Saturday 14 June 2014


Second place in the Junior Men's (U20) UK Trials on Saturday at Whinlatter near Keswick guarantees Jacob Adkin automatic selection for the GB&NI team for the European Mountain Running Champs in Gap in France in July. WELL DONE JACOB! After a steady start on the first lap of the two-lap 8.7k/420m course, Jacob made up good ground on the second ascent, overtaking six rivals to move into 2nd place towards the top and managing to hold on strongly on the descent by 2 seconds come the line for a finishing time of 35.36 and the second of the two automatic selection spots. The GB&NI team will number four with two more places due to be decided by the selectors.

Big sis Scout was also in action in the same race which was a combined Junior Men/Senior Women's race, the latter doubling not only as their European Trial but also the Senior Women's Home International. Scout had a decent run for 12th place (3rd Scot) in 41.28 and was first home in the U23 category, helping Scotland to 2nd place behind England.

Some good snaps on the Woodentops website.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Franco's Italian Restaurant Sponsor The Rollercoaster

It's "grazie mille a Franco" for agreeing to sponsor the inaugural Cademuir Rollercoaster to be held on Saturday 16 August. This is mostly thanks to how much Alan Elder spends in the restaurant, including blowing all his Three Bridges Handicap winnings that same night!

Franco launches the race - and a pizza - watched by the running waiter Adam, Lucas and Old Beardie

"Franco's" will appear on the race numbers and there will also be vouchers on offer as prizes for both the 3k and the 6k. Franco says his own running days are behind him so he has nominated his waiter of 16 years standing  Adam Tally to take part as the sponsor’s representative.

I am a bit of an Italophile and can honestly say that Franco's pizzas and pastas are as good as you'll get here in Scozia and definitely on par with true Italian homely cooking. (Does that make me a Francophile?) So get yourselves down there to sample the goods.

Race info and links to the course maps can now be found on the main club website. Further bulletins to follow.

"Mangia bene!"

Saturday 7 June 2014

Jura fell race

Myself and liane made the long journey over to the isle of Jura, for one of the toughest fell races going, nerves were running high, checking weather reports, maps, ferry tickets, fuelling and packing up the van, double checking we had everything, set off on Thursday night for the stunning drive up to Kennacraig. Made it just in time before it was completely dark and jumped into the back to get the head down before the first ferry in the morning across to Islay. Woke up to fine weather and crossing was a couple of hours, time to relax, we were finally on our way.
I had been to Islay a few years ago with the boys to do the half marathon, but this was lianes first landing, so had a good drive round to check out the place. Found some cool little bays to watch seals and their young chilling out on the rocks, magical. Up to the north of the island for the second crossing of the day. Driving down the steep road to get the wee crossing to Jura, the paps were in full view now, oh Christ what have I got myself into this time!!!
On the other side, it was getting more remote, down to a single tracker, and a short drive to the main village of Craighouse, with one shop, a hotel and the towering chimney of the distillery, with not much else, except for a large banner overhead of finishing line...... When we arrived there was quite a lot of people around setting up tents, but we were not slumming it on this one, booked into a bed and breakfast for the duration. On the drive out to the digs we passed the '3 arched bridge' this was where you come off the hill and hit the road for the 3 and a bit miles back to the finish, not far I hear you say, but only knew I would be hurting at this point tomorrow. That night we cycled back into Craighouse for a good feed and blether in the hotel. Got talking to a face I had recognised researching the race - Donald booth. The man that made things happen to get the race up and running again after it dwindled out in the 70s. Very interesting man and only spoke to him for a short while, but it was like I had known him for years. He signed my book 'they come and go', that he'd written. Brilliant !! On the cycle back passing the the '3 arched bridge' there was now lots of plastic bags lying at the side with road trainers in them. Clever I wish I had thought of that.
Race day was wall to wall sunshine, my prays had been answered, with just getting round on a clear
day hard enough. Craighouse was now buzzing, I collected my number and 10 tags to hand in at check points, with Manny Gorman in front of me, the women asks any medical problems, Manny replied just my piles, I burst out laughing. Now realising how quality the field was, the long distance heavy weights of Paris, Bonser, Whitlie and Alan Smith, never mind the brute force of Haines, Wild, Fallas and Jebb to name a few. We were herded into a pen like sheep for a final count and onto the start line, we were off. Pretty boggy underfoot out onto the open hill, the pace was steady, finding my way and sitting in behind, not to go off too quick or I would pay for it later. Going well ( on for sub 4) The terrain changed pretty quickly after the first decent and onto the other side climbing the near vertical first pap, thinking that wasn't to bad, just the six summits to go..... But coming down the paps I couldn't deal with very well, very technical scree and what I can only describe as a boulder field, with each runner picking their own way through it. With plenty passing me on the descents I knew sub 4 was out of reach. With that out the question I actually started to enjoy the scenery, which was stunning, 360 views for miles, and lost count of how many up and downs I'd done. Scoffing most of
my energy bars and drinking my bladder dry by the last big climb I was struggling a bit. With a fast run from the top of the last summit to the road, it was back to bogs, and now the dreaded cramps set in, I bit the bottom lip and got on with it, swearing to myself, finally reached the bridge. Probably the slowest 3 and a bit miles I've done in a while, but didn't care, plenty of spectators were cheering everyone along that long and winding road, with the lure of that distillery chimney dragging you into the finish. I heard "Andrew Cox, Moorfoot" being shouted out as I crossed the line, with a t-shirt and a "well done, get into the shade your burnt" from a lady, I'd made it home in one piece. I didn't want to take my shoes off as I knew my feet were in a mess, I took shelter in the shade. Liane as always waiting patiently, taking photos and having a laugh at the state I was in.  Hector Haines was sitting not even looked like he had ran a race, cool as you like, had won the race easy, putting 11 mins into the beast that is Finlay Wild, and breaking the course record which had stood for years. Talking with Donald the night before saying I was ok at going up, but coming down was my trouble, he told me you can't win races if you're not a fast descender. If Finlay Wild wasn't fast at coming down then I
don't know what is, Hector put him to bed on Jura that's for sure. With a couple of ginger beers going
straight to my head after the race we retreated back to the digs.  With a good sleep and fuelled up again, the legs were surprising ok the next day. We took the bikes round the island for more
exploring, with treats of stags playing on the beach, to more seals and seabirds in abundance. Jura is a magical place, and it's not always about going to do a race, it's about the whole experience of the wonderful places that is out there in Scotland.  Oh and Liane said yes..........

Monday 2 June 2014

Moorfoots at Yetholm 2014

We're only here for the prize winners
Team prize for the Moorfoots at the Yetholm Hill Race hosted by Norham Running Club.

Tougher clockwise direction round the Halterburn loop this year, and hot conditions....but dry underfoot for the select 37 runners.

Andy (8th), Tom (10th) and Mike (12th) enough to secure the team prize ahead of Carnethy.

Eddie and Kenny battled it out mid table, with bragging rights to Eddie this time.

Good run by Alan Elder too, well under his 2hr target time, in what is a testing hill race.

Results here...

Big thanks to Les Turnbull, his helpers and the Border Search and Rescue for a super wee event...