Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Andy Cox wins Screel Hill Race

Andy Cox won the Screel Hill Race at Palnackie, near Dalbeattie on Saturday 14th April.
It’s relatively short as far as hill races go, 3.5miles / 5.6km with 1,300ft / 400m climb. The top is quickly reached via lovely mature pine forest. The descent is fast, though you have to be careful of tree roots and a path paved with branches.
Some 50 runners took part and Andy clocked 33:56. Race details and results here
The win continues Andy's good early season form following last month's 2nd place at Criffel Hill Race (10.5km, 550m climb) by New Abbey also in Dumfriesshire.
Great showing!


Darin does Dunbar 10k

Darin Dougal ran Dunbar 10k on Saturday 14th April. He ran strongly finishing 10th at Dunbar 10km, 5th M40 in 38:43 on the adulating course. Details and full results here:

Kenny goes transatlantic for Boston Marathon but the Scottish weather follows him

Kenny Davidson was in action at the Boston Marathon in America on Monday 16th April.

Kenny at registration the day before and even then the weather was 'Baltic'
Boston Marathon is one of the premier marathons in the world and you have to run fast enough before you can even enter. For example men aged 18-34 you have to have run 3h05 or faster to even submit an entry form, and that does not guarantee entry as it’s oversubscribed every year. Kenny’s excellent performance at London Marathon in 2017, 3h03 as a V50 meant he was well inside his age group qualifying time. 
The race itself was the coldest Boston Marathon in the last 30 years and on top of the cold and wind and rain was simply quiet atrocious with conditions ranging from consistently heavy rain to a veritable monsoon. It is reported that about 2,300 runners receive medical treatment and there was an almost 5% drop out rate considerably more than usual. Many of the elites simply couldn’t live with the conditions with big name stars either pulling out in the later stages or hitting the wall. In a dramatic race the little known and somewhat eccentric Yuki Kawauchi from Japan came back from 90 seconds down to win the men’s race in a time of 2:15:58, the slowest winning time since 1976, but still almost two and a half minutes up on second placed Geoffrey Kirui (2:18:23), the defending champion who had clocked 2:09:37 in 2017.
The video here shows some of the condition to give you a flavour
Kenny commented:
Finished in 3:09:51 in what was a very wet and windy day...a very tough day for runners and supporters alike! Reminiscent of a not untypical day in the west of Scotland. A bit of snow on the ground at the start, puddles everywhere and lots of head on fire hosing in the squalls...
Pleased with my time given the conditions...not sure I could have run it any faster...
Dried out now and enjoying an evening rehydrating with our new best friend Samuel Adams...

An outstanding run all in all finishing 84th in the M50-54 age class and 3,315 overall out of 26,948. Kenny's result[start_no]=5604

Photo of the race to give you an idea - I don't think Kenny's in there

Paul Nichol's Manchester Marathon run on 8th April

Here's Pauls report after another very solid and well measured run:

I ventured down to Manchester on Saturday to run my Spring Marathon. I decided to do this one because I didn't get a London Place and there was no way I was running Blackpool :)
Well organised race with good transport links to and from the start / finish. The only strange thing is that there is no organisation into pens at the start. There was a mixture of runners and family supporters in the start pens which I have never seen before. The course is flat and good for a PB. It's a mixture of running on dual carriage and what felt like housing restates (Coronation Street stereotype). It one of those races where you pass people coming back which can be a bit disconcerting. I'd had knee / hip problems took the first half easy. Because I started about 5 minutes after the gun went off I was in the unusual position of passing lots of people throughout the race which is good mindfulness. I finished in 3.41 and ended up in the top 30% overall and 80th out of 300 for age. One to do again if London does not call. Results in the link (nearly managed a -ve split for the first time ever). Also you can see the pain etched on my face at the finish. Get the clock at 3.47.
Also attached are the obligatory before and after photos with one of what is the hugest burger ever.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Birnam (Saturday) and Deuchary Hill (Sunday) Races 2018

Alan Elder and Andy Cox took part in this year’s Birnam Hill Race. The race is 4.1miles with 1200 feet of climb. It is pretty much 2 miles up and 2 back down again.

Registration is carried out by Race Organiser, Adrian Davis, in the garden of The Birnam Guest House. Pleasingly informal – as registration should be!

Both novices at this one, Andy suggested a ‘wee reccie’ to get a look at the hill. Three quarters of the way up the initial steep climb and the hill is still not visible. By this point, Andy’s heart rate has raised by 3 bpm and I am wishing there was an oxygen kit nearby. Time to descend and get to the start line.

After a quick headcount, runners are off and make their way up the initial 2 mile climb. It just gets steeper and steeper. Andy is off among the front runners. I manage to run a reasonable portion of the climb but it is soon time to knee-pump. A further quarter mile or so of calf shredding steepness and the hill levels out - leading over King’s Seat and eventually peaking at a craggy outcrop above the ruins of Rohallion Castle .

Heart rate around 205

After a painful climb and places dropped, the next 2 miles are sheer delight. A fantastic one and a half mile downhill thrash, on firm farm roads, followed by flats and some minor undulations. I manage to pick up 20+ places from the crags to the finish- making up for a poor climb!

All in all, this is a great short run. Brutal climb but a really enjoyable second half to compensate!

Going up
Coming down
(Pics courtesy of Fishy Gordon)

Coxy had a good outing and was 10th out of 113 runners and I was further down the field in 63rd – but hey…a PB!

We skipped the fish supper in favour of  tea, cake and a toastie!

First Lass Mary Lye

Results Here

I tackled the Deuchary Hill Canter the day after The Birnam Hill Race (The Dunkeld Double?)

The race is over 12 miles with 2300 feet of climb and to add to the pot, Adrian, RO, describes the condition as the wettest he has ever seen – due to melting snow.

Logistics are tricky and we are encouraged to car-share to the start. I hook up with Daniel, Iain and Mike from Falkland Trail Runners and we drive off to the start at Dunkeld House.

It’s a tad smirry at the start but not looking too bad between the clouds. We are given the off and are soon heading uphill. It’s a slight climb out of the estate and we are soon dodging our way through rhododendrons and then out on to a fantastic and runnable forest path that hugs the hillside. A few more forest paths through Rotmell Wood and Deuchary Hill is soon in sight. 

It's mushy all the way to the top with broad patches of snow to tackle. I ‘compete’ with another runner to get to the top first. He gets there just before me – so the downhill chase is on. He knows some good lines, which I follow and am on his shoulder for a kilometre or so. I keep the pressure on and soon he pulls over and it becomes quickly evident that he had scrambled eggs for breakfast. Maybe pushed too hard on the uphill? Onward….

There are a couple of minor climbs but the majority of the second half is flat or downhill – with the last section on road – with a weird little twist through more rhododendrons before being ejected to the finish line.

I had a target of 2 hours for this run and was happy to get round in 1.57.

A good spread of soup, rolls and tray bakes back at Race HQ in Birnam Guest House garden.

Again – this was a really enjoyable run and one I would look to do again.

First Lad John Yells

First Lass Jill Stephen

Results  Here

(James Britton had a good couple of days at the office and was 3rd at Birnam and 2nd at Deuchary – top outcome on the double!)

Monday, 2 April 2018

Club senior members 'ideas' get together, Fri 20th or Thurs 26th April

One thing that came up at the recent AGM is that it would be really good to have a meeting to discuss ideas for the senior membership of the club to allow it to develop. Lucy has very kindly offered to chair the session and hold it at her house, and has written the following invitation:

Beers & Ideas: club planning session
Moorfoots runs on the enthusiasm and commitment of a few dedicated souls. Time to get stuck in and have a say on how you think the club can continue to improve, what new things you’d like to see (social as well as training) and how you might get involved. Lucy is hosting an open house at:

Whinnyknowe, Glen Road, Peebles EH45 9JF
from 7-9.30pm in April  either on Friday 20th or Thursday 26th.
Please use the doodle poll to indicate if you can make either date
All you need to do is come armed with a) ideas & enthusiasm and b) a liquid refreshment of your choice.

The club is only as good as its members so get your hoodies and your thinking caps on and come along. Those who decline will have the dogs set on them : ))

The sort of things we may discuss are, club runs at weekend, social events,  weekends away either racing or just running, regular training sessions during the week (as well as the Tuesdays), with the new parkrun announced in Peebles how can we get more members, and anything else that comes to mind
We look forward to seeing you soon

Colin at the John Muir Way Ultra Marathon 50km

I saw this race last year as part of the Foxtrail series ( and entered on a whim back in October as so many races seem to fill up so quickly and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

It's a 50km/31mile race from Port Seton on the East Lothian coast to Foxlake Adventure Centre just west of Dunbar. The terrain is mixed with spells of tarmac as you pass through the villages, farm roads, dirt trails, bare field edges, a section of beach running and red gravel path that covers stretches of the John Muir Way. 

The photos and video on the website from last year looked lovely but unfortunately the weather on the day didn’t behave with a strong head / cross head wind the whole way, some increasingly heavy rain and 4 degrees. I wore tights and started the race with a waterproof jacket which I didn't take off the whole way and I never done that before even in Feel the Burns and snow blizzards! The rain in the days leading up meant that there were some very muddy and squelchy sections (but frustrating flat) that sapped your strength particularly near the end.

The results are here they have issued them separately for men and women. The winner did 3:50:56, and I finished, with great relief, 25 minutes back in 4:15:40 9th overall (8th man) out of 169 finishers.

Me being an imposter on the podium - just happy to finish!
Someone kindly posted a bit of video of me running here - I don't think I'm going to scaring Usain or Mo anytime soon!!

My finishing position was better than it felt as although I had a decent enough run my pace definitely tailed off a lot more than I had hoped. The race started in three waves only a minute or so apart to ease congestion as you get onto some narrow paths along Seton sands about a mile into it and I started in the second wave so never really knew how many were ahead of me.

It was a very well organised and put together race with loads of marshals. It mainly followed a picturesque course with lots of little points of interest along the way and on a nice day would have been rather nice!

Moorfoot AGM 2018 summary

Dear members,

The club AGM was help on 23 March and the minutes are available for download here.

The minutes include a summary of the various and many achievements of the club over the year. 
The membership numbers essentially stable c. 105 in total, 65 juniors & 40 seniors, and the club maintains a healthy cash position.

The following committee members for 2018/19 were voted into position.
Alan McDonald - President
Eddie Balfour - Treasurer
Colin Williams - Secretary
Gregor Nicholson - Juniors / Coaching
Mike Pearson - Welfare Officer
Alex Nisbet - Woman’s Captain 
Lucy Colquhoun - General Committee Member
Iain Roberts – General Committee Member (NEW)
Dave Gaffney – General Committee Member (NEW)

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Andrew Dancer wins at Kielder Dark Skies Runs

Andrew Dancer has been at it again - this time winning at Kielder Dark Skies run ( where he raced twice in two nights back to back in the dark and recorded the fastest combined time and set a new course record too. The two events are stand alone races both selling out with 400 entries. Saturday Night was 26.5 miles, with Andrew finishing in 3hr 16 (6th) and backed it up on Sunday night with another 14 miles - 1hr 45 (6th) . Andrew wasn't the only one commited (bonkers?) enough to do the double and 40 runners did both but Andrew's combined time of 5hr 02mins for over 40 miles put him half an hour ahead of 2nd. Huge congratulations, and I hope he has a good rest now!
Andrew also holds the course record for the 26.5 mile race (on it's own) which he won last year, when not doubling up.

The Dark Skies Run @ Kielder Double results here:
Maybe Andrew is in there!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Cairngorm Guide by Dave Gaffney's Dad

A walking guide (nothing to stop you running…) in the Cairngorms area has just recently printed by St Columba’s Hospice for sale in their shops and online here
It is written by Dave Gaffney’s Dad, Michael Gaffney who sadly passed away last week. All proceeds going to St Columba’s Hospice, based in Edinburgh which ‘strives to ensure everyone within our community has access to excellent palliative care whoever they are, wherever they are and whenever they need it.’
Dave’s Dad was there for his last few months and the care was “brilliant”.
If you interested in getting a copy it is £5. You can either contact Dave directly
or you can order on the hospice website but if you do that that then choose Collection rather than postage option as Dave can pick them up and you’ll avoid paying £4 for postage.

