Sunday, 8 January 2012


Paxton House outside Berwick today for leg 5 of the Borders XC series.
A beautiful venue for a race and a shame to see that it too hadn't fully escaped the effects of last Tuesday's high winds.
What a difference from last year though. 52 weeks ago this course was frozen solid! This year while there was a light chill in the air at one point it felt quite mild for most of the pre race warm up.

Met up with most of the Dunbar crew in the car park and had a bit of a blether and catch up. Then headed off for a bit of a warm up. During which we saw the junior race pass by. Pass by at a very interesting point.... after a circuit of a field the runners had to pass through a gate. A gate very close to a part of the field where I suspect cattle get fed. Obviously the cows congregate to feed and do what else comes naturally. There appeared to be a six inch deep "puddle" of mud and/or shit (certainly it smelled of the latter).
The marshalls were telling the runners "just go for it" - and most of them did. Quite a few lost shoes as well!
I probably didn't help by shouting "go on.. your Mum will clean your shoes for you".

We continued with the warm up and I went back and warned the others of this "obstacle". I took the precaution before the race of re-doing my laces just that little bit tighter - and triple knotting them.
Quite funny really as I clocked quite a few runners today sporting lovely new cross country shoes (obviously Santa has been busy). It's amazing the really bright colours and pretty designs that they make these things, and you wonder "why?" they're going to be covered in glore in about half a mile anyway.
Mind you.. some runners seem to have more shoes than  Imelda Marcos.

Quite a sizable turnout for the race.
At the shitty gate I noticed that most runners were going around. However, I followed Ian R's example and just charged through it. It gained us valuable seconds... but then again just about everybody that I managed to pass at that point got away from me again.

The course had changed from last year and there was a nice riverside section that I'm sure we didn't do before. I enjoyed that bit, but the climb out of the little valley that it was in seemed to take it out of me and I never really recovered.
Finished in 22:41. Most importantly that's me done 4 races so I now qualify for my commemorative horse brass.

Strange smell in the car on the way home though.... for all the world like cow shit. Maybe was the cross country shoes this week.

No comments: