Galashiels this morning for the third leg in the Borders Cross Country series. And once more we were blessed with beautiful blue skys and nice weather. Howling a gale mind - but at least it was blue skys.
However, it had rained the night before and the going was "soft" (for "soft" read downright squelchy and mud up to your dangly bits).
Brilliant!! If I'm going to do cross country at all that's how I want it to be!
Now. This is not a criticism - it's an observation. There were a lot of runners from the host club running the race today. Probably more than were marshaling. Which is a shame, because if the ratio had been a bit different, with more marshaling, perhaps we wouldn't have all taken the wrong route and missed out a sizable chunk of what was an excellent course.
Luckily however, everyone went wrong so the results still stand. But is was a shame I was enjoying it and it did seem to be over all too quickly. A couple of climbs that are pretty energy sapping at the best of times, but when your trying to run up hill into a strong wind it just makes it all the more challenging.
At one point a flock of sheep took fright and darted across the runners, right in front of me! I don't think it's correct "shepherding" terminology and would have probably lost me points if I'd ever been on "one man and his dog" but I did bellow at them to "F**K Off!"
A nice fast descent down the side of a field and then along the bottom to the part where we all went wrong.
Runners are, when alls said and done, rather stupid creatures. If one goes astray its fair to say that the remainder will just follow. Which is my defense. I was just following the runner in front of me and the guy behind me was just following me. But when we got to the part where everyone was clambering over a rather wobbly, crumbly dry stone wall even I thought "hang on, this cant be right". I was and it wasn't...everyone ended up missing about a mile out of the course. I also heard, after the event, that by the time 160 runners went over it there was a little less of the dry stoone wall than there was at the start.
At the end when word got round someone suggested that they "make them all do it again". I was up for that.
A very welcome cup of soup and a roll at the end before the journey home and the fun of trying to scrub all the mud off my legs.