On a morning when most in Peebles had battened down the hatches, thrown another log on the fire and popped the Sunday roast in to the oven, an eager (some would argue, insane) group of runners milled around the start line for the Peebles leg of the Border XC series in Haylodge Park. It was a toss-up at one point, whether the tree at the start line would uproot first or whether the rugby posts would be bent to resemble conjoined boomerangs.
With the wind chill and the driving hail, the temperature howled around -5 but an undeterred, vest-clad band of juniors charged off through the storm on their two lap slog through the glaur.
First four back were Gala Harriers with Jamie Logan coming in on 8.25. Euan Hood home in 5th just 7 seconds off the front with Ethan Elder, 4 seconds behind Euan. Moorfoot’s Mairi Wallace - the first girl back in 9.03.
Toories off to, Elena and Christina McGorum, Craig Angus, Corran and Emily Carrick-Anderson, Mairi Wallace, James and Charlotte Clare, Ethan Elder, Patrick Cannon, Molly Falconer, Finlay and Madeline Collins, David Cathcart, Eilidh Mooney, Megan Hobbs, Esme Minto, Angus Carlyle and Fiona Grant for not only staying upright at the start line but for making it around without ending up pinned against Peebles Health Centre. Nineteen runners - a great effort from the juniors. Good category finishes from Mairi Wallace first F14-15 - Ailsa Innes second, Ethan Elder first M12-13 and Charlotte Clare first F12-13 - Elena McGorum second.
The adult race was run in the squelchiest of Baltic conditions, marker tape whizzing in the wind-driven hail, whistling from the west, down Haylodge. Colin and Kobe were somewhere up front and I plodded on, mid-pack. Much of it was a trudge through deep mud, shallow mud and mud of a middling variety. And, just to mix things up a little, numerous pools of earthy soup were to be forded and slippery rocks to be misjudged.
courtesy of Danielle Buchanan
Around the funnel, there was really positive buzz (people do love to charge around partially dressed through glabberous lakes of mud in a freezing hail storm) I noted many smiling faces and Colin reports hearing a lot of positive feedback. A great effort from course puter-uppers to course taker-downers, sweepers, storm-swept marshals, chilled timekeepers, horse box caterers and results posters.