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Jedburgh Running Festival 3 Peaks Ultra Marathon

28/10/2012

On Sunday 28th October, DRC members Susan Gallagher and Vicky Hart set off at 8am from Jedburgh to start the inaurgural Three Peaks Ultra Marathon....

The route is a 38 mile lollipop-shape, primarily covering the trails and paths of the Cuthbert's Way. The first and last 14 miles are out and back along the same route, with a 10 mile loop at the furthest away point that traverses the three Eildon peaks. The trail was mostly well marked, however many people still managed to get lost at various points during the race.

Susan and Vicky ran the first half of the race together and were pleased to be able to stay en-route. The conditions underfoot were extremely difficult, with much of the trail being covered in mud which was regularly calf deep. There were many slips and falls and people losing their shoes in the mud, and with the conditions as they were, most runners found themselves adjusting their pre-race goals. Susan and Vicky stayed together over the first two Eildon peaks, at one point having to pull themselves up the steep muddy slope using gorse bush roots! As they reached the start of the third peak Vicky pulled ahead, reaching the marshalls on top of the third summit first and set off on the final descent. After a few more miles of running they were back on the route that they had run out on so knew just what would face them for the final 14 miles. Unfortunately the route was even more difficult on the way back as not only were they now running on tired legs, but the route was even more churned up than before as everyone was now running over it for the second time.

Vicky managed to maintain her pace, still feeling strong over these final miles, and gradually picked off a few male competitiors. She was surprised and delighted to cross the line in 7:48 as 6th lady out of a field of 22 women with 85 finishers in total. Susan also ran strongly in the second half, benefiting from starting at a sensible pace, and finished really positively in a time of 8:24 as 7th lady overall. Both ladies were really pleased with their results and found it comforting to know that even the winners struggled with all the mud. The race was won by Craig Cunningham and Isobel Knox.

Everyone was full of praise for the first running of this new ultra event, but no doubt hoping for drier conditions next year.

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