National Trail Championships & RAM Final

🏃🏻‍♂️🏃‍♀️Busy day for the juniors today.

Beth U, Mackenzie and Hannah headed for Fife to take part in the National Trail Championships.

Beth took the bronze medal 🥉 in the u15g race and the three girls came away with a National team silver medal 🥈😍.

Grace Whelan took Ellyn, Niamh W and Liam M (and Dionne ) along to Aberdeen for the RAM Final.

Brilliant performances all round with a fantastic 13 sec pb for Liam M in the boys u15 1500m. And at Fyvie, Sylvie came second in the girls race. Brilliant to see our juniors continuing to do well across all the age groups.

For more information on the juniors section please contact juniorsmrr@gmail.com. 🏃🏻‍♂️🏃‍♀️

Report by:  Kirsty Weir

 

Speyside Windfarm Challenge

Well done to all Moray Road Runners at the Windfarm race today, especially our prize winners:

Euan Cantlie/Graham Stephen first in the 10k

Blair Laird first in the 12 miler

Mark Fraser, most improved in the 12 miler

Paul Meldrum and Sharon Royan, first man and lady in the Speyside Series

Report by:  Elspeth Jenkins

Race Across Scotland

A wee race summary

Had over 24 hours now to let the Race across Scotland sink in.

Thought I’d write a more in depth summary for those who were dot watching me and wondering at times what I was doing.

So I lined up on the race in Portpatrick at 0550, ready for a 0600 start. However, we didn’t set off until 0610 as Wayne kept us anxiously waiting whilst he could take photos and update social media 😂.

I set off at the front with Abdullah Mohamed setting the pace. We lead upto checkpoint two before we took a break for 10 mins. Rob the eventually the winner took over us at this point and lead the race from then on.

I ran with Mo until about the 40 mile point before splitting up. I got into checkpoint 3 Glentrool in second and spent about 30 mins there. I left CP 3 in 3rd, making my way to St John’s CP 4 and where my first drop back would be. This part of the leg is where I had my first major issue. My Garmin watch froze which meant I had to reset it and in turn lost all my data including the race GPX. Luckily I remembered the route and was able to get to CP4 in 2nd place. I was hoping I would be able to load the race gpx file back onto the watch. But I wasn’t able to due there being no WiFi. I had a map and compass but racing and navigating in the dark is not ideal. I ended up staying at CP4 for 2 hours. I then teamed up with two other runners to get me through the night to Sanquhar.

The leg from St John’s to Sanquhar I would say is the make or break for people in the race. Most people who DNF tend to do it after this leg. Its about 26 miles of hills and boggy ground, then add in darkness, bad weather it equals hell.

I set off just after 2300 with Rosie and Gareth. It was a testing night, navigating animal tracks and boggy ground. At 19 miles into the leg was a bothy. I took refuge for an hour, trying to get some kip. Rosie and Gareth, had 15 mins then went on. After an hour at the bothy, I then continued to on Sanquhar. Half way there I got a bacon buttie and coffee from a farm house. That gave me a boost and I got to Sanquhar in quick time.

At this stage I was in 10th however, only the leader and Rosie had left the CP. I quickly took of my feet and got straight back out, making my way to Wanlockhead.

I spent a hour Wanlockhead getting my watch sorted before making my way to Beattock. The route to Beattock was a challenging having the highest amount of elevation gain of all the legs.

I arrived a Beattock in joint 3rd with Rosie. I was getting a dark again. Me and Rosie team up again for the next leg to Boston memorial hall. This leg gruelling, it was different to last year as a high trail had been added to it, thankfully Rosie had recced it before. This new part was testing, the elevation plus the weather made it extremely difficult. Unfortunately for us, the decision had been made to revert back to the old route due safety, however we were already out on the trail to be notified. The high route hit me hard, I was exhausted after it. I had plan to run through night but decided to sleep in a bothy for an hour. Rosie continued on to the next CP. After my hour, I made my to CP, I was still shattered, kept drifting across to side road as I kept falling a sleep running 😂.

Eventually I got to the CP had an hour and half there before heading to the final drop bag CP at Fairnilee. At this point I was in 4th and men’s bronze place and I thought I was looking good for the bronze. However, another runner was picking up pace and looking strong. I tried to pick up my pace but I was caught about 6 miles out from the CP.

