The Jedburgh ultra is part of their running festival which has the Ultra and Canicross races on Saturday and a wheelchair/handbike race, 10k and Half Marathon on the Sunday. The races used to be a bit more connected and you could run the Ultra on the Saturday and the Half Marathon on the Sunday and complete the “Dirty Double”. You would get money off the half entry and special accolade for doing both. Unfortunately there is not still the same connection between the races now so it has become an unofficial dirty double and if you do it, you are doing it for your own pleasure! I thought it was a mad idea last year when I entered the Ultra, but after the event the idea really had me hooked and I have been talking about it ever since so Sunday morning saw me driving back down to Jedburgh to run the half marathon.
There were lots of purple Ultra T-shirts being worn and nods and smiles of recognition before the start, some were running the 10k and some the Half. Both races start at the same time and place and follow the same route for the first 3 miles. I took my place right at the back as I was not sure how my legs would hold up. There was a pipe band playing and a good atmosphere at the start. I took it easy to begin with but soon found myself weaving in and out of the runners and moving up the field, my legs were feeling much better than I thought they would. At the 5k mark the 10k runners turned back and the half marathon runners kept going along the closed country roads, it was more or less an out and back route. I was pleased that I was not feeling any ill effects from the previous day and was still steadily gaining places. Around Mile 11 we passed the part of the Ultra course where we clambered over the road barrier, today however we were staying on the road and it was a tough uphill, this was the only part of the race where I felt the heaviness in my legs and did contemplate walking up the hill but I did not want any of the runners I had passed to come by so I kept going. It was not long until the uphill started going down and I stretched my legs and pushed on, I was running into Jedburgh for the second time in as many days and the finish came much quicker.
Mandy Macmillan 53.40
Gilly Marshall 2.11.11