Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Coxy claims 4th in the overall British Open Fell Runners Association series

British Open Fell Runners Association (BOFRA) organise a series of fell races and an annual championship. Most races are derived from the traditional 'guides' races and tend to be short, steep and challenging fell races to test your climbing and descending skills to the absolute limit. The series of 16 races are mostly in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales and you need to complete a minimum of 8 to count for an overall championship place. If more than races are completed then the best 8 results are used. More info here: http://www.bofra.org.uk/championship.php

Andy Cox took on the challenge this year.
The first race took place way back in May at Sedbergh, in the North Yorkshire Dales. In this beautiful setting for proper fell running, Andy placed high in the field to get the championship off to a flying start.
With the races coming thick and fast, July brought the Famous Alva Games race, the only Scottish race in the series, which is a lung bursting 1200ft of climbing packed into 1.6 miles.
It is a unique event with almost every inch of the race from starting pistol to finishing line being visible to the crowds in the arena below and has always captivated the runners and the audience alike. It is also titled the ‘British Championship Hill Race’ and was named in the era when there were separate races for amateurs and professionals (meaning you could win prize money or equivalent, which of course is common at the majority of races now in the ‘open’ era), and it was won by the Moorfoot’s own Michael McGovern in 1990 and 1993 (his PB is 20 mins 10 secs).
Being Andy’s favourite of the series, he ran a PB (22:41) finishing 6th in a quality field and was making steady but good progress in the overall points table.
Andy Cox at The Famous Alva Games Hill Race
Fast forward to October and Storm Callum certainly made his presence felt at Wasdale Head Show on Saturday past, being the last of the championship races.
With Andy having completed 7 races he had to put in a good performance to get his 8th counter to jump up the points table, especially with other runners having already completed all 15 races and having the benefits of selecting their 8 best scores.
The rain varied from heavy to torrential as the runners waited to take on the beast that is Kirk Fell. A decision was taken to shorten the course to the scree at Highnose Head which proved a sensible one as the visibility above this point was zero. Despite the shorter route it was still a tough ask, packing 1300ft of climbing into the 0.6 miles to the top, and then the descent. The start (in classic BOFRA fashion) was through a field, over a dyke, then straight up the hill, turning at the top and heading straight back down, trying to stay upright in the process! Easier said than done with the ground sodden which made for some interesting bum slides and positions being exchanged. The race was won by Simon Bailey (former British and English fell running champion) in 18:11. Andy came 4th in 20:45 managing to stay upright on the descent.

Andy also finished a superb 4th place overall in the BOFRA Championship series results, scoring 427 points (out of a possible 480) from his 8 selected races, a brilliant return for his efforts and commitment.

The overall series was won by Simon Bailey of Mercia with Ted Mason of Warfedale Harriers (last year's winner) taking 2nd place. Series results here: http://www.bofra.org.uk/assets/championshipauto/bofrachamps2018.pdf
Andy at Wasdale Head last year - in much better weather, and looking like he's having a nice day out!

Monday, 15 October 2018

London Marathon - One Guaranteed Place to be allocated by 5th Nov

The London Marathon is probably the premier mass participation running event in Britain and a real experience for anyone who has taken part.
Image result for london marathon
As a British Athletics affiliated club Moorfoot Runners get one guaranteed entry to the London Marathon each year. The club has a policy for the fair allocation of the place as explained in a blog post in May
http://moorfootrunners.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/london-marathon-2018-ballot-for-entry.html
The following factors are considered:
> Have they been a member for more than 12 months
> Have they been not been awarded the club place in the previous 2 years
> Have they unsuccessfully tried to enter via the ballot and were not eligible for a ‘good for age’ place when that entry was open.
Club secretaries must submit an application for the London Marathon place which opens on Mon 5th Nov so if you would like to be considered for the Moorfoot entry please email e.balfour@jamesjones.co.uk
 before 5th Nov

Manor Water Hill Race and Pentland Skyline summary

Well done to those running the Pentland Skyline on Sunday (16 miles, 6200 feet total climb) in a top quality race with 250 starters. Tom Hobbs had a class run claiming the 2nd M50 (32nd 2:55:27); and Alan Elder completing the whole set of 9 Long Classics in 2018. Also running was Craig Walling for his first claim club of HBT and ex Moorfoot Benjamin Hindley from Innerleithen, running for Strathclyde Uni. Unfortunately Dave Gaffney wasn't able to make the start line after a persistent illness wouldn't budge - get better soon. Results here: http://carnethy.com/2018/10/pentland-skyline-2018/


On the Saturday the day before, and a slightly more low key affair was, the Manor Water Hill Race (10 ml, 2300 ft climb) at Kirkton Manor 2 miles west of which coincides with the sheepdog trials. This is how it was explained on the Carnethy website
'Storm someone or other arrived and dumped a lot of Water on the Manor, and everywhere else too. But there was no wind and it was quite warm. The forecast was terrible but the rain more or less stopped for the race, leaving lovely views of mist wreathed hills.' 
It was very wet under foot, with long exposed sections of mud to contend with.
Colin Williams was the only first claim Moorfoot in action and after a very steady outward leg picked up  speed and a few places on the way down finishing 11th, 4th M40, finishing 2nd in the local category pipped by Adam Hayward in 9th, who moved to Peebles this summer and a Tuesday night regular since then. Katie Walling, running in HBT colours finished as 4th Woman. Well done in testing conditions.
Full results here: http://carnethy.com/2018/10/manor-water-hill-race-results/
Katie descending (courtesy of Didgy from Carnethy)


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Magic on the golf course.......the weather that is



The Moorfoot golf outing, kindly arranged by Mike “The Smash” McGovern, took place at Innerleithen on Sunday on what turned out to be a glorious afternoon. Warm sunshine, the most gentle of breezes, stunning autumnal colours and a quiet course all contributed to the idyllic conditions. Alas not too much of the golf, played in team pairs as a stableford* better-ball , lived up to the wonderful stage.
*(For the non-golfing readers out there stableford scoring is 1-point for a bogey, 2 for a par, 3 for a birdie, 4 for an eagle. And if you don’t know these terms ah cannae be bothered explaining them so look it up!)

Kenny “Smooth-Swing” Davidson drilled his tee shot at the opening Par 3 pin high, leaving himself an 8-foot putt for birdie. But the putt was missed and in Kenny’s own words, it was all downhill from there. Team-mate Gregor “Out-of-Bounds” Nicklauson contributed little in the way of points, but easily topped the lost balls competition.

Mike “The Smash” McGovern had to play solo after his intended playing partner Simon “double-booked” Hammond called off earlier in the week, so The Smash had no back-up player for any wayward shots or holes. But his steady golf and some booming drives meant he didn’t need any such back-up and some good points were amassed (see later).

Ian and Anne Nimmo were self-proclaimed “rabbits” with Mr Rabbit even claiming, when negotiating his handicap pre-match, to have a wee touch of mixing-ma-toesies. Mrs Rabbit said she was more at home on the squash court rather than the golf course and tbh I though she must be breeding pet spiders judging by the cobwebs on her golf bag. Nonetheless, the Rabbit pair proved to be competitive.

The final team comprised a father and daughter pair of Hugh “3-Putt”  Harvie and Kate “Sair Legs” Harvie. (Sorry Hugh, I only saw you twice – 1st tee and last green - so your moniker choice was either this or “In The Burn Harvie”.) That morning, Kate had enjoyed (or rather endured) her first winter training session with Gregor’s other half Linda and her jumps group -  a very tough session of hill sprints and hill bounding causing her to be calling for her dad quite a few times towards the end. (“Hughie! Hughie”!). With legs still a bit wobbly she maybe didn’t have the best of prep for the afternoon golf but she impressed all with her technically good swing and used her handicap to good advantage to score a couple of four-pointers.

Retiring to the Corner House for soup and a toastie, Mr Smashey McGovern also proved also to be Mr Nicey McGovern by excluding his winning score of 19 points from the announcements, awarding first prize to the Harvies with 16 points and the runners-up prize to Mr and Mrs Rabbit with 15 points. Kenny and Gregor got nothing but a deserved slagging for their measly 12 points.

A braw efternin. Cheers Mike.



Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Weekend Roundup 29-30 Sept

High Fells of Thrunton
Andrew Dancer had a storming run at the High Fells of Thrunton 15 mile trail race in Northumberland where he finished second in a really close race, just missing out on the win by 8 seconds in a race that lasted 2 hours. You can see how close it is in the video. Cracking run! Results here: http://www.racesplitter.com/races/BA895B771

Penchrise Pen Hill Race
The event has been a popular hunting ground for the Moorfoots in the past with Darin Dougal and Julia Connor winning the inaugral race in 2011, Andy Cox finishing in top spot in 2013, and Lucas Cheskin winning 2016
However this year it was won by Colin Donnelly (who is over 55 and World Masters Silver medallist) covering the 8.4 km course (280m Climb) in 33.55 and breaking Lucas's course record by 26 seconds - what is it with these older runners
Good performances from Darin Dougal, 5th and 2nd M40 in 36.04 with Mike McGovern 9th, and 4th M40 in 36.56 - well done.
Results here: http://teviotdaleharriers.org.uk/?p=5799
Full photo album https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.2138267719540726&type=3
Sandstone Trail Race in Cheshire
I (Colin Williams) was visiting friends and family and took in the Sandstone Trail Race in Cheshire this weekend. This is a great event which has run for 40 years and a really nice 17 mile route across the Cheshire Plain joining up the hills. Tried to run a steady pace. 26th, and 14th M40. I ran it 13 years ago when I was 30 and went faster this time.
There was a slight confusion at the finish line when I came into view and speaker announced me as a Warrington Road Runners who have the mirror image vest to us!

Moorfoots in an alternative universe - Warrington Road runners

Monday, 1 October 2018

Super Scott’s triple gold - Great Scottish Run 2018

Scott McDonald won the Scottish Half Marathon Championships in the over 50 class at the Great Scottish Run held in Glasgow on Sunday, in the outstanding time of 1:13:58, with a winning margin of one second shy of 2 minutes. This scintillating run also send Scott to the top of the UK rankings, a goal he had set himself as a new year’s resolution.

This has been a simply spectacular year for Scott who now won the gold medal and Scottish titles in three events, with the half marathon win to add to 10km road champs in Stirling, 10km trail champs in Fife he won earlier this summer, and not forgetting a silver medal on the track over 1,500m too!
Words like incredible are overused but that run was simply that with an average pace - 5:39 minutes per mile / 3:30 minutes per kilometre and split times of 5k: 17:25; 10k: 35:01; placed him 58th overall. Results here: https://www.greatscottishrun.com/results/?r=632&bib=1845
The last few years has seen Scott regain his running prowess – in the late 1990s he was a serious contender and tried to gain Commonwealth Games Selection. He was a sub 30 minute 10km runner, and in 1997 won the bronze medal Scottish 5,000m and raced the Olympic Champion in the elite start in the Great North Run half marathon clocking 1:04:07. Scott stepped back from competitive racing until he starting training hard again in the last three years. Since then his performances have got better and better he seems to be getting faster with age.
Here is Scott’s report on the race:
Travelling to the race, my wife Katrin and Maja gave me a lift to North Livingston station while they went out for a fun day at The Almond Heritage trust.
The train ride was relaxing and easy, arriving at the start with 50 min to spare I headed over to bag drop off and then onto the white zone with 30 min to go. Using a bin bag to keep warm it was freezing I eased my way to the front of the white Zone behind the top club runners who have run under 80min and the Elite.
Gun went off with over 8,500 runners I believe, first km is up hill and passing 5km in 17:25 in a pack of 5 we all running efficiently and relaxed at pace for the next 5km hitting 10km in just over 35 min while slowly gaining on a few runners blowing. The pack all seemed to be at the same pace and effort till 16km. At this point the stronger runner Chris from Aberdeen running club  broke away splitting the group and I found myself running the same pace all the way to the finish line with a new Age PB almost 5 mins faster than my time from the Great North Run from this time last year.
It was a great organised race, it was windy at times but being in a pack I tucked in and paced myself well with the last 5km having the wind from behind and great crowd support.
Fast course with nippy little hills in the first half but a few little down hills and flat on the return leg.
Last November I set a goal to hit the top of the rankings Men’s 50 age group for the half marathon in UK for 2018 and this was achieved yesterday in the Great Scottish Run, in a time of 73:58 58th overall and First M50.
Yours in Running
Scott

Friday, 28 September 2018

Cross Country Season almost upon us – Are you interested in the Borders XC Series or National XC relays?

Entries for the Borders XC Series (which includes the Moorfoot organised Peebles race at Haylodge) will open on Monday morning 1st October at 6 am. https://www.entrycentral.com/bordersxc

The 2018/19 series has the following races:
4 November : Lauderdale Limpers
18 November : Dunbar Running Club

2 December : Moorfoot Runners
16 December : Tweed Striders
13 January : Norham Running Club @ Paxton
3 February : Teviotdale Harriers
17 February : Chirnside Chasers
10 March : Gala Harriers


Cost for all 8 races in the whole series = £16 for seniors, £10 for juniors – bargain.

National XC relays, Cumbernauld on Saturday 27 October

Each lap is 4km and if you break 15 min you are going very well. I have heard that this is great event and last year the overall entry figure hit a quite remarkable tally of 2600 in 568 teams!

Senior and V40 (or combined) teams need 4 members whereas V50 needs three runners to make up a team. At the moment we have one provisional M50 team of Kenny Davidson, Scott McDonald, and Tom Hobbs lined up but looking to see if more are interested?

You need to be a Scottish Athletics member to enter.

Please respond if you are interested in being in a relay team by Friday 5 October as entries close on Thursday 11th and there will be a bit of do to pull everything to together


However a fair bit of info is missing so probably better to look at 2017 info here: http://events.scottishathletics.org.uk/events/19966-17466-lindsays-scottishathletics-national-cross-country-relay-championships 

Just so you are aware it's the day before Jedburgh Half Marathon/10km and the day of the Jedburgh 3 Peaks Ultra.