Monday, 4 November 2013

LAUDER (and a bit of Avant-Garde).

Running is a bit of a pain just now. Just as the rest of the running community skips happily into the cross country season – I go and hurt my foot.
Decided on Thursday that I would try a little bit of off-road to see how I got on. I was running home from Dunbar to the greater Woodhall conurbation and decided to go up and along the path that runs up from Doon Steadings to Spott Home Farm. Even going fairly gingerly it was painful.
Not exactly an “Oh-my-god-I-can’t-go-on” type of pain, but definitely an “ouch-ya-nippy-bustard” type of pain. Certainly enough pain to make me decide that Sunday’s opener of the Borders XC at Lauder was going to have to be scratched off my dance card
A great shame as “a” I really like the course, “b” it’s a Dunbar championship race and I wanted the points and “c” I wasn’t looking forward to going down to Lauder and thought that if least I’m getting a run out of it, it won’t be too bad.
This year the committee of the BordersXC decided to “cap” the number of runners. It was also decided to take entries on line rather than try to cope with hordes of runners on the day. Lauder isn’t too bad as we get access to a nice building, whereas some registration was previously done from a parked car – not an easy task.
Anyhoo. I had set up the online entries. It was popular. Entries went like hot cakes Some people didn’t get in. Sadly some who didn’t get in  got miffed/disgruntled/petty/fractious about the whole thing.
I was heading down to Lauder expecting at least one run in with an unhappy runner and possibly a confrontation with an entire horde of ‘em.
And it didn’t happen J Hurrah.

After a completely shitty week at work tending to the needs of brain dead, f-wit, parasitic, civil servants I really wasn’t in the mood for a run in with a cretin. So it was a great relief, as the morning went on, to realise that I was worrying unnecessarily.

The end result of the day couldn’t have been better. It was a good turnout, the weather was perfect and the course lived up to expectations and provided the runners with all you could wish for in a cross country race. There were hills. There was mud. There was ice cold water and there were muddy slopes to climb. Those lucky enough to be running seemed to enjoy it.
I just jogged along to a part of the course I thought was picturesque and took some photos (that I will share soon – honest).
Came home, rattled out the provisional results then went for my own run – on the beautiful flat(ish) roads around Innerwick. As I say the foot is fine on the road and I actually felt I was going round at a good pace and putting in quite an effort. Though that may have had a bit to do with the fact that my chosen run took me through a wooded area – right at the end of the run and I was eager to get there before the light was lost.

On Saturday I bought a new disc – John Coltrane and Don Cherry “The Avant Garde”. Recorded in 1960, but not released till 1966 it’s a bit of a gem. Coltrane had actually stopped recording with Atlantic by 66 and this was pretty much a release made up of previously unissued material.
My jazz “listening” has, I have realised, changed over the years. A lot of what I would have shied away from some years back I now really enjoy and find quite accessible. This offering was “avant-garde” back in the day, but it’s probably bordering on the main stream now. It's mostly the group playing Ornette Coleman tunes and one remarkable version of Monk's Bemsha Swing.
Charlie Haden on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums make up the group.
Not background music and it really needs to be “listened” to – but very rewarding.

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