Tuesday 22 May 2012

Moorfoot Beltane Trail Race 2012 - Your Club Needs You

This year's Moorfoot Beltane 10K Trail Race (Sunday 17-June) is now only four weeks away and the final preparations are underway.

As ever, we need a good turn out of club members to support all the on-the day activities which make a successful race - course set-up, registration, course marshalling, time keeping and results, after-race hospitality, tidy-up etc.

The more helpers, the easier it is for everyone and the more successful the event for both the club and the runners. The main registration starts around 1000 and the prize giving is normally completed by 1400ish

This year, we have the Drill Hall in Walkerhaugh booked for the after race hospitality/prize giving and cakes/sandwiches, so we will need a few extra helpers to assist here in preparing the teas and coffees.

Please can you provide your support by emailing your availability to me (kg.davidsonATbtinternet.com) such that we can get organised in advance.

As a club member, if you are planning to run in the race, please ensure that you are providing a substitute helper on the day and let me know who this is in advance such that we can plan them in to our activities.

Thanks in advance....


Moorfoot Runners Secretary

Health Warning: Reading Books can be Dangerous

A blog from Russell, deep in Wales on a Forestry assignment...

I can’t walk, only hobble and my legs and shoulders are racked with pain as I write this. Not surprising to me, though, I did one of those things you know is stupid but you still have to do.

You see I’m staying in Wales in the village of (intake of breath) Pontrhydfendigaid, at the foot of the Cambrian Mountains. No time to run since Monday so come Saturday and a fair forecast, I’m going to run. There are some great hills and mountains round here so plenty of scope. But in spare moments I’ve been reading a book Julie gave me for my birthday: ‘Wild trails to far horizons’ by ultra-long-distance trail runner Mike Cudahy. He’s an obsessive extremist who has done amazing things and I’ve found the book quite inspiring. Now I’ll never be an ultra-runner of any sort, my favourite race is the short but steep Ben Sheann hill race. And I don’t run much on roads or even hard surfaced tracks. But today I shunned the chance of some fine hill running to attempt the Ystwyth Trail Cycle Route.

I joined the trail on the disused railway line across the massive peat bog of Cors Caron and a ittle under 3 hours and 17 miles later trotted up to the finish beside Aberystwyth Town Football Club. I managed to run the whole way apart from stopping for water and a marathon (reverted to the old name in sympathy with the Greek people) at two-thirds distance. It’s a nice route, mostly on disused railway but with one annoying section on a busy road. At times the railway, though fine for cycling, is a bit too straight for running. The four mile straight alongside the Ystwyth River seemed unending but the river helps by reminding you it’s downhill all the way. By the end, my calves felt quite stiff and sore due to a lot of running on tarmac and even more on the hard railway path.

Aberystwyth being a traditional seaside resort, I headed straight to the eat-in fish and chip shop to enjoy their wares then to the beachside cafĂ© on the prom for ice cream and tea – lovely – with another marathon to finish. Each time I stood up after sitting my legs were alarmingly stiff but eased off after a few minutes walking. Daft I know, for one so unused to long runs and already suffering from ‘tarmac calves’ but I had decided to run back too, so off I set. The stiffness eased off a bit as I got into a rhythm and I was surprised how quickly the first few miles passed. By half way I was walking up the hills and my running pace was slow but steady. Towards the end, any wee excuse and I was walking but always managed to get back to running again - a kind of scout’s pace. With the end in site I managed to keep running for the last 3 miles and even upped the pace to a respectable hobbly-trot as I made my triumphant way up the main street to my digs.

After cups of tea and a snooze I could hardly get down the stairs. Oh well, serves me right and what did I expect. See what I mean about books!


Sunday 20 May 2012

Sarah Shines at Shining Tor but Scout Gets Stitched

Sarah McCormack continued her fine run of form on Saturday when representing the East of Scotland in the UK Inter-Counties Hill Running Championships at Shining Tor in Derbyshire, taking the silver medal behind GB Internationalist Lizzie Adams over the 12km course. This was the first of three legs in the UK Athletics McCain Mountain Running Challenge for 2012 and Sarah showed marked improvement on last year’s outing when she was 9th  just along the road at Broughton Heights, clocking a near 5-minute turn-round against last year’s winner Olivia Walwyn who was 3rd on this occasion. Sarah’s time of 54mins 36 secs compared very favourably with the top male Scot Prasad Prasad who finished 13th in the men’s race in 49.29.

Team silver also came Sarah’s way, backed up by 5th placed (and recent Gypsy Glen winner) Sara O’Neil (HBT) and 12th placed Charlotte Morgan (Carnethy) in the East of Scotland team. 

Scout Adkin was making her senior representative debut for the East aged just 18 but was hindered by a severe stitch. Despite a prolonged stop, she still managed to finish a commendable 22nd in the field of 60, albeit behind some of her contemporaries who she would usually beat.

Friday 18 May 2012

Juniors at Ben Lomond Scottish Age-Group Champs

Fantastic silver for Jacob Adkin in the U16 Boys race and a good run too from Lucas Cheskin who was a close 6th only 35 secs behind the winner. It was the most competitive race of the day. Jacob was subsequently selected for the Scotland team for the WMRA International in Ireland (effectively the European U17 Champs) but unfortunately has had to decline due to a clash with a school trip to the battlefields in France.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Moorfoots at Ben Lomond 2012

Ben Lomond was the race of choice this year for my annual wearing of the Moorfoot’s vest. Julia Connor was also there representing the club, as was Lucas Cheskin in the junior race and other local Peebles runners, Chris Blackwood and Kevin Ryalls. Good choice of race too, as it was about the only dry, sunny day in the past few weeks and the views down Loch Lomond are some of the best I’ve seen from a munro top. The race starts at the Rowardennan Hotel and is soon on to the climb with a few rocky outcrops to negotiate, although I was already in a line of runners walking much of this section. The path soon opens out and becomes runnable for 20 minutes or so, then the killer climb starts when they send you off the walkers path on to a steep, boggy, slope. This is where I lost sight of Chris and I started losing quite a few places. After a good 20 minutes slog (walking), you crest the first hill and you’re soon back on the walker’s path. With the bright sunshine, lots of walker’s were out and many shouted words of encouragement which helped keep you running. About 50 minutes in and just below the 2nd steeper climb the leaders started hurtling past me on their way down from the top! The rocky, switchback climbs in the final steep bit were surprisingly not too tough and with the help of a strong wind behind, I kept vaguely running for most of this. The last few hundred metres it was pretty cold, with snow and slush around my feet melting rapidly. Chris passed me on his way down, but I never spotted Julia, who must have already been on the steep, grassy descent they send you down to avoid too much overlap. I got to the top in just under 75 minutes, spent a couple of seconds admiring the glorious views (must knock those seconds off my finish time) and then started off on the descent, with Kevin just behind me. You’re soon sent off down a rather challenging side of the hill, where I started to pick off a few of the people who had passed me on the climbs. Then, once back on the path, it felt like I could actually start running properly and I passed quite a few more on the descent. Unlike other runners around me, I managed to stay on my feet the whole way down and didn’t collide into any walkers, who maybe through self-preservation, all made great efforts to stay well out of our way. I descended in about 35 minutes, a happy man coming over the line in 1:49:33 (112th out of 143 finishers). Chris & Julia were both there waiting for me in their Moorfoot’s vests, Julia ran a fantastic race to be third lady home (1:37:36) and Chris an impressive 1:45:55, given his injury-restricted training. Kevin also made it in under two hours (1:59:05), so we were a happy bunch, just pleased that we could all still walk after the race. Soup and bread, provided in the hotel after the race, topped the great organisation of the day, followed by a soak in the loch and a pint on our return back in Peebles. All in all highly recommend!

Full results at:


Gypsy Glen Hill Race 2012

A cold night (for May !) but a reasonable turn out of 52 runners, and generally dry conditions on the hill once you were past the 'low point' down by the river in the glen itself.

Moorfoot Mike Reid took top honours with a fast 32:35, about 20 secs ahead of HBT's Dan Gay. Moorfoot also took third spot and first local (and first Vet) with Darin's 33:08 which must be close to his PB for this course...

