Sunday, 1 November 2015

Borders Series XC #1 Lauder

I just realised I was posting a picture of a church on a Sunday. In as much as it is also a picture of a moon and I'm not a practising lunatic. It's the blue sky I am selling. More superb weather. Warm and sunny. I took the gloves and hat but only out of habit. What a fabulous day!

In fact almost too good. I was wondering if I should have been doing November's TB run, some 30miler across the country, given just how outstanding the climate was today. However it was a pleasure to kick off the Borders Series Cross Country with Lauder and 4 miles of hilly countryside out the back of Lauder Primary School, up the hill, along the valley, up another hill and back round the playing field.

Mary got us there in plenty time leaving extra to pick up numbers and limber up with a looksee round the second half of the course where we bumped into these 3 reprobates. 

Steve impresses, showing how to deal with obstacles. He had a bit of a chest/cough thing going on and was a bit below par. I meant to ask him if he deployed this hurdling technique in the actual race.

Option 2: gate vault. This is what I did in the race although the dude ahead (who I thought was going to use the kissing gate) used the left side of the gate leaving me to struggle over the taller right side. As punishment I cut ahead of him on the downhill.

Mary wimped out and got 3 points for a refusal.

The second hill was less muddy than usual. 

There were 3 stream crossings, this being the first and longest.

On the way back to the start the juniors caught up with us. There is always a strong contingent of fast youngsters working hard at the Borders XC.

Fergus warming up. 
We will run past the trees at the top of the first long climb.

Good to see Steph racing
(even in the wrong vest) (although to be fair she now lives in the Borders)

Lots of folk to chat to. Then about midday we had a talk from the organiser who spoke about the route which was much the same as last time, then we were set off. I planned to go out quite hard, well, because it was a race. And because there were a LOT of runners squeezing onto some narrow paths and duckboards before going up the hill pretty much single file. Mr Limmer went past before the duckboards I think. Good to see Greg getting back to some sort of form after many months of Lyme Disease which gave him a much harder time than I got. He overtook going up the hill although stayed in the vicinity and I got just ahead before the downhill proper started. 

Thanks to Danielle for this photo. She must have been right there with us although I didn't see her! Good attendance from Bellas.
I was going to carry the camera, what with the weather being so good. However I took plenty of shots on the recce and felt I might want hands free for vaulting gates etc. Or falling in streams. Couldn't believe nobody was taking photos at the first stream jump, as someone was bound to fall in. Mark F wasn't running so was taking photos towards the top of the first hill and again later (how did he do that?) Halfway along the stream section I caught a distant view of Stewart W first m50. Like way too distant! I spent quite a bit of this section directly behind A Gilmore. I'm sure he was I Gilmore earlier but then in the heat of the oxygen deprived moment they somehow swapped. Both were running and I'm pretty sure both finished a bit ahead but how they did that swapping thing I've no idea. Maybe I should have carried a camera. Harry was out on the course taking photos! He would know!

Steve being chased down by Steph!

Mary had a good run.
Her blog here

How to deal with background photobombers!
Also photoshopped: Amy's vest. Glad to hear Amy's ankles survived better this year.
see original photo on Mary's blog.

The organiser asked me at the end if I enjoyed it. I said it was a great course and weather although I think I denied actual enjoyment. I think I have to wait about the same time as it takes before I can manage something to eat, before the enjoyment factor appears. (Half an hour?) It's so full on that it is nearer trauma than enjoyment, although after a short while, yes of course it is enjoyable in retrospect. Once your lungs and legs recover a tad. I was faster than last year but this is no great revelation as I ran Glen Ogle 33 the day before last year. (So should have been more than a minute faster today.) However it was great fun and everyone was full of very cheery banter all the way home. Quality hot showers. Great day out. Magic course and weather. And Scouts washing shoes! Looking forward to the rest of the series.

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