I’ve ever done. Thoroughly enjoyed it though! There was no way I was beating any records, but thanks to the low female to male ratio I managed to bag third lady, at 36:56 (there were only 4 lady runners!). I won a bottle of beer and a box of beef stock cubes from the ‘lucky beef dip bag’. Mark has kindly offered to drink the beer for me while I make a nice casserole…
I think we did John B-F proud – would like to think he was there with us in spirit and kept the rain away.
Some great photos of the crazy race courtesy of Alan Gebbie below…