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The Manor Water Hill race

11/10/2014

On Saturday 11th, Mo Khan continued his love affair with Scottish hill races when he travelled to Peebles to take part in the Manor Water hill race. Mo reports...

"This past weekend, Carnethy Hill Running Club hosted the ‘Man or Mouse’ challenge. This involves competing in the Manor Water hill race on Saturday followed by the Pentland Skyline race on Sunday. Not for a second did I entertain the thought of running both, and was resigned from the outset that my efforts of the weekend would only ever win me the accolade of ‘mouse’!

Having raced this a couple of years ago, I have both good and bad memories of the event. It was the first time I raced against Ranjit (he well and truly beat me then, and still continues to do so!). The weather on that occasion was pretty miserable, with rain and strong winds for company for the whole 10 miles and 2,000ft of the race. Thankfully the weather was much better this time - patches of blue sky, sunshine, and not even a hint of wind.

The race starts near Kirkton Manor, where there is a sheepdog trial on the same day. In fact, the sheep were observing the kit check from their pens, which are just a few meters away from the start line. What must they have been thinking as they watched us run off? The race is an out and back route, with the terrain including energy sapping grass, greasy mud, and annoying heather. The gradients are not too steep until the Scrape is reached at mile 4. Then it's time for hands on knees power walking until the summit. The inward leg was really enjoyable running, and I made up a handful places here.

The race was won by Graham Nash of Carnethy in 1 hr 15 mins. Joanne Thom was first lady in 1 hr 24 mins. I came home in 1 hr 54 mins, shaving off over 12 minutes from my last effort here. The bottle of Broughton ale to each finisher was much appreciated, as was Adam Anderson senior’s enthusiastic cheering".

Mo.

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