Monday, 17 September 2018

Moorfoot Golf Outing

Ladies and Gents, Gregor has made a suggestion for an informal golf day and I have volunteered to organise it, subject to a decent turnout. The date will be 14th October at my home course in Innerleithen. The agenda looks like this: - turn up at 2pm ish for a 2.30pm start - we shall just play 9 holes so looking at between 90 mins to two hours, depending on the length of time Gregor will spend in the rough looking for balls. - I shall organise an informal team competition, either a Texas scramble or pairs stableford, with a prize donated by myself for the winning team. Be honest when you tell me what handicap you need 🏌🏽‍♂️ - soup and sandwiches at the Corner house hotel at the end. I can get everybody on for a discounted rate so the total cost for the golf, food and a drink should be in the region of £15 per head. Anybody interested please put your name on the doodle poll and bring a family member or friend if you want. Cheers Mike

Doodle Poll -

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Scott wins two Scottish Titles in a week!

Scott McDonald and Pete Hall were racing at the Scottish 10km Road Championships at Stirling on Sunday. Scott had an absolute storming run to clock 34:21 to finish the fastest M50 by exactly a minute, despite clipping a verge and taking a tumble on the tarmac. This is the second national age-group title for Scott in one week after his triumph at the trail champs last Sunday. Pete had a very solid run to finish in the top half of the age field, 39th out of 79 M50s. Very well done both

Full results:
Photo of Scott here, but can't find one of Pete:

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Braemar Highland Games Hill Race

Andy Cox was up in Braemar entertaining the Queen and the crowds for the famous Braemar Gathering Highland Games Morrone Hill Race. Here's his summary:

Lap of the park out, followed a stoney path to the top then anyway u want back down, followed the reccie route I done before the race, down through grass, bog, over deer fences, trees etc, basically the 'direct way' seemed to work picked up a few places. Great atmosphere coming into the sports ground, felt like Mo Farah with everyone cheering 😂
7th overall, and 3rd in the open race and prize money to go with it.



Cold Pea Soup served in a Devil's Beef Tub

Dave Gaffney's report from his race at Devil's Beef Tub this weekend:
21 runners took on the Devil's Beef Tub race on Saturday, the start of which is a good 10-minute walk from the registration point at Corehead Farm, itself a good 15-minute drive down a pretty rough farm road from Moffat. 

The flags marking the start line were just visible as we lined up for the off, but the one positioned at the top of the first hill, just a few hundred metres away, sadly wasn't. In fact, nothing much at all was visible up there, as we were to find out over the next half hour or so. 

The route goes straight up from the start, at a steepness that encourages the use of hands as well as feet to haul yourself up. Once you're up that first wall and round the monument at its summit, there's not all that much more to do in terms of ascent, although the very rough, tussocky and often pathless ground ensures it's no easy jaunt around the top of the Beef Tub, as I demonstrated effectively with one particularly graceless fall along the way. 

Two Carnethy runners were quickly out of sight (literally and metaphorically) but I tucked in behind the Shettleston runner in 3rd place, who seemed to know where he was going, which was a lucky bounce for me as I hadn't a clue and engaging my brain to do much more than just breathe was proving difficult. 

Me and my newfound pacer seemed to have opened a decent gap on the nearest runners behind us, and by the time we reached the secondary top of Annanhead Hill, where the route descends back to the start, we had even caught sight of the second placed runner. 
It was no more than a fleeting moment of hope, though. Glancing down at the ground ahead to avoid some rocks, by the time I looked up again I was alone and not entirely sure which direction offered the fastest or safest way down. If indeed there is a fast or safe way down. I certainly didn't find it if there is.
There was steep ground, long bracken, slippy wet rocks, and swear words galore during the next five minutes or so as I tried to negotiate my way downwards, my spirits lifting briefly when I emerged from the cloud to see two runners just yards in front of me on the race to the finish line. Then came the crushing realisation that they were not the same two runners I'd seen most recently, but a couple of Annan runners who had presumably used their local knowledge and/or descending skills to good effect on the very tricky descent.
So sixth place felt disappointing, but that was soon replaced by a sense of relief at getting down in one piece and optimism about the prospect of catching the bakers in Moffat before it closed. A very tough but fun wee race organised by a friendly bunch of Carnethies and great value at £3. Fingers crossed for a clear day next year! 