At this point my head went down a bit as I was carrying an injury and knew that I was only get slower. I got to Fairnilee just be 1700 on Monday. Spent 45 mins there before heading out to Lauder CP 10.

On getting to Lauder, I’d close to gap on the 4 in front. Quick turnaround at the CP and was straight back out. However, It all went wrong straight away. The Southern Upland Way in Lauder goes through a field with cows in. Trying to avoid the cows I got disorientated and ended up off course in no mans land 😂. It was just a waste land and I was in the middle of it. I ended up falling off a bank in to a large stream smashing my head torch. I managed to sort it, cross the stream to the other side as the GPS said the path was there. However, the path was 10 ft up on a mud ledge. I had to scale some trees to get to it. That was 30 mins lost and any chance of a podium finish pretty much out of reach.

It was a lonely 13 miles to the final CP at the watch water fishery. I got there at just after 0500 it was amazing. The guys made me a cooked breakfast and I had 45 min kip. Eventually leaving just after 0600 for the final 21 miles. On leaving the hut, the view was simply breath taking, rolling hills with an amber sky. I really couldn’t describe the emotions I felt in that moment.

Cockburnspath here I come, I did the first 11 miles at a fast pace before catching up with Rosie. I had made ground on the others but it wasn’t going to be enough and injury was getting worst. For the remaining 10 miles I teamed up once again with Rosie. Rosie was pretty much getting 1st lady and a new female course record. We both deteriorated in the last few miles slowly down to 2mph.

When you finally get to the coast, there’s still 2 miles left to get to the finish. For me these aee always the worst 2 miles of the race. Everything is hurting, your so close to the end but 2 miles which takes usually 11 mins at this point was gonna take a hour.

As me and Rosie neared the finished line, we both agreed to cross together as we shared much journey together. It was great to have someone of her experience run along side, she’d represented Scotland in various ultra running events.

After the longest 2 miles, we had done it. Sub 80 hrs, joint fourth, 1st female and new cr for Rosie.

Such a different experience, compared to 2018. However, sometimes you have to go through the pain, dark times in order to progress.

Once again, I hope you enjoyed the dot watching. Thanks for the support.

Report by:  Jon Ward

Aberlour Strathspey Highland Games 10 Mile Multi-terrain Race.

While several MRR tough-nuts were way out west ‘enjoying’ the Devil O’ The Highlands Footrace, a handful of us tackled the relatively sissy Aberlour Strathspey Highland Games 10 Mile Multi-terrain Race.

James Wilson, Martin Bain, Jon Ward, Andrew Clark and myself toed the line in yella.

Being a born and bred Speysider, I’m slightly biased, but this is a peach of a run and is recommend to all. It has everything; road, uphill running (steep in places), downhill running (even steeper with a tech section), grass, easy trail and a finish in the Games Arena with generous applause for all runners.

Today was very warm and sunny, but there was plenty of welcome shade on the Isla Way alongside the River Fiddich and on The Speyside Way.

All of the 700 feet of climb is completed in the first 2.2 miles. For James, that takes 15 minutes, for me, on MRR rearguard duty, it was approaching 20 minutes. Technical downhill follows for a bit before a fun, steep, grassy, go as fast as you dare slope.

After the leg testing first 3 miles, it was 7 miles back to Aberlour, via Craigellachie, on well maintained flat trail. But not before crocked MRR Paul Meldrum, on marshal duty (wearing yella naturally), had us smile for the camera passing Dufftown Railway Station. The trick from here is to maintain your cadence and stride length as fatigue sets in. Easier said than done.

We were welcomed back into the arena by the dulcet tones of MRR Paul Jamieson on Games Announcer/MC duties for the day.

Result was an MRR 1, 2, 3. James retained his title easily in just over 60 minutes. Martin Bain edged out Jon Ward for second and third places respectively in around 65 minutes. It’s worth acknowledging Jon’s 17:45 Parkrun PB just two hours before this race. I trotted in some 10 minutes adrift of the medalists at around 75 minutes. I don’t know how Andrew Clark got on, but I guess he was not too far behind Jon as he disappeared up the hill and out of sight with the fast guys at the start.

Thanks to Marie Third for organising. I’ll be back and hope to see more yella vests next year.

Report by:  Nigel Williams

Isle of Skye Half Marathon 2019

5 MRRs turned up for the Isle of Skye half marathon on Saturday 8th June, comprising of Karen Norvell, Shirley Feaks, Iona Robertson (Ricky & Poppy), Susan McNairney and Stuart Dalgarno.

The weather was warm with little or no breeze. We were piped to the start just before 1030am, before ascending for 3 miles on closed roads (2-3 was a bit steep), with plenty of ‘uphills’, down hills (didn’t feel that many) and water stops around every 3 miles. Miles 9-11 could be described as a bit of a roller coaster, with a nice fast downhill into the finish.

The ladies won second ladies team (Iona (1hr 41mins), Shirley (1hr 46mins) & Karen (1hr 50mins)).

Stuart finished in 1hr 59mins, completing his first long distance run since coming back from injury.

Unfortunately, Susan had to pull out of the race.

The locals even put on a water shower for all the competitors around mile 9 with a hose spraying across the road, which was really refreshing at this point. The atmosphere, support, organisation of the race made the ‘uphills’ worthwhile.

A thoroughly enjoyable event…… MRR road trip next year maybe? (please remember your smidge).

Report by:  Shirley Feaks

North Schools Athletics

Successful day at the north schools athletics for our juniors:

Joshua 2nd 3000
Beth 2nd 1500
Zara 3rd 1500
Mackenzie 4th 1500
Harriet 1st 1500, 4th LJ
Hannah 5th 1500
Ellyn 2nd 1500 (on photo finish, PB)
Niamh W 5th 1500
Bruce 5th 1500
Megan 5th 300 (PB), 3rd 200
Eden 2nd hurdles, 5th 200
Niamh G 2nd shot putt, 2nd javelin

Report by:  Grace Whelan

A weekend of Medals

EMF 10k

Our very own Gareth Jenkins finished 3rd in this event.

Congratulations

 

 

Scottish Masters 5000m

Successful day out at the Scottish Masters 5000m.

Michelle Donaldson-Slater : Gold W40
Simon MacDonald : Bronze M60
Phill Thompson : Bronze M65

Congratulations to all the medal winners

Skye Trail Ultra

Congratulations to Alan Swadel, who completed the Skye Trail Ultra a 74 mile race.  Think he might be sleeping for a while now

Report by:  Robert Bruce

 

Great Stirling Run

9 MRRs journeyed down to Stirling for the Great Stirling Run which incorporated the Scottish Marathon Championships and an accompanying Half Marathon race. With both races setting off at 8.30am, conditions were pleasantly cool with light winds making for ideal conditions. First home in the Half was Graham Stephen in an excellent PB of 1.26.11. Andrew Alexander and Todd Henderson completed our trio of half marathoners coming home in times of 1.46.11 and 2.00.27 respectively. Well done lads.
With conditions warming up throughout the morning, getting around the undulating course as quickly as possible was the priority and our 6 marathoners didn’t disappoint. Official times are below and there were some outstanding placings both overall and in respective age categories:
Ally Campbell – 2.49.07 (11th, 3rd 45-49)
Andy Alexander – 3.02.18 (1st 50-54)
Ed Dunbar – 3.07.30
Willie Stuart – 3.14.52
Elspeth Jenkins – 3.23.42 (8th, 3rd 45-49)
Garry Henderson 3.51.12 (3rd 60-64)
With team placings still to be confirmed it’s looking like a possible top 3 finish for the men. Excellent racing everyone.
Report by:  Gareth Jenkins

Highland Fling 53 Mile Ultra trail Marathon

This years goal was to run under 9 hours after last year having a time of 9:01:34 which was a PB.

Training started straight after the new year and by the end of February I had a goal to reach 1000 miles of training before race day, which I was 12 miles short of, oh well.

My dad and I set off late Friday afternoon in his camper van and headed to Milngavie with a stop at the Cairngorm Hotel for a feast. Heading down the road the weather was awful, wind and lots of rain which only stopped when arriving in Glasgow. A quick visit to the race registration to pick up my race number and timing chip then park up in the long stay carpark.

With the van parked up it was time to sort out clothing, footwear, food and drop bags. This was a bit of an experimental year food wise which was going to consist of Chia Charge, gels and the odd mars bar with Tail Wind to drink. Drop bags sorted and Tail Wind pre mixed into water to make it easier at checkpoints. With a packet of Haribo, nuts and some protein shakes before bedtime it was lights out just after 10pm with the alarm set for 5.00am!

