Sunday 31 July 2016

Tough day at the office at GB Trials and Senior Home International

Skiddaw near Keswick in the Lake District was the venue for the GB Trials for the World Mountain Running Championships and incorporated the Senior Home International between teams from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Four Moorfoots were in action on what proved to be a tough day at the office amidst the cream of British hill running talent.

Mairi Wallace is not 16 until September and was taking part in the Junior Women's U20 trial race for further experience of uphill only racing with an eye on the U17 Junior Home International in September which is also uphill only on Skiddaw. With only a minimal reduction in her training in the week prior, Mairi stuck in well for 7th place over the 3.7km course which had 510m of climb finishing in a time of 30 minutes 17 seconds. Impressively, she managed to run all the way including the 1km+ steep zig-zag main climb at a gradient of c.25% when most of her ten rivals were reduced to walking. She had her own private tussle for most of the race with Robyn Bennett from England who just outsprinted her for 6th place on the final approach to the finish. Encouragingly Mairi has three more years in this age-group.

The senior women's race over 7.7km and 846m climb saw Scout Adkin give it a real good go from the gun in the Scotland vest. But with Italy still in her legs (see post below), after a very positive start she drifted out of the top five on the steep zig-zag climb and despite a wee rally on the final climb to the summit of Skiddaw, was 9th of the 30 runners  to cross the line in 50 minutes 30 seconds. She was top Scot on the day but was behind a couple of the England team who she had beaten previously this season. However, she was still only just over two minutes outside the GB senior women's selection places which remains a realistic target for her in the next few years. Having battle hard to the summit of Skiddaw and endured the wind, rain, mist and chilly temperatures on the top, Scout then managed to take a crashing fall when making her way back down at a leisurely pace giving herself a skint knee, scrapes and bruises and a hyper-extended wrist which will be the subject of a precautionary x-ray later today!

Wee brother Jacob was also in the Scotland vest as one of the two U23 athletes incorporated into the team of six for the men's Senior Home International race over 11.3km and 1080m. Having had a disrupted winter with two bouts of shin splints, this was maybe a race too far for Jacob without a good solid winter base behind him and he "felt flat" throughout the race, finishing 26th in 60 minutes and 48 seconds, over 6 minutes down on winner Andrew Douglas who was in very impressive form. Hopefully a good solid winter will see him close the gap back to his GB U20 team-mate and close rival from last year Max Nichols who secured his GB senior selection for the World Champs in his first year out of the junior ranks with his 5th place finish in 57.07.

Lucas Cheskin was also in action in this race, throwing himself bravely right into the deep end of British hill running  in his first year out of the junior men's ranks. The full results are awaited online and Lucas is currently not contactable (!) so not sure where he finished in the end (or if he finished in the end!) as he is not on the photo of the first page of results up to 38th which has been tweeted. But then neither is the second Scotland U23 runner on that page. I suspect though, given the stacked nature of the field, that his dad David was pleased he had second thoughts about entering!!!

Thursday 28 July 2016

Nova Scotia Marathon report by Colin

Start line photo taken after the race once the rain stopped
My best friend, Austen, emigrated to Canada over a decade ago and the Williams family holiday was to visit them in Nova Scotia this year. As a challenge we decided to enter the Nova Scotia Marathon as Austen had never run one before. At the time of entering it in March I had no intention of trying to run a quick time, just wanting to get round as part of a bonding experience with my pal.
Before the start with Austen wearing his Moorfoot tribute vest (actually it was just a coincidence!)
I’d put my marathon demons to bed a couple of years previously when I finally broke 3hrs (2:59:08) at Manchester Marathon in 2014 having completed 7 marathons in the five year period before with a glut of times ranging from 3:00:55 to 3:07.
Except I hadn’t broken 3hrs at Manchester Marathon as I noticed the lead story on the main BBC website in April saying that the course was actually incorrectly measured 380m short. The organisers kindly send me a barely apologetic email to say that they’d recalculated the time and based on my pace on the last 6k I would have completed in the course in 3:00:52.

After the initial shock of not knowing whether to laugh or cry I decided that I already had the opportunity to right this wrong and train to finally go sub 3 on the an officially measured “Boston Qualifier” course. I managed to complete some of my best quality training in the two months before.
We flew out on the Saturday to Canada with the race was the following day and didn’t manage to get the best sleep in the two nights prior with a super early start to head off to Glasgow Airport and then the jet lag and excitement of meeting up with my best friend and his family.

The race is in its 46th year was very friendly and run by enthusiastic volunteers and gets a deserving good write up in Canadian Running mag.
The race is located on the southern most point of Nova Scotia and the course is a figure of 8 around Cape Sable Island sticking out in the Atlantic Ocean. It was pretty much flat but there were a few rolling undulations

The race combined a mass start with a Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km with over 300 competitors in total, but only 64 in the full marathon. It was warm and sunny low 20s when the race started at 8am.
The half marathon was part of the Nova Scotia ‘Performance Series’ and was won in 71mins with about 7 running sub 1:20 so when the gun went about 20 runners flew off down the road. My strategy was run fairly conservatively and get to half way about with over a minute under 1:30 and try to run even splits but know I had a buffer if I needed it in case I started to suffer near the end.

By the time we got about 6 miles the small field was completely spread out and about 10 miles there was only one runner in sight a little way ahead so I decided to make the effort to gently close the gap to have someone to for company to run with. I ran with Tim from New York City also trying to go sub 3 for the next 12 miles until he dropped back on one of the rises at about 4 miles to go. I was really glad that I didn’t have to run the marathon as a solo time trial! The route was picturesque as it headed out in the rural areas where most of the houses had lobster pots stacked outside and one of the many wooden churches I ran passed even had a World War 1 memorial with a kilted soldier on top such are the historic links between Scotland and Nova Scotia.
The wind picked up the further south and further into the Atlantic the island jutted and there was quite a strong cross head wind for miles 13-18. Unfortunately big storm clouds massed and the heavens opened and I was running through heavy (warm!) rain for the last 1hr 20.
I did have a couple of frustrations. The race was run on open roads and my last 10km coincided with the church ‘rush hour’ of what seemed like hundreds huge pick up trucks driving far too close to me. The car is king of the road in north America and giving pedestrians space isn’t the highest priority. At times I was running quite far from the road edge to avoid puddles so dodging traffic was a stress I certainly could have done without ¾ s of the way through the marathon.
You also had the option to leave your personal energy drinks and gels in crates to be transported to any of the water stops. I thought this was a great idea and had visions of the bottles being left on tables like you see for the elite runners in the London Marathon. Unfortunately this was not the case and I had to stop as almost all of my five fuel stops to search for my gel or water bottles breaking my stride each time. It certainly would have been better to simply carry my gels on a belt as I had before but I thought it would be a good idea to avoid the extra weight!

The last 4 miles seemed to drag and my pace dropped in miles 22 & 23 by about 15 seconds as they are slightly uphill but I had the buffer I needed so I didn’t stress and just hung in knowing that I should do it.
The euphoria hit me in the last half mile across the causeway when I could see the golden arches of McDonalds which was next to the finish and was delighted and relieved to cross the line in 2:59:24.
Sub 3! The demon is well and truly exorcised!
I also found out at the finish line that I was 2nd overall, 3 minutes behind the winner. I had been totally oblivious to my position as I had no idea how many people ahead of me in the first few miles were marathoners, half marathoners or 10k runners. Results here:
Finishing - with appropriate pick up truck in background

Friday 22 July 2016

Scout and Jacob selected for Scotland team for Home International Hill Run

The Adkin family are in form!

 Scotland hill running teams have been selected for the forthcoming Home Countries International.

The event takes place in Keswick on Saturday 30 July and also doubles as the World Trial for Team GB and NI.

Bulgaria hosts the World champs this year, on September 11, and the Home Countries International is on an uphill only course in preparation for that event.

Details on Keswick event are online on the British Athletics site (look under ‘World Trial’).

Monday 18 July 2016

Kelso 10K 2016

Results here...

A few Moorfoots at this years Kelso 10K, held in and around the grounds of Floors castle.

Another good run by Scott McDonald, coming home in 37:29 for 6th place (1st MV40).
Also running...

Darin Dougal (post holiday canter...) 39:17
Kenny Davidson (close, but no cigar...) 40:03

A wee mention for Eilidh Davidson too, running her first 10K (in 66 mins) - aye..this running thing is a bit different than the "sitting down" sport of rowing...just ask Sir Steve Redgrave (marathon PB 4:52)

Sunday 17 July 2016

St Ronan's Games - Lee Pen Hill Race Report

Lucas and Andy near the top
There were 24 runners in the Innerleithen St Ronan Games Lee Pen Hill Race and the Moorfoots and locals were well represented.

The race won by Lucas Cheskin in the time 26.42 for the 3 mile race which includes 1,200 brutal feet of climb and then foot burning descent.  He led to the top (where Colin was marshalling) and held on the descent to win the trophy and £100 pize money!
Lucas was closely followed by Fergus Johnson of Gala and then our own Andy Cox 3rd (27.27) , with ex-Moorfoot (now Strathclyde Uni) and under 20 World Duathlon Champion  Benjamin Hindley in 4th (27.49). Next Moorfoot home was David Cheskin with a very respectable 35.41.

Photos here

Full Results here

Friday 15 July 2016

Scout's Vertical km in Italy

Scout Adkin was in Italy for her first taste today of the Skyrunner World Series, taking on the Dolomites Vertical Kilometre race in Canazei, in thee Trentino region of Northern Italy. She has always fancied trying a vertical km race (1,000m of climb) but certainly chose a baptism of fire given the race distance was only 2.6km. That is an average gradient of 38%!!!! More like a really tough steep walk, than a run.

She finished 15th in a field of 58, crossing the line in 45mins 22 seconds. Whilst this was over 6 minutes behind the winner, she was racing against seasoned uphill specialists using walking poles (which Scout didn't use), so a pretty good result for her first effort in such an event. Chapeau Scout.

Colin - some bonkers photos of the course here:

Ethics Crisis in Sport - now Moorfoot Runners to be investigated

The club is to be investigated by the Athletics Ethics and Integrity Official Unit (AEIOU) of the Union of Sporting Ethics Lawyers – East of Scotland Section (USELESS), following accusations of possible corruption and prize-fixing at the St Ronan’s Games Week Fancy Dress competition on Thursday evening.

But underhand collusion between two club committee members has been denied amidst rumours that a deal was done by Fancy Dress Judge Gregor Nicholson for a share of the £4 prize money for the Special Prize he awarded in the Groups category to “The Jungle Book”, fronted by club secretary Colin Williams as King Louie.

“I didn’t even know it was him”, claimed Nicholson, “so good was his outfit, make-up and belly”.
“In fact, when he winked at and said to my fellow judge Mrs Nicholson that he was the King of the Swingers, I nearly smacked him one.”

Asked if the offer from a slinky looking Shere Khan-ess to get her claws into him had impaired his impartiality, Nicholson blushed and clammed up.

A spokesperson of the AEIOU of USELESS said, “We are taking these accusations very seriously and will be compiling a report for the IAAF Ethics and Integrity Unit who have put on hold all other investigations, including those into doping in Russia, until our own is concluded. There is no place for this sort of corruption in the sporting field.”

Asked whether he thought Mr Kipling would be turning in his grave at being associated with such accusations of prize-fixing, club secretary Colin Williams said ”I categorically deny that there was any offer on the table to provide the judges with exceedingly good cakes.”

Thursday 14 July 2016

Moffat Gala Road Race 2016

Scott fast off the mark at the start....
Two Moorfoots at this years Moffat (9ish miles / 15Km) Road Race.

A tough drag up the Old Edinburgh Road for 3 and a bit miles, a mile of very steep track up to the Beeftub main road (A701) and then 4 and a bit miles of uninterrupted tarmac downhill back to the finish in the town...a great course.

Another strong run by Scott McDonald (58:04 / 8th place / 3rd Vet) and a debut Moffat appearance for Kenny (62:27 / 26th place )

Full results and local news write-up here...

Monday 11 July 2016

Franco puts the fizz into Cademuir Rollercoaster sponsorship

Grazie tanto to Franco's Italian restaurant who have again very kindly agreed to sponsor the Rollercoaster on 13 August. Not only that but additional prizes will be on offer courtesy of proprietor Francesco de Martino  and business partner Valerio Lo Coco whose new wine merchants and import business Bacco is based in Dundas Street in Edinburgh. In addition to prizes of vouchers for Franco’s restaurant, the lucky male and female winners of the main 6k race will each receive a bottle of Bacco’s top notch prosecco, a step up from the usual bottled beer on offer at many hill races!
Francesco, Gregor and chef Giuseppe - not quite the best relay technique!

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Cademuir Rollercoaster - Sat 13 August

For those of you not resident in Peebles or Cardrona, or those of you who are, but binned your free Peebles Life magazine before reading it, see the article on the Cademuir Rollercoaster on page 35 of the electronic July issue here. Peebles Life - July 
Please share with any non-club members who you think might be interested.

Club members will also be getting an email request for helpers on the day. Please let Gregor know if you can help Tel:07545 322750.

More info on the race is on the club website here