Forward by Dave

Monday, 19 March 2018

Seniors Members Races Round up early March

Ruth McKean was racing at the Gartmorn 6 miler on Sunday 11th March. The race is mostly a trail race round the Gartmorn Dam, next to Alloa and Sauchie in Clackmannanshire.
Ruth was 1st female (and 1st female vet), 7th overall out of a field of almost 200, again another great result from Ruth - she consistently performs at this high standard that we are in danger of being blasé about her winning!!
Full results:

Sam MacNeil was racing on Saturday, 10th March at the Heriot-Watt Round the Grounds 5km. Sam has recently started training again and joined Strava and has been smashing segment Course Records all over Peebles. He enjoyed the race:
“First race back in over a year out! Loved being back 🏃 12th place wasn’t too shabby”
Full results:

Andrew Dancer was racing in Northumberland on Saturday night, 17th March, in the High Fells of Thrunton Night Trail Race (9 miles and 1,600 feet of climb). He described the conditions as:  “Snow and minus 9 wind chill. Bogs, ice and blizzards.” Despite this he won, by loads! Top performance Andrew!
According to the organiser’s report on Facebook “Andrew Dancer clearly smashed it out of the park with a massive 9 minute margin. Hats off!” well there’s no arguing with that.
Full results:

Andy Cox finished in a fantastic second place at Criffel Hill race (11km, 550m climb) on Sunday 18 March. The race was won by Matthew Sullivan of Shettleston Harriers. Full results:
Apparently the area south of Moffat was spared the snow. Superb first race of the year for Andy.

Alan Elder was in action at Chapelgill on Saturday, usually a race that attracts a small ‘select’ field (40 ran in 2017) but this year it was the first race in the SHR championship so there was a high quality field with 130 racing despite the bitter cold and bracing wind - lucky it was the before the dump of snow that came later that day or undoubtedly it would have had to have been called off. Alan ran in his first 'post virus run' - he was bedded for 3 days up to the Thursday before the race and it was a case of 'let's just do it' and was glad to manage it given the circumstances.
Full results:

Scott, Kenny and Colin had to been due to race at Alloa half marathon although that was cancelled due to bad weather.
Last and not least Magnus turned 40 and although the celebrations meant that he wasn’t going to be racing he did have a brilliant cake with a figure of Magnus in his Moorfoot vest and his ever decreasing PBs in icing!! Happy birthday Magnus (and thanks to Caroline for the cake).
Magnus with wains hanging onto his ankles!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Annual General Meeting + Franco's meal - FRI 23rd MARCH

Moorfoot Runners AGM + Franco’s meal   - 23rd March – 7pm County Inn

The Annual General Meeting of the Moorfoot Runners is being held on Fri 23rd March at the County Inn, Peebles  at 7pm .
By popular request we are also booking a table at Franco’s restaurant afterwards for 8:30pm.
This ensures the formal proceedings wont drag on too long  !!

Membership numbers this year are at record levels (over 100 in total) and we can now claim to have both an active senior and junior section.

We would really encourage everyone to attend , we are looking for some fresh faces to join the committee ( in any capacity) and would welcome input into how the club is run. 

To help track numbers for both the AGM and the Franco’s meal could you sign up on the attached doodle poll link:-

If you could tick the appropriate boxes – eg: if planning to come to both AGM and Meal then click  the 7pm and 8:30pm boxes , if AGM only then just the 7pm box.


Eddie Balfour

Club Treasurer

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Glentress Trail Races Report - 24th & 25th February

Paul Nichol report from Facebook for the Saturday Races (Half Marathon & 10km)
Thought I'd put a wee word down about the Glentress Half (12.6 miles?) on Saturday where we had 3 Moorfoots representing, Alexandra Nisbet, Colin Williams and me. We were able to get a photo at the start and then Colin was off like a rat up a drainpipe. I managed to run some of the way with Alex which was nice. I thought I would be smart and try and reccy the course on the previous Wednesday but clearly my map reading skills are still rubbish as most of the route up to the Buzzards nest was a surprise. After that was better although there was a lot of climb and we hit the snow line close to the mast where the descent begun properly. Although there were a few surprise climbs thrown in by the course. Good to hit the downhill from the buzzards nest and hit the finish in 2.05. Looking at the results Alex was 14th F in 2.06 and Colin was 10th and 1st MV40 in 1.40. I was 6th MV 50 which is some kind of PB for me. All in all a good day for the club with Ruth McKean coming in as 1st F in the 10K.

Colin adds:
These races are proving very popular with almost 1,000 racing the three events over the weekend!

Ruth McKean excelled again winning the 10km in 44:58 - 1st woman, 3rd overall according to the results, but awarded 1st prize overall as first to finish the course properly. The two in front did a detour.

Also racing on the Sunday in his first race as a Moorfoot was Simon Hammond racing the two lap marathon, finishing in a very credible 15th place in a time 4:16:07.  The second lap is the killer - I did it in 2016 so can testify. Well done!

Full results:
Half Marathon, (2,500ft, 750m ascent) 478 ran

10km, (1,000 ft, 330m ascent) 285 ran

Marathon, (5,000ft, 1,500m ascent - OUCH!) 170 finishers + 13 DNF,

Photos can be found via the race organisers Facebook page

Alex, Colin & Paul before the start
Colin & Ruth at the finish
Marathoners at the summit on the Sunday - Could be Simon, who knows?

Monday, 26 February 2018

Eildon 3 peaks 10 Miler - 2018

Sunday morning, saw a glorious day in Melrose, for this year’s Eildon 10 Miler.

A sharp blast up Eildon North, to Mid, to Easter – then down to Bowden and on to St Cuthbert’s way – cutting though Newtown St Boswells and north along the banks of the Tweed, crossing the A68 and back along the old railway line to the Rhymer’s Stone and a fast blast down to the original start point – opposite Priorswalk. 


Well - not quite…

A band of 118 set off on the initial climb up past Oakendean House, where, a short distance ahead, a right hand turn is taken at the first treeline to take runners up onto Eildon North.

However, the front half of the pack ran past this, seemingly unmarshalled turn, and headed out on what would be the route for ‘The Melrose Christmas Pudding Race’.

I am confused at this point – we are 300 meters past the turn, heading over the top of the hill. I know it is wrong but follow the pack. I begin to imagine that they have altered the course and perhaps I had been in the loo when some major change had been announced. I am the only one who didn’t get the message? I panic - thinking I have signed up for a different race or somehow I have missed the last 10 months. I panic again. Not because it is a different race but because I haven't yet  bought any Christmas presents!

A marshal then shouts from lower down the hill. The front end turns back and we all head down hill – hard work. Even harder for the group that were leading.

There is then some very difficult bottlenecking due to all the ‘faster’ runners now trying to pass - as the runners who were taking things at a more leisurely pace - are now at the front. (They got the message to divert up the first treeline)  Those who were in the lead are still passing others, half way up the first Eildon.

It’s a slippery slog to the top but a good blast down to Eildon two and then a ride down the scree and up to hill three. Not feeling too bad at this point and have a good run down to Bowden – picking off 10 or so runners.

I pass my mate Luis from Lauderdale Limpers as he stops for a drink at Bowden. He calls me something like ’a squeaky custard’ but, the wind was blowing and perhaps I misheard him? He then gives chase.

Me and the Mr Molero (Pic courtesy of Rachel M)

The St Cuthbert’s Way section is a good chance to stretch out a bit and I manage to pass another couple of runners by St Boswells. I reccied the course the week before and found a few ‘drier’ lines along the waterside - which prove beneficial and I manage to make up another two places.

A tough final slog from the golf course over the A68 and up to the Rhymer’s Stone. I know I am close to my previous time and thrash down the final road section passing another 3 runners – checking my watch as I go.

I don’t get a good look at my watch as cross the line as my body has other priorities – I thought I had dipped under by 3 or 4 seconds but the time given shows me 7 seconds over last years’ time.

And – 33rd – same as last year!

However, with the ‘additional section’ – this probably equates to a 3 minute or more PB!

A good day out! 

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Lurgy/injury hit juniors at the Nationals

Despite both the Peebles lurgy and injury impacting on some performances, there were still some pretty decent showings from the Moorfoot juniors at the National XC Champs at Callendar Park, Falkirk on Saturday. Unlike recent years, it was perfect conditions, a dry week and marginally sub-zero overnight temperature combining to provide good running ground, and the slight breeze having little impact in the sunny conditions other than keeping things on the chilly side of mild.

With two lurgy related call-offs in the morning, three or four running who had suffered a lurgy interrupted prep over the last ten to fourteen days, at least one who ran a tad below par, quite possibly due to the impending onset of the lurgy, one running through a niggling injury, and an ankle twist causing one DNF, it wasn't a day when the Moorfoot heather was set alight, but hats off to all those who rose to the challenge of competing in the National Champs in muckle big fields on a muckle tough course.

Best finisher on the day was Beth Hobbs who ran strongly considering she was one of those only just recovered from the lurgy, finishing 14th of 44 in a time of 26.47 in the U17 Women's race over 6km. Beth is still in that same age-group next winter. A tad below par in that race, and complaining of feeling a bit off form, was Mairi Wallace who crossed the line 25th in 28.41. Judging by mum Angela's still evident nasty bout of the lurgy, it would be no surprise if Mairi is next in their household to succumb!

First race of the day was the U13 Girls race over 3.1km and unfortunately a technical problem with the chip timing means no results have been published yet. I'd guess the three Moorfoot finishers -Christina McGorum, Holly Hobbs and Maddie Collins (in that order) - were all inside the top half. Emily Carrick-Anderson was a lurgy hit non-runner and unfortunately Esme Minto twisted an ankle and was a DNF. She was hobbling manfully (sexist?) along on one good leg when passing yours truly with 1200m and the hill still to go, so the shepherd's crook was deployed to pull her out.

The U13 Boys were kept champing at the bit on the start line for a good 10 minutes while the technical problem was sorted, then were off at a rate of knots like pent up bullocks! In a field of 188 finishers Ben Allan was just inside the top half in 79th in 13.16. Angus Carlyle was racing on the back of limited training due to ongoing heel and knee pain and did well to finish, coming home 116th in 13.54 and Jake Lockyer had his usual spirited finish and was just ten places back in 14.10. Patrick Cannon was another lurgy hit non-runner.

The Under 15 Girls raced over 4.1km with Charlotte Morrison leading the Moorfoot trio home in 75th in 18.41. Eilidh Mooney was next home in 92nd in 19.10 and Megan Hobbs kept on well for 106th in 19.35.

Finally in the U17 Men's race over 6km Euan Hood (Lasswade vested) and Craig Angus both produced solid consistent runs after bouts of the lurgy, Euan finishing 37th in 23.47 and Craig 47th in 24.34.

Well done all.

Photo shows Ben, Jake and Angus on the start line, seemingly intrigued by the Gala pairs' pre-race Japanese meditation. Mind you it served them well - 167 floated to bronze and 169 zenned his way to 31st.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Strathaven Striders 'Run with the Wind' Half Marathon 2018

Results here...

Magnus and Kenny were through at Strathaven for this years Run with the Wind Half Marathon, a good checkpoint on how the training is progressing on the way to Spring Marathons.

Benign conditions this year, in what can sometimes be a windswept and snowy course climbing up to and passing the Whitelees Wind Farm, on the south edge of East Kilbride.
A tough course, with a couple of long draggy climbs, but enough downhills to recover on and get some faster splits back in the bag again.

Magnus - another HM PB, at 1:26:40 and 20th place; a strong, well paced run...

Kenny - possibly a PB (?) in 1:26:02, and chasing down the overall V50 winner at the finish, but coming up 5 secs short.

Definitely a recommended race, with good organisation and catering post race....

Gala XC - Borders Series Round 6

The latest instalment of the Borders Cross Country took part in Galashiels on Sunday.
Doddie Weir was there receiving a £2,500 cheque on behalf of his Motor Neuron Disease charity.
The race started by Doddie to the sound of bagpipes and a rendition of O' Flower of Scotland (both verses!).
Good showings from the juniors:
Category Category Placing Name Time
F8-9 6 Ava Mooney 14:25.4
F10-11 5 Sophie Logan 14:46.9
F12-13 5 Kate Harvie 14:11.4
M10-11 6 Ben Allan 12:10.9
M10-11 9 Danny Lancaster 12:22.6
M10-11 11 Joshua Duncan 12:23.9
M10-11 14 Kainui Keen 12:45.8
M10-11 15 Cameron Carlyle 12:46.4

In the senior race Mike McGovern was first club member home in 25:03(? one place ahead of Colin for overall 27th and age 8th but his number fell off so not in the results), Colin Williams (28th, 9th M40 25:20) and Mike Pearson (2nd M70).

Provisional results:

Radio Borders Video and interview with Doddie Weir

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Scottish Schools Bronze for Ailsa - Charlotte done out of a place in the final - PB for Euan

There was a brilliant bronze medal for Ailsa Innes in the PHS vest at the Scottish Schools Indoor Champs Over-16 800m today at The Emirates in Glasgow. Having won her heat with a controlled and fairly comfortable race, she lined up in what was due to be a hot final knowing that a well executed race would put her in with a chance of a medal. Settling in fourth early on, she moved into third with two laps to go as the front two favourites stretched into a good lead. They continued their ding-dong battle right to the line with Ailsa running strongly in behind but never close enough to threaten gold or silver. But she put good daylight between her and the rest to maintain a 10m gap back to fourth and safely secure the bronze in a very even-paced time of 2.15.49.

Also running in the same event was Charlotte Clare who ran the third fastest qualifying time across the four heats but was denied a place in the final by virtue of the very odd qualification rule used by SSAA for this race alone which saw only the first two in each of the four heats qualifying with no provision for fastest losers. All the other 800m age-groups' qualifications were based on a strict time ranking across all the heats, ironically a process which saw an inexperienced Charlotte miss out on the U16 final last year despite comfortably winning her heat. Normally, if not using this "time trial" qualification system, for four heats down to eight qualifiers, you would expect the qualification to be heat winners plus the four fastest losers. But SSAA, at only 30 minutes notice when posting the heat draw, confirmed it would be just the first two in each heat, leaving Charlotte with a mountainous task in the strongest of the heats, Heat 4, against two others with PBs of 2.12. That is fully five seconds quicker than Charlotte's PB of 2.17. But she gave it a real go off a very fast early pace, going through the first 200m one second ahead of her planned pace in order to keep in touch with the qualifying positions. The rest were nowhere. She had to push hard to try and stay in contact - the right thing to do for sure - but couldn't match the pace of the front two and as she tired over the last 100m her time slipped a few tenths of a second outside her PB and she crossed the line third in 2.17.99. Word was that the front two, which included the eventual gold medallist, were also unhappy at the qualification process and the fact that CC pushed them into running such a hard heat whilst the other medal contenders had been able to cruise their qualification in times 5-10 seconds slower.

So despite such a gutsy quality performance Charlotte was out - or was she? When the results were posted, they showed qualification based on the four heat winners and four fastest losers, with the sought-after "q" next to CC's name as the fastest loser by miles. Clearly the official who was doing the results knew what the qualification process should have been! However, with SSAA having clearly stated prior to the heats, albeit with only 30 minutes notice, that it was first two and no fastest losers, and with several second placed runners clearly not racing all-out to the line in their heat, it was correct, but unfortunate for CC, that they reverted to the qualification process that had originally been notified and amended the list of qualifiers accordingly. Just to rub a bit more salt into Charlotte's wounds, the second placed finisher from her heat failed to line up for the final, maybe feeling the effects of her hard-run heat on the back of two 1500m races the previous day. Fourth in the final behind Ailsa was a lass who finished a good few metres behind Charlotte ten days ago at the U17 National Champs.

Reaching the final was Charlotte's pre-race target and whilst the black and white results will show that she didn't, she knows that she posted a performance well deserving of doing so and may well have finished fourth in the final.

Also racing on what looked to be, apart from the 800m qualification blip, a well run event, was Euan Hood who, on the back of a week's illness and losing his voice (a beneficial side effect said Brian!), ran two excellent races yesterday in the 1500m and today in the 800m with a two-second plus PB of 2.05.00.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Moorfoot’s hosted round of the Borders XC series in Peebles

Sunday saw the Peebles leg of the Borders cross country roll into Haylodge park.

Firstly many thanks to all marshals and helpers involved for a very well organised and run event, especially to Mike Pearson, Eddie Balfour and Gregor Nicholson whose input is key.

Some great times and running on a difficult course at its slickest, with mud virtually everywhere in sparkling sunshine.

A total of 114 runners finished the junior race. Lots of runners in the colourful kids race over a hilly course round the park. Full Junior results at:
East Lothian 16-year-old Fraser Kelly won the junior race after leading from the start. Fionn Hollingsbee finishing seventh for the Moorfoots. Mussleburgh's Flora Henry triumphed in the girls' race, winning the sprint for the line from Beth Hobbs of Peebles.

A total of 189 runners completed the senior four-and-a-bit miles course. Carnethy's Eoin Lennon yet again showed he is a class above by maintaining his unbeaten record this winter on the Borders Series.
With so many on marshal duty only two Moorfoots were in action in the senior race, Colin Williams in 22nd (6th M40; 28:47) and then Alan Elder, (14th M50; 34:33). Both had helped set the course the day before and were glad to have had the chance to test their tree jumping skills to negotiate the fallen trunk blocking the path near Neidpath Castle and avoid some especially squelchy sections.

Photos here: Thanks to Alex Corbett (Teviotdale Harriers)

 Report inspired by   Peeblesshire News / Ian Munro - thanks

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Borders XC - Race Number Collection

If you entered back in October but Peebles is your first race, you need to collect your race number from Rosemary Scott's car which will be parked just inside the gate into Hay Lodge park opposite Kingsland Primary School, close to the start. It is a grey Suzuki Splash NJ13 AXK.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Borders XC Series - PEEBLES Leg SUN 4th FEB

Course information for this Sunday's cross country in Peebles

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Peebles Outdoor Film Festival Run and Talk

The Moorfoots were happy to help with the run on Saturday led my club mate Lucy Colquhoun - champion ultra runner extraordinaire - as part of the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival. The route is here:

Shortly after Lucy and Ruth McKean were part of the Going the Distance session with other Moorfoot members in the audience listening and watching this intriguing session.

Lucy also aired her wee film showing a more low-key approach to running

Monday, 22 January 2018

Feel the Burns Hill Race Sunday 21st January

Colin Williams, Paul Nichol, and Alan Elder took part in an extremely snowy Feel the Burns Hill Race on Sunday. The course was shortened this year due to the recent heavy snow fall but still covered 7.6miles with an elevation gain of over 1,900 feet.

In addition Pete Hall was there marshalling as member of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue, in which the race profits were given to as a donation to support the fabulous and essential work the TVMR does. And later that night having spent hours on the hill they were called out to rescue on the Southern Upland Way that didn't finish til 5am. Hats off!

Race Organiser report:
Due to the extreme weather we have had over the last week, the decision was taken to shorten the route. Weather forecast was for more heavy snow and the course already had a huge amount of snow on it! All the feedback was that it was the correct decision and the shorter route still proved to be a cracker! the results reflect the amended, shorter route.
We had quite a few call offs due to the forecast and people not keen to travel but pleased to still get 197 turn up!

The race was won by HBT's Doug Tullie 1:09:21. The snow would have slowed the leaders down relatively speaking as they were breaking track for a lot of it. Results:

Colin Williams
Moorfoot Runners
Paul Nichol
Moorfoot Runners
Alan Elder
Moorfoot Runners

The Carnethy website summed the the race up perfectly - Conditions were very difficult. Slippery snow quite deep in places, and hard to keep on the barely beaten track. In the most drifted places the passage of runners did little to create a path and the deep foothills threw you all over the place.
The front runners must have had a very hard time. So the decision to shorten the course was absolutely right. It was still a hard 7.6 miles, though it looked much shorter on the map compared to the full route. The hideously calorific haggis pie after certainly went down well!

It was a lot whiter than that on Sunday!
Bring on next year! Photos being added here:
At the moment this is the only Moorfoot action shot I can find

The snow was falling during the race - Colin lurking in the blizzard