Monday 31 October 2016


The annual Lasswade Open Cross-Country races were held in perfect autumnal conditions on Sunday at Gore Glen in Gorebridge and there was the now traditional strong showing from the junior section of Moorfoot Runners against some of the top clubs in the central belt.

Holly Hobbs was the sole representative in the Under-11 girls’ race over 1 mile but the club’s red and blue colours were prominent throughout as she turned in another excellent performance for 4th place in a field of forty six, her time of 6.33 being just two seconds off the podium places.

Five Moorfoots took to the start line for the boys’ equivalent alongside more than fifty others, and good packing brought its reward with team bronze, two points ahead of the host club Lasswade, but only after a steward’s enquiry had shown the initial results to have missed Moorfoot’s third counter Ben Allan. Ben was having his first race for the club and showed great promise with 19th place  in a time of 6.29 just behind the “old hands” Angus Carlyle (14th in 6.21) and Jake Lockyer (18th in 6.25). Another newcomer, Danny Lancaster wasn’t far behind them in 22nd (6.36) with young Cameron Carlyle just outside the top half in 35th (7.02). Danny and Cameron are both still in this age-group for next season which augurs well.

Further team medals came Moorfoot’s way in the Under-13 two-mile races. Five girls ran, with all three team counters being first-year in the age-group. Emily Carrick-Anderson was prominent throughout and came home in 13.43 for 10th, Esme Minto paced herself well for 11th in 14.03, and the improving Christina McGorum finished strongly for 13th in 14.08. That gave the girls 34 points in the team race, equal with Giffnock North who initially were awarded team bronze, however the countback rules in the event of a tie had not been properly applied and after another appeal to the referee the placings were reversed. Megan Hobbs had a solid run for 19th in 14.26 and Madeline Collins was a bit off her best in 27th.

Esme, Megan, Madeline, Christina  and Emily debrief their race with a helping hand from Holly

The Under-13 boys went one better than the girls with team silver, only four points behind the hosts Lasswade, courtesy of a well paced run by James Clare in 11th (13.23), Patrick Cannon in 13th (13.34) and the strong-finishing Alex Sellar who was 15th (13.52) in his first race for the club.

U15 Girls Charlotte M, Eilidh, Charlotte C, Beth

And things continued to improve, this time with team gold for the Moorfoot Under-15 girls who also raced over two miles. Up against a quality field led by impressive recent Scottish Schools Road Race champion Cera Gemmell, Charlotte Clare was only just run out of the individual medals finishing an excellent 4th in 12.35, Beth Hobbs was 8th in 13.07 and Eilidh Mooney continued her improved form for 15th in 13.48. Combined, that gave the girls a six point winning margin over Airdrie Harriers. Charlotte Morrison in 20th place in 14.10 would also have been a good enough third counter to secure the team victory.

Whilst that was the end of the team efforts for the day, there were still individual medals up for grabs. Craig Angus, with possibly his best effort yet in a Moorfoot vest, continued the run of "fourthitis" finishing just outside the medals in the Under-15 Boys 3-miler in 18.49. Ethan Elder was feeling his way back into racing after a spell on the sidelines with illness and trotted home in 11th. But there was an individual silver for Mairi Wallace in the combined Under-20/Under-17 Women’s race, splitting the Lasswade duo of Lauren Dickson and Sarah Tait with a fine sustained run and finishing clear second in 19.35. Fiona Grant had a decent run for 13th in 22.00.

And the final medal of the day was for Kobe Stevens in the gruelling men’s 6-mile race, a bit of a stretch for his 800m legs, but his 37 minutes 22 seconds of effort was rewarded with silver in the Under-20 category.

Monday 10 October 2016

Tuesday Night Training - Seniors

A wee note to remind everyone that with the darker evenings we are moving on to interval training at Haylodge/Hastoun as our main winter sessions. Same meeting place, Kingsmeadows car park Peebles, ready to run for 6:30pm.

Please remember to wear road shoes (we won't be going off road in the dark other than by special advance arrangement) and bring a head-torch.

Would also suggest that you replace the batteries, if they have been in your torch since the end of the winter season....

