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Feel the Burns Hill Race

19/01/2014

The Borders town of Selkirk was the setting for the latest Scottish hill run of the season, and when runners gathered at the Rugby Club on the outskirts of the town for registration they were joined by DRC's Jacob Tangey, Craig Malcolmson and Norman (Tubby) Neilson who was making a rare appearance on the hills...

The start was half a mile from the the registration point at the Corby Lynne car park where 176 runners lined up in a muddy sheep field for the start of a 13.78 mile run.

As the runners set off in near perfect weather, heading towards the first test of the day, Peat Law hill, it became apparent that this was more of a steep trail run than the testing ascents and descents of the usual hill runs.

Next up was the Three Brethren hill where the course levelled out for the following 3.5 miles, leading to some great running and stunning scenery. After a long descent down to Broadmeadows Farm at 9 miles the runners were offered water and jelly beans before tackling the last climb of the day, Fouldshields Hill. This was the point which defined the run as a hill race as it became a relentless slog to the top, with leg muscles burning by the time runners reached the summit. However as the runners headed for home, the race marshalls assured them it was downhill from here all the way to the finish.

Jacob, in his trademark 'boardies', had an unusually slow start but soon found his rhythm and enjoyed an excellent race to finish in 1:55 for 39th place. Next of the Dumfries runners to finish was Norman who revelled in the long stretches of trail to record a time of 2:01 and 58th place.

Craig found the pace faster than usual for a hill race but ran steadily to come home in a time of 2:04 in 62nd place.

To complete the Burns theme of the race, back at the Rugby club the competitors were served up haggis, neeps and tatties, and the lads all wish to extend a big thanks to the organisers, marshals and the cooks who made it another memorable day out on the hills for them.

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