Salomon Glen Coe Skyline – 17/09/2017

“Soaring ridges, exposed traverses and precipitous drops. Fast and light over rough and technical terrain. A fusion of alpinism and mountain running. Welcome to Skyrunning.”

The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ follows in the finest tradition of the most prestigious Skyrunning races, fusing mountain running and alpinism in a pure test of speed, endurance and skill on an uncompromising, world-class course.

The route features long and sustained sections of scrambling terrain, which is roughly equivalent to moderate standard rock climbing. In addition, the race traverses high and remote mountainous terrain, which is at times impossible to retreat from and may be subject to severe and rapidly changing weather.

The event is only suitable for highly experienced competitors and all entrants are vetted for experience.

The distance is 55km with 4,700m of ascent

After reading the above introduction for this race, we actually had 2 Moray Road Runners who applied and were successfully accepted for this difficult race, our very own Steven Morrison and Alan Swadel.

Hopefully one of the competitors will give us a report but the results I have seen is that

Alan Swadel had to withdraw at CP 5 after 5 hours

Steven Morrison finished this race in 11:28:09

Well done to both of them.  IF you want any information on this race you can find it by clicking this link

Interim Report by:  Robert Bruce

Junior Home International Hill Race – 10/09/2017

International hill running arrived at Peebles this weekend when the tough slopes of Cademuir hill played host to the Junior Home International mountain races for U17 and U20 men and women.

Teams compete from Scotland, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales for the City of Edinburgh Trophy, with countries taking turns to host the event.

9th place and team Silver medal in the Junior Home Counties hill race in Peebles for Grace Whelan of MRR.

Really good result from Grace given that she has another 2 years in this age group!

Well done team Scotland 👍🏼

Report by:  Carol Sim

Monumental Challenge – 23/10/2016

73fdda47f4bef67f50a2d14a1e4d570fTen Moray Road Runners, from a field of 43, represented the club on Sunday 23 Oct 16 at the Fochabers Monumental Challenge. This was a good turn out considering it clashed with the Lossiethon Half Marathon. 

6407774fe60e5b3f8cf9a3316f5c6399The race was the third and final leg of the Fochabers Triple Challenge organised by Spey Runners. Gordon Castle Highland Games 10k in May and the Jean Carr Challenge in July are the others in the series. 

Five trail miles, four and a half of which are either uphill or downhill, makes a great run for those of us who enjoy a change from tarmac and a stomp through the mud. Weather on the day was great for trail running, cool with light rain. 

Any thoughts of chilly air and rain soon vanished as the hard work begins immediately, no namby pamby flat or gently rolling roads here. Simply a half mile uphill start that gets steeper as the effort starts to bite. The climb gradually eases then turns into three minutes of downhill followed by a relatively flat and fast half mile before the climb.

97d09f5fe3dab0014a5534e53ac2fcd4At approximately one and a half miles and 500 feet vertical gain, the climb sets a fair test of your fitness. The path in places adds to the difficulty, with roots a plenty, loose stone and wee gullies carved by water to keep you on your toes. The Monument is a welcome sight at the top of the hill. If you don’t know what the Monument is, take a walk or a run up there. It’s well worth the trouble.

From the top, it is a two mile fast run down mostly good quality forest road. The downhill is broken near the bottom with a detour round by the viewpoint overlooking Fochabers. Runners then rejoin the forest road for a steep and stony minute or two to the finish back at the Winding Walks car park.

Prizes were awarded back at Christies Garden Centre just half a mile away. Race participants were treated to a free hot drink and snack courtesy of Christies.

Many thanks to Spey Runners for hosting a well organised and friendly race. The Triple Challenge is a great series of races to participate in. I would highly recommend them to all road runners.

Michelle Slater turned in the MRR performance of the day, winning the ladies race by over 5 minutes. Steve Reeve was the first road runner over the line with Martin Flynn hard on his heels. Full results and pictures are available on the Spey Runners website.

Place Name

6 Steve Reeve 2nd MSV

7 Martin Flynn 3rd MSV

11 Martin Bain

14 Nigel Williams

15 Michelle Slater 1st FS

16 Euan Cantlie

18 Bill Murray

29 Mike Whelan

31 Kim Clark

35 Eileen Riddoch

Report by:  Nigel Williams

The Jean Carr Challenge – 24/07/2016

Six Road Runners represented the club at the 2016 running of the Jean Carr Challenge organised by Spey Runners. Locals Bill Murray, Euan Cantlie and Brian Milne were joined on the start line by yours truly, Kimberley Clark and Kev Rae making his race debut for the club.

The rain cleared and the cloud hung low and thick giving us near perfect windless running conditions. Free Jean Carrmassages were on offer before and after the race and a handy gazebo was provided to leave belongings.

Fochabers Gala Queen(s) set us off in good order up Fochabers High Street. It looked like the number of runners was similar to previous years. Mark Smith of Spey Runners led the way out of town on his bike. A snaking, colourful line headed out the Ordiequish Road, trying to sort themselves out before the climb. Passing for the next 3 miles would be difficult most of the time, so it’s important to get in position.

At just over the half mile point, Mark parked his bike across the road and directed us into the woods. The initial climb is steep with plenty of tree roots to dodge. For half a mile I tucked in behind 3 runners to get used to the work. Two of the three slowed a bit just as we approached the Ordiequish Burn, so I took the chance to nip past when the path widened a bit.

On the steep drop down to the burn I was on the heels of a runner from Fraserburgh Running Club. The path is narrow and twisty as well as steep and this guy took off making several meters on me. Next I knew, his arms were wind-milling wildly as he struggled to keep his feet and battered into the narrow footbridge. His momentum almost took him over the side but he came to a halt on the other bank, battered but not beaten. I saw him on the finish line, so he somehow finished, but I would think his run was compromised and he is feeling it now.

It’s a very steep but thankfully short climb up from the burn. From here the path levels or even drops a bit as it contours around Ordiequish Hill above the Spey. I lost a place to a Keith runner who slowly but surely disappeared. The final mile of the climb is quite tough, lots of boggy bits, even more roots and very narrow or closed in with vegetation making foot placement tricky. I knew I was tiring as each stumble or slip would lead to a good twist of the torso. Core of steel?

Soon enough I passed the Jean Carr Stone, it’s the first time I’ve noticed it on the run. Touch for good luck apparently then smile for the camera, but I couldn’t smile, too much effort. The drink station near the stone was duly ignored, I’d only get a face wash or choke. The top was near and I was glad to be on good, wide, firm, forest track.

Downhill from now to the finish on fast track. I had to keep reminding myself to work rather than leave it all to gravity. It’s a long way down, and hard to believe we had climbed so much. I caught and passed one runner at the edge of town but the next was too far ahead with the finish approaching.

A slight change to the route at the end kept us off of the streets and in the trees beside the Burn of Fochabers. We exited the trees, turning onto Charlotte Street for a slightly uphill 200m run to the finish at the Square. I was 12 seconds slower than last year but this was my third hard run in four days, so there’s my excuse.

The other Road Runners filed in, and I think I know the finish order, but just in case I get it wrong, I’ll leave it for the results to come out.

Thank you to Spey Runners for another fantastic event. I’ll miss the final event of the Fochabers Triple Challenge as I’m running The Illuminator the day before. But I would recommend all to try and make time for the Monumental Challenge on 30 Oct 16. You won’t regret it. Well, actually, half way up the hill you might, but go for it anyway. You’re all tough enough.

Results

Report by:  Nigel Williams

Craig Dunain Hill Race – 19/03/2016

ColinScott Cassidy and myself travelled through to Inverness for the Craig Dunain hill race.

The course is an out and back route of about 5 and 1/2 miles total.  The weather conditions were perfect for running , cool , dry and no wind.

The race starts on the canal footpath (across the road from the running track).  It follows the path for about 100 metres before cutting on some dirt track paths which skirts past a golf course and a housing estate.  The track then gradually gets steeper before doing a loop in the woods and an undulating route on forest and mountain bike tracks.

Once you have completed the small loop you then retrace your route to the start/finish line.  Scott Cassidy had a great battle with about 4 other runners all swapping places throughout the race until the final section where he managed to open up and maintain a gap to the finish line.

Very impressive on his first race of the year and with barely any training runs.  I managed a top 10 finish and I’m very happy on how my race went.

As ever I would totally recommend this race, brilliant fun.

