Monday, 10 October 2016

Tuesday Night Training - Seniors

A wee note to remind everyone that with the darker evenings we are moving on to interval training at Haylodge/Hastoun as our main winter sessions. Same meeting place, Kingsmeadows car park Peebles, ready to run for 6:30pm.

Please remember to wear road shoes (we won't be going off road in the dark other than by special advance arrangement) and bring a head-torch.

Would also suggest that you replace the batteries, if they have been in your torch since the end of the winter season....

Need a new head-torch..?

Some inexpensive options at Alpkit 
(I'm currently using an Alpkit Viper, and had a Gamma previously..) - other head-torch vendors are available.....

Moorfoot Alan Elder also has a few for sale - see him before or after training or contact separately...

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Tunnel Trail Run report

It was the inaugural Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run in Peebles on Saturday and it show cased some lovely running routes. It was organised by the people who do the Tweedlove Enduro and had a big difference to typical running events as it wasn't a mass start and it was effectively a time trial but people had to 'dib' there wrist band at the start and the finish to get a time. That said most of the quick runners set off pretty as it started and it felt like a race in that sense, although the race in general appealed to the less competitive runner with a lot of Jog Scotland groups well represented. It sold out in its first year so that is a impressive with almost 400 starters - 140 doing the 20k and 253 doing the 10k.

All the Moorfoots racing took part in the 20k (which actually transpired to be 11.5 miles), apart from Ruth McKean who is coming back to racing after a long lay off with injury and having her 4th child. Ruth absolutely smashed the 10k recording the fastest time outright (all categories men and women) as the first finisher was disqualified. Awesome!!

The both routes has similar sections to the Borders XC we organise each year. It started and finished at Hay Lodge Park course follows the banks of the Tweed, past Neidpath Castle. The 20k went on under the railway viaduct and up onto the disused railway all the way to Lyme Station where you crossed over to the south bank of the Tweed and back to Manor Brig and then up the Sware through the woods all the way over Cademuir and in the Foresty Commission woods back to top of to the Sware, descending and climbing through the woods to the far end of the tunnel and then back to Haylodge to the finish. Route here In essence it was a race of two halves the first 5 miles flat on relatively easy surfaces, followed by the 6 1/2 miles of hills and/or technical trails more like a hill race at times.

I (Colin) and Mike McGovern were the first to set off as the front runners along with the other more serious racers. After about half a mile I was passed by a figure that I recognised from other races I have done - Owain Williams of Edinburgh AC (no relation!). I've seen him at Barry Buddon road half marathos and we were a vaguely similar pace with him beating me by a minute. He set a fast pace I was unable to keep up. By the bottom of the Sware he was about 30 secs ahead but on the steepest sections he broke into a walk and I was able to run the whole thing reducing the deficit to about 10 secs. The terrain got a lot rougher although flatter and by the top Cademuir I had closed the gap and nudged ahead. Owain passed me on the road section to passed Edderston farm but when we started the narrow technical paths in the woods I through myself down the descent (trying to dodge 10k runners) and managed to get a gap. I never eased off through the tunnel and around Haylodge, not knowing how long after me he started or anyone for that matter crossing the line clinch the win in 1.23.51, 38 secs ahead of Owain in 2nd.

I was a successful day all round with Mike also finishing 2nd M40 and 4th overall (1.30.39). Pete Hall was 4th M40 (9th overall 1.37.55) Alan Elder was 1st M50 (22nd overall 1.42.46),  and Noel Quinn back after a break working in the States running with his wife. Also running was Rosie Watson who trains with us on Tuesday night as she completes a 4 month project in Peebles who finished as 2nd Woman (19th, 1.42.06).

Mike and Colin after

Colin with cheerleaders!

Noel at the finish

Full results here:

Belter of a morning for a belter of a Sware session!

The whip was cracked this morning as nineteen junior racers "enjoyed" a run up The Sware then four reps back up from Old Manor Brig.

Anton led the way with some impressive efforts from the brig up to the top gate into the forest between the two car parks.

Emily's mountain bike legs helped her lead the younger group on their shorter rep from the traffic bollard to the western car park overlooking Manor.

But the boys led the later reps..............

What goes up must come down - including Brian in the distance.

The aftermath............with birthday girl Holly (top right) deserving of an extra slice of birthday cake!

There weren't too many hazards but some that you definitely needed to give way to......

Other than the youngest group, the fourth and final rep extended to the eastern car park overlooking Peebles, where the de-brief focused on whose legs were the jelliest.......

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Tunnel Trail Run - Sweeper Required

The organisers of the Tunnel Trail Run (Hillside Outside, same team who organise TweedLove, Tour o'the Borders etc.) are looking for some help this Saturday (1-Oct, 1000 thr ~1430) , in particular, a sweeper to run behind the final runner and act as a back marker so that marshals know when to stand down, make sure that we don't leave anyone on the course and phone event HQ should there be any issues etc.
Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue are providing first aid provision should it be required.
Benefits include opportunity to run through lit tunnel, Tunnel Run T-shirt our eternal gratitude....
Interested...please contact Fiona ASAP by email at if you are available....

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Borders XC Entry Information 
Online entry for the Borders XC Series will go live on entry central @6pm Saturday 1st October 2016. If you wish to enter this very popular event I recommend you enter ASAP.

You can use the link below from 6pm Saturday 1st Oct 16

Select link for online entry Borders XC Series 2016-17

All rounds start:
11.30am (junior athletes) and 12noon (Senior athletes).

Sunday 6th November 16 - Lauderdale Limpers
Sports pavilion next to Lauder Primary School Allanbank Gardens, Lauder, Berwickshire, Scottish Borders,
TD2 6AD. Pick up your race number

Sunday 20th November 16 - Borders XC Gala Harriers
start next to Galashiels swimming pool Livingstone Place, Galashiels TD1 1DQ.

Sunday 4th Dec Tweed Striders Spittal Beech Berwick England.

Sunday 11th December 16 - Chirnside Chasers. Chirnside Postcode for Sat Navs is TD11 3XH (Chirnside Primary School). The school is situated on the main A6105 road at the south of the village

Sunday 8th January 17- Norham Running Club @ Paxton House Paxton Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1SZ UK

Sunday 29th January 17 - Moorfoot Runners@ Peebles Location :Haylodge park Neidpath Road, Peebles, Tweeddale,

Sunday 19th February 17 - Dunbar Running Club@ White Sands Stables, Brandsmill, Dunbar EH42 1WG . Presentation following last race. All athletes who complete at least four of the seven races will be awarded a medal.


Monday, 26 September 2016

Two Breweries Hill Race - Part 2

This was my third consecutive running of the Two Breweries and I had set myself the target of simply improving on last years’ time. Down at the first brewery level, the weather, although grey, was not too unpleasant – shorts and a vest seemed appropriate - and once kit-checked and given the off, 94 stampeded their way to the first road section. Here, the group thins until the first climb up through the dry bracken to the lower side of Birks Hill. David and Chris pass me here and it’s an arduous slog against a very angry southwesterly wind up onto Birkscairn Hill itself. Marshals are rocked around as they shout out race numbers. From here down to Glensax Burn, quad quality is tested by the steep heathery decent. I had recced this section previously and found that the grouse butts offered some cleaner down-hilling. By the burn, I am in much the same company so no real benefit in this route on the day. I refill my water from Glensax Burn and add half a salt tab.

The climb out of Glensax is a tough one and I use it to munch an energy bar and consume some fluids. I can see David and Chris further up the hill. My goal on this section is not to stop. I manage this and join those battling against the wind – trying to be as small as possible. At Hundleshope, more wind-whacked marshal count us through and point us on our way.

The contour on the side of Broom Hill is well trodden and an upper line here proves beneficial. Onto the oddly named (Door Hass) saddle leading to Stob Law and I am a few paces behind David. On the top of Stob Law almost all of the marshals are lying on their sides trying to avoid the howling wind.
I trot past David, exchanging words, which are whipped away by the wind. Another thigh tester down to the farm, where the winds are so strong that my left leg - nearest the wind - is being blown across my right leg, and at the same time, my whole body is being blown uphill - like some weird hillside dressage display. Quite a challenge! I am swept past Chris somewhere above Greenside Craig.

A quick top up on water at Glenrath and off up through the forest to the top of Whitelaw Hill. I manage the firebreak without stopping for oxygen and am soon on the pleasant Old Drove Road downhill to Dawyck Mill. Tarmac to Stobo Home Farm where Lucas C offers fluid and encouragement. I am there in 3.03 and feel I may improve on last years’ time.

Heading through the farm, directions are hard to find and I take a detour but end up back in Tarcreish Forest. I manage to run most of this but the change in surface really gives the hips a hard time. I catch up with Swaz from Westerlands and we pick a path through the reedy wasteland, around Louden Knowe Wood, and up onto Louden Hill. The hoolie is now peaking and the top of Trahenna is invisible due to the sheets of horizontal rain whistling over its crest. At this point, it becomes apparent that my Moorfoot vest is letting in water – as are my shorts. I claw my way up the wire fence and am soon passing another band of barely visible marshals. The last contour before the decent to Ratchill Farm is tricky as the undersides of both my feet have no feeling – but Broughton appears from through the gloom and I know I am almost there. I pass two runners on the decent and set a course for the brewery. Over the line and probably the best I’ve felt on finishing this run. I manage to take over 2 minutes off my time – so goal achieved! On seeing that many were 10-20 mins down on their previous times, I’m hopeful that I will manage to shave a greater slice off next year - weather permitting.. Soup, sandwich, ale – sorted.

120 signed up - 94 turned up - 76 stayed up

(Door Hass - probably Dour/door - infertile - and Hass: a narrow passage between hills, the head of a pass; a narrow connecting ridge between two heights on a watershed’)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Two Breweries Hill Race - Colin's report

The Two Breweries race starts at Traquair House and finishes in Broughton 19 mile later with 4 distinct climb equalling over 5,000ft on the way.  I have done the race 7 times now and everytime I always end up in survival mode of merely trying to get over the last hill Trahenna with the sole objective of minimising the amount of cramp I suffer. It must be something to do with me but I simply can’t crack an turn good form from road races and short hill races into a fast time at the Two Breweries and I seem incapable of achieving my long-term aspiration of going sub 3 ½ hours, my fastest time being 3.35 in 2010. This year I managed to match last years time to the second with a time of 3hrs 39mins 47secs!

I actually finished the highest placing I ever had in 20th position, with 94 starting the race and 76 finishing, with an unusually high number of retirals (18) race reflecting the brutal nature of the course and the weather and conditions being the most challenging I have experienced with gale force winds on top, and getting wetter as the race went on. At times it proved hard to run in a straight line so not a day for a PB. Lucky the race is supported by the two Breweries so I was able to console myself with ale!

Alan Elder (46th, 4:31:58), Chris Blackwood (49th, 4:35:05), David Cheskin (72nd, 5:12:22) were all in action too. Ex-Moorfoot James Britton who has moved from Cardrona to Edinburgh recorded as very creditable 11th place (3:26:31)

Full results here: