Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Glentress Races round up including the Tweed Valley Ultra

Lucas & Scott starting the 50km ultra
A gaggle / lots of Moorfoots were involved in the different distance trail races at Glentress over the weekend. First off at 10am on the Saturday were the 235 taking part in the trail half marathon, actually a mile short at 12.1 miles but went all the way up to the mast with 2000 feet of climb and included some technical single track too. The race was won in a time five minutes faster than last year by Stephen Feltbower 1:25:44, and he pushed all the way by ex-Moorfoot James Britton who used to live in Cardrona. Colin Williams was the first Moorfoot in 1.39:33 in seventh – a place higher than last year but a minute slower – also second M40. Tuesday night trainer Amy Alcorn had a cracking run to finish as 4th woman in 1.58.57 and only passed by third place in the descent near the end. Full results here
Nice pic of James Britton leading the climb in the half marathon
 Next up was the 10k Night Run which started at 5.30pm just as the Scotland Rugby team was getting stuck into the All Blacks at Murrayfield.
Some really good performances here with Darin Dougal taking third overall and first M40 (43:31), Mike McGovern 5th (3rd M40 – 45:10) and Dave Gaffney 18th (49:08) out of the 215 taking part. Full results here
Darin and Mike tucked in behind the leader of the night 10km
Sunday morning saw the start of the inaugural Tweed Valley Ultras with a sub zero 7.30am start for the 65km/40.5 mile version, with 1574m/ 5164 feet ascent with Alan Elder and Andrew Dancer in action. Again with some stellar performances. Andrew Dancer finished 4th overall (5:53:15 – a very impressive average pace 8:38 min / mile if you consider the distance, terrain and hills!) less than 15 mins behind the winner and only 40 seconds off the podium. Alan Elder earned a very creditable 25th place (7:13:53) and 5th M50, out of the field of 87 finishers. Tweed Valley Ultra 65k Results
Alan in ninja costume going well on the last stretch
The 50km (30 miles) version set off half an hour later at 8am with Lucas Cheskin and Scott MacDonald in action. Both of them set off very fast with the leader and eventual winner Ben Hamilton clocking 6.30 min/mile pace along the flat bike path miles out to Cardrona once the Glentress loop had been negotiated. They were still close together with the leader at Traquair leading up the Southern Upland Way on the Minchmoor climb when Lucas started to cramp and dropped back starting to feel the lack of miles training that injury in the preceding months had restricted. The leader then started to stretch his lead and eventually won the race in a phenomenal 3:46:36. Behind him Scott then started to feel the early fast pace and was increasingly suffering in the flat bike path return stretch from Innerleithen back to Janet’s Brae and had to walk for longer and longer periods to stop cramp. Having been in a very clear second place he was caught with less than 2.5 miles to go and then was passed by another 7 runners as he stumbled along before finishing in 4:47:22 in 9th less than ten minutes behind 2nd place, and was almost caught by Lucas who finished in 4:49:16 (11th). The silver lining was Scott picked up the M50 prize (by virtue of the first M50 getting the 2nd overall prize) and Lucas now has his first ultra under his belt and knows what to expect next time. Tweed Valley Ultra 50k Results
Lucas and Scott glad to be finished!
The early leading group with Lucas and Scott trailing eventual winner

Colin keeping Scott company along the bikepath at Cardrona

Scott skirting Inners

Crossing the bridge

Monday, 13 November 2017

Christmas drinks and food, Tuesday 5th December, 8pm at the County Inn, Peebles

You are all invited for Christmas food and drinks on Tuesday 6 December at 8pm at the County Inn, 35 High Street, Peebles.
All are invited so it would be nice to see you. We had a good time last year and on a week night so it wasn't too raucous.

The County has a Christmas menu you can order from with 2 Courses for £14.49 Or 3 Courses for £17.49 or the normal menu which is more reasonable .

For those who go to the club training session on Tuesday nights in Peebles it give just enough time to pop home and get changed.

Please let me know if:
> You would like to come
> You would like to order something from the Christmas menu and what you would like as this needs to pre-ordered
I look forward to a good evening,


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Scottish Silver for Moorfoot girls

Beth, Mairi and Charlotte - happy girls

In near perfect cross-country conditions at Kirkcaldy on Saturday, the Moorfoot Runners U17 Women’s team came away with a fantastic team silver in the National Short Course Cross-Country Championships. On a chilly but sunny and calm day, the terrain was familiar to those who in the past had raced the venue in the Scottish Primary Schools Championships, albeit the undulating and twisting course was set up differently on this occasion. Conditions were on the soft side of good but were perfect for quality running.

Racing over 3km, Charlotte Clare committed to a very positive start, well inside the top ten to half-way, but dropping a couple of places as the fast early pace took its toll. Not quite in her slipstream, but in close contact and having a tremendous run, was Beth Hobbs. Inside the final 200m Charlotte rallied again with her usual stirring finish to pick up a couple of places and crossed the line in 9th place in 11.05. Beth kept on well for 13th in 11.14. That looked to put the Moorfoot girls in a competitive position in the team race (three to count) with a medal chance hinging on how far up the field third counter Mairi Wallace could finish. Mairi was still suffering the effects of the heavy cold which had caused her to miss the Lasswade XC the previous Sunday and was also racing on a course way shorter and less hilly than she prefers. Clearly not firing on all cylinders, Mairi sensibly started steadily and then plugged on to finish 28th of the 56-strong field in a time of 12.06, below her best but still enough to mean an attentive ear being cocked for the announcement calling the podium teams to presentations.

Unfortunately all the cocked Moorfoot ears missed the announcement and it was only after a later visit to check the results that Charlotte and Mairi spied the results and word spread that the team silver had been won. Giffnock North were the runaway winners, with the Moorfoot girls pipping Edinburgh by one single point, 50 to 51. The delighted girls belatedly received their medals from Scottish Athletics Past President Alan Potts, then dashed to the finish to cheer on Laura Muir as she powered her way to victory in the senior women’s race. 

A further bonus for the girls was to be photographed with and congratulated by Laura. Certainly a day to be cherished and a just National XC medal after a couple of years contending for the National Champs proper but missing the required fourth counter.

Laura Muir with the girls

Earlier in the day, Megan Hobbs and Eilidh Mooney had their own ding-doing battle down the home straight in the U15 2km race. In a field of 81, Megan just got the better of Eilidh with a strong finish for 61st in 8.30 with Eilidh two seconds back in 62nd.

In the U17 Men’s 3km race, Craig Angus had a solid run for 47th of 82 in 10.09, two seconds behind Moorfoot training partner Euan Hood who was the third counter in the Lasswade team which took team silver.

Ailsa Innes was 16th U20 and 50th overall in the senior women’s race and Sophie Collins had another strong run for Edinburgh University Haries finishing 34th in 15.08.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Winter Handicap Results - Nov17

Big thanks to all who turned out for the Tuesday night training group's Winter Handicap Night Race (headtorches) over the Green MTB trail (3.1Km) at the top of Jenny's Brae.

We had nine runners on the start line, being set off at various intervals based on handicaps derived from race performances during the year, plus a bit of 'guess work'....

First runner home was Iain Roberts, ahead of a fast finishing Alan Elder and Andy Gibson who was tearing through the field from a relative back marker position.

Thanks also to Pete for doing the starting, finishing and timing.

We'll try to schedule in another similar session in the early part of the new year.

Name Start Time Finish Time Gap to Runner Ahead Scratch Time Pace
Iain 00:00:30 00:16:01 00:15:31 00:05:00
Alan 00:02:25 00:16:14 00:00:13 00:13:49 00:04:27
Andy G 00:04:00 00:16:18 00:00:04 00:12:18 00:03:58
Magnus 00:03:30 00:16:20 00:00:02 00:12:50 00:04:08
Craig W 00:03:50 00:16:39 00:00:19 00:12:49 00:04:08
Katie 00:00:30 00:16:41 00:00:02 00:16:11 00:05:13
Kenny 00:03:30 00:16:42 00:00:01 00:13:12 00:04:15
Robert 00:00:30 00:16:45 00:00:03 00:16:15 00:05:15
Ruth 00:04:20 00:17:04 00:00:19 00:12:44 00:04:06

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Lauder XC Report - Borders Series Round 1

Beautiful weather greeted those who were at Lauder for the first round of the 2017-18 Borders Cross Country Series today. The series has grown in popularity over the years and there are 430 seniors and 200 juniors with entries to the whole series, with today’s races had 120 juniors and 269 seniors.
The senior race was won by Eoin Lennon from Carnethy, in 25.19, with a huge winning margin on 1 min 41 seconds. The Moorfoots were led home by a strong performance by Darin Dougal.

Category Place
Darin Dougal
Kobe Stevens
Colin Williams
David Gaffney
Ian Munro
Mike Pearson

There were a few running in the Junior Race while most were at Lasswade XC at Gorebridge, led home by a impressive showing from Craig Angus claiming 3rd in his age class and forth overall.
Category Place
Craig Angus
Cameron Munro
Madeline Collins
Kate Harvie
Alice Williams

Juniors https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=119603

Thanks to Lauderdale Limpers for putting on a great event.



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Borders XC Lauder, Sunday - Travel Disruption Important announcement!

The A 68 may due to be closed next Sunday about 11.00 am which could cause problems for runners coming to the Lauder cross country. 
The organisers are asking if all junior and senior runners could please aim to be in Lauder by 10.30-You can register and then watch the display of Tractors raising money for Doddie Weir5's trust going through the village and use our local facilities for a coffee before enjoying our race. 
If you are coming from the Tweed Valley then you should miss this out by taking the B6362 the Stow to Lauder road and then parking near the primary school before you hit the A68.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Dave does Dumyat Dash

Dave Gaffney competed at Dumyat Dash, Saturday 28th October, Menstrie. Here's his poetic report:

I remember the first time I stood by the side of the road in Glen Torridon, looking up at the imposing walls of Liathach, checking and re-checking the OS map because I didn’t believe a path could possibly be found heading straight up there.
Dumyat, the westernmost of the Ochil Hills, is on a different scale entirely but there is something of Liathach’s impenetrability in its southern flanks, the direction of approach dictated by the Dumyat Dash (it’s an ironic name, mostly), which must rank among the most bonkers and brutal short courses in the Scottish Hill Racing calendar.
Trying to resist the lure of a pre-race bacon roll, as Dumyat looms in the background
Starting near the war memorial in Menstrie, one of a line of Hillfoots towns strung out beneath the Ochils, not many races manage to cram as much climbing (550m) into such a relatively short distance (a shade over 6km). A couple of kilometres in, the penny begins to drop with the realistion that every time you gain height – and you do so almost immediately from the start, via a steep single-track up through the gorse – you seem to lose it all again in a tenth of the time it took to acquire.

On reaching Blairlogie, after 3km or so and a fast run down a gravelly road, any ambitions of dashing vanish quickly as the route turns sharply up towards Castle Law, the satellite top of Dumyat. Pretty soon I was negotiating very loose scree, dodging rocks dislodged by those above while the ones under my feet shifted constantly, a demoralising state of affairs that means you have to work twice as hard as normal for every step gained. The race organiser, in an attempt to demonstrate he wasn’t 100% masochist, had fixed some climbing ropes to tree roots in this section, which soon proved crucial to any vertical progress and happily took at least some of the strain off my screaming quads and calves for a few minutes.

The next 10 minutes or so were a severe test of mental and physical obdurateness, as every contour left its mark on body and mind and I clutched at the long grass in front of me to help haul myself ever upwards. It was at this point that I recalled Alan Elder’s unencouraging words the previous evening – “that is one helluva climb up to the top, my calves exploded on the way up last year” – when he’d impolitely declined the opportunity to join me on today’s foray into Clackmannanshire. The wisdom of elders indeed.
Cursing his good sense and my current predicament, I pressed on, neither overtaking or being overtaken, which was about as much as I could hope for at this stage. Soon we were up out of the gulley and passing the cairn at Castle Law, where I was reminded that the blessed relief of some downhill running from that top was short-lived, as the final climb to Dumyat’s summit was soon upon us. “Dash it”, I almost said. 
Rounding the cairn, the problem then became how to persuade the same muscles I’d been imploring upwards for the last 40 minutes to get me the hell down the hill as quickly as they could. Fortunately, the route is perfectly set up for just that – a brilliantly fast, runnable, grassy track plunging down down down to the gate that takes you back off the hill and onto the narrow path to the town. I’ve never been described as dashing but perhaps this was my moment.
Passing three runners on the way, including kind-hearted Carnethy Jim Hardie, who generously held the gate open for me as I passed, I hurtled down the path and managed to stay on my feet to cross the finish line in 48:07. A special mention for Jim, who had found the time and inclination to gather up some litter on his way round the course and crossed the finish line with a large paper cup in his hand. He’d actually turned back to pick it up, letting his conscience be his guide, which then made me feel guilty for having overtaken him so close to the end. I must have carried that guilt with me for at least five seconds, before realising I'd managed to shave two minutes off last year’s time.
So, I left the Hillfoots happy with my morning’s work but secure in the knowledge that my legs would be suffering the consequences of this race for days to come. Three days on, as I type this report, I’m tempted to suggest a change of name for this race next year. “Dumyat DOMS” has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?