Success at the Scottish Trail Champs - Scott McDonald is M50 Trail Champion

It was a successful Sunday at the Scottish Trail Champs with Scott McDonald winning the M50 title and gold medal, almost two minutes clear of the 2nd M50. Scott was 17th overall and was only beaten by one runner in the M40 category and was the vet overall. Also running and putting in solid displays were Mike McGovern, 8th M40, 33rd, and a further twenty seconds back was Colin Williams 9th M40 and 35th. Unfortunately Pete Hall was entered but was ill and couldn’t make the trip. It was a lovely but challenging course from the historic village of Falkland in Fife. Some quality athletes at the pointy end with GB internationals battling out for the title. Susan Ridley from Peebles, who runs for Edinburgh AC won the silver in the F50 category in a very tight race, only 6 secs off the win and 2 seconds ahead of bronze. There is a full report on the Scottish Athletics website which also name checked Scott: 
The Senior Championship saw Kristian Jones (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) and Andy Douglas (Inverclyde AC) renew their battle of the National Cross Country Championships where they finished first and third respectively. Never more than a few metres apart during the race Kristian, a British Orienteering International, edged out the British Hill International in the final run in – winning by three seconds.

Moorfoot juniors Fionn Hollingsbee (6th MU13), Shaun Pyman (13th, MU13) and Elena Lee (6th FU13) were all in action too with some strong performances
RESULTS Scottish Trail Champs
RESULTS for U13s and U11s
PHOTOS by Pete Bracegirdle

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Andy Cox grass sledging at Grasmere!

Andy Cox was racing at the annual Grasmere Lakeland Sports in the Guides Race.  At 1.3 miles and just shy of 1,000 ft it’s one of the classics in the history of games hill/fell racing and was a highlight in the professional calendar in the days of when there was a split with ‘amateur’ racing.

This is what the website says:
The Grasmere Guides Race to the top of Silverhowe was first introduced in 1868. The current Grasmere Guides Race record of 12 minutes 21.6 seconds over the Butter Crags course, was set by Fred Reeves in 1978 and is still unbeaten today. Reeves won the Grasmere event 8 times altogether. £500 is still being offered to anyone who can beat Reeve's record.

There were 120 runners and the race was won by Nick Swinburn of Northumberland Fellrunners in 13:28 in the rain in very wet and slippery conditions. Andy finished 20th in 16:59 having been wiped out on the descent by another competitor who slipped over, but luckily for him Andy was there to take his fall but came off much the worse as a result!

Full results:
Race Video Moorfoot fame at 2:30 and 7:30

Monday, 27 August 2018

Baddinsgill Round 2018

One of those ‘just around the corner’ races that is hard to resist – though some serious rain on arrival drew in some second thoughts.

It’s as low key as they come – parking in the sawmill and registration in a pop-up tent on Baddingsill Farm’s village green. Pay your fiver, put on your shoes, safety briefing (which included a detailed description of the route – but far too much to absorb on a Sunday morning) and off.

A steep start takes runner (33 starters) up on to Faw Mount with good running to Mount Maw to Grain Heads and on to The Mount. I manage to pass a couple of runners along the ridge and another on the descent in to Deer Hope.

Faw Mount - centre-right - leading to Mount Maw (head anti-clockwise from there)

A lady runner was consumed, waist deep, in the Badlands at the base of Wether Law – rescued by her fellow runners – onward she sped – and with others (sometimes we are just sheep - too foolish to consider availing ourselves with a compass and map) head blindly to the massive cairn on top of the aptly named, East Cairn hill.


Part way on the trip, I notice a lack of ‘claw’ marks in the drier peat and decide to head off and over the hill – an easier fence line route missed by many (though the map shows the route passing the cairn!) It’s all heather-louping to catch up and get to the Cauldstane Slap (Slap, as I discovered - a gap, a breach or hole (in a wall). Haribos from the marshals at the slap and onward into the oncoming, horizontal rain on the run to West Cairn Hill and on to Wolf Craigs.

There’s a long mushy drag through the morass to the top of Byrehope Mount – where a marshal stands in bright yellow rain armour, buffeted by the elements. ‘Straight down the hill to the final marshal on your left’ he says – The red rag is waved and I take full advantage of the descent – though would have taken more had I not suspected another incline before the end!

The run finishes at the end of a wood on the Thieves Road. Fortunately, it was still there!

Top job by the supporters and organisers in testing conditions. Definitely one to try again.

Results Here

I found out later (As I did not make the pub (shameful) afterwards, that I had missed out on picking up a prize as 2nd MV50. Note to self…go to the pub!