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:

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