Need a new head-torch..?

Some inexpensive options at Alpkit 
(I'm currently using an Alpkit Viper, and had a Gamma previously..) - other head-torch vendors are available.....

Moorfoot Alan Elder also has a few for sale - see him before or after training or contact separately...

Sunday 2 October 2016

Tunnel Trail Run report

It was the inaugural Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run in Peebles on Saturday and it show cased some lovely running routes. It was organised by the people who do the Tweedlove Enduro and had a big difference to typical running events as it wasn't a mass start and it was effectively a time trial but people had to 'dib' there wrist band at the start and the finish to get a time. That said most of the quick runners set off pretty as it started and it felt like a race in that sense, although the race in general appealed to the less competitive runner with a lot of Jog Scotland groups well represented. It sold out in its first year so that is a impressive with almost 400 starters - 140 doing the 20k and 253 doing the 10k.

All the Moorfoots racing took part in the 20k (which actually transpired to be 11.5 miles), apart from Ruth McKean who is coming back to racing after a long lay off with injury and having her 4th child. Ruth absolutely smashed the 10k recording the fastest time outright (all categories men and women) as the first finisher was disqualified. Awesome!!

The both routes has similar sections to the Borders XC we organise each year. It started and finished at Hay Lodge Park course follows the banks of the Tweed, past Neidpath Castle. The 20k went on under the railway viaduct and up onto the disused railway all the way to Lyme Station where you crossed over to the south bank of the Tweed and back to Manor Brig and then up the Sware through the woods all the way over Cademuir and in the Foresty Commission woods back to top of to the Sware, descending and climbing through the woods to the far end of the tunnel and then back to Haylodge to the finish. Route here In essence it was a race of two halves the first 5 miles flat on relatively easy surfaces, followed by the 6 1/2 miles of hills and/or technical trails more like a hill race at times.

I (Colin) and Mike McGovern were the first to set off as the front runners along with the other more serious racers. After about half a mile I was passed by a figure that I recognised from other races I have done - Owain Williams of Edinburgh AC (no relation!). I've seen him at Barry Buddon road half marathos and we were a vaguely similar pace with him beating me by a minute. He set a fast pace I was unable to keep up. By the bottom of the Sware he was about 30 secs ahead but on the steepest sections he broke into a walk and I was able to run the whole thing reducing the deficit to about 10 secs. The terrain got a lot rougher although flatter and by the top Cademuir I had closed the gap and nudged ahead. Owain passed me on the road section to passed Edderston farm but when we started the narrow technical paths in the woods I through myself down the descent (trying to dodge 10k runners) and managed to get a gap. I never eased off through the tunnel and around Haylodge, not knowing how long after me he started or anyone for that matter crossing the line clinch the win in 1.23.51, 38 secs ahead of Owain in 2nd.

I was a successful day all round with Mike also finishing 2nd M40 and 4th overall (1.30.39). Pete Hall was 4th M40 (9th overall 1.37.55) Alan Elder was 1st M50 (22nd overall 1.42.46),  and Noel Quinn back after a break working in the States running with his wife. Also running was Rosie Watson who trains with us on Tuesday night as she completes a 4 month project in Peebles who finished as 2nd Woman (19th, 1.42.06).

Mike and Colin after

Colin with cheerleaders!

Noel at the finish

Full results here:

Belter of a morning for a belter of a Sware session!

The whip was cracked this morning as nineteen junior racers "enjoyed" a run up The Sware then four reps back up from Old Manor Brig.

Anton led the way with some impressive efforts from the brig up to the top gate into the forest between the two car parks.

Emily's mountain bike legs helped her lead the younger group on their shorter rep from the traffic bollard to the western car park overlooking Manor.

But the boys led the later reps..............

What goes up must come down - including Brian in the distance.

The aftermath............with birthday girl Holly (top right) deserving of an extra slice of birthday cake!

There weren't too many hazards but some that you definitely needed to give way to......

Other than the youngest group, the fourth and final rep extended to the eastern car park overlooking Peebles, where the de-brief focused on whose legs were the jelliest.......