Sunday, 4 December 2011


Down to Peebles this morning for the fourth race in the Borders XC series and even the weather was "cross countryish". Snow!!
Not a lot to be honest (it wasn't lying), but it did snow while we were running and it was just enough to make it feel like "proper" conditions for a four mile trot round a muddy course. It also added a slightly "festive" air to the last race before Christmas (pleased about that if I'm honest - I want my weekends back!).
Anyway. The race itself has a bit of everything. Starts with a large loop around the park, to allow the runners to pick up a bit speed, before shooting them off onto a tricky, narrow, rocky, rooted, twisty path that runs along by the riverside. This narrow section is not one to try to gain a place or two.
After that you find yourself on an open flat plain before doubling back over a disused railway bridge and then into a nice forest trail that offers you a bit shelter from the wind - though punishes you by being a deceptive incline!
Out here into a muddy field, a tricky sharp left turn and then a long climb. The sort of climb that you think "it's not that steep that I need to walk ... but it's steep enough to hurt". Into the woods again briefly, before you emerge into a filed with a long muddy descent.
The last half mile or so sees you approach the finish along a path that is six inches deep in cloying mud with a wafer thin layer of leaf mulch on top for added slipperiness!
Time and place was "so so" (28:57).
Had to stand about till the end to collect the numbers and times from the timekeepers, so I had a good natter with Romie from Norham. 185 senior runners today (with about 280 registered for the series). This event is getting more popular every year attracting more clubs and a better field.

Might not be quite this white now.

Got home and rattled the results off, then went for my shower! By which time the Peebles mud was rock solid, or at least what hadn't fallen into the foot well of the car on the way home was.
As some may know I'm of the opinion that a chap's toiletries collection should consist of; soap, a toothbrush, a razor, deodorant, and bugger all else! Also if these items can be purchased from PoundLand or Lidl - all the better!!
However, I'm not averse to using stuff that belongs to others. Anne's got some of these nylon scrumpled net things (it looks like an old sprouts bag all scrunched up). Anyway, give the muddy legs a good soap then a vigorous scrubbing with one of those things and it soon shifts the toughest of cross country mud! Lovely.

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