Sunday, 18 December 2016

Borders XC Chirnside

photo Mark Kinghorn

First race in a while. I suspected I'd be a bit below par but you hope that running 3 times a week will be nearly as good as 5 or 6 and that maybe the hubris will allow you to keep up with those you ran with last season. But it doesn't. Not a disaster, but not a resounding success either.

I got a lift down with Graham N and his son Andrew who is competing in the juniors. We arrived in plenty time to get a good warm up and check out a fair bit of the course. Similar to previous years but tweaked slightly and possibly refined to improve it. 2 miles gradually downhill and along the old railway line then a couple back up. Mostly hard packed dirt and grassy trails with a few puddles and muddy patches to splosh through. A good run.


Then it was the seniors turn. I gave the camera to Andrew and he did well to capture the following photos. The start was fairly frantic with a fast downhill to a tight corner. Fergus on my left was feeling the pain of the previous day's xc but loped ahead in his distinctive style, wondering aloud if there was far to go. Someone shouted my surname just before the corner and I was trying to place the voice while not daring to take my eyes off the ground. It was Nick who shot past and forward to where Stewart W was leading the m50s. Stuart Hay was next past, followed by a regular stream of runners. I was gasping for air and felt I should probably ease back or I'd be dead in minutes.

Somewhere along the way I was overtaken by another couple of m50s and said hello to couple more pals as they went past too. I was working as hard if not harder than usual but going backwards through the field, which is less fun than it sounds. 

Thanks Mark Kinghorn.

After a long and arduous hike back up the fields I recognised the last couple of turns and tried to hold onto the place I had dropped back to. I saw fellow Porty Craig wasn't far behind and knew he'd be after my scalp. I made a last gasp attempt and managed to cross the line with a slim margin. I think the results say there was a whole second between us. However he nearly ended himself in trying and was bent double with the dry boak when I commiserated. It was a small but pleasing boost - thanks Craig. Wish a few more in my age category could act with a sympathetic performance instead of racing away ahead. Notably Mr. Hay who seems to be going FAR TOO WELL, and off-road isn't even his speciality. Curses. Nick also had a very good result and Graham notched up another impressive score in the v40 cat.

This photo Andrew took tells the story;
Craig approaching fast and furious!

Andrew also had a near death experience and was only just standing at the finish line.

So while my endurance is ok for knocking out 70 mile weekends it looks like I need to do a bit more ( a LOT more) short sharp training. Or quit going to races. I reluctantly signed up for the Promathon, slightly against my will, mainly because it is a PRC champs race and I daren't risk leaving my attendance in that till later. You never know when injury and laziness can strike. It's a hellish race when fit, I doubt  it's any better when you run like a punctured wheel. Meanwhile a little less red wine and a little more fast stuff. Jeezo sometimes I just hate this business. 

Top marks to all the marshals and organisers of this race (and series). If you have to get your ass whipped racing there is no better series in which to do it.

Porty minus Craig who was being stretchered off.
David had an excellent run finishing 5th


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