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Mighty Deerstalker

17/03/2012

‘Stag and Old Deer’ take on the Deerstalker! On Saturday 17th March, DRC’s Stag (aka Steven Smith) and Old Deer (aka Audrey Brown) joined over 2000 others at Innerleithen to participate in the Deerstalker Adventure races....

 

The Old Deer took part in the 5k (which actually turned out to be over 9.5k!) and finished in a time of 1:25:08. which placed her 1st in her category and 135th/474 in the overall event.

The Stag ran in the 10k (in reality a distance of 14.1k!) which started as dusk fell and meant these runners had the additional difficulty of finishing in the dark. Steven finished the gruelling course in a time of 1:28:51 which placed him 12th/1620.

The 5K (which started at 14.00) and 10K (which started at approx 17.00) covered the same course initially, one which began by a mass charge of a variety of tweed and tartan clad runners who threw themselves over the first obstacle, a wall of hay bales. After a short road section the runners were made to plough through thigh deep, thick mud before beginning an ascent that just seemed to go on forever. The reward for this was the fantastic views from the summit. As the relief of reaching the top kicked in, the runners were faced with a series of balance beams to test their shaky legs and a cargo net to negotiate.

Next for the plucky stalkers was a fantastic descent down through the forest via a disco (yes, a disco, complete with luminous lighting and some banging tunes!) and some very steep and muddy slopes. The organisers had thoughtfully placed a massive cargo net at the bottom to catch anyone flying out of the forest too quickly!

The next part of the course was flat (phew!) but in keeping with the event, this was to be no ordinary ‘flat’. Several water crossings lay in wait, the most challenging of these being a leg numbing, thigh level (or waist level if you were the Old Deer) muddy water tunnel.

The 5k finished in the grounds of Traquair House with the runners having to negotiate a tunnel crawl, a heavy ground cargo net and finally two seven foot walls!

The 10k course deviated from the 5K with the inclusion of a 2nd hill climb which according to the Stag was ‘very high, very steep and very slow!’ As night fell the waiting spectators were entertained by a burst of fireworks as the leaders reached the summit and a procession of head torches snaking their way down to the finish.

Both the Stag and the Old Deer reported that even though the Tweed was bl**dy freezing and that some hills were simply not runnable, as much as it was tough, it was fantastic fun! One to remember for a very long time!

 

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