This morning a group of us went down to Longyester to join HELP in their "Goat's Gallop" race. A beautiful 8 and a bit mile circuit that takes you up Lammer Law before heading down towards Hopes Reservoir and then back.
The first two miles is a steady climb up along a fairly well defined road/path before you head off onto the hill proper and make your way through the heather to the summit and turn around the trig point.
Then comes the bit I really don't like and can never get used to - the drop down to the reservoir. Bloody hell it's steep!
Ian, who I had set off with, had got a little ahead of me by the time we reached the top of the hill. However, by the time I had got about ten yards down the descent he was already at the bottom and galloping off into the distance.
Once down to the reservoir, and back onto road, I was OK and tried to put the foot down and catch Ian again. I was "eyeballs out" and managed a 5:50 mile at this point.... problem was -obviously so did Ian.
Got round a minute or so behind him, in 1:01:01 and was quite happy with that.
I couldn't understand though why we had passed so few runners (the runners set off in waves). Turns out that quite a few got a bit "disorientated" in the mist at the top of the hill and took an alternative route down.
No racing for me next weekend though. It's Dunbar's turn to host a leg of the Borders Cross Country. So I'll be on "running-about-with-a-clipboard-like-a-bad-tempered-old-git" duty.