Race Morning, weather looking good but the forecast from 8am was looking like it was going to be wet. My usual breakfast of cornflakes and weatabix and a cup of tea as dad didn’t have coffee. Oh I have been on a caffeine free week as the gels I was going to use had it in and would be far more effective on race day. I had 3 pairs of trainers to choose from, one pair of road shoes which definitely wasn’t going to be an option with the forecast, the other two were my Salomon Sense Pro 2 and my Pro Max. I decided on the Pro Max due to a bit more cushioning.

We left the car park at 5.35am and headed to the start line to drop off my drop bags and meet in with Alan Swadel and John Anderson before the start of the race. They had both stayed in Tyndrum the night before and got the bus down in the morning. The three of us joined the start and John and I were in the first wave for sub 10 hours with Alan joining another few of his friends that were racing. A few quick words to John about his aim for a time of sub 10 hours.

The horn sounded for the start and the masses were off, through the tunnel and up the high street before a sharp right hand turn onto the West Highland Way. Thinking John might tag along for a while I had a look over my shoulder and couldn’t see him, so I assumed he was being sensible and doing his own race.

The first 12 miles to Drymen are pretty easy to run. I had my splits from last year so just needed to stick to them or go slightly quicker. I took on two gels, one at 4 miles and the second at 8 miles with Tail Wind to wash them down. Arriving at Drymen I was 4 minutes 30 up on last years time so was now thinking I can take it a bit easier to Balmaha. A quick drink of water and I was away. I ran a good few miles with another runner having a chat as we ran on towards Conic Hill. It was quite a nice morning but the dark clouds were coming closer and soon I could feel small drops. Once out of the Garadhban Forest there was now a cool breeze, so on with the gloves. Within 5 minutes of starting the climb up Conic Hill the rain was lashing down so being sensible on went the jacket and time to eat a mars bar. Over the top I could feel the rain running down my legs and into my trainers (I hate wet feet!!). Coming down Conic Hill was tricky with it being wet but I just made sure where I placed my feet. Down safely it was into the first check point to refuel, arriving at Balmaha 5 minutes up on time. I was only using one 500ml bottle due to it not being warm, filled it up, grabbed my 3 gels and one chia charge and off I go as quick as I could. Just past here is a sharp climb so I use this to eat the chia charge and have a gel. With the rain still coming down it was head down and follow the loch side to Rowardennan, with two more gels consumed I arrived at Rowardennan to be greeted by my dad who had been up Ben Lomond. A quick hello, gels, chia charge and tail wind it was off again.

I was only 4 minutes ahead of schedule at Rowardennan and knowing what was ahead and with the conditions I kind of put a PB to the back of my mind as was just now focusing on finishing. The further up I got the wetter under foot it became and colder. I could no longer open my gels with my fingers as they were so cold and had to use my teeth. Once off the main forestry track and onto the single path (the fun bit I like to call it) there was not much room to avoid the puddles, slippery rocks and roots and the mud. But I carried on catching and passing a few runners. Into Inversnaid and I was starting to really feel the cold due to not moving that fast on the tricky ground. I was very surprised here as I thought I had slowed down a bit but now was back up to 5 minutes ahead of plan. I still had most of my tail wind from the last check point so I just grabbed my gels and the chia charge and set off. The is where it really gets technical and with it being so wet I knew I was going to lose time so just focussed on getting to Beinglas Farm. I caught a group of four guys about halfway through and decided to stick with them for some company. Into Beinglas Farm with the rain still coming down and the burns and river well up in spate I was now up 8 minutes in time. I was now starting to fade but I knew I had a tin of red bull, It didn’t give me wings but it tasted good. I grabbed my gels and left my chia charge as I still had one of the previous ones and still most of my tail wind from Rowardennan. I think I was drinking the rain as it ran down my face at some points. This last section is mostly all up hill so moving slowly I carried on walking most of the uphills. I know that sub 9 hours is now back on if I could just get some body heat. I could feel my leg muscles cold and the tips of my fingers had turned white. I was passed by a few guys that I had passed earlier on the rougher ground but march on up past the Falls of Falloch and onto Derry Darroch. Faye and my sister travelled down this morning to see her pal as she was also running and hoped to see me here but there was an accident on the A82 and so didn’t make it in time. Under the road and up onto the track/river where I looked up the mountains to see the tops were covered in a thick blanket of snow which made me feel even colder. I could feel the cold going up my arms and my right elbow was starting to seize being that cold. Cow poo alley, what a bonus, a newly built path through here was like a dream come true. Just before the second last and new checkpoint for this year Bogle Glen I spotted Faye, my sister, my dad and the dogs, what a boost I felt seeing them there. Being so focused and feeling cold I ran straight through them with only mustering a hello to them. I did apologise at the end for the mood I was in. I was now 8 minutes up on time and knew that I could do it. Into the roller coaster section there was a bit of shelter from the cold breeze and rain I could feel some warmth again, only a little bit though. I saw a guy in front and just thought follow him don’t do anything stupid on the steep down hills. I crossed over the road towards Kirton farm I knew I could march at 13 minute miles and still get under 9 hours so I ran/jogged as much as I could being passed by a few more but I didn’t care I was on for sub 9. The closer I got I thought I could get 8 hours 50 so head down and dug deep round the corner to be greeted by the piper and thought I am going to do this and pushed hard onto the red carpet for a finishing time of 8:49:28!! To be told I was 28th to finish out of 740 that started,I had the biggest sense of warmth about me.

With Faye, Joey and my dad cheering me on as I crossed the line for the 8th time, ding ding. A quick finish photo and it was off for a hot shower, ahhhhhhhh. A cup of coffee and a look at the results we decided to head off back home. A wee stop at McDonalds for some food in Fort William hit the spot!

A big well done to all that raced, it was mentally challenging in the conditions and a few times I could have easily gave up but I didn’t.

Well done to Alan on his third fling with a PB time of 11:00:53 and John on his debut at this distance and course with a time of 10:30:02. Well done guys!

Also running from the club was Fiona Brant who finished in 12:53:37.

Will I be back again? I think so and might target an 8 hour 30 time.

Thanks again to all the support from my dad, Faye, Joey and messages of support and to all who I have been out training with.

Report by:  Steven Morrison

Buckie 10k

Sunshine, and a cool fresh south easterly greeted 30 Moray Road Runners at yesterday’s Buckie 10k.  Another impressive turnout of yellas given that the starting line was missing some of our biggest hitters through injury and other running commitments.

Lachlan Oates, Shettleston Harrier and international runner, won by some considerable margin in 31:15.  It’s always great to see athletes of this calibre take a trip north.  It would have been a great race for Kenny. Kayleigh Jarret, running for Elgin AAC, won the female race by an even bigger margin, with 8th place overall in a time of 36:46.

The club dominated places 10 though to 60 with no fewer than one in three finishers being MRRs.

First MMR with a very creditable tenth place was Jonathan Ward in 37:17.  That was just enough to keep Blair Milne only six seconds adrift and in 11th place.

First MRR female was Iona Craft.  Iona was 3rd female and 38th in the overall race in a time of 41:42.  Just five seconds behind, Michelle Slater won 1st FV.  Michelle was not at her best (her words) but still routinely won the age group prize at a canter.

Running well inside 40 minutes was enough for David Adam to win the MSV category.

Well done to all who donned the yellow vest.  Especially those struggling for fitness and speed.

Looking ahead, the final race in the Northern Scot 10k series is in 4 weeks.  Mark the date in your diary – Sunday 12th May at Benromach Distillery, Forres.  See if we can beat the 30 runners from yesterday.

The overall title is a tussle between Gordon Lennox (Inverness) and Max Abernethy (Fraserburgh).  It’s Gordon’s for the taking with a one minute lead.  John Anderson is in with a shout for 3rd place.  That depends on Eoin Coull from Ross County.  Does he get third overall, first MV or both?

On the female side, Caroline Marwick (Inverness) has it in the bag if she runs.  Michelle Slater is sitting second and/or first FV.  Justine Blaszk is ready to claim third overall.

Reigning MV champ Graham Stephen is currently holding 3rd place.  David Adam is strolling to the MSV prize, with yours truly sitting second and ready pounce if he can’t run.

Thank you as always to Marie Third and Keith and District AAC for organising.  What would we do at weekends without dedicated volunteers like this?

Thank you too to the photographers who kindly share their pictures and videos with us.

Finally, Marie also organises a lovely 10 mile off road run for the Aberlour Highland Games in early August. I highly recommend the run. The race is effectively free, just pay a few quid to get into the games. A great day out.

Report by:  Nigel Williams

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