A belated and brief race report from last Wednesday’s (North Berwick Law race, with Moorfoots represented by myself (Dave Gaffney), Andy Cox, and Katie Walling running in HBT colours.
Nearly 250 runners set off from the town’s harbour to the arresting sounds of the local pipe band and the loudest starting pistol in the east. It’s a frantic 3-miles from sea to summit and back again, with no chance to draw breath or enjoy the panoramic views from the trig point at the top. Not that it was a night for hanging around up there, the warm sunny weather that had dominated most of the preceding month having given way to pouring rain on the evening of the race, making for difficult and slippy conditions on the rocky descent of the Law.
The race was won in 19:18 by Scott Fraser, a familiar winner at Tweed valley races in recent weeks and boasting an impressive hill racing record to date, having won 14 of the 20 races he’s ever entered. Catriona Morrison was first woman (and female vet) in 23:34. Scott was the first recipient of a new trophy commissioned in memory of hill-running legend Robin Morris, a seven-time winner of the Law race who passed away earlier this year.
A pre-race recce of the route with Andy gave me the opportunity to recommend some truly awful lines of ascent and descent in an attempt to slow him down but despite that (and the fact that he’d run and won the Stag and Hind at Moffat the previous night) he stayed out of sight, finishing just outside the top 20 – but on the same time as 20th place – in 22:05. I was nearly a minute behind in 22:56 for 25th place and third vet, and Katie finished just outside the half-hour mark but just inside the top 130.
The wet weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the locals who lined the streets in good numbers as usual to cheer runners out and back in, contributing to what is a great, friendly and fun wee race. The fact you can exchange your bib number for an ice-cream at the local chippie afterwards contributes to this and is something Scottish Athletics would do well to adopt as standard procedure. Thanks to Edinburgh Athletics Club, East Lothian Council, and race sponsors Dandara and NB Fry.
Report by David Gaffney