Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run 2019

The third edition of the Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run was bigger than ever with 1,200 runners over three distances 4km, 10km and 20km. The 2019 race continued to see brilliant results from the Moorfoot Runners taking part.
In the 4km 111 ran - Elena Lee was fastest female, 5th overall, as well as winning the F Under 16 category, and Jake Lockyer was just off the podium in 4th overall, and 4th in the M U16 category, with Callum Fitzgerald just a bit further back in 7th overall.
In the 20km there were 455 runners and the the Moorfoots recorded 4 age class wins, including overall woman’s victory, and a 2nd place in the men’s field aswell!
Lucy Colquhoun was the fastest woman in 1:40:18, and won the F40-49 as well, Amy Alcorn was close behind in 1:42:17 as third woman, and won the F30-39 category, Carol Moss won the F50-59 category 1:44:52. Mike Goddard was fastest in the M70+ field in a very competitive time of 2:03:10, and Oli Jepsen was 2nd overall in the scorching time of 1:30:07! Brian Smith put in a solid shift recording a time of 1:44:24 (13th M40-49).
The biggest field was in the 10km with 630 in action. Vickie Morrison, Kerry Law and Lucy Oldham all had strong runs finishing close to each other in 59:59, 1:00:54 and 1:01:58 respectively and great placings 11th, 15th and 19th in the F30-39, and 99th, 117th and 133rd overall.
Full results here 
Richard Edge and Andrew Dancer were out helping as sweepers too so all in all a fantastic showing from the club on are ‘home ground’. Well done all involved
Lucy, Brian, Oli and Amy
Mike Goddard
Proud Mum Amy

Monday, 30 September 2019

Borders Cross Country series 2019/20 - PUBLIC ENTRIES OPEN 1ST OCT 6am

The public entry for the Borders Cross Country running winter series 2019/20 goes live at 6am tomorrow 1st October here: https://www.entrycentral.com/bordersxc2019

A very popular series of real cross country races

Dates for 2019/20 season.

    Lauder Sunday 3rd November 2019. Registration
    Galashiels Sunday 17th November 2019
    Spittal Beach Sunday 1st December 2019
    Peebles Sunday 15th December 2019 (MOORFOOT ORGANISED LEG)
    Paxton Sunday 12th January 2020
    Hawick Sunday 2nd February 2020
    Dunbar Sunday 23rd February 2020
    Chirnside Sunday 8th March 2020 (Presentation only round)

Please note the first seven races will determine the winners of the series " best of four from first seven rounds" The eighth race will be a presentation round only. However, the eighth race will be included as part of the four races necessary for a Borders XC Series medal. "Anyone completing four round or more will receive a medal"

Race start time: Juniors 11:30 am Seniors 12 Noon

Entry cost for all eight races in the series, Seniors - £16; Juniors - £10

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Two Breweries Hill Race 2019

The annual Two Breweries Hill Race, 19 miles long and over 5,000 feet of climb from Traquair House to Broughton, was again a quality event. The standard was super high this year as it was one of the Scottish Hill Runners Championship series. Race day weather was pretty much perfect for the long tough race being cool and overcast, although there was a pretty stiff headwind when you were on the tops. The ground was pretty soft though after a week of rain everyday and with a field about twice as large as normal as a championship race it was very cut up in sections making it tricky for even the most sure footed. It was won by Tom Owens of Shettleston Harriers – a class runner and his first race since his 4th place at the Ultra Tour de Mount Blanc in 2:48.
Four Moorfoots were racing with some great results. Its often the case that the closer you live the later you arrive and that was certainly the case with all four of us in the last 10 to register (Colin beating Alan to winning the unofficial latest to register award).
In terms of the actual race Simon Hammond was first home in 3:37:20 in 44th taking the best part of half an hour off his PB that he set on his debut last year, next was Colin Williams in 52nd (3:41:06, 10th M40 – the 9th time I’ve done it), David Gaffney had a very solid debut in 4:07:41 (84th, 18th M40) over a race twice as long as he’s ever raced before, and Alan Elder finishing the race 6th time in consecutive years with another PB in 4:19:49 (101st and 20th M50) covering the course an hour quicker the first time he did it in 2014. Full results http://www.twobreweries.org.uk/#results
The race is still probably my favourite race in the calendar and being able to enjoy both Traquair Ale and Broughton Ales at the finish is an added bonus big thanks to Dave to driving!
We didn’t get any start line photos but Andrew Dancer snapped three of us on Hundleshope.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Paul Nichol runs Scottish Half 2019

Paul raced the Scottish Half Marathon on Sunday in East Lothian and had a fabulous result finishing 6th in his age category - here's his report:
David and Ruth Hinks with Paul after the race - I don't think he wore flip flops for the run!
In March 2014 at Alloa I ran my best half marathon in 1.30.39. A good time but I was gutted to miss the magic 90 minutes and however hard I’ve tried I haven’t come that close to it again.

So reflecting on the words of Albert Einstein “doing the same thing and expecting different results is madness” I decided to do something different.

I signed up to Scott McDonald’s coaching and followed the plan he set out including the dreaded intervals which I have dodged at every opportunity.

So I set off from Tranent with a plan for the first time. As long as I could average 4.15 per km I would make it. I always find the start of races a faff and hate hanging around but the race starts at a sports ground so what could be better. I got there nice and early and stretched and warmed up on the track and scoffed a banana. TBH it was maybe a bit too close to the start time as I would find out later.

I got into my pen doing my nervous kitten routine and ran the first km in 4.07 which may have been too fast but felt ok I went through the first 10k spot on time. Not sure whether it’s because I’m not used to running that fast or cos the temp went up (the sun was shining - not as per forecast) but I felt sick (remember the banana) after 10k and slowed down. The wheels came off about 17k when the legs felt tired and the brain was at the finish which was actually very nice because it was at the grandstand at the racecourse.

I came in at 1.32.36 which was 203rd overall out of 2800 and 6th in my category. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted it was 2 mins better than the Edinburgh half which I would argue is a faster course and is moving me in the right direction. Marginal gains and all that.

What next then. Well I am looking to do a London qualifying time at York on the 20th Oct. That’s 3.20 for my age (57) so wish me luck. Scott and I have a plan :)

Full results here and action photos

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Amy wins Castles and Falls Trail Race, Yorkshire Dales

Amy headed down to the Yorkshire Dales to take part in the Castles and Falls Trail Race, an 18 mile/28km (2400 ft/ 730 m ascent/descent) circular route, starting and finishing at Bolton Castle.
She had a fantastic run coming home as the first woman, finishing 10th overall. Brilliant.
Full results here https://www.webscorer.com/racedetails?raceid=196418&did=218116
Trophy bing

Oli and Katie sky running at Glencoe

It was the Glen Coe Skyline series of races this weekend with Oli Jepsen doing the main Skyline event, and Katie Walling doing the Ring of Steall Skyrace and had some cracking runs.

The Skyline route covers 32 miles / 15,000 feet (52km / 4,750m) of some of the toughest terrain in Scotland including ascending Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via the exposed Grade III scramble (a 'Moderate' graded rock climb) of Curved Ridge, and a full traverse of the Aonach Eagach ridge, which includes exposed Grade II scrambling. Here's Oli's report:


Ten months on from a painful and lesson-heavy Tweed Valley Ultra, probably somewhat prematurely, I’m toeing the line at the Glen Coe Skyline amongst a sea of mammoth calf muscles and expensive looking sports watches. Despite an increase in training, some decent runs in the Alps and a few months at the mercy of Colin’s intervals, the 52 km and 4750m of ascent had me somewhat concerned for the health of my legs (and had mum concerned for my life after helpfully reading the race information: “risk of serious injury or death whilst participating in this event”).

My game plan was to eat and drink endlessly, walk the ups, slowly run the rest and never stop. Which I managed to do except thanks to increasingly shrivelled kidneys, one brief pee stop.

For the first five kilometres, Scotland gave its best with a glorious sunrise as we climbed out of Kinlochleven towards the Devil’s Staircase and into Glen Coe. A day of glorious sunshine would of course have been disappointing so I was thankful when the weather would inevitably get somewhat more Scottish later on.

As a part of this “running” race was the Grade III scramble of Curved Ridge on Buichaille Etive Mor, an exposed heady scramble up the ultra-photographed Scottish mountain. Well, it would have felt exposed had it not been drowned in cloud but it nevertheless made the race feel very adventurous and before long, I was making my way along the perpetual up and down of the southern skyline. That Scottish weather that we had all been hoping so much for hit four hours earlier than forecasted and as the wind driven rain drenched the scantily clad runners, they hunkered down into inadequate looking 200 gram “jackets”. Thankfully, I’d decided last minute to take a marginally more substantial waterproof which I retreated into and returned to the thoughts that seem to be inevitable on long runs; of pointlessly thinking about race timings, race nutrition, existential joy and despair, what beer I was going to enjoy that night and infinitely back and forth between everything and nothing.

With more literal ups and downs than metaphorical ones, I managed to continue moving well. I would sporadically hear a position being mentioned by spectators and marshalls, initially in the low twenties then in the teens - improbable I thought but I suppose the legs may have been doing better than expected.  Nevertheless, for the majority of the race I was waiting for either my inevitable bonk or for the masses of better-paced runners to calmly proceed past me into the cloud. But neither happened.

Increasingly on my own, I descended down to the second road section (20 feet across the A82) and the only aid station on race. The stepped rocky descent was made ice-like by the rain but I managed to avert a full fall from my endless slips and made it to the aid station safely. I opted for a speedy stop (trying to look professional - there was a modest crowd and a fella with a camera afterall), grabbing a few gels from stoic friends who’d remained after a morning trail race and to refill some water.

Then, Aonach Eagach. I’d tried not to think too much about the climb out of Glen Coe and onto the start of the Aonach Eagach ridge but it was sadly difficult to not constantly notice the steep, endless mountainside infinitely ascending into the clouds. I only got overtaken by one (lean and tanned) bloke who my climber friend later told me is a well-known Chamonix mountain guide. I didn’t mind much anyway as there wasn’t much else to give. And he had poles.

Inevitably, although it didn’t feel like it at the time, I reached the top of the ridge to cheers from yet more heroic marshalls. I traversed the scramble-come-run-come-crawl of the Aonoch Eagach ridge uneventfully and even bumped into an old friend who was perched precariously halfway along as mountain safety. Again, the scrambling traverse made the race ever more adventurous and as I reached the end of it, managed to overtake another runner who seemed to have given up. “I just wanted a nice day out”. About seven hours too late for that, mate.

As I slowly pulled away from the despondent runner, I finally let myself rejoice that I had no more significant climbs left and my reluctant competitiveness forced me to keep the pace going. Then I hit the West Highland Way to more supportive cheers from the marshalls and with it the prospect of finishing alive and in an unexpectedly good position. For those last 10 km, I continuously wanted to look behind me to see if anyone was close but knowing I had no more to give than I already was, I kept my gaze strictly forward and kept the wheels turning.

Which somehow, for 9 hours, they did. And I came 15th. My surprise at which is only out-weighed by how chuffed I am with such a good result on such an adventurous and brutal course. Must have been Colin’s intervals up Cademuir.

Oli's very impressive result is here: https://www.resultsbase.net/event/5076/results/2972541

The day before Katie was tackling the Ring of Steall Skyrace which is described as "A variation of the classic 'Ring of Steall' ridge-walking route this 29km / 2,500m mountain race has spectacular views of Ben Nevis from the Mamores and includes short sections of scrambling."
Katie's comments:

No expectations running... all the omens suggested I shouldn’t start @ringofsteallskyrace yesterday. An injured foot and the tail end of a cold meant I was in no shape to run 30km and 2500m of ascent. But the weather forecast was so good I just couldn’t resist a day out in the mountains! So I decided on a day of zero expectations, zero pressure, no pain caves and nothing but fun... and if I got timed out at half way then so be it. The result? 7 1/2 hours of huge grins, up and down some of Scotland’s finest ridges in glorious sun, topped by crossing the finish line with my biggest inspiration. For sure one day I’d like to go back and see if I can run the route faster, but for now that was the perfect day.