Been racing? Please tell us all about it....PLEASE!
MORAY HALF MARATHON: Sunday, September 1st 2013 by Andy Green
This was the first time I'd entered the Moray Half Marathon, so was pleased when I arrived to find that four other NRRs had made the trip too! The weather conditions could not have been better for me: nice and cool with a chance of drizzle (I don't like it too hot!). The forecast, however, was less than favourable with a very good chance of windy weather...
Registration was painless, as was the trip (by coach) to the start at Gordonstoun School. Leaving a good hour plus before the official start time (of 11am), I was pleasantly surprised to find that the school's hall and changing facilities had been opened up for participants' use. It was there that I realised just how popular the event was. There was a maximum capacity of 350 runners and, if they hadn't reached that number it was pretty close (as it turns out there were 276 who ran).
Spirits were encouragingly high, and there was a good atmosphere, even when we were asked to make our way towards the start.... the temperature had taken a dip, and the forecasted wind was becoming evident!
After some stretching and some positive banter, we all set off at 11am as promised. Leaving the school grounds, heading north towards the coast, I was met with a rather steady incline which was only acceptable as it was so close to the start: fatigue hadn't kicked in at that early stage.... even for me! Once the course joined the main road to Lossiemouth I was greeted with a spectacular view of the Firth and of Lossiemouth itself. The wind was at my back, and I had settled in to a good rhythm along with three other runners. We swapped lead several times on the way in to town, but eventually I started chatting to Kay (a Jog Scotland runner from Aberdeen, my home town).
Lossiemouth was lined with spectators who were also in great spirits and very supportive. Once we left at the south-side, however, Kay had dropped back; the wind picked up, and I ran for some time with my head down. At this stage runners from the MARATHON started to trickle past: great to see them, but slightly disheartening for us plodders.
The road in towards Elgin held more great scenery and was relatively flat. This was perfect, knowing that there would be a lengthy climb before descending towards the finish. Of course, this was where the wind was at its worst, forcing me to shorten my stride and feel like a turtle sprinting through porridge!
As Cooper Park neared, the spectators started to grow in numbers again, and the final stretch was lined either side with everyone shouting encouragement as I made a last push across the line. Not a PB on this occasion, but a very enjoyable finish at 2:06:36!
Overall, this was a very well organised event from start to finish, and definitely worth a second visit next year! It certainly has PB potential (for anyone interested), especially if the weather is more favourable in the future.......
Many congratulations to the other NRRs who all made it through in style: James Graham- 2:01:51
Linda Taylor- 2:14:03
Nicola Williamson- 2:26:36
Anita Nicol- 2:26:36
ISLE OF ARRAN HALF MARATHON 7th July 2013 by Linda Taylor
Having booked a week's holiday in Arran, I was delighted to see the island's half marathon was to be on the day after we arrived. It was limited to 150 runners, some coming across just for the day. The course was described as 'officially undulating'. The comment on the website saying 'if you don't mind how long you take, we don't either' suggested it was my kind of race! Registration was at the Kinloch Hotel in Blackwaterfoot and was very quick and easy. The race started and finished there, a beautiful setting right on the shore. Of course the weather that week was scorching hot, the sun breaking through half an hour before we set off. A bit of an uphill start, followed by a long downhill, all the way down to a golf course beside the sea with views across to the Mull of Kintyre. Even with my poor sense of direction I realised there had to be significant up hills to come. Up to that point there had been a slight breeze but up the hill, surrounded by trees and grasshoppers, it felt like a tropical island! By this stage the field of runners were pretty strung out so it was great to spot the next water station (one of four). The water was very welcome and had a very peaty flavour. On the way back to the finish there were several folk out in the village of Shiskine cheering us on. The marshals too, were vocal and supportive. Eventually a nice downhill brought us to the finishing line, the last 100m being parallel to the shore. A hot and hilly half but an excellent event. I didn't even manage the PW I expected, coming in, in 2.19.Two challenges for you - to find a more scenic half in Scotland AND to write a report on it!The added bonus to the day - Andy Murray was just killing time until I finished.
GRANTOWN 10K 1ST June 2013 by Carol Stewart
Alistair and I went through to the Grantown 10K on Saturday 1st June. It was an ideal time for those of us from Nairn/Forres , etc. as a 1.00p.m. start gave us plenty of time to have a lazy morning, then toddle through to Grantown in good time for a look at the course. ( I would always recommend checking out the finish of a race you haven’t done before – that way, if you are struggling towards the end, when you suddenly recognise the last mile or half mile and realise how close you are, it gives you a boost to push on to the finish line.) It was also a good time to catch up with some of our friends from Forres Harriers who had travelled through in a group to run, and then we noticed two other Nairn Road Runners – Chris and Peter. Not only had Peter decided to do the 10K, but he had cycled through from Nairn, and then cycled home afterwards (getting in some extra training for the Nairnshire).
The 10K starts and finishes in the playing fields of the local primary school and they also had their school fair taking place at the same time, so you could browse the car boot sale, check out the home made cards/jewellery, or buy some home baking for an after run treat, along with several other stalls and activities for the children.
Along with the 10K, there was also a toddler’s race, and a 3K race. The 3K and 10K both started as I said, in the field then ran up the short hill to the road, with two left turns (approx.. 150yards on the road) taking you into the woods. From then on the route meandered through the woods, and was a lovely course which I would describe as mildly undulating – nothing hilly, with several twists and turns before we eventually looped round and ended up heading back to the road where we had entered the woods, finally finishing with a short downhill sprint finishing with ¾ loop of the field to the finish line.
We were presented with a medal at the finish and a voucher for a cup of tea or coffee (cakes available for a 50p charge if you wanted a treat) Thankfully, they had a tent where we could enjoy our after -run cup of tea and a chat with other runners about how enjoyable the course was, because at this point the heavens opened and there was a very impressive thunderstorm! Glad we had already finished!! (shame about Peter on his bike mind you)
Anyway, all in all, a really enjoyable 10K, and one I would thoroughly recommend – particularly if you are looking for a change from a road 10K. Perhaps next year, this would be a good one to go through to as a group as it is just on our doorstep, and could be a nice outing. Next event in this area will be the Abernethy 10mile race in August, which I would also wholly recommend. This is part of their Highland Games, and is part road/part forest. If you are looking to step up from a 10K, but don’t feel ready for a half marathon yet, then give this one a go.
Balmoral 10k and Race the Train...by john Ferrie
Once again I was off to the races, the Balmoral road races on Saturday the 28th of April. The weather was fairly good this year dry and cloudy with the sun trying to make an appearance, ideal running conditions. For those new to running and the club the Balmoral 10k road race is mostly on estate tracks, fairly good compared to Clava, but it does have the hill at just over a mile long a good slog for any runner. I didn’t set any records, just a case of getting round and conserve my knees as best I can. It is a well organised event in simply stunning scenery with a truly great atmosphere provided by the spectators. A fab medal and another quality tee shirt for my collection. John.
The following Sunday 6th May I was off to Aviemore, a new event “Race the train”. Registration was near to Cairngorm Brewery in Dalfaber Industrial Estate, very cool compared to the previous week. Then they bused us to Aviemore Station to catch the steam train for Boat of Garten. A short walk to the Boat community centre for a wait for the train to get in position, then another short walk and we were off. The run was on forest tracks and a good bit of the Speyside Way to Aviemore. Another good running day very cool/cloudy and dry. The train was estimated to take 50 mins to get back to Aviemore so I thought I was in with a chance. However the train passed me just as I was about to enter Dalfaber not far from the finish. I finished in 49M30, dam the train was early, worse was to come, the race had been shortened to 4.7 m due to logistical reasons. I was still very pleased with my race, for my trouble a really superb medal and goodie bag. There was loads of prizes I got a water bottle and belt, a collapsible water bottle and a skiing DVD was a great haul for someone like me as most runners never get anything. The organisers had brought on board a whole raft of sponsors, we need to take note for the future. All in all I would highly recommend this race to all, some clubs were out in force only a solitary NRR to be seen in the colours. John.
