Monday, 6 March 2017

Eildon 10 Mile Trail Race 2017

This year’s Eildon 10 mile trail race was attended by Mike McGovern, Pete Hall and I. It’s a 16.4km blend of forest track, river walk, hill side and B roads. With 540m of climb, it packs a decent challenge.

We meet up at the start and we partake in a round of the usual ‘who’s who spotting’. Last year’s winner Craig Mattocks is on the start line along with Alexander Chepelin - more of a concern for Mike than me or Pete!

It’s raining lightly as the off is given and I manage to stay in the front half on the initial tarmac section. A sharp right up a rutted track to the bottom of Eildon Hill North. This fades and soon we enter the unrunnable toffee fondue before the initial steep ascent. Many curse and snarl as the slippery ground robs them of energy. As the hill steepens, shoes fail proper purchase, causing some to employ the Bambi shuffle - more cursing ensues.

My calves take a duffing on the ascent and are pleased to welcome the rough downhill to Eildon Mid Hill. I manage to pick off a couple of runners on the way and am soon knee-pumping it over the top (422m 1,385 ft). On the thrilling/dangerous decent off this hill, I hear a runner approaching from behind. I pick up the pace - as does the other runner – I hear a dull groan.

Pete and I catch up for a breathless chat on the way up Eildon Wester Hill where Pete heads off up to the turn. However, we meet up again on the way through Broad Wood. I find a good pace here and am soon behind a group of six runners. A sodden plod to Bowden and then some good running until Maxpoffle – where the glabber is awful! (This is Thomas the Rhymer country after all!) Following some slipping and sliding, I manage to pass another two runners once onto the road section through St Boswells.

Along St Cuthbert’s way until the River Tweed and we head north on a track a few feet from an irate looking Tweed! Stumbling here would be unwise!

I can see three runners in the distance and decide to see if I can catch up. The riverbank ahead is badly eroded and, around Monksford Bank, the path veers away from the river and through some of the worst leaf-rot chowder I have ever, nimbly slogged over.

I keep a pace on the gradual uphill through the forest, behind the golf course and am gaining on the two runners in front. Then…the A68 road crossing….and any hope of catching up fades as I stand frustrated, waiting on the traffic to clear. I am then caught by the runner behind me. Traffic clears and I am off on the final stretch. 

The last uphill, I manage without too much complaint. I pass another runner here and am soon over the ballast section and on to the final road portion. From here, it is all about improving on last years’ time.

I cross the line, pull in to the side and follow this with an impression of someone who is being sick – without actually being sick. I’m over the line in 1.38.41 (over 3 minute’s improvement on last year!) – Closely followed by Pete in 1.40.21

(Courtesy of Danielle Glendinning)

Mike had a great run for 5th in the enviable time of 1.21.16

Top 3 in each category were

1st Alexander Chepelin 1:11:48 (may have taken the number 38 bus at Bowden!)
2nd Craig Mattocks 1:19:23
3rd Greg Glendinning 1:19:35

1st Fiona Dalgleish 1:32:59
2nd Gillian Cairns 1:35:32
3rd Michelle Hetherington 1:38:56

full results

Some madness followed my return to Peebles with a 6 mile 'warm down' around Manor Brig/Sware/Spoon Wood/Cademuir - Must seek therapy!

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