Monday, 19 November 2012



There’s nowt like a cross country race to get you all sweaty, snotty and grubby feeling…. And sometimes you don’t even have to run it.

Dunbar’s leg of the Borders XC yesterday and I was on duty to help out. Trouble was I’d been struck by the lurgy. One of those “smart” lurgy virus’s that’s been developed. The ones that linger, linger, linger all bloody week – and then strike fast at 4:30 pm on Friday L

Knew it was going to be a grotty day when I broke into a sweat simply climbing into the shower in the morning.

Anyhoo. Getting out on such a beautiful day with nice crisp cold air was probably the tonic I needed.

We got down there pretty sharp and I was soon out with the two Andys and Stuart S marking out our section of the course that the Über Führer had designated to us (out towards the lighthouse). It didn’t take too long and I was soon jogging my way back to the start.

Bleedin’ hell. Where there had been about three cars when I left there were now about fifty times that and the place was absolutely buzzing with runners. The Borders XC series has really taken off these past few years (deservedly so).

I always worry that the Dunbar race in the series is a bit flat and monotonous in comparison with some of the others. But, you can only work with what you’ve got, and the runners seemed to find it OK. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of runners registering, we had to delay the start of both the junior and senior race. By the time we were starting the senior race I was starting to worry, as the tide had turned and was starting to encroach on some of the markers that had been put out. A quick dash out by Brian to move the stakes “inland”, and all was well.


By the time I got home and did a first draft of the results it was pretty dark. The cold wasn’t any better and I still had that clammy, manky, sweaty feel that the cold brings with it. All sensible indicators that a run should be the last thing on my mind……


So there I was. Six o’clock at night, head torch on out for a wee five mile bimble.

Discovered a wee game to play. Now admittedly given that you need a bit of a chest cold and be out running in the dark with a head torch, opportunities to play this are going to be a bit limited. Basically, the cold offers loads of chances for really throaty, hefty, phlegmy, gobbing, and I was running round amusing myself trying to “follow” the trajectory of the gob in the beam of my head torch. At one point I was following one particularly heavy gob as it soared majestically over a hedge…as I lost sight of it and turned my head forwards again my beam of light suddenly reflected back at me from six really bright orbs.

FECK!! My first thought was something on the road that was coming towards me and I jumped to the verge at the side to let it/them/whatever pass (that’ll teach me to play stupid games and not keep an eye on where I’m going).

I stood and waited…and waited..and waited. The glowing discs still shone back at me, with the odd flicker and bit of movement.

This was no vehicle (or if it was it was VERY slow moveing). And then ….”moo”.

I edged forward.  Jeeze three coos that had go out their field and were standing three abreast across the narrow road. Don’t know who got the bigger fright, me or them. Though judging by what I slipped in at one point, I’ll say them (or at least one of them). Took quite a while of very slow progress before I managed to get by them and was able to get home.

Not a fast run, by any means, but a strange one.

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