I took part in the trail half the Muckle Toon Adventure Festival having enjoyed the race a lot last year. Last year I was lucky enough to come 2nd so I though you never know! It wasn't to be. The field was a lot stronger this year and the race has a lot of climbing (almost 2,000 feet in total) with the biggest climb up to the obelisk on Whita Hill coming in the first 2 miles at while point I was sitting in about 10th place.
It's a long race and last year taught me that people can go off too hard and pay later so I just tried to get into a good rhythm and not worry that the leader - Craig Mattocks of Gala Harriers (and sometimes Carnethy) and now living in Peebles was disappearing out of sight.
I picked up some places on the decent and was in about 7th when I reached the river Esk bridge. There was a group of about 6 of us all within about 20 seconds so it was clear the field was a lot more competitive than 2015. I kept working hard and the group slowly littled down until there 3 of us together going up the last steep climb at 9 miles with 3 runners still up the track. I pushed on and over the next two miles dropped the two I was running with and the 3rd place runner came back into view about 20 seconds ahead. I pushed hard in mile 12 and caught and passed the runner and moved into third and keep that place to end. Route here
My time 1.35.22 was over 3 1/2 minutes faster than last year and I realised I had finished ahead of last year's winner too, however the race was won by some margin by Craig Mattocks in 1.30.40. The women's race was won by Craig's wife Kate Jenkins in 1.45.43. Full results here
Fi, Alice and Austen came for the day and there was an free standing rock wall and pump track and lots of family activities so a good day out for all!