Other Moorfoot times below:

Position Name Club Cat Time

1 Michael Reid Moorfoot M 32:35

3 Darin Dougal Moorfoot M40 33:08

5 James Britton Moorfoot M 34:18

7 Andrew Cox Moorfoot M 35:42

9 Tom Hobbs Moorfoot M40 35:48

23 Ian Munro Moorfoot M40 39:45

25 Tom McNaughton Moorfoot M40 40:06

28 Julia Connor Moorfoot F 41:04

Thank you to the various helper/volunteers who assisted with the race setup/marshalling/time-keeping/tidy up etc.
Full results on Scottish Hill Runners site shortly...

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Peebles Activities Week - Fun Run - Helpers Required

We are looking for marshals for the Peebles fun run to be held in Victoria Park in conjunction with the Gypsy Glen Hill race on Wednesday the 16th May.
We would only require an hour of your time.

Meet for a quick race briefing at 6.30pm and you should be finished by 7.30pm.

Your help would be greatly appreciated. If you cannot help please encourage younger ones to take part in the under 10’s race (700m) or the over ten’s race which is open to all ages over 10 years old (2km)!

Contact Ruth McKean on 07980 270 239/01721 721 979 or mckeanruth@hotmail.com if can help.

Monday 14 May 2012

Loch Leven Half Marathon and Sunderland Marathon

The Williams family travelled to Kinross on Saturday with Fi taking part in the half marathon. In sunny but breezy conditions Fi had a cracking run, recorded a time of 1:43.48 and 22nd female out of 176, and finishing 166th overall. This was a six minute improvement over her time in Jedburgh at the end October, and still on a maximum of two runs a week so good progress! Fi hopes to beat her PB of 1.35 in 2013.

The Sunday before I (Colin) took part in the inaugural 'Marathon of the North' in Sunderland. I had strong hopes of breaking the elusive 3hr barrier after a 3h05 last year in Edinburgh, and a fair fews miles under my belt and a sub 1.23 half marathon six weeks prior. It didn't happen. I can make a few excuses, the course wasn't the kindest being undulating and twisty and turny, with the 50m climb in the last 3 miles but ultimately the marathon is just a bloody tough event and I don't think I'll break 3 hrs without giving it the total respect it deserves, so missing a week of training with 5 weeks to go on a drinking bender with my best friend who was over having emigrated to Canada in hindsight didn't help! 

I did do 3h03.45, which put me in 30th place and although I failed to even spilt which was the plan I still passed 25 people in the second half. It's a pb, and a time I am happy with, but I'm not prepared to give up on 3hrs yet, and am already planning an autumn marathon, maybe the Highland Perthshire Marathon at Aberfeldy on September 1st (www.highlandperthshiremarathon.co.uk - also a half marathon if anyone fancies joining me) and as a backup entering the London Marathon for 2013.

Cheers, Colin

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Olympic Stadium Record Holder Sarah on You Tube

Link to Sarah's friend's coverage of her BUCS 10000m win. It's a bit shaky - whether due to the cold (it was blinkin' freezing), the excitement or the need to go (listen carefully!) who knows. From halfway there are lapped runners all over the place and you might need to watch the last 200m a couple of times to get a feel for the kick she put in.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Moorfoots at the Olympic Stadium

Four Moorfoots past and present were in action in the Olympic Stadium over the extended holiday weekend in the British Universities Athletics Championships which were the test event for the Olympics.

Sarah McCormack took gold and produced what was described by the athleticos site as "the best finish of the weekend" when representing Lancaster University in the Womens' 10000m on Sunday. Her winning time of 34.31.52 was a 45second improvement on her previous 10k best on the road and when the Olympic Games start in just over two months, a Moorfoot will be the stadium record holder!

After a steady first 5000m in 17.50, Jess Coulson, coached by the renowned Mick Woods (Twell, Purdoe, Gorecka etc), pushed the pace to break the leading group and had built up a 30m lead with 8 of the 25 laps of the track remaining. But Sarah, now clear in second, was lapping consistently at 80 seconds and gradually reeled in the leader. She latched on again with 4 laps remaining then the two were toe to toe over the closing laps. But 200m out Sarah unleashed a devastating kick to sprint 60m clear by the line. She clocked 16.41 for the second 5000m of the race, only 2 seconds off her 5000m PB. Top form.

