Monday, 18 June 2018

Robert Wilson reports at Kirkcudbright half and Stichill 10k

Robert Wilson has been in action in the last few weeks and putting in some solid performances. Here's his report:

On the last Saturday in May I took myself down to Kirkcudbright for their annual half marathon. Being the end of May it’s the peak of the Scottish summer and by the time the race starts at 1pm the tarmac has heated up nicely! Thankfully the new race organiser decided to move the start time to 11am this year which may have accounted for my improvement on last years’ time. Anyway, it’s a lovely course with a good downhill thrash between mile 10 and 11. It’s an affordable and well organised race with all funds going to Kirkcudbright High School. I finished in 1:47, five minutes better than last year so a good excuse for a coffee and cake in the many coffee shops near the harbour.
Results can be found here Kirkcudbright half marathon

Last Saturday it was off to Stichill near Kelso for their annual 10k race. A nice low key event, I think there were 80 runners, on a course that meandered around a series of country back roads. As its June and the Scottish summer is over, the weather was ideal for running with a light wind and a drizzle to help keep everyone cool. I finished in 46:45 and was pleased with that time and with a bit more training I could perhaps get back to going under 45 mins – who knows.
Results can be found here Stichill 10k

Both races proved to me, the benefits of a regular training session each week so a big thank you to those in the club who organise the Tuesday and Thursday training sessions.


Robert doesn't even look out of breath!
 
 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Yetholm Hill Race Report

Dave Gaffney raced well at Yethom this weekend after a considerable layoff with injury. Here's his account:

140 runners gathered at Halterburn, just outside Kirk Yetholm, for the latest race in the Scottish Hill Racing Championships. This one is a medium distance counter for the champs, packing 2,700 foot of ascent into its 7.5 miles.

The low-lying cloud hid much of what lay in store at registration, but the race organiser’s start line briefing gave a suitably detailed description of what we could expect.

“You go up this first hill, round the flag, then follow the dyke/fence line across quite a few more hills, turn left at that big cloud in the distance, then get back here as quick as you can. And I wouldn’t recommend going over the top of that hill there,” he said, pointing to a big lump rising above the Pennine Way to our left. “That’s definitely not the quickest line home.”

This news came as a fillip as it meant that, if nothing else, at least one of the many hills I could currently see wouldn’t have to be summited before I returned to this point.

Before I had too much time to enjoy that reprieve we were off, up and away on a farm track then onto steep open hillside, headed for the aforementioned flag at the top of Staerough Hill, the first of eight tops on the anti-clockwise round.
A quick chat with Craig Walling on the first hill revealed that he and Katie had spent a successful night with five-week-old baby Iona and two dogs in their camper van in the car park. Nothing like getting there early to avoid disappointment!
From the flag, it was straight down to the bealach between Staerough and Sunnyside hills, giving the first taste of what was to become a familiar experience over the next hour or so, i.e working hard to gain height only to plummet downwards again and forfeit all the altitude you’d sweated to achieve just moments before.

The toughest of those steep descent and steeper re-ascent combinations was hurtling down the south side of the 403m Latchly Hill, only to climb precipitously up the north side of The Curr, a 564m top featuring one of the two Trig points on the route (an added bonus for Trig-bagging geeks like me). 

We had now reached the point in the cloud where we were instructed to turn left, which we dutifully did, to pick up the Pennine Way path and thus slightly better running over Steer Rig and the last proper climb up White Law. At this point, I was still competitive in the women’s race, but was soon overtaken on White Law by second and third place in that category and watched them both stretch away, with my legs unable or unwilling to respond to my brain’s instructions to go with them.

From there it’s a good, fast, gravity-assisted run (if your legs are the obedient types) down the grassy track of the Pennine Way and a final splash through the burn into the car park and the finish line.

Every penny of the £5 entry fee was donated to the local mountain rescue team, whose members were out in force on the route, meaning it was exceedingly well marshalled. The team’s £700 windfall – welcomed by a generous round of applause from runners at the start line – was well earned and, as Norham Running Club’s race director explained before the race: “All the money is going to Borders Mountain Rescue, so don’t expect much in the way of prizes, especially if I decide just to keep some of the beers for myself.”
Nobody would have argued that he deserved it for a well-organised and very friendly race which I’ll definitely return to in the future, if only in the hope of experiencing some of the views we were denied by the stubborn clouds on Sunday.  

Shettleston Harriers’ Tom Owens finished at the front of a strong field, as you’d expect in a Scottish Champs race, in 1:03:45 with Eoin Lennon from Carnethy in second place and HBT’s Jonathan Crickmore third. Stephanie Provan held off a barnstorming finish from Heather Anderson of Fife AC to take the win in 1:22:29 and make her trip from Deeside well worthwhile. Claire Barry of HBT was third.

I was very happy to be first (ie only) Moorfoot and to just scrape a top 40 chart entry in 1:23:37.
Full results: http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0056&Year=2018

Monday, 28 May 2018

Reminder - Club Membership renewals.

Club Membership Renewals are now due for 2018/19
(Year runs 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019).

We have kept to the same system of  renewal as last year with Entry Central. The costs are also  the same as previous years (Entry Central costs are being absorbed by the club)
Please click on the relevant link depending on your membership type:

Link for Individual Memberships (£15):   https://www.entrycentral.com/club/106659

Link for Couple/Family Membership (£20; https://www.entrycentral.com/club/106660

Link for Junior Membership (U18) (£10):   https://www.entrycentral.com/club/106784

There are a few members who have joined within the last few weeks and  I will email these members separately to clarify that they have already paid up for 2018/19

Many thanks
Eddie Balfour
Club Treasurer

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Gypsy Glen Hill Race Report 2018

The annual Gypsy Glen Hill Race took place in Peebles on Wednesday night 16th May, organised by the Moorfoot Runners in association with Peebles & District Community Council.

Many thanks to the main organiser Mike Pearson and the support from all those helping with registration, marshalling and setting the course, whose efforts allow this successful event to go ahead.
 
There was a good turn of 76 runners on a lovely warm evening. The race was won by James Dunn from the Hunters Bog Trotters who was completing a quick-fire Peebles double after winning the 3 Bridges handicap race on Sunday. He covered the 8km course which includes 300m climb and descent in 31:15. Jonny Lawson of Portobello was 2nd and first over 40. The first home from the host club was Andy Cox in 5th (34:40) closely followed by Darin Dougal in 6th (34:54) who was also the second veteran. Local runner Scott MacDonald was the third veteran in 8th place (36:18).

The female winner was Emily Nicholson from Pitreavie, a GB U20 in the hills in 2016 when only 17 but has been out for two years injured and this was her first competitive race back. Now 19, she is aiming for further GB Junior selection this summer.
 
It was a close race for the female veteran prize between three locals. Evergreen Susan Ridley (Edinburgh AC) won in 40:34, just ahead of Kate Jenkins (Gala Harriers) 40:49 and Lucy Colquhoun (Moorfoot Runners) 41:17.
 
The host Moorfoot Runners was also represented by Michael McGovern (12th, 36:42), Sam McNeil (13th, 36:47), Colin Williams (19th, 37:34), Craig Walling (23rd, 38:55), Kenneth Davidson (25th, 39:00), Alan Elder (45th, 43:41).

Full Results:http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0116&Year=2018
Photos of whole field (thanks to Frank Birch): https://www.flickr.com/photos/16140176@N03/sets/72157667178012737

Moorfoot Runners photos:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.2015392495389376&type=3 Thanks to Thomas Hilton
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.2013043622290930&type=3 Thanks to Dave Gaffney















Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Training update - New weekly sessions on Thursday 7pm & Tuesday extra pick up at 6.35pm at PHS

Starting on this Thursday 10th May there will another weekly training session for the senior membership.

