Sunday 20 July 2014

Lee Pen Race Report

The annual St Ronans Games hill race took place up Lee Pen on Saturday.

It is short race about 1 1/2 miles up and then an about turn and straight down - 350m ascent and then descent so pretty brutal in my book. I've taken part every year I've been in Innerleithen so this was my sixth go and it doesn't get any easier! It's fast and furious and no one seems to be able to run the whole way due to the steepness. It always takes me less than half the time to get down than it takes to get up (about 21 up and 10 down).

It is usually a small field and there were 15 runners this year with 4 Moorfoots taking the start. The race was won by Fergus Johnson of Gala Harriers, with Lucas Cheskin in 2nd, Andy Cox in 3rd, Keith Murray from Teviotdale 4th and me (Colin) 5th, with Eddie Balfour in 7th I think. Lucas was having his first race back after a lengthy lay off and led the pack out of the park at a good lick. As they emerged from the trees he was in touch with Fergus with Andy close behind but which time I was already struggling to stay anywhere close. By the time they turned at the summit the Fergus had gained a lead of about 25s on Lucas who in turn was about the same ahead of Andy all them passing me with still a fair bit to go. It seemed to pretty much stay that way on the descent although the wet conditions make it pretty treacherous and I managed to slip over. 
Once the results are out I will post a link.

Moorfoots at Dundee Half Marathon

Having previously run the Dundee Half when it went from Broughty Ferry back to Dundee I thought I would try and get a fast half time to try and qualify for New York. I remembered that there was a lot of uphill so now that the race was going in the opposite direction it made sense that there would be a lot of down hill. Schoolboy error in not looking at the course because it in fact went a totally different way and in fact the first 2 miles were more like a trail race - to honest I've seen less mud and smoother ground in a trail race. 

So that's all of the excuses for not meeting my goal. I ended up with a 92.37 which is above the sub 90 qualifying time needed. Would I do it again? Probably not but it was kind of fun, well organised and the entry fee was cheap. 

Paul Nichol


Saturday 19 July 2014

Scout 5th in Snowdon Super Cup and Sarah wins the Snowdon International

The weather took its toll on the Snowdon hill races today with both the new invitation uphill only Snowdon Super Cup and the main Snowdon International race curtailed to about 2/3rds distance due to the weather conditions further up towards the summit. Scout was 5th to the revised finish of the Snowdon Super Cup in 37.17 with the top two in GB at the mo, Clayton and Tunstall, taking 1st and 2nd. She was 1st U23 ahead of both this years U20 European Champion Georgia Malir (37.55) and the champion from 2012 Annabel Mason (38.51).

In the main up and down Snowdon International race Sarah McCormack was a comfortable winner for Ireland in 55.21, more than two minutes ahead of Tess Hill in 2nd. Her time for the ascent was 22s faster than Tunstall's 2nd place time in the uphill only race!

TV highlights on S4C at 7pm Sun evening.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Two Inns Race - Sat 12th July

I managed to persuade Kenny it would be a great idea to try the Two Inns Race (24km, 1700m) which is a relatively new addition to the Long Classics series of hill races. Plan was for a scenic drive up to Glencoe in the morning, do the race in the sunshine, quick pint in the Clachaig Inn and back home in time for another World Cup match.  Sounded ideal. 
Reality was a full-on mountain marathon type event across very rough trackless terrain with runners having to report to well spaced control points. With zero visibility all the way and heavy rain our combined navigational skills were called on continuously during the 4 hours it took me and Kenny to complete the race. Despite the weather this was infact a fantastic route which has been picked out along a series of linking ridges and peaks which run SW from the Clachaig Inn. The comradery amoungst the small field of 30 runners was great - with a lot of banter and shared route planning going on. Even the front runners decided to share first place by crossing the line together.
Big smiles from Kenny at the finish.

Race results

Saturday 12 July 2014

FLASH FROM GAP - Jacob 8th in Euro Champs

Flash news from the Euro Mountain Running Champs in Gap, France is that Jacob Adkin has finished in a fantastic 8th place in the Junior Men's race. He passed the half-way mark of the two-lap up and down course in 15th place, 2nd Brit 25 seconds behind Andrew Lawler and would appear to have had a storming second lap to come home one place and 1 second behind Andrew at the line. The body clock adjustments over the last two weeks which disturbed the Adkin household at 5.30am as Jacob prepared to be ready to race at his best at 8.30am our time has paid off! More to follow. Also Sarah McCormack 17th in the women's race in only her second race back after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Skiddaw Win for Scout

It is probably her most raced mountain and familiarity with the territory helped Scout Adkin to the win the Skiddaw Fell Race near Keswick in the Lake District on Sunday. Returning home in a time of 1 hour 21 minutes and 38 seconds she was nearly seven minutes quicker than last year and crossed the line 38 seconds clear of second woman home Lindsey Brindle from Horwich. The race was preparation for a second assault on Snowdon on 20 July, this time in the Snowdon Super Cup, an invitation only uphill race with a top international field expected to include GB mountain runners Emma Clayton and Olivia Walwyn.

Friday 4 July 2014

From Old Scotland to Nova Scotia

My best friend emigrated to Nova Scotia, eastern Canada over a decade ago. I just visited him on my own for a short visit as it is few years since I last saw him. He convinced me to enter his local annual Ironman event, however as neither of us really do much swimming we thought it would be sensible to enter the Duathlon category which amounted to a 112 mile cycle and a marathon, with the marathon split so the you did one lap (6.5 miles) before the ride and then 20 miles to finish.
With almost everyone opting for the triathlon version there were only three entries in the Duathlon. I managed to finish first in just over 10 1/2 hours in 30 degree heat. I've never cycled that far in a oner and everything thing went numb in the last quarter as I was borrowing my friends bike and didn't adjust the saddle properly!
All in all it was a brilliantly organised event and exceedingly enthusiastic supporters cheering you on when you were getting tired.
To cap it off I even saw a brown bear run out no more than 50 metres on a remote back road on the bike leg!! Only in Canada!
Event website: