Monday 30 April 2012

Moorfoots at the Petrofac Challenge

Rachael and I ran in the Petrofac Challenge at Balmoral yesterday. The 15 mile multi terrain route starts off by circumnavigating the Balmoral Estate before climbing on LandRover tracks onto open moorland. With a top prize of a trip to Abbis Ababa (capital of Ethiopia) to run in a half marathon up for grabs, both the male and female races were hotly contested. Local runner Robbie Simpson managed to overhaul Murray Strain to win in a blistering time of 1:21, the ladies race was won by Morgan Windram-Geddes of Fife AC in 1:37. Rachael kept up her recent good form finishing 6th lady and 3rd in the senior category in a time of 1:52, I finished in 6th place in a time of 1:32. This is a new race for 2012 and definitely one of the best I have ever ran in. Results are here:-


James Britton

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Paul's Virgin London Marathon Report

A lone Moorfoot headed down to the smoke to see if the gold paved streets could provide some cool weather and a good time. Training had been good with lots of hills so hoping that a flat course would make things a bit easier.

The forecast was for clouds and drizzle but as seems to be my curse on race day the sun was shining. Not sure how warm it was but it was warn enough for me to get a sun tan so I dispute the 12 degree temperature that was report. It actually appeared that the course had it's own microclimate of no wind, no clouds and lots of sun.

Fortunately the course was well watered with stops for water, lucozade drinks (yuk) and gels (even yukkier with no water). The literature said only drink the water as there will be showers to run through. After the first one I was pouring half a bottle of water on my head every mile and still drying our (See 12 degrees weather report – not).

The Marathon start in the middle on nowhere (Blackheath for me) and ends in the middle of somewhere (The Mall) with well know landmarks passed on the way. The crowds and support are amazing and really give a massive boost.

My plan was to start of at 9's and build up to 8.5's getting me in under 4 which was my goal. However my quads seized up at mile 20 and I probably ended up doing the last 6 miles in 10's. The good thing is that I didn't stop and even managed to do he aeroplane wings thing as I went over the line.

The heat was a major part and there were lots of casualties around being helped by the paramedics. I can't get away without mentioning Claire Squires who died on the day. One of the guys I was down there with was running next to her when she fell. He thought she had just tripped and ran on. All of us who run acknowledge that there is some risk but is more about breaking or twisting something at the most. The great positive is that there has been massive fundraising on the back of the tragedy.

Anyway as Arnie says "I'll be in the ballot next year" as I'm going under 4.

Monday 23 April 2012

Moorfoots Race Updates

Criffel (11 March 2012)

Great 1hr hill race that is well organised and a good early challenge in the year. 75 brave souls lined up for this out and back course on a very warm afternoon in South Dumfries. However be warned if considering this in future years it is a knee deep bog trudge from the forest to the first summit, so if looking for fast running this is not the course but if building strength for later events then an excellent race.

Honours went to Stewart Whitlie and Sarah O'Neil, I took pleasure in the view and being the fastest Moorfoot helped by being the only Moorfoot.

Map of course and results

Exe to Ax (1 April 2012)
(bit far South for most but managed to escape while I was on a family holiday in Devon)

Devon is not a County normally associated with the fells of England but the Exe to Ax event was organised by Sidmouth Running Club and despite taking place on 1st April this truly was a fell race in name and in nature. The mileage was about 21miles and 4700ft of climb along the coast paths of some very scenic rolling hills. Great race and a enjoyable dayout with the highlight being a well deserved ice cream at the finish.

Results here and more on this race in Runners World which made it one of its top 10 UK races back in 2008

Hunter Bog Trot (21 April 2012)Usual warnings at the start about tussocks and a grand canyon to cross for health and safety purposes didn't put off a field of 115 including Sarah, Julia and I on a warm Saturday afternoon in Holyrood Park. Great race that was all flat out from the start with the hope of finishing before the engine blows up.

Sarah continued her recent good form with a win in the ladies race, Julia and I ensured we flew the Moorfoot flag once again. Results may follow but from memory Ray Ward won the men just from Andrew Wright. Definitely a race I would recommend to others as good runnable hill route, short distance of 4miles, lots of beer prizes and also it does a short kids race after the main race is in.

Hope all well with you all and everybody enjoyed the Easter break

Moorfoot at London Marathon

Moorfoot Paul Nichol, just out of shot on the left...somewhere...
Well done to Paul Nichol who completed the 2012 Virgin London Marathon in a just over the four hour mark (4:03..)

Great effort Paul - send us your blow by blow account for the blogger !

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Hell Reps

Just to confirm Scout is doing the “Hell rep” sesh on Sunday morning (far side of Cademuir – road to summit), depart her house 10am or link up at 10.05am at the top gate from the Morning Hill field onto the open hillside of Cademuir.
An easy group trot on the JB Way to the Cademuir saddle, down the JB Way path alongside the wall, then at the far wall corner, walk down to the left to the bottom of the steep slope (close to the road).
Each rep starts at the foot of this slope pretty much on a direct line to the summit. Once you cross the JB Way path, follow a sheep path on a line to the summit. ¾ of the way up, you contour a little bit to the right to avoid losing height at a wee gulley then push on up direct to the summit. Run as much of it as you can, but some of it you will have to walk. The key thing is to keep the forward momentum going, then get back into a run as soon as poss.
Return jog off the summit via the main path back in the direction of Peebles until you hit an obvious path crossroads where you bear right, back down onto the JB Way path running alongside the wall. Take it easy on the descent, but in order to keep the heart-rate up, turn round at least every 2 mins for a good 20s effort back up the hill. Try and do 3 or 4 of these reverse efforts over the course of descent, the last one being back up to the wall corner, then walk the last steep section from the wall corner back to the start. That’s one rep! Re-group at an appropriate point if you are not too far apart, but don’t wait too long for others. You may all end up running solo at a pace that best suits you.
Scout’s target is 6 reps and a very hard sesh overall but this may be weather dependent. If you get to the point where you can’t do any more full reps, try a couple of half reps, just to the wall corner, or wall-corner to summit. Scout may finish with some short fast efforts before the return trot back to Peebles on the JB Way. Overall expect to be out for getting on for 2 hours.
Anyone else is looking for a hellish hard hill sesh on Sunday?

Monday 16 April 2012

Peebles Three Bridges Race - Sun 6-May-2012

Entry form here at this link - full details on the form....

Bronze for Sarah in Irish 10k Road Race Championships

Sarah McCormack returned via Dublin from a two-week training camp in Gran Canaria to take in the Irish 10k Road Race Championships on Sunday which was incorporated into the Spar Great Ireland Run. Sarah took the bronze medal with what she very briefly described as a “pretty good run” in 35mins 15secs. That was a personal best by 54 seconds and was only 6 seconds off silver. She was 10th in the women’s international race behind winner Gemma Steel from England (32.06).

Sunday 15 April 2012

John Buchan Way Run 2012

The Moorfoot Nine...
A cold but clear day for this year's Moorfoot John Buchan Way Run - a dusting of snow on the higher tops, some icy puddles in the sheltered glens and a cold nor'easterly, but start to finish sunshine - no complaints.

Nine runners this year, and a good steady pace with a few regrouping stops - total time just over the 2 hr mark (2:09) for the 12 mile-ish route.
Good to see some well-kent faces back again....

Thanks to Kirsty, Eddie and Mick for the transport, and Kirsty for the soup/tea/cakes at the finish.

A busy  few months of running coming up, but perhaps still room to squeeze in another similar run before the summer holidays - step forward if you have any ideas....

Wednesday 11 April 2012 - a long overdue tidy up....

Our domain has had a bit of a spring clean and tidy up....

The website will still be the main landing point for those looking to find out about the club, but the blogger will remain the 'heart and soul' of where the dynamic updates, news and reports will be posted...

Remember to send me your race reports and running news - if you have some pictures, even better...

If you are or want to become a regular blogger, let me know and I'll set up your blogger access.



Monday 9 April 2012

Club Run - John Buchan Way - Sunday 15-April

The Moorfoot running of the John Buchan Way is becoming a bit of an annual event.

The 12 mile way-marked trail runs from Broughton to Peebles over the hills, dropping down to the Stobo road before climbing back over the hills to Manor, over Cademuir and into Peebles

Plan is to meet at Gytes Leisure Centre in Peebles (Sunday 15-April)  at 9:30AM where we will share cars and drive up to Broughton Place to pick up the trail there.
(If you are arriving directly to the start, meet at the Broughton Place car park at ~10:00AM)

The run is done at a steady sociable pace, the 12 miles taking around two hours (10 min mile pace).

Soup and sandwiches will be served at the Davidson residence (52 Edderston Road) at the finish - hope you can join us....

Optional 'Half Buchan' route (6 miles) starting at the Stobo road end at 11:00AM is another possibility...let me know if any interest for this one and we can organise a second group and try to coordinate finishing at the same time....

