There were 3 quite appealing races up for grabs this weekend. 1stly the ParkRun, fast becoming a favourite way to start a Saturday. Getting up early on a Saturday seems, umm, counter-intuitive, to me and Peter anyway, but after a zingy 5K along Silverknowes you feel set up for the day. At least until later on. The 2nd race on offer, which is a favourite in this household, was the Braids Cross Country; run by students for students, but old people are tolerated. The course is good and exciting and the atmosphere is always a buzz with ridiculously fast young people who probably have hangovers showing up their elders and betters. Peter cycled to this because I refused to budge from a comfy spot in the house, having run a pb. at the Park run and having decided to rest on my laurels and catch up with other business.
Sundays dish de jour (I know, why pretend to be able to speak french?) (I can't help it.) was the first of the Borders Cross country series which was at Norham; a nice little quiet town just over the border into England. Questioned my motives again as the alarm went off yet again on a day off, but there was no going back as we'd arranged to give Johnny L and Alastair Robertson of Lothian Running Club a lift there.
The weather for further south was forecast to be somewhat special but we got a lovely morning. There were a couple of light showers on the journey down but mostly was sunny and cold with minimal breeze.
The borders cross-country series had been described to us as real cross-country. We'd been promised muddy fields and stream-crossings. We were too idle to go and have a proper look beforehand so it was difficult to know in advance just how daunting these obstacles might be. Alastair came back to the car saying that someone had died in the river we were crossing. I pictured pushing my way through bobbing corpses left over from last year's race then took a reality check. It would be difficult for the organisers to insure a race like that.
The reality was a course that was great fun. It was fairly uppy downy with stubbly fields, slippy muddy single-track, four refreshing leg washes in the burn, some hairy fence crossings where a few people came to grief. (Peter said Stuart Hay was right ahead of him and then was somehow turned upside down by the wire fence. In my head I have the picture of the Hanged Man from the tarot...).
I managed to gain ground on the ups, which was pleasing, my hill legs coming back into season...but I didn't have any kind of a killer instinct, presumably having left that behind yesterday. As a result I enjoyed the race and felt pretty relaxed throughout.
I'm sure we'll have some good photos from today but these haven't been downloaded yet as Peter's 3 races in 2 days have caught up with him and he's conked out on the couch.
We've both got the day off tomorrow so plan to get in a long, very low-key, non-racey, slow, off road run tomorrow...