Meeting Place Thursdays, 7pm, Kingsmeadows Car Park in Peebles

Activity – Warm up before and cool down after,  with an approx 20 -30 minute handicap, a continuous effort where the slower runners set off earlier and the faster runners later and hopefully everyone finishes at a similar time. The idea is it will be fun, while providing good training.
Every month the following routes will be used:

Date
Route
Run Leader (may change if people are unavailable)
1st Thurs
Glentress Green Route. 4km, 75m climb, 50m descent https://gb.mapometer.com/running/route_4179937.html 
Amy Alcorn
2nd Thurs
Bikepath Eshiels > Cardrona (Nashy's Carpark) rtn. 6km, flat https://gb.mapometer.com/running/route_4733897.html
Andrew Dancer
3rd Thurs
Cademuir Rollercoaster. 6km Route, 300m of climb (or simplified) https://gb.mapometer.com/running/route_4447418.html or
Lucy Colqhoun / Craig or Katie Walling
4th Thurs
Tweedside 'Peebles XC' simplified route. 3.5km, 125m climb https://gb.mapometer.com/running/route_4733913.html
Alan Elder / Paul Nichol
5th Thurs (when it happens)
Special Surprise
Dave Gaffney

The handicapping will be pretty basic where people tell the leader their 5km time and then sets off in that order and its all a bit of a guess, which will hopefully get more refined with time!
It will be low key and the run leader will not be responsible to keep any times so keep your own time if you want to record it - the run leader will be running it too.

The Thursday night session coordinator is Paul Nichol so please direct any queries directly to him jpanichol@gmail.com
Tuesday Training – Peebles High School Sports Centre pick up 6.35pm

We are keen to encourage more members and parents to join in the Tuesday evening session with the seniors and to make it more inclusive for runners of all abilities, and hopefully less intimidating.
The seniors group will swing by PHS at 6.35pm each Tuesday so that any parents who have dropped off their off-spring for junior training can join in.

Colin (colin.m.williams@talk21.com) is the main lead and assures you that they will cater for different abilities.  A typical session consists of 10-15mins warm up, then a set 3 to 5 intervals x 2-5 min intervals with rest in between of about half the effort time and regrouping after each one, followed by a decent warm down. The efforts will always be done on time, rather than distance, to accommodate all speeds and everyone gets equal rest. Whilst some will use this as a hard interval session, because it is based on timed intervals, you can choose to run at whatever pace or effort suits you, and to dip out or finish whenever.
Feel free to join in. Just be ready to run 6.35pm at the entrance to the new sports hall at PHS.

Peebles Gypsy Glen Hill Race details

Moorfoot Runners

in association with
PEEBLES & DISTRICT COMMUNITY COUNCIL
present the annual
PEEBLES GYPSY GLEN HILL RACE

On Wednesday 16 May 2018 at 7pm.

Minimum age 16, cost £6, Enter on the Day.

Enter from 6.10pm @ Gytes Leisure Centre, Peebles, EH45 8GL
Race Start and Finish @ Victoria Park, south of the Tweed

Distance c8km; Climb c300m
Male Record 30:46 – Tom Martyn (2017)
Female Record 35:27 - Sarah McCormack (2011)

Route from Registration to Start in Red. Race starting loop in Turquoise.
Green Finish Return
Hill Route


Monday, 7 May 2018

Scout Conquers the Three Peaks



Good to see Scout Adkin's name in the results again, upping her distance a tad to 37km and 1,600m of climb in the Three Peaks race last weekend, finishing 17th female and 2nd U25. Results here

Here is her report.....
So I decided this year to try some longer races – and the iconic Yorkshire 3 Peaks Race seemed the best choice to tackle first. Training had been going well since the start of the year until I got injured (ITB syndrome and peroneal nerve impingement). I was not properly running for 6weeks prior to the race. Less than a week before the race I managed a slowly pain free run. I decided that I would still run but set myself the task of getting round with no further injury instead of chasing times and positions.

I felt good at the start on the lower slopes of Pen-y-gent but once the gradient started to increase my legs were already protesting, clearly unhappy after not running up hills for 6weeks. Once I reached the top a quick descent and onwards across the rolling country side for about 8miles to the first road crossing. I was feeling relatively good along this section, once my body had got over the shock of running again, and enjoyed a conversation with a fellow runner which passed the time.

The climb up Whernside was a lot steeper than I excepted and it really was a crawl at the top. Fighting off calf cramp and taking care of rocks on the fast descent I descended back into the valley reaching the second road crossing.

The last climb up Ingleborough was tough – fatigue was setting in and I debated if I maybe should have eaten a bit more earlier on in the race. Some veggie percy pig sweets helped get me up the last climb then it was just 5 very long miles back down to the finish. I seemed to have found a bust of energy at this point and started passing some tired looking runners. I managed a slow sprint into the finish, my competitive instincts hoping that my watch was wrong and I that I had made it under 4hours - not quite – 4hour 2minutes.

I definitely want to do it again, aiming for sub 4hours and improving on my position.

Next long race – Buttermere Horseshoe, after recceing it over 2days this weekend, this will definitely be a challenge!



Sunday, 6 May 2018

More success, this time at Gala 10k

Another day another race! This time it was the Gala 10k on Sunday and the turn of Darin Dougal and Sam McNeil (who'd also raced on Friday night at the Scottish 5k Champs). The results show Darin was 4th overall and  won the M40 category in a time of 37:36 - great showing! Sam clocked 42:57 and 9th in the senior men's category - another solid run. Full results here

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Selkirk Trail Half Marathon Report

On Saturday 5th April Mike McGovern and Colin Williams (me) raced at the Selkirk Trail Half Marathon  (well actually it was 14.5 miles but what's a did extra between friends).

It was a bit breezy at the start and therefore cool but we warmed up once we got going and then the sun came out making it a lovely day. It was a mass start for both the half marathon (115 runners) and full marathon (56 runners). As soon as the race started everyone bolted but it had pretty much settled down into a group of 4 racing along with the lead marathoner after a couple of miles, with the eventual winner Graeme Murdoch of Gala Harriers already gaining such a gap that he had disappeared off the front.

Mike and another runner gradually pulled out a decent margin ahead of me by the high point of the course at Duchess Drive on Bowhill Estate after about 45mins and on the decent both Moorfoots ran well with Mike pulling ahead and Colin closing on the 3rd place runner. It stayed like that for the next 45 mins when following a steep dig there were more technical descents on MTB enduro single track. By this time I caught and decisively over took 3rd place runner before popping out back at Bowhill House for the last fairly flat 3 miles through Philiphaugh Estate. With only a mile left I started to see Mike still a good distance ahead and dug in an attempt to close the gap, but Mike was too strong. At the finish line there was only 3 seconds in it but it meant two Moorfoots made it on the podium, both almost 4 minutes within the course record set by the inaugural winner last year.
Colin, 3rd; winner Graeme Murdoch, Mike 2nd
A really nice, but tough, route with over 2000 feet of climb. Full results here: http://www.durtyevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Trail-Run-Results.xls
The start from above

Friday, 4 May 2018

Quick times at Scottish 5k Champs

Scott McDonald and Sam MacNeil raced on a beautiful evening at Silverknowes for the Scottish 5k Champs. As you would expect the standard was very high, being won in a time of 14:36.

Scott finished in a scorching time of 16:37, 92nd and was the third M50, so close to the win, with the first in his category only 6 seconds ahead. He was rightly delighted with an excellent run saying:
"a 1min 05sec improvement over my last road 5km in the last two years has blown my mind"

Sam clocked exactly 18:00 and 199th place commenting
"not back to race fitness yet but very pleased to be back racing ! Front lads were unbelievably fast 💨"

Also in action was ex Moorfoot Lucas Cheskin, who is now studying in Glasgow, and he went even faster posting a time of 16:06 to claim 35th place.
Full results here: https://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/1SO/
Silverknowes before the start last night


London Marathon report from Ailish Nimmo


Ailish Nimmo ran her first London Marathon using the Club place - well done. Here's her report

I have wanted to do a marathon for some time, and entered the London ballot 6 times without success. Although I was disappointed to not get in, there was always a small amount of relief too so it was exciting but also a bit overwhelming to realise I was actually going to have to do what I had talked about for so long.  Training proved harder than I thought- the prolonged winter and starting a new job with an 80 mile commute meant I was not as consistent as I would have liked, though at least it meant I had no injuries to cope with!

I was nervous but excited at the start, but it helps being part of such a massive group to realise you are not on your own. It was a bit disconcerting to be running in tropical heat after battling with sub-zero temperatures, snow and wind for so long but with a new hat and plenty of suncream I was keen to get going.  The first half went quickly- I felt good, there was a huge amount of support and running round the Cutty Stark and over Tower Bridge was pretty special – spying some of the Bake Off stars stopping to take selfies.

By the second half I was more aware of the heat, some people were starting to suffer and when you’ve seen a few being carted off by St Johns Ambulance it’s a good prompt to not push too hard. The support is massive all the way round- with ice lollies, oranges and sweets and I must have been looking more tired as I definitely got a lot more people shouting my name between miles 14 and 20. 

By 20 miles I knew I would finish even if I crawled, but it’s also frustrating when your legs won’t do as you try and tell them.  I was trying to keep up with someone dressed in a massive rhino costume – but I guess they are used to the heat and I think he got away from me! 

Turning the final corner at Big Ben and seeing the finish was amazing- I felt like I managed to put a sprint in at the end but imagine it was realistically more of a shuffle.  I was so pleased that I was only a bit tired and felt otherwise good so haven’t been put off doing one again. The best bit of having quite a sedate time is there is more opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and support along the way.  I even got my 5 seconds of fame on ITV news that evening holding my medal at the end!  Thanks very much to Moorfoots for letting such an amateur runner wear your vest at such a special event.​



 

London Marathon 2019 Ballot for entry closes today at 5pm Friday 4th

The ballot for entry for the London Marathon on 28 April 2019 is only open for five days and closes on today at 5pm. Apologies for the late notice - I didn't seen to get the email this year
Details here: Ballot Entry

It is the premier marathon in Britain and a real experience for everyone I know who has taken part.

The club is guaranteed a place each year but it order to be fair there is policy in place to allocate it. the following factors are considered:
> Have they been a member for more than 12 months
> Have they been not been awarded the club place in the previous 2 years
> Have they unsuccessfully tried to enter via the ballot and not eligible for a good for age place https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/how-to-enter/good-age-entry/ , or championship entries (for real speed merchants) https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/how-to-enter/championship-entry/ which both open later in the year

So this is a heads up for anyone wanting to enter London

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Yetholm to Wooler Half 2018



On a decent day to be charging around the Cheviots, Andy and Alan took themselves to Wooler for the Yetholm to Wooler half (ish - depending on where you guessed the trail may be)  - with around 2200 feet of climb.

After a 7.30 start, we arrive in good time for registration and were whisked off, at 10.00 on a coach, to the start in Yetholm. Around 100 runners gathered on the village green for the brief safety talk.

No compulsory kit – ‘just wear what you are comfortable in,’ was the call!

So with a two jackets, a gel and a bag full of sugary objects between us - we were off.

The initial section involves running up the road to the car park of the Yetholm Hill Race and then up the side of Green Humbleton (first hill on the clockwise version of Yetholm Hill Race.

Andy is up front and making great progress on the uphill. By the time I reach the border into England, my calves seem to have been set alight and it isn’t until entering the wood at the bottom of Tom’s Knowe, that the fire cools enough for me to pick up the pace a little.

By Ell’s Knowe, Andy has turned on the rockets and is a now a good distance in front of the second placed runner. But – being in front means that you have no one to follow and a couple of ‘navigational issues’ crop up and the pack closes in a little on the way to Hethpool.

Around Hethpool, I make my own error in judgement and follow (against instincts, a group of 4 runners who were a few hundred meters in front of me.) I have an unnecessary 1km of ‘out and back – losing 5 or 6 minutes as a result. It is then a slog up the side of Tom Tallon’s Crag to try to keep the runners who overtook me, in sight.