Cross Country reports by Jenny Henderson
Elgin X-Country This Saturday saw 4 NRR's making the journey through to Elgin for the penultimate race in the North District X-Country Series. Perfect weather conditions, a fun woodland course and great organisation by MRR made for a great run out for those who made it through. Whilst our women's team were present in full, prior engagements amongst our male runners meant that Dave Webster was once again our sole representative for the men. (He did us proud though!)Elgin results: (Women's race)13) Jenny Henderson 30:32, 24) Maureen Mackie 33:57, 31) Jenny Saunders 36:37(Men's race)46) Dave Webster 48:13
Evanton X-Country An exciting new course combined with acres and acres of ankle-deep mud made for a challenging run in the woods at Evanton. It was fantastic to see Nairn (combined with NAAAC) manage to field 2 women's teams and a men's team, with first timers Iain Blackburn and Jamie Maclaren both producing good strong performances for our men's team. Dave Webster made a good recovery from a mid-race fall in the slippery conditions, finishing with both his shoes unlike some other unlucky runners!Evanton results:(Women's race)12) Jenny Henderson 35:41, 25) Maureen Mackie 42:04, 26) Jenny Saunders 42:41(Men's race)27) Iain Blackburn 47:03, 31) Jamie Maclaren 48:52, 45) Dave Webster 56:53
Forres Cross Country
Only 2 of our club members made the short journey along the A96 last weekend to take part in the North District Cross Country championships that were held in Forres. Jenny Henderson 34:11 and Dave Webster 51:52 , both runners entered under the banner of NAAAC due to the current ongoing "wrangle" involving our club colours etc. Well done both and hopefully you will be joined by a few more "NAIRN" folk next time out.
What a great day this year's Lossiemouth 10 Mile Turkey Trot turned out to be, with the wintry weather earlier in the week giving way to fine running conditions enjoyed by the 154 runners who made it to the start line. The race also incorporated the North District 10 Mile Championships and there were some excellent performances. The race was won by Forres Harriers' Gordon Lennox (56.41) with team mate, Paul Rogan (57.08), in 2nd place. The RAF Junior X-Country Champion, William Jackson (58.15), finished 3rd, closely followed by Dan Leedham in 58.28. The ladies' race saw Melissa Whyte continue to dominate, producing a fine run to finish 5th overall in a time of 59.16, with Vivienne Bruce (Metro Aberdeen, 64.09) and Sarah Leibnitz from Inverness Harriers (65.27) finishing 2nd and 3rd. 1st Vet was Oonagh Wilson (4th, 65.35) who also picked up silver in the North District 10 Mile Veteran Race. Ably assisted by Louise Cartmell in her first 10 Mile race (66.47) and Sarah Houston (73.41),
A fine number of club runners took place in today's event. The weather had eased and the days conditions were near perfect with very little wind and a balmy temp of 8c. Stuart Thompson was the first NRR home.
Stuart Thompson 62:34,Jamie McLaren71:22,Chris Rankin 73:29,Dave Webster 73:36,Jenny Bryce 78:23,Morag Macleod 83:02,Debbie Halliday 95:30 and Linda Taylor 99:00
New York Marathon Well done to Chris Rankin and Alan Dallas who both took part in last Sunday's New York Marathon. Chris broke the 4hr mark with 3:58 and Alan came in not long behind him in 4:12
Baxters Marathon and 10k Well done to all the members that took part in the Loch Ness Marathon and 10k at the weekend, In the Marathon Dave Webster clocked 3:40:29 and Alan Dallas 3:48:38, in the 10k many congrats go to Shirley Hay for winning her category in a time of 53:14, again Peter Widlof clocked a fantastic time, this week it was 36:54 and Jim Graham came home in 49:25. Marathon - Dave Webster 3:40:29, Alan Dallas 3:48:38 and Kym Bridle 5:04:30 10k - Peter Widlof 36:54, Andy Hodge 41:28, Jim Graham 49:25, Andy Green 52:07, Jenny Saunders 52:17, Shirley Hay 53:14, Fiona Craig 53:55, Magaret Smith 57:48, Nicola Williamson 65:12 and Susan Smith 68:35
Knockfarrel Hill race Many thanks to Jenny Henderson for the following report - Stuart and I drove to Strathpeffer for the Knockfarrel Hill Race, perfectly organised by Highland Hill Runners. I was pleased to see that along with Ryan and Becky we had managed to field 4 runners for this one, a good turn out in a hill race for our club! The weather was perfect for hill running; dry, windless and surprisingly warm for November. Most of the runners were wearing shorts and singlets due to the weather, but I couldn't help noticing the number of runners who seemed to be wearing gloves. They clearly new something we didn't!The race starts on the disused railway line heading out of Strathpeffer and we were straight into ankle deep mud and filth. We ploughed through this for a bit before turning sharply upwards into a field of shin-deep squelchy mud and cowpats, with runners spreading out as everyone tried to take the best line through the field without losing their shoes. Turning up a long steep path between two fields, the pace dropped before picking up again at the top to contour the side of the hill. We then arrived at the bottom of what can only be described as a vertical 'ladder' up to Knockfarrel's summit. Hand-over-fist, using vegetation to pull myself up, I was for some reason reminded of Gordie telling me a couple of years back that "no hill race is steeper than hill 2 at Clava". Gordie - a word! After this it was a straight-forward and pleasant run along the ridge towards Cnoc Mor, with stunning views down into the valley. For some reason I thought the climbing was over, and duly picked up speed safe in the (misguided) knowledge that I'm better at descending. And descend we did. Down and down it went on a tiny, narrow, overgrown path. I was flying along, really enjoying myself, when I suddenly thought "hang on, I haven't passed the summit of Cnoc Mor yet". All that coming down could only mean one thing: another steep climb up. With a sick feeling in my stomach I rounded a corner to be met with...... yep, another steep climb up. I used the heather flanking the path to pull myself up, and was already half-way before I realised my hands were full of tiny brown spikes. There was obviously dead gorse mixed in with the heather, and yes, gloves would have been mighty handy! Once off the top of Cnoc Mor the route took a steep descent through trees which would've been quite pleasant if we were taking our time, but was quite frankly terrifying when run at full speed. From there a good track took us back to the top of the fields to run the cowpat gauntlet again, before finishing back at the old station.Picking the tiny brown spikes out of my hands at the finish, with my legs a muddy scratched mess and the distinct whiff of 'eau de cowpat' in my hair, you can imagine how delighted I was to be met by a relatively clean looking Stuart, who didn't know what I was talking about because he never used his hands once. Stuart, I salute you. Times :- Stuart Thomson 49:34, Ryan Mackenzie 56:21, Jenny Henderson 62:09 and Becki Munro 73:05
Glasgow river rat race
Thanks to Carol for the following report
I thought I should get round to doing a wee write up on the Rat Race that Alistair and myself took part in in August. To say it was quite a different event for us, would be an understatement! For those of you who don’t know anything about this event, I will try to give you an idea of what was involved.
We registered in the grounds of the new Transport Museum, and had lots of time to browse through the museum (free entry!) which was very interesting, whilst waiting for our “wave”. Runners were set of in groups of about 200, and we were in the 2nd wave. We had a short warm up, where I realised my co-ordination is only slightly better than Alistairs! We then set off alongside the Clyde initially, then ran around the area in the vicinity of the Armadillo, and the GECC, some on the road, and some through a narrow park track, whilst avoiding tree roots etc, then back alongside the river. The race consisted of a 10K interspersed with various obstacles, the first one being energy sapping steps around a monument, where we had to run up and down several times. The second obstacle was a large inflatable (think bouncy castle, without stopping to have fun), then we had to don our life jackets for the first time and jump into two man Kayaks for a short trip under a bridge and back again – this was the point that Alistair found that Kayaking wasn’t good for his back, so I had to do all the work – nothing new there then (only joking sweetie). Then under a cargo net over hard packed snow – yes snow, in August – even though the sun was shining, it was still freezing on the hands and knees. There were various other obstacles involving water and climbing, but nothing too taxing – just great fun, until we got to the second last one which was walking the plank off the tall ship Glenlee, approx.. 20 feet into the Clyde. This was actually an optional obstacle, and quite a few opted to miss this one out, but we Nairn Road Runners couldn’t let the side down, and off we walked (one of us slightly quicker than the other!). I have to say this was absolutely the most terrifying thing I have ever done, and we were both relieved when we reached the surface again.
To sum it up, this was definitely a race with a difference, and one we agree we would most definitely do again. It was great fun, the organisation was really good, and the spectators at the finish were really encouraging – especially when I got stuck half way up the slippery wall at the finish. We were rewarded with a nice technical t-shirt and medal, and great memories of a good day out, and our first introduction to adventure racing (albeit on a very easy scale!) Just wondering if Gordon could adapt a couple of training nights before next years event so that we are better prepared? We have decided to take the plunge (although not literally this time) and next weekend are doing the “Survival of the Fittest” in Edinburgh, which is along the same lines, but hillier and drier – I think. I don’t think going by the title that either of us will be winning any prizes, - I am just aiming for survival. Anyone have a landrover we can practice climbing through, because that appears to be one of the obstacles?? Not sure how we can train for this, but hey ho, saves doing a long run at the weekend!
As usual there was a magnificent turn-out from the club to take part in the Dyke 10k. Iain Cassidy led home 22 NRR members with a time of 39:02 and Maureen Mackie taking the honour of first Nairn Lady, but the plaudits must go to the "beginners" that were taking part in an event for the first time. It was also nice to see Gordon "coaching" his daughter, Michelle, around the course but she really must get that membership form filled in !!
Conditions were far from perfect with a strong head wind to contend wiith midway through the course, but several runners didnt let this bother them as they went on to post PB's.
Times :- Iain Cassidy 39:02, Peter Widlof 39:23, Danny Bow 42:52, Malcolm Beharrel 43:21, Dave Webster 45:37, Maureen Mackie 48:12, William Leitch 50:06, Jim Graham 50:50, Gordon Main 53:06, Andy Shirreffs 55:00, Andy Le Broq 57:24, Eddie Froude 58:07, Andy Paterson 60:16, Margaret Smith 60:52, John Rushforth 61:04, Norma Breathet 64:20, Sharon mackenzie 65:55, Tracey Paterson 65:56, Laura Hannah 67:30, Francis Hannah 69:17, G0rdon Mackay 69:32 Alistair Stewart 69:39
Thanks to Maureen for the following report - Heartbeat Challenge (12 mile hill run +10 cycle starting near Clava Cairns) 10/09/11 Having ran Clava hills on Wednesday nights on numerous occasions, I had always wondered what was over the other side of "hill 3". A few months ago I read about the Heartbeat Challenge, and the route included our normal Wed evening route and carried on over the hill to Moy so without hesitation I entered. The weather was fairly good, we had a bit of rain but not enough to get wet, the run started at 12 noon from a field near the railway viaduct and onto our familiar Wednesday night route. It was like being on a big picnic there was lots of food and water on the route, for example at 2 miles there was water, jelly babies & chocolate, after 6.5 miles there was fruit cake & flat jacks, soup & tea at the transition area and lots more food at the end. After I got over the top of "hill 3" and past the 6 mile mark I was thinking that was the worst was over with and the rest of the run would be down hill or on the flat, but I was unaware of what was to come; about 2 miles of heather, bog, then more heather. I don't run well off road and I practically came to a stand still in the boggy area not knowing where to put my feet, I got through it eventually and was able to pick up my pace again for the last couple of miles on a solid path before jumping on my bike at Moy and cycling back to the start at Clava. It was a very well organised event with lots of marshals and food and I would encourage more people to take part next year.
Great Scottish Run Glasgow - Jim Graham made his annual trip to Glasgow this weekend to take part in the GSR Half Marathon. As far as I know big Jim has taken part in ALL the Great Scottish Half marathons to date, a wonderful record(hope im right), this year he completed the city centre course in 1:53:16. As joining Jim in Georges Square was Andy Paterson who took part in the GSR 10k. Andy had a great run and smashed his PB with a time of 62:06..superb guys well done indeed.
Nairn half marathon - for the 3rd year running the weather conditions were more in the favour of the spectator than they were for the half marathon runners with the clouds clearing around lunchtime and bright warm sunshine and a strong wind adding to the task that lay ahead for the 175 runners, and by the time they lined up on the links for the hooter the temperature had risen even higher. But as usual the top runners laughed in the face of the conditions and came home in very good times indeed.
Winner of this years event was Stan McKenzie (Forres Harriers) 1:16:47, with Melissa Whyte (Inverness Harriers) 1:19:56,taking the honours in the female listings. First NRR home was Stuart Thompson followed closely by Iain Cassidy.
Full list of NRR times :- Stuart Thompson 1:27:43, Iain Cassidy 1:30:47, Iain Blackburn 1:33:06, Gordon Main 1:37:52, Colin McGregor 1:40:52, David Webster 1:43:41, Chris Rankin 1:49:06, Maureen Mackie 1:49:36, Jim Graham 1:55:02, Morag Macleod 2:13:21, Kenny Macleod 2:13:21, Andrew Shirreffs 2:17:48, John Rushforth 2:25:28, Alexander MacKintosh 2:29:44 and Fiona McLachlan 2:40:52
Special mention must go to Louise and her team of helpers that made the day a great success and a special well done to everyone that was competing at "Half Marathon" distance for the first time.
The viewpoint challenge took place last Weds night in far from ideal conditions with low cloud and rain making the route even more difficult. Unfortunately Laura Ross was unavailable to defend he female title due to work, but Iain Cassidy, Iain Blackburn, Malcolm Beharrell and Gordon Main flew the flag for NRR. For anyone that hasn't done this event, it takes on 2 parts. Firstly the course itself , which starts in Grant park and winds its way up to the Califer viewpoint a total of 3 miles, but the last mile is classed as the "KILLER MILE" and when you run it you will realise why. The results very kindly give you a total time and a split time for the killer mile.
Ben Rinnes 5 tops hill race Ryan Mackenzie led the Nairn contingent home in a time of 2:50:12, followed closely by Iain Cassidy 2:55:04, Gordon Main 3:05:26 and Malcolm Beharrell 3:15:45...as race that Malcolm well and truly left his mark !!! Full report to follow
Maureen and friends on their travels Over the last few months Maureen Mackie has been taking part in events ranging from Stornoway to the Orkeny Isles and has been sucessfull in persuading other club members to accompany her and to take part . Below is Maureens reports , starting with her Stornoway half marathon ...
Stornoway Half Marathon (28/05/11) I have done this race several times, I like it because the course has a good variety of; through the town, on the seashore and off road though the castle grounds. During this years race the weather was variable too, one minute it was nice a sunny and you were getting too hot and the next it was heavy rain. It starts at Lewis Castle College going down hill, past the golf club, then round the town, onto a path close to the shoreline at Sandwick bay, back through the town and around Lewis castle grounds for the last 5 miles which are beautiful.
As I am in Stornoway for work on a regular basis, I have my favourite B & B which is not far from the 3 mile marker. My B & B landlady was on the route with her special homemade fudge for me which gave me a welcome energy boast, but it didn't help my speed, I finished in 1hr 58, a slower time than I would have liked but I am blaming that on a cold I had been suffering all week.
Island of Hoy Half Marathon (12/06/11) I was able to persuade Linda Taylor to enter this very scenic half marathon on the Orkney Island of Hoy. I had done it previously but this was Linda's first time.
Hoy is a half hour ferry journey from Orkney mainland, you are bussed from the registration point at the school where the race ends to the start at Rackwick. (Linda was not impressed by the toilet provision at the start - a bit basic !). The first 3 miles are fairly easy through the Rackwick valley, then things get a bit tougher as the route becomes rather undulating with several hills, one goes on for 1½ miles but it is well worth the effort as you get spectacular views over Scapa Flow to the Orkney Mainland and the islands. It makes all the Wed night training nights at Clava worth while !
It was dull and drizzly at the start so it was fairly comfortable to run it and it turned into a bonnie day after we had finished. This was the Hoy Half 25th anniversary, there is always great atmosphere as most folk in this small community are involved in the day in some way. ( Times: Linda 2hr 16, Maureen 1 hr 54 )
Granite Challenge (18/06/11) This was on the same day as the Highland Cross, it was a forty mile challenge from Fraserburgh to Dyce along an old railway line. It was organised by Paul Corrigan for the Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Charity. You needed to enter as a team of 3, my team members were Susan Smith and Ishbel Mackinnon (non club member from Portsoy). We could choose to cycle the whole route or run or walk the first 15 miles, then cycle 25 miles. Susan cycled the full course in a time of 4hr 41. Ishbel and I chose to run & cycle in times of 5hr 25 and 5hr 51 respectively.
I didn't think this would be too difficult as the route was "flat" but it turned out being a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. The conditions underfoot varied tremendously parts of path were nice and even, some bits had horrible hard core there were muddy puddles and parts overgrown with grass, I’m not an off road runner ! Due to an environmental issue we were diverted off the railway line onto a road before we got to the transition section at Maud station, this detour must have added an extra mile to the run. At the transition I had left a spare set of clothes with my bike so I got changed, had a drink and food, all at a leisurely pace, then I set off on my bike to do what I thought was going to be the easy part, but the roughness of the terrain made it rather challenging, after about 10 miles on my bike with another 15 miles to go, I was bouncing across some sharp stones when my rear tyre went "bang". Was I prepared for a puncture ? - NO, but lucky for me a very helpful young guy stopped and got me sorted by putting a new tube in my tyre and I was able to make it to the end. The weather was not great, cold and rainy most of us were very muddy when we got to the finish where we got a very warm welcome from the volunteers and race organisers.
Portsoy, Follow the Herring 10K (03/07/11) has been well supported by Nairn Club members in the past but I was the sole Nairn representative this year. It was a lovely day, there was a slight breeze that didn't make it unbearably hot. It starts at the football park, goes along the main A98 for a couple of Km, then goes into the country side and finishes at the harbour right in the middle of the boat festival. So there is lots of stuff to see, do and eat after your finished. Next years race will be on 24th June before the school holidays, this may attract more participants from Nairn RR.
Follow the Herring 10k Well done to Maureen Mackie for being the lone orange vest at the recent follow the herring 10k which is part of the Portsoy fishing festival and was held on Sunday 3rd July. Maureen clocked a very good time of 48:47 on which is a very hilly course. Full results can be found Here
Lairig Ghru Thanks to Iain Cassidy for the following report - Nairn Road Runners were well represented at the 2011 Laraig Ghru Race, which saw a record entry this year. Conditions were ideal for this gruelling hill-race, with moderate temperatures, relatively dry conditions underfoot and just a hint of rain early in the race. Stuart Thompson made an impressive debut, coming 40th overall in a time of 4:07:09. He was followed in by Iain Cassidy (53rd) 4:24:56; Malcolm Beharrell (63rd) 4:33:05; Iain Blackburn (64th) 4:33:27; Gordon Main (68th) 4:35:26; and Jenny Henderson (72nd) 4:38:05. This was an especially good run by Jenny, who knocked a staggering 58 minutes off her previous PB set in 2010. It was also good to see supporters from the club cheering us on through the Rothiemurchus Forest, so a big thank you to those of you who were there.
Highland Cross Thanks to Peter Widlof for this report, unfortunately it turned out to be a day he will not forget in a while. "So once again the Highland Cross has come and gone, a 20 mile cross country run followed by a 30 mile cycle from Morvich on the West coast to Beauly on the East, a day to be remembered certainly for some but best forgotten by me!
Maggie and I stayed with our friend John Talbot in Inverinate on the West coast the night before the event. His house is situated only about 3 miles from the start so a great base to relax before the off. Amongst other things John has managed to take part in and complete all 29 crossings one of only two people to have done so, quite a remarkable achievement.
The day dawned overcast with an Easterly wind and a temp of about 14 degrees, the run into the wind would prove to be hard going! Maggie set off at 9a.m with the walkers and disappeared into the glen. 11a.m and it was my turn to set off with the runners, rubbing shoulders with Pippa Middleton no less. The run was a tough test as we battled into the wind and it hit us hard as we topped Alt Granda but the further East we pushed the calmer the wind became only to be replaced by rain and falling temperatures. I passed Maggie on the track and shouted out encouragement but the rain and wind had dampened her spirits somewhat, only 7 miles to the changeover though! John was a little further ahead but limping a little with a sore knee. As for me I surprised myself by completing the run in 25th place with very little trouble at all. Looking forward to the cycle as for those who know me I’m probably a better cyclist than a runner. I passed four fellow competitors in the first mile as I fuelled up for the trip to Beauly, this was going better than I could possibly have hoped. BANG! a front tyre puncture, oh no! Never mind I had a spare inner tube so I fixed it at the roadside. All the while getting colder as the temp had dropped to about 4 degrees and it was raining and still breezy. Back on the bike BANG! A rear tyre puncture only 15 meters further on, how unlucky can one man get? Okay I thought I have 1 last spare I’ll change the tube and be off. Unfortunately the cold had got to me I managed to change the tube but couldn’t feel my hands and broke the pump with my fumbling.