Moorfoot Easter on Eigg 2012

Panorama of Glamisdale on Eigg
Laurie Anderson of the Lomond Hill Runners club organised a couple of hill races on the Isle of Eigg over the Easter weekend.

A private boat had been chartered from Mallaig and approximately forty runners headed to the island on Saturday for the first race - an out and back up the iconic Sgurr of Eigg (the wee lumpy bit to the left in the picture above).

The charter boat to Eigg
Although not that high at just under 400m, you did start from the waters edge at sea level. The initial climb up a track soon changed to a narrow track through rocks and peat bogs before the course moved onto the granite rock of the Sgurr itself and you doubled back onto the main ridge. The trig point on the summit of the Sgurr marked the turning point before a tricky run back over the rocky ridge and then a long and fast descent back to the start.

Russell Anderson was first Moorfoot home in an excellent 4th place, Kenny a few minutes further back in 8th.

The Islanders of Eigg invited all the runners to their Saturday ceilidh, with some epic 15 min + 'strip the willows' - not for the faint hearted....a great night !

Sunday morning appeared out of the mist, and the second race at the north end of the island was hastily rerouted to keep the runners off the cliff edges due to the low cloud. The revised course was still a cracker - a beach start, then a bit of road before a contour across the fields to a bealach and then a steep ascent up the hillside - the direct route and the zig-zag path both putting runners onto the top ridge in roughly the same time. A short run along the top to the trig point turn and back then had a steep descent back to the bealach (direct being faster than the the zig zags this time, as I found out to my cost) before a short climb to a knoll and the final descent down a steep arrete (fantastic views of the beach below and out over the island of Rum if you afforded a moment not looking at your feet ) to the finish on the beautiful beach known loally as the 'Singing Sands'.

Race1 Start
Another strong performance from Russell for 5th place; 'Konsistent' Kenny again back in 8th.

A fantastic weekend in a fantastic location...well done and a big thank you to Laurie for all the organisation....

Photos courtesy of Eilidh Davidson....
Last word to the Sgurr....

Heaven and Hell Half Marathon 2012

After 18 months "resting"I decided that it was about time to get off my backside and do a race at last. I wanted something different that could be a bit of a challenge - well I wasn't disappointed:
The Heaven and Hell half marathon is organised by the Perth Road Runners and starts just outside Perth Airport near Scone. The weather was good with lovely view of the surrounding hills. That's when the feelgood factor ended! Even the start was uphill! We climbed steadily for 5 miles with little respite until we reached the summit which gave amazing views down the Tay to Dundee, this was followed by a steep descent (too steep to run without trying to slow yourself down) for a mile or so before a relatively pleasant undulating couple of miles until we turned for home. The road then went vertical! The next 2.5 miles were agony, some of the steepest roads I've ever run on, and into an increasingly strong headwind, managed to reach the summit without stopping (the long runs around the Manor valley paid dividends)at which we were informed that it was a pleasant 3 mile descent home - all lies! Again the descent was too steep to get into a good rhythm (the old thighs were reallystarting to complain!), after coming off the "cliff" the run in was undulating to say the least - even the finish was a mile of uphill running - by then I was running on empty and the finishing line was a lovely sight! I managed to get around in 1hr 46 in itself doesn't seem very good, but I ran well, my pace was good but the brutality of the hills spoilt any hope of a good time.
All that said, the race was well organised and marshalled with a terrific spread laid on at the end. A very friendly race, not too big (about 220 runners), if you fancy a challenge put this one in your diary, I might even give it another go next year and do it properly next time!

Monday 2 April 2012

Tick Bite Prevention Week

 Useful information for the Hill Runners of the club:
Tick Bite Prevention Week
March 26 to 1 April is Tick Bite Prevention Week and tick-borne disease charity BADA-UK (Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness-UK) is using this annual awareness campaign to highlight the health risks that ticks pose, especially following the recent EU ban of the herbicide Asulam.

Asulam was used by hill farmers to control the invasive spread of bracken which provides the perfect habitat for ticks. BADA-UK Patron and survival expert Ray Mears warns:

"The control of bracken is vital to the survival of numerous species of flora and fauna as well as reducing tick populations. The spread of bracken as a result of this ban will lead to increased tick numbers making it all the more important that the public takes precautions against tick bites when out and about in rural areas."

BADA-UK advises that with no preventative vaccine available, the best defence against UK tick-borne infections is to avoid being bitten in the first place by taking a few simple precautions when out and about.

For more information and tips for avoiding being bitten and infected, visit
Correct Tick removal at: