Thursday 29 September 2016

Tunnel Trail Run - Sweeper Required

The organisers of the Tunnel Trail Run (Hillside Outside, same team who organise TweedLove, Tour o'the Borders etc.) are looking for some help this Saturday (1-Oct, 1000 thr ~1430) , in particular, a sweeper to run behind the final runner and act as a back marker so that marshals know when to stand down, make sure that we don't leave anyone on the course and phone event HQ should there be any issues etc.
Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue are providing first aid provision should it be required.
Benefits include opportunity to run through lit tunnel, Tunnel Run T-shirt our eternal gratitude....
Interested...please contact Fiona ASAP by email at if you are available....

Wednesday 28 September 2016


Borders XC Entry Information 
Online entry for the Borders XC Series will go live on entry central @6pm Saturday 1st October 2016. If you wish to enter this very popular event I recommend you enter ASAP.

You can use the link below from 6pm Saturday 1st Oct 16

Select link for online entry Borders XC Series 2016-17

All rounds start:
11.30am (junior athletes) and 12noon (Senior athletes).

Sunday 6th November 16 - Lauderdale Limpers
Sports pavilion next to Lauder Primary School Allanbank Gardens, Lauder, Berwickshire, Scottish Borders,
TD2 6AD. Pick up your race number

Sunday 20th November 16 - Borders XC Gala Harriers
start next to Galashiels swimming pool Livingstone Place, Galashiels TD1 1DQ.

Sunday 4th Dec Tweed Striders Spittal Beech Berwick England.

Sunday 11th December 16 - Chirnside Chasers. Chirnside Postcode for Sat Navs is TD11 3XH (Chirnside Primary School). The school is situated on the main A6105 road at the south of the village

Sunday 8th January 17- Norham Running Club @ Paxton House Paxton Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1SZ UK

Sunday 29th January 17 - Moorfoot Runners@ Peebles Location :Haylodge park Neidpath Road, Peebles, Tweeddale,

Sunday 19th February 17 - Dunbar Running Club@ White Sands Stables, Brandsmill, Dunbar EH42 1WG . Presentation following last race. All athletes who complete at least four of the seven races will be awarded a medal.


Monday 26 September 2016

Two Breweries Hill Race - Part 2

This was my third consecutive running of the Two Breweries and I had set myself the target of simply improving on last years’ time. Down at the first brewery level, the weather, although grey, was not too unpleasant – shorts and a vest seemed appropriate - and once kit-checked and given the off, 94 stampeded their way to the first road section. Here, the group thins until the first climb up through the dry bracken to the lower side of Birks Hill. David and Chris pass me here and it’s an arduous slog against a very angry southwesterly wind up onto Birkscairn Hill itself. Marshals are rocked around as they shout out race numbers. From here down to Glensax Burn, quad quality is tested by the steep heathery decent. I had recced this section previously and found that the grouse butts offered some cleaner down-hilling. By the burn, I am in much the same company so no real benefit in this route on the day. I refill my water from Glensax Burn and add half a salt tab.

The climb out of Glensax is a tough one and I use it to munch an energy bar and consume some fluids. I can see David and Chris further up the hill. My goal on this section is not to stop. I manage this and join those battling against the wind – trying to be as small as possible. At Hundleshope, more wind-whacked marshal count us through and point us on our way.

The contour on the side of Broom Hill is well trodden and an upper line here proves beneficial. Onto the oddly named (Door Hass) saddle leading to Stob Law and I am a few paces behind David. On the top of Stob Law almost all of the marshals are lying on their sides trying to avoid the howling wind.
I trot past David, exchanging words, which are whipped away by the wind. Another thigh tester down to the farm, where the winds are so strong that my left leg - nearest the wind - is being blown across my right leg, and at the same time, my whole body is being blown uphill - like some weird hillside dressage display. Quite a challenge! I am swept past Chris somewhere above Greenside Craig.

A quick top up on water at Glenrath and off up through the forest to the top of Whitelaw Hill. I manage the firebreak without stopping for oxygen and am soon on the pleasant Old Drove Road downhill to Dawyck Mill. Tarmac to Stobo Home Farm where Lucas C offers fluid and encouragement. I am there in 3.03 and feel I may improve on last years’ time.

Heading through the farm, directions are hard to find and I take a detour but end up back in Tarcreish Forest. I manage to run most of this but the change in surface really gives the hips a hard time. I catch up with Swaz from Westerlands and we pick a path through the reedy wasteland, around Louden Knowe Wood, and up onto Louden Hill. The hoolie is now peaking and the top of Trahenna is invisible due to the sheets of horizontal rain whistling over its crest. At this point, it becomes apparent that my Moorfoot vest is letting in water – as are my shorts. I claw my way up the wire fence and am soon passing another band of barely visible marshals. The last contour before the decent to Ratchill Farm is tricky as the undersides of both my feet have no feeling – but Broughton appears from through the gloom and I know I am almost there. I pass two runners on the decent and set a course for the brewery. Over the line and probably the best I’ve felt on finishing this run. I manage to take over 2 minutes off my time – so goal achieved! On seeing that many were 10-20 mins down on their previous times, I’m hopeful that I will manage to shave a greater slice off next year - weather permitting.. Soup, sandwich, ale – sorted.

120 signed up - 94 turned up - 76 stayed up

(Door Hass - probably Dour/door - infertile - and Hass: a narrow passage between hills, the head of a pass; a narrow connecting ridge between two heights on a watershed’)

Sunday 25 September 2016

Two Breweries Hill Race - Colin's report

The Two Breweries race starts at Traquair House and finishes in Broughton 19 mile later with 4 distinct climb equalling over 5,000ft on the way.  I have done the race 7 times now and everytime I always end up in survival mode of merely trying to get over the last hill Trahenna with the sole objective of minimising the amount of cramp I suffer. It must be something to do with me but I simply can’t crack an turn good form from road races and short hill races into a fast time at the Two Breweries and I seem incapable of achieving my long-term aspiration of going sub 3 ½ hours, my fastest time being 3.35 in 2010. This year I managed to match last years time to the second with a time of 3hrs 39mins 47secs!

I actually finished the highest placing I ever had in 20th position, with 94 starting the race and 76 finishing, with an unusually high number of retirals (18) race reflecting the brutal nature of the course and the weather and conditions being the most challenging I have experienced with gale force winds on top, and getting wetter as the race went on. At times it proved hard to run in a straight line so not a day for a PB. Lucky the race is supported by the two Breweries so I was able to console myself with ale!

Alan Elder (46th, 4:31:58), Chris Blackwood (49th, 4:35:05), David Cheskin (72nd, 5:12:22) were all in action too. Ex-Moorfoot James Britton who has moved from Cardrona to Edinburgh recorded as very creditable 11th place (3:26:31)

Full results here:

Friday 23 September 2016

Scottish Half Marathon - Scott McDonald goes sub 80

Scott raced at the 'Scottish Half Marathon' on Sunday - a race in East Lothian starting at Tranent and finishing at Musselburgh Race Course. For those of you who don't know Scott was an elite runner in his day and appeared in many of the Great Run series around Britain has a sub 30min 10km lifetime PB. Scott turns 50 next year and stopped racing seriously over a decade ago, until getting increasingly back into his running in the last year or so and his form is getting better and better with every race. He ran very well and clocked 1h 19m 35s finishing 19th overall and 2nd MV45 his fastest time for over a decade. Photos here
Full results here

Glencoe - Mamores Vertical Kilometre

Mike McGovern and Darin Dougal took part in the Mamores Vertical Kilometre, part of the Glencoe Skyline races last Friday night. The event follows the well established International Skyrunning Federation ‘VK’ format, in which participants follow a marked course gaining 1000m of height in less than 5km. Participants are set off at timed intervals with the winner having the fastest overall time to the summit.
The race was won by Alexis Sévennec the French world champion in ridiculously fast time of 42:17. Darin and Mike acquitted themselves very well - Darin was 38th and 2nd MV in  59:54, with Mike just behind in 1:01:37, 4th MV 
Full results here

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Scottish Borders Hill Race Series Finale - Penchrise Hill Race

Scottish Borders Hill Races Series Trophies and Tankard
There was a successful trip to the Penchrise Pen Hill Race by the Moorfoot Runners on Sunday. The 5 mile race including 800 feet of climb was held at Stobs Camp, the disused army site, 4 miles south of Hawick on the road to Newcastleton and the course  38 ran which was a record entry and exactly double last year’s entry for this very well organised and marshalled race.

Lucas Cheskin of Cardrona and Andrew Cox from Innerleithen continued their season long rivalry and this week it was Lucas who reversed the order from the Devil’s Beef Tub a fortnight earlier and took the win in a time of 34 mins 19 secs shaving over a half a minute off the Course Record. Andrew was 2nd (35:14), Colin Williams 4th, 2nd M40 (35:48) and only 6 seconds off making it a Moorfoot 1-2-3. Alan Elder was 21st and 6th M50 in what is by far the most competitive age class.

The race unfolded with Lucas setting a relentless pace from the gun and quickly opened up a gap that continued to grow so that the race effectively over by the summit. Behind Lucas it was hotly contested and the chasing group of was tightly packed when they reached to top, however Andrew was able to use his descending skills to pull ahead into 2nd, with Colin overtaking to gain 4th position by the finish.

Charge of the Moorfoots

Lucas builds an uncatchable lead
Andy pulling away on the descent
 Some cracking shots here: penchrise pen hill race 2016

The Penchrise Pen Hill Race was also the final round of 10 in Scottish Borders Hill Race Series, kindly sponsored by James Jones and Sons Ltd. To gain a placing it was necessary to take part in at least five of the races, and if you did more it was the best five results that counted. The races ranged from the Pentlands by West Linton in the west, to the Cheviots by Yetholm in the east and with other venues including Peebles, Earlston, Melrose and Selkirk. All the races saw an increase in entries which fulfilled the aim. In total 500 individuals took part in at least one of the 10 races, with 22 runners gaining a series placing with Borders clubs Teviotdale Harriers, Moorfoot Runners and Lauderdale Limpers well represented.

Overall Champion was Andrew Cox won the series with very solid and consistent results throughout always being there or there abouts. Lucas Cheskin had to settle for 2nd in the Senior Male category while Susan Ridley from Peebles (who runs for Edinburgh AC) won the prize for the first female Borderer, as well as being the first F50. The overall woman’s title went to Edinburgh’s Jill Stephen who runs for the Hunters Bog Trotters club.
The prize giving took place straight after the Penchrise with the awards being made by Scottish Borders Councillor for Hawick and Hermitage, David Paterson.
Scottish Borders Hill Race Champion 2016

The Series class winners and top 3 (where 3 or finishers) are shown below

Jill Stephen
1st F Overall
Susan Ridley
Edinburgh AC
1st F50 and 1st Borderer
Pauline McAdam
Teviotdale Harriers
1st F60
Andrew Cox
Moorfoot Runners
1st M Overall and 1st Borderer
Lucas Cheskin
Moorfoot Runners
2nd M Senior
Craig Freshwater
3rd M Senior
Brian Marshall
1st M40, 3rd M Overall
Neil Pendrich
2nd M40
Paul Lockie
Teviotdale Harriers
3rd M40
Mike Andrew
1st M50, 2nd M Overall
Keith Murray
Teviotdale Harriers
2nd M50
Tim McCall
Norham RC
3rd M50
Frank Birch
Teviotdale Harriers
1st M70

Full results can be found here and series details can be found here:


Saturday 17 September 2016

Mairi left cursing "Heather's cold" but Team Gold still for Scotland

Mairi Wallace was racing on the hills for Scotland for the third time on Saturday in the Junior Home International against England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland on Skiddaw near Keswick in the Lake District. But after two excellent outings for Scotland - in the same event last year when she was 5th, and at the World Mountain Running Youth Cup in June - unfortunately it wasn't third time lucky for Mairi, despite bringing home a Team Gold medal for the second consecutive year.

Having succumbed to a bad cold twelve days out (passed on to her by good pal Heather), she missed a week's training, but all the signs, including a decent outing on the preceding Wednesday,  were that she had fully recovered and could therefore not only take her place on the start line in the Under-17 Women's race, but also be positive about challenging for a high placing. The steep course, averaging a 20% climb over the relatively short 2.1km distance, was more to her liking than the Scotland trial course (a mere 10%) and she had prepared for the steep gradient with an excellent block of tough training through July and August.

But despite all her admirable efforts preparing for this target race, and her apparent recovery back to full health, illness took its toll and she finished down in 17th place, nearly three minutes off the winner, reportedly feeling "hellish" once the race was underway. Mairi was subsequently up all that night being ill and off school on the Monday - lucky white heather!

There was no misplaced confidence that she could be very competitive in this race, much more so than in the trial where she finished fourth (see 29 August post). The third placed girl in the Scottish trial, Grace Whelan, who was behind Mairi in the WMRA Youth Cup and who had finished a mere six seconds in front of Mairi in the trial, went on to win the U17 International on Saturday and in so doing became British and Irish Under 17 Champion. Scottish Trial winner Lynn McKenna also took silver with twin sister Charlotte 4th and non-counting Scot Zoe Nicholson 5th. It's a very strong age-group for Scotland!

Herein lies a lesson for all about the nature of athletics and the impact of illness on your performance for target races, much more so than in a team sport where you can get by feeling 2-3% off your best and still contribute to the team. In athletics, you are much more exposed and no athlete can expect to be in 100% tip-top condition for every target race, even the elites with all their sport science support. And that 2-3% can escalate if you put yourself over the edge; it can soon lead to much more of an under-performance. Whilst the elites can scientifically monitor their recovery and their return to full health before racing, it is all about feel at non-elite level and Mairi felt fine and fully recovered. But feeling fine is one thing; racing at international level up a steep mountain is another. Such is life in our sport.

Whilst disappointed, and cursing the timing of her double-dose illness, the saving "Grace" for Mairi is seeing how well her team-mates did and knowing that she could have been right up there challenging at the front of the race. She already has two excellent outings for Scotland under her belt. Two outta three ain't bad and hopefully there will be more to come.

Nice to see her smiling here with her three team-mates.

Monday 12 September 2016

Reminder - Club Membership Fees 2016/17

Just a short reminder that the Club financial year runs from April to March and we try and get membership fees in during April each year. There are still a number of renewals that haven't been paid for this year (Apr2016 to Mar2017).
The good news is that rates remain unchanged for yet another year!.

 Individual - £15
Couple/family - £20 (additional children who race - £5 each)
Junior - £10
Membership forms can be downloaded from the website:
Cheques made payable to “Moorfoot Runners” and posted to 17 Craigerne Crescent, Peebles, EH45 9HW.

Alternatively for those who prefer online banking and you are renewing an existing membership then I don’t need a new form completed.
BACS transfer:-
Bank Of Scotland, Peebles Branch
Sort Code: 80 09 33
Account Number: 00463802 – Moorfoot Runners

 A short email to    confirming you have made a transfer would help track payments!
Club Treasurer
Eddie Balfour
01721 729293

Free running video analysis by Saucony at Run and Become, Edinburgh early Nov

copied from Run & Become website:

Wednesday 2nd November till Friday 4th November 2016
45min time slots
Run and Become, 20 Queensferry St, Edinburgh, EH2 4QW
Sign up now »
Make use of this unique opportunity offered by Saucony to customers of specialized running shops. Saucony Stride Lab is touring UK and after having a big success in our London store is now coming to Edinburgh!
  • FREE video analysis of your running stride
  • FREE report on your running technique
  • FREE recommendation of your best running shoe
The Saucony Stride Lab gait analysis consists of three high-speed cameras set to assess the runners unique stride characteristics, body position and running form.

The cameras work in synchronisation to capture a runner's stride from multiple views. The front camera angle assists assessment of knee rotation. The side cameras shows the extension of the leg and knee flexion upon impact. And the rear camera captures hip drop and pronation.
Following assessment, the Lab provides 360o understanding of runner's requirements. The runner will receive a free assessment report on the running technique, to realize where improvements could be made; and advise on the most suitable running shoe.
If you want to have your running form analysed, or would like to know what your best shoe is, how to improve your running technique and how to avoid injury risk, just book your session here.

Sunday 11 September 2016

Stirling 10km - Scottish National Champs

Moorfoots in action at Stirling 10km today which was the national road champs. Scott McDonald first home in 94th place (23rd M40) in 36:17, Lucas Cheskin, 122nd 37:00 and a return to racing for Magnus Skea after a break since the arrival of his second child in the very respectable time of 41:28. Also running was ex-Moorfoot Sarah McCormack, now of Ambleside AC, finishing as 4th woman in the super quick time of 35:26.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

New Junior Guidance Section on Club Website

Check out the new section on the club website here

Aimed at newcomers but much of it will also be useful for some who have been coming for a while, maybe even for some of the old codgers too! #how'syourform?

Beth Hobbs wins U15 Junior Hill League title

copied from Scottish Athletics website:

The recent Junior Home International trial event at Colsnaur was the final race in the scottishathletics Junior Hill League for 2016.
This year, there was a high number of completions with the overall 2016 Winners in each age group category hard-earned! We’d ask those athletes listed below to please contact Mark Harris by email in order to receive a prize. Thanks
U15 Beth Hobbs (Moorfoot); U17 Grace Whelan (Moray Roadrunners); U20 Alisha Badial (Aberdeen AAC)
U15 Josh Law (Inverclyde); U17 George Rees (Fife AC); U20 Oliver Watson Sweeney

Borders XC Winter Series 2016/17 Provisional dates

Borders XC Winter Series 2016/17 Provisional dates are:
Nov 6
Nov 20
Dec 4
Tweed Striders at Berwick
Dec 11
Jan 8
Norham at Paxton
Jan 29
Moorfoots – Haylodge Peebles
Feb 19
Berwick dictated by tides hence Haylodge moved to January from its recent pre Christmas date. For those wanting to enter dates will be confirmed and Entry will go live later this month so keep an eye out as it fills very quickly.