This race has a lot going for it. It's only an hour from home, is set in
spectacular and beautiful hill country around the Dalvine Pass, is
mostly easy running on springy turf, is very well organised and
marshalled, provides probably the best spread of tea and cakes
afterwards of any hill race and always has brilliant weather (in my
Arriving in this hard-to-find tiny village in hot sunshine, I was
pleased to see Darin and Coxy already there representing Moorfoots. And
it didn't take long for them and James Haworth from Galloway (new club?
Not yet on Scottish Hill Racing, anyway) to open up a gap on the rest of
the field. It was really hot and I was surprised how many of the field
of 40 passed me on the long first climb. I was enjoying it though and
was glad I'd worn my cap when it came in handy for soaking myself in
cool burn water. At around the half-way point, there's a steep descent
before the second road crossing and I got a surprise when Darin passed
me there, shouting that they'd followed a marked route up the wrong hill
and Coxy was still up there!
Some thin cloud came over, taking the edge off the heat and the second
half seemed easier and shorter than when I'd done it before. Julie gave
me a cheer on from the top of the second last hill. Down the long
descent back to the parking field I was glad nobody was close behind as
my knees preferred taking it a bit easy. The finish, like the start, had
been moved to outside the church in the village so a wee extra very
short road section at the end (I predict the start/finish will be back
in the less midgy field next year for the sake of the marshals). I
finished 15th in 2 hrs 15 min, 4 minutes or so behind Darin in 11th.
We left some cakes for poor Coxy, who didn't finish the race he looked
set to win. By a cruel stroke of bad luck, the leading three had
followed markers set out by the Mountain rescue team for an exercise the
next day. Coxy, in fine form, had taken the lead and got too far ahead
to hear the other two's shouts when they had spotted the runners way
below them. Oh well, he'll have his day very soon!
Results here: http://www.shr.uk.com/NewsItems.aspx?NewsItemID=1421