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Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

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Frank's Valentine Run 2017

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Criffel Hill Race 2017

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Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

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Frank's Valentine Run

14/02/2018

On Sunday 11th February 49 runners, walkers, helpers and weans made their way to Frank Skachill’s house at Glenmidge for the annual Valentines run.

The weather forecast had been for snow, however when over 40 runners set off with the choice of routes from 3 to 12 miles conditions were cool but dry.

All the routes start with a long climb up Hallidayhill, which certainly wakes up the legs and lungs, before a further climb up a grassy path past some ruins. It’s at this point you realise you’re going to be going through mud and water at various points en-route so do you try and go round it? or else just get on with getting the feet wet and dirty right away.

After crossing some fields the route takes you down through a wood and a field back to the road at the ruins of Lagg Tower. If you look back to the woods at this point you can see the shape of a battle axe in the woods which is thought to be connected to Grierson of the Lagg.

This is one of the points where it’s possible to head back to Glenmidge having done about 3 miles.

A left turn onto the road to Dunscore for about half a mile then left onto the (in)famous concrete road. This leads to Dempsterton Farm and is long and steep with several false summits and the odd smattering of cow ‘mud’ to avoid. Most people have a wee walk on sections of this.

Once through Dempsterton Farm it’s across a field, a gate, a field with bulls, then another gate. This is where your feet, calves and in some cases your knees definitely get wet and muddy. Bad choice for new trainers. As always Frank promises that ‘next year’ he will do something about draining this swamp. Aye right!!

Hitting the road again it’s a good place to take muddy feet selfies and stop for sweeties and rehydration before a short downhill section on road then a left turn takes you past Drum. It gets quite steep here because you are now heading for High Drum and Swyre. Another wee walking section or for the lactate acid gluttons a slow jog.

It’s relatively downhill from here along a farm track back to the road at Lagg House where a right turn takes you to Glenmidge for about 6/7 miles completed.

For those carrying on there is a section on road with yet another long, steep hill to Kirkbride Farm and then right onto another farm track with more mud to avoid or plough through. Then it’s more climbing up a grassy track called Stanum Lane. This has several gates you need to climb. Someone had thoughtfully put barbed wire along the top of one of the gates as an additional hazard!!

From here, it’s past Hillhead and another road section downhill all the way to Glenhead. At this point it’s a short run downhill to the food heaven of Glenmidge or for those daft enough to do some more it’s onwards upwards to Barrhill, the phone mast and then down into Blackwood Forest. Out of the forest then right and up another hill on the road to the entrance to Moat Farm. This year there was the addition of a water hazard with the road being completely flooded at this point. At least wading through it got some mud off the trainers.

Another wee walking/running section up to Moat then into the fields and back to the gate at the top of the Hallidayhill path. Unsurprisingly, the run down was a lot easier than the run up a few hours earlier. It’s 12 miles when you get back to Glenmidge.

The number of muddy shoes/socks lying at the front door was testimony to both the popularity of the event and the fact that no-one was unscathed.

After a quick shower it was onto the main event.

As always Rosemund and Frank and their family put on an absolutely wonderful spread of food for the runners, walkers, weans and helpers. Vegetable Soup, Chicken Casserole and Rice Pudding plus various cakes, sweets and chocolates were all wolfed down.

I’m sure everyone would like to thank Rosemund and Frank for their hospitality and for allowing us all to share their home.

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