A big thanks to Inverness harriers for organising it and ,as always, the superb hospitality after the race.

Report by:  Colin Green

Askham Grand Day Out Trail Run – 16/01/2016

The Cumbria Grand Day Out was organised to raise money for the flood appeal and mountain rescue teams and over the day across Cumbria £20,450 was raised. I took part in the Askham “trail run” which was one of the events organised across the region. Not being from those parts I didn’t realise that trail run actually meant fell run!

Saturday 16th January was very cold and it was difficult to work out how many layers to wear. It was minus three at the bottom with estimates of minus seven to eight at the top. The hills around Askham were white with snow so it looked like we were set for a challenging race. The event was for runners, walkers and dogs with 372 humans and probably 20 or 30 dogs taking part. Waiting in the hall before the start I bumped into ex-MRR David Green who now runs with Eden Runners. He said that meeting a MRR at one of his local races had made his day and sends his best wishes to everyone.

20160116_102315The start was delayed half an hour to allow late comers to arrive (the roads were pretty bad and some bridges were missing necessitating major detours). We set off up the hill at 1130. The first mile was on a gritted icy road and track but we soon set off over the hill. There was heather sticking through in places but it was mostly fresh (knee deep in places) snow with little red flags every 25 metres to guide us. The gentle incline transformed into quite a steep gradient and I was glad I had been out the previous weekend at Monaughty for some training. I managed to “run” to 4 and a half miles then did fast walking up the steepest  half mile to the summit and the dibbing point. The downhill section was great fun and mostly on soft snow though there were some icy bits where people went flying and some runs through streams. Hidden pools of water under the snow added to the wet feet experience but once they had warmed up they were fine.

I got to the top in just over an hour and came down in 40 mins giving me a time of 1:45 for the 10 miles. The winner ran it in 1:08. There were spot prizes for the best hat (a deer stalker), best makeup and first dog as well as medals for everyone and raffle prizes a plenty. The editor of Trail Running magazine ran in the race so it will probably be in the next issue.

It was an experience. I’m not sure I’d do it again but running down the hill in the snow was pretty amazing.

Results

 

Report by:  Chris Smith

Aonach Mor uphill race – 01/01/2016

After strong winds had turned the uphill race into an up n down last year, I was quite glad to see the forecast looking favourable for the gondolas working this year. Again, the roads were quiet but the drop to around freezing temperatures made for a few slippery patches for the drive down to the Aonach Mor ski area.
The carpark was definitely busier than last year, unsurprisingly as last year was lashing with horizontal rain and today was clear and bright, if a little bit cold.  The top gondola station was in clear view and above the forest line, you could see the track parallel to the line of cable car pylons before it veers left towards Sgurr Finniosgaig.
At registration, we were again reminded of the full body coverage (hat, gloves and full waterproofs) requirement for the race, which could be worn or carried. On the start line, gloves were a near universal favourite but a total mix from shorts and vest through to fully wrapped up showed the varied expectations of the field. Knobly trail or fell shoes are a must and a few had gone for screw in spikes as well.
With the starting marshal on her phone to the timers at the finish line, a quick shout of “GO” started the race and a stampede of 100 runners heading for the first corner. The first 500m is a nice introduction, being good trail underfoot and still a modest gradient. The short rocky sections start to get longer, steeper and now slippery. A thin covering of glassy ice on some smooth rocks making foot placement important. By the time I left the forest, my legs were feeling decidedly heavy and the bacon butty for second breakfast may not have been a good idea. Hands on knees and a quick power walk worked well, pushing up the steepest parts of the course. Most runners were staying off the now very slippery path and a good line of safe footings could be followed up the side.
Near the shoulder of Sgurr Finniosgaig, everyone had cut the corner, avoiding a steep and presumably icy section. Now, the gradient had backed right off and was runable again. Shame that my legs weren’t keen yet, although the finish line was at last insight. A final push let me cross the finish line at a respectable run with a time of 33:42. Not quite the 30mins I was aiming for, but room for improvement next year.
The view from the top station was definitely worth the effort and it was quite good-looking out whilst having a bowl of soup and a coffee. At the start of the gondola ride back down, the bottom seemed to be much further down, putting the climb into perspective. At least we didn’t need to run back down this time.
Report by:  Neil Purdie