A couple of miles outside Peebles, it's hard to ignore this run and within minutes I have arrived at the parking area in the smirry haze. It has been raining heavily for hours/days before so everything is soaked. David G and I meet in the glaur park and have a pre race chat.
It's a friendly, low-key run, set amidst the backdrop of the Manor Water Sheep Dog Trials. Registration, as always, is delivered from the back of a horse box, and surrounded by short sharp whistling, come bys and lie doons, I am uncertain whether to register under my own name or Cardinal Chaffinch of Cabernet Franc (aka - Chaff), I realise that there will be very few V50 Border Collies, so decide against the idea.
Unlike last year, when the weather was conducive to record setting, this year's outing to the summit of The Scrape (719m/2359ft) is more likely to break an ankle than any previous bests.
Kits are soon check, numbers daubed and the off given. It soon becomes clear that, under foot conditions are poor and will only get worse. A trio of Carnethies can be seen leading the pack out from Glack Hope up to White Knowe.
Conditions are tough. It's mush and gloop interspersed with mossy rafts and reedy dips - there is very little let up from top to bottom. The prevailing clag makes visibility minimal on most of the journey and it is difficult to gauge just how much energy to gamble when you are unable to see what lies ahead.
The upward trek is demanding and David passes me on my climb to the summit. We exchange encouragement. The top is hard to see through the clag and horizontal rain. A sharp turn and time for the enjoyment of the down hill. I manage to make up 7 or 8 places from the turn. I finish slower than my previous time but oddly felt stronger - possibly the conditions?
David puts in a good shift and comes home in 19th position - one behind Craig W.
A cheeky bottle of IPA for each finisher...nice!
Certainly, one of the most manky, mawkit outings this year - David and I noting the knee-high glabber!
As they say...Manor's manketh the man...(ouch!)
Stewart Whiltie was first lad back in 1.19,
First lady was Kathy Henly in 1.48
Full Results Here
The outcome of the Sheepdog Trials?
At the end of the day - all the crooks were put away!