Only one thing for it I would have to walk back to the changeover for help all hope of a good finish lost long ago. As my shivering intensified on the way back I remember a van pulling up and that was the last thing I remember until a while later in the medical tent. Hyperthermia had got the better of me and I had collapsed. I must say a big thank you to all those people who helped me recover and to my friends who didn’t take the pi#@ and to all my sponsors who still paid up despite me not completing the course. ALL MONIES STILL MOST WELLCOME.
Maggie finished with renewed vigour in 7 and a half hours with John just a further 10mins behind, well done to them both.
I recount this tale not for sympathy but to illustrate that even in the middle of summer we can be caught out by the weather, had it not been for the safety net provided by the organisers I would have been in desperate trouble. Be prepared and don’t take Scottish climate for granted.
Will I do the cross again? You bet! Well I can’t finish with a none finish now can I ?"
Men Robb Brookes 3.39.29
Ladies Rhona Buchan 4.31.24
Glenmoray 10 mile and 10k races Nairn road runners were again amongst the prize winners this weekend when Laura Ross came 2nd in the womans 10 miler and Dave Webster took the award for his age group...congrats to both and all that ran the testing hilly course. Nairn times :- 10 mile- Iain Cassidy 62:15, Laura Ross 62:20, Ian Blackburn 68:44, Dale Woodman 69:39, Jenny Henderson 74:09 and David Webster 74:18 10k - Colin McGregor 42:33, Jim Graham 51:28, Eddie Froude 57:12 and Andy Paterson 61:25.
Balmoral 10k throught the eyes and feet of John Ferrie Well the day was finally here so got ready and set off nice and early so I could get a parking place much closer to the Castle. On the Saturday there were to be 4 races but due to the large field of secondary school kids there was a boys and a girls race over 2.5k and for primary schools a 1.5 k race. Both races were followed by a 5k race and last but not least the Balmoral 10k. It was nice to be early for a change to wander around and watch a few races, however unlike the good weather we were having in Nairn it was dull and cool, great running weather. As time for the 10K start approached it got very dull and started to rain lightly, not that the spirits of what seemed to be thousands of runners were much affected an actual field of 1940 runners according to the stats. We were off and for the next 4k the route followed a very slight incline, rain getting heavier too. At around 4k a left turn brought us to the foot of the hill, as the tee shirt says “what hill”. This was also where we went from tarmac to dirt track as good as Clavas best, but not as steep as the steepest. The dreaded hill goes on for just over mile so not too many hills like that in any 10K I’ve ever been in, not one for a PB. As I struggled up the hill I knew I was nearing the top by the amount of runners now walking, and the sound of the pipes to greet us, a lonely bedraggled piper, like all the runners we were now soaked through. The hill also boasts a view but it was not to be today low cloud and rain, anyway I was so swift I missed it cause we were now on the downhill. Many thanks to Gordons training ensured I would make up some time I lost on the slow climb up.
There wasn’t much left in the legs when I finished my time was 76m40s, collected my medal and a quality tee-shirt for my efforts. It’s a super event, great atmosphere well run and according to one of the runners mags is in the top 10 of great must do 10ks.
This year I decided on a change of plan not to hurry home so I was booked to stop over in Braemar at the Fyfe Arms hotel. This turned out to have been a good decision for I enjoyed my stopover very much, with good company a nice meal and a few beers and drams, all in all a great day out.
Cape Wrath Marathon Jenny Henderson made the long trip up to Cape Wrath last weekend to take part in the Cape Wrath marathon, which is part of a week long running festival. She decided that camping overnight before the race would be a good idea, totally mad you might say. But Jenny excelled in the race and posted a PB with a time of 3:58:14...so maybe sleeping under canvass the night before an event is the way to go?? Well done Jenny and I look forward to reading your report.
Edinburgh Marathon Five club members headed south to take part in the annual Edinburgh marathon last Sunday. Luckily for the runners they didnt have to endure the 27c heat that the field had to suffer last year, unluckily for the runners it blew a gale for most of the race but did this put our runners off ?...NO CHANCE Laura and Jonathon Ross stormed home (pun) in a fantastic time of 3:12:20 followed by Chris Rankin 4:28:17, Carol Stewart 4:51:05 and Alistair Stewart 5:11:27..well done to all and I look forward to receiving a detailed report soon.
Culbin Forest race 18th May 2011