From Gain’s Law to Brown Law, Andy opens up the gap on the other runners again. This is a fantastic downhill stretch and I manage to push on along this section too and by the time I reach the wood on Kenterdale Hill, I have caught a number of runners and manage to ‘out –downhill’ (possibly due to my abnormally high sugar content) 5 other participants before the finish.

Andy romped round for 1st prize in 1h 43m – ish.
I managed 21st in 2h 05m – ish.

Pizza matched Merlot, Chocolate and Cookies - Mmmmmm...



Many places to go wrong on the route –and many did! Two in particular reinvented the last 3 or 4 km by visiting the villages of Humbleton and Gallowlaw en route to Wooler.

A good feed at the Bloo Coo on the way home – and asking Andy for a comment on his win. He was humbly more concerned that his Smoked Coo Burger contained one beef patty – rather than his preferred two!

Would certainly run this one again.

Chester Half Marathon report by Colin

Colin Williams managed to combine a trip to visit his hometown and catch up with family with the Chester half marathon which by an amazing coincidence fell on the same day (!).

With my family just after the race
It boasts a super quick course record time of 62 minutes something so I went with a view of having a crack at a sub 1.20 time, or failing that a new PB which stands at 1.21.00. I had run the race before in 2016 but I was recovering from an injury at the time and just got round. As a consequence I didn’t quite remember the undulations on the course which certainly seem steeper when you have been running at your limit for over an hour. This time I had a solid run but realised within the first few miles that sub 1.20 was unlikely and tried to run a pace I felt I could maintain throughout and a hopefully deliver a new PB.

As it turned out I was simply not in the condition to do it. Trying to do the sums with 3 miles to go I worked out the if I ran three speedy ones I could maybe squeak it and went after it, and emptied the tank by mile 12 before being greeted by the final mile which has about 25m climb (which seemed like 250ft climb at the point!). As this point my speed dropped and I put in a 6min36sec mile and got over taken by 7 people. Once it flattened for the last 200m I sprinted and managed to get back 2 places – see facial expression below as evidence!!

All in all I am content with my run as I ran the best today I think I was able to. I finished in 1.21.37, 57th overall and 11th M40. I have the rearranged Alloa half at the start of June which I entered expected to do it March but it has been postponed due to the extreme snow so I that gives me a target (and motivation to train better).

The event is very well run which I can recommend and Chester is a nice place to visit if you ever fancy it. http://www.activeleisureevents.co.uk/half-marathon

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Moorfoots at the hottest London Marathon ever

Three Moorfoots took part in the London Marathon today, Sunday 22 April, braving the hottest ever weather that the race has experienced, in complete contrast to Kenny at Boston!

Seasoned marathoners Andrew Dancer and Scott McDonald were at the pointy end and Ailish Nimmo completed her first marathon. Their results are

Place overall
Place gender
Place cat.
Name
Runner no
Category
Half
Finish
1080
1052
696
32341
18-39
01:29:15
02:59:48
1419
1360
67
58236
50-54
01:28:53
03:04:23
27188
9071
4871
21522
18-39
02:19:25
05:19:21

Full splits can be found here: http://results-2018.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com
Very well done in extremely testing conditions and some stand out performances.

Andrew was rewarded with around 10 seconds of prime TV coverage at the finish line. He commented:
Squeaked in by 12 seconds under 3hrs according to chip timing. Very hot for running and had to dig deep for last two miles to keep sub 3.
Scott commented:
Enjoyed running London marathon again and took time to take it all in on a warm day.
I am very happy with my run, it was warm and enjoyed actually take it all in, a very good memory for the future.
I have had  a awesome year and half think my shorter distance times will come down after a week or two recovery


Image result for london marathon

Simon Hammond at the Ultra Tour of Arran, Sat 14 & Sun 15 April

Simon provided the following report from the pretty daunting Ultra Tour of Arran:

Simon (L) with his old school mate Duncan
"Travelled to Arran with my old school mate from Peebles, Duncan Cairns, to tackle the inaugural 2 day Rat Race Ultra Tour of Arran at the weekend. As Rat Race say, they do things differently. The options on offer were to run day 1 (50km with 3500 feet of climb) or both days (another 50km plus 6000 feet of climb). However as usual with Rat Race the descriptions were deliberately vague. It was more like 45km/5000ft and 48km/7000ft over some very tough terrain: bogs, rivers, scrambles, seaweed and little or no Tarmac.  Route here: http://ratrace.com/uta/the-route/.

The aim was to go and enjoy the scenery and not push ourselves. Day 1 started at 8.30am and headed over the southern end of the island from Brodick to the south tip and back. Highlights included running through my cousin's farm at Lamlash, a fantastic stretch of wooden boardwalk next to the beach overlooking the Holy Isle in the sun and 2km of deep bog in thick mist where the curses and cries of anguish of those stuck in the mud could be heard echoing eerily long before they were seen.  The going was slow as Duncan was carrying a calf injury that started to give him bother about 15km-20km in.  We stuck together which meant a rather slow return journey with plenty of walking on the uphills and flats, arriving at the finish line at basecamp in just under 6.5 hours.  Not bad considering the terrain and with Duncan on 1 leg. 

Day two was a different kettle of fish. It involved separate ascents of Arran's two highest peaks, Caisteal Abhail (859m) and Goat Fell (874m) with a cool half marathon along a very rugged and remote coastline in between. The energy sapping bog from day 1 meant many of those who had signed up for both days did not even attempt day 2, including Duncan whose calf had not recovered. About 175 - 200 runners set off at 7.30am where we headed up the beautiful Glen Rosa, ascending underneath the Rosa Pinnacle before tackling the exposed ridge up to the top of Caisteal Abhail. A long descent into Lochranza followed: it looked easy on the map but was far from so with the trail being more a loose line of odd shaped boulders and bogs than a path. The sun did appear which made up for the underfoot conditions. At this point I reckon I was in about 10th or 11th position on the day. A long run around the isolated north east coastline followed where, despite more difficult terrain including bogs, beaches and rockfalls, I made up 2 places. The final pitstop was at about the 32km mark, just before a cold wade across the river Sannox where it meets the sea and the final ascent up Glen Sannox and Goat Fell. The organisers had wisely arranged a "short-cut" at the Saddle, around half way up Goat Fell, allowing those who did not want to tackle the final 400+ metre climb to drop back down into Glen Rosa. The climb to the Saddle was nothing short of brutal with much scrambling and a wee bit of rock climbing in the Whin Gully. My resolve was tested when the cheery chap from mountain rescue dangled the short-cut in front of me but I resisted and pressed on to the top of Goat Fell. This involved more scrambling but this time in gale force winds, heavy rain and thick mist with patches of snow. A special mention has to go to the medic hiding in a survival shelter at the summit! About 5 minutes was lost just over the top when the markers were out of sight in the mist and the path was covered in snow but a bit of back-tracking soon solved the issue. Thankfully the entire course was otherwise very well marked! A great run out down the main traffic route on the mountain brought you back to Brodick with a final "sprint" along the beach and into basecamp for the finish in just under 8 hours. Rat Race events are never too serious so a great (if short) night was had in the beer tent sharing stories with others.

Results here:  http://ratrace.com/uta/2018-results/.  As usual with Rat Race the results and timings are a bit wonky, not helped by the fact there ended up being effectively 3 separate races: day 1, day 1 + 2 (over Goat Fell), day 1 + 2 (short cut) with plenty who unfortunately did not make the cut-offs on day 2 getting a DNF next to their name.   I had myself 8th on day 2 although the results suggest I was perhaps 10th; either way far better than expected.  Overall for the 2 days a final position of 20th out of those who tackled the full course: quite chuffed considering we went without any aims of racing although I undoubtedly benefited overall from a slightly easier day 1 than originally planned.   I don't think the organisers appreciated quite how tough day 2 would be considering the number of non-starters and DNFs.  One-legged Duncan was 24th out of those who did only day 1 and 91st if you include the 2 day runners.   All in all a cracking weekend!