You can see a flash interview with Sarah looking fresh as a daisy here

Unfortunately athleticos were not allowed to film the races (although someone must have relented for Monday’s events) but one of Sarah’s pals videoed the last 600m which will hopefully be on You Tube soon. Honestly, her kick was incredible and has to be seen to be believed.

In the same race former Moorfoot (and soon to be back?) Alex Campbell (Stirling) was lapped a few times by the leaders but battled on really bravely to the finish having done very little running in the last 3 months.

As she expected, Scout Adkin was a bit short of pace in her 5000m heat but ran well for 13th on Friday evening despite having risen that day at 4am for her flight to London and having a niggly ankle following a twist at the UKA Mountain Running Training Camp the previous weekend.

Finally ex-Moorfoot Faye Nicholson, in her first competition back from her shoulder dislocation at the end of January, was understandably below her best but still made the long jump final as the youngest finalist by two years.

Moorfoots at Stuc A'Chroin Hill Race

Prasad Prasad led from the gun beating second placed runner Craig Mattocks of HBT by an amazing margin of almost 14 minutes. I was first back for the club in 10th place (2:32:31) place quickly followed by Mike Reid (2:35:05) in 16th place, Andrew Cox (2:54:57) 43rd place, Eddie Balfour (3:10:08) 71st place and Julia Connor (3:11:58) 76th place.

Photos courtesy of Bruce Smith


Results are here


Pre-race interview with Prasad Prasad



James Britton

Sunday Run Inspiration

Here's a needlessly long report on my run today.
My Sunday Run
I felt a bit lazy after declining Eddy's invitation to do the Stuc a Chroin race yesterday. Too unfit and a dodgy back were my excuses although I could have thought of about half a dozen more - it's one of the running skills I've really mastered.
Anyway I've been nursing a daft idea to have a go at a big Pentland run, perhaps taking in almost all of the tops. Combine that with Julie lost her hat while walking in the Pentlands last week. So I decided to recce the tops in the southern part of the Pentlands, where most are just slight high points of the heathery and boggy moorland.
It was sunny with a slight chill on the breeze when I started from home at 10. I took in Mendick and its ridge, Ingraston Hill, beside the Dolphinton straight, then over the road near Garvald and up to White Hill and Black Mount. I've long thought of organising a race on these two fine little hills (does Black and White whisky still exist? potential sponsor) and today I may have solved the main logistical problem - parking - by cutting up through Garvald Quarry where I found ample areas of hard standing (now only need the quarry owners permission).
Down the backside of Black Mount and across the marshy lowlands to Dunsire, crossing the awkward Medwyn by a footbridge I'd spotted from high up. Next was Dunsire Law, a lovely grassy hill with cultivation terraces and a spring of sweet water to quell my thirst. First meal break (Snickers) lying in the sun in the shelter of the top watching showers over Tinto, away to the west - perfect.
After this I hit the moors, a mix of heather and bog but mostly quite runnable. The next few tops, Mid Hill, the aptly named Bleak Law, the Pike, Darlees Rig and White Craig are so insignificant they're not visited much so there's no path and the tops are only obvious by the shepherd's cairns. Although none of the showers reached me, it did get overcast and I got cold, eventually needing a second top on and gloves. Trouble was, I was low on energy and wasn't running enough of the time to keep warm.
Headed over a pimple also named the Pike and up Craigengar, a bit more of a hill but nothing compared with Mount Everest. Ate my second Snickers here as I was really feeling done in. It worked wonders and got me home via Byrehope Mount, King Seat (where I dozed off lying in the sun again) and the molehill in a field that is Little King Seat. I made a beeline for home across Westie golf course, fields freshly perfumed with chicken sh1t and the paths alongside the Lyne. A final sprint got me into the house in just under my target time of 6 hrs, 38 min and 33 sec - made it by a second!
Water, milk, sugary tea and mexican beer worked wonders of revival and now I'm just hoping I won't feel like using the holiday tomorrow to try some more Pentland tops (I know I won't).
Cheers. Russell