Thursday, 20 June 2013

Red Moss Revolution, 19/06/13

Warm up was on the raised walkway over the Red Moss

There are few things worth missing the Wednesday night club session for. This, however, is one of them. Especially when the bog cotton is out and the sun is going down. To encourage non car attendance, bikers (and bussers) were offered free entry. I bought my entry the week before then biked there (via Fairmilehead past a job estimate). However I didn't ask for the entry fee back as it was so little for so much.

 Along the tarmac...

...and up Beech Avenue

I warmed up on the raised walkway round the Red Moss. I shouted to another runner there, that it should really be incorporated into the race, such is the joy of flying over the tussocky ground in an elevated state. And the white fluffies were out making the place magical.

Harry forges ahead on the ups.

and Jim

Jamie Thin organiser is so laid back it's fascinating to see him push the boundaries of sedate. He arrived later than half the runners, then after quickly passing out numbers, assigning marshals and giving a quick route description set us off. And it all worked perfectly. We've been running this route for a few years now and most of the front pack seemed to know the way. Not that I had visual contact after Beech Avenue.

my shadow (with camera)

the Green Cleugh

I began to drift back at the top there then once properly off road maybe ten folk went past on the way to the summit of Hare Hill, the highest point of the race. It's easy to see runners' strengths. Harry G usually gets ahead on the ups but then steps aside for the descents. Jim H only goes past me towards the top but can match my pace on the descents making him pretty impossible to catch. I try to put him off as we approach the Green Cleugh, shouting that I am filming and a big spill would be appreciated. He does not oblige and I turn the camera off as we cross the knee deep stinky brown. Shame, as the guy on my right does that beginners trick (been there and got the t-shirt) of running fast into the slurry which removes his legs from under and he goes belly flopping in.

Another ascent on the climb up to Black Hill and the last time I catch Charlotte M with the camera pointed backwards. Oh and here comes Aidy who gets a bit ahead as the ground levels off and we are faced with the long gradual downhill to the end of the reservoir. At first I just take pics of Adrian bombing along but then I seem to be overtaking him and the guy in the blue shirt and as we sweep down the last couple of corners I almost catch Jim at the stile.

Over the steps and across the reservoir and although I feel fine, the headwind takes any oomph out my sails and I can only watch as Jim and Adrian run ahead. The long path beside the reservoir is a chore and I try not to drop any further places. First gate open second climbed – can't remember how I got across here without whacking the camera off the metal poles clambering over. Up the hill to the finish which lies just around the corner. I think I cross the line just a few seconds over the 40 minutes. Which apart from a 42 in 2008 is about the usual time.

Going into the light at the line

I'm not keen on the up-hill ending but all things considered it's a great circuit. Aidy has nearly killed himself and is lying in the grass. Not advisable as the midgeys are out in force. I try to retrieve my pack but it's in Jamie's car, locked. Andrew suggests we do a warm down, eminently sensible, so himself, Keith and I go for a jog round the raised walkway again enjoying the low sun and bog cotton. 

Andrew chastises me for not wearing a club vest, so I ask him why he was 10mins slower than myself. Not sure why I didn't wear the PRC vest – I think the informality of the event doesn't require it. About 30 of the runners, Andrew and myself included, make our way down to Balerno village and the Grey Horse pub where a very fine soup and a very individual prize giving were dished out. A really nice surprise was meeting the Grey Horse owner and soup provider Paul Ng. In the early 80s Paul opened a restaurant come disco in Dalkeith and I did a lot of the signwriting for it. We spent a bit of time clubbing before clubbing was a thing – more just going late night drinking at dodgy establishments. Somehow along the way we lost touch so it was good to catch up.

Charlotte was first woman.

The prize giving was very amusing with Jamie asking who we thought might be in line for a prize. If winners weren't in attendance their booty was handed on to the next in line. Or Dick Wall. It was good to see a few of the non-usual-suspects take away a bottle and the audience deciding who merited a prize.

Big thanks to Jamie and family for their special brand of organisation. Everyone seemed to have great fun and it was a pure joy to run in the hills in these conditions. Which is why I had to risk running with the camera.

On the cycle home I was aware of a massive sunset going on just behind the road I was trying to not take my eyes off. Approaching the mound I finally stopped to get a photo although it doesn't really do justice. Superb night out.
Race results may or may not be up on the SHR site at some point.


  1. Tremendous report Peter. I almost feel like I've just run the race!

  2. Nice blog Peter (didn't realise you did one until yesterday - you must need a large bandwidth in your house!) and great report. Good to see Big Dickless still going strong. I heard he's into microlights and last time I checked, his status was "nearly a pilot". Oh well, if bumble bees can fly, there's still hope I suppose...

  3. Thanks Chris - missed chasing you over the last mile there.

    Billy: the Big Dickster was also back marker at the 7 Hills, and if he does the BR5 tonight will be on his third race of the week. (We're off to the WHW crewing.)