By Sarah Burthe
This was only my second hill race (the first being North Berwick Law a week or so ago) and this is my first race report, so can feel smug this week about trying out new things! I live in Peebles so this race was on my local patch and part of the route was one of my regular runs with the dog (not that this seemed to help me run very fast!). This was a new race organised by the Moorfoot running club and 40 runners took part. Turn out by the harriers was good, with Mike, Sadie, Michael and me running.
The race was 6km in length and a good introduction to some of the fantastic hill and trail running on offer in Peebles and the Borders. I may be biased, since I live here, but I think Peebles offers outstanding running, and even after having lived here for five years, I am still finding new routes and exciting places to run. Maybe one weekend I will organise a club trail run to show some of the routes off! Hanging around at the start was pretty chilly, the rain starting about 5 minutes before the race was due to begin… which meant for a bit of shivering in vest and shorts! Wind and rain is a bit of a shock after all the lovely sunny weather we have had lately, though was actually lovely to run in once we got going. The route started on the outskirts of the town, just where the John Buchan Way heads off into the hills. This meant a start straight up the hill, which I found pretty tough!
There was quite a bit of silent cursing and questioning why I was putting myself through this on the first ascent (silent because I had no breath to do anything but wheeze a lot), as I watched Sadie disappearing off ahead of me, before some lovely flatter undulating terrain and a nice long descent before the main hill. I was pretty far towards the back by this point (think I need to work more on my uphill running!) but relieved to not be last. The route up the main hill was very steep so most folk were walking. Saw Michael hurtling down the hill as I was about three quarters of the way up. Bit of a shame there was no chance to enjoy the summit- the wind and rain were howling up there and I got down again as soon as possible. I really appreciated the enthusiasm of the poor marshalls on the summit, who offered kind words of encouragement despite the fact that they must have been freezing!
The route was appropriately named as “the rollercoaster”- there was a lovely big descent, followed by another long ascent and then a whole series of really fun undulating bumps to run over before the final descent down to the finish. I actually felt like I was getting into my stride after about 5km and started over taking people on the last km, then felt like I wanted to carry on running by the finish. Maybe I could try a slightly longer race next time (or do a better warm up!). Fabulous race- think I could get addicted to this hill running lark… though maybe not as much as Sadie who courageously went on to run the Lomonds race the next day!
Results were as follows:
Results were as follows:
Mike Brooks 13th in a time of 32:38
Michael Greens 27th in a time of 40:04
Sadie Kemp 30th in a time of 41:22
Sarah Burthe 32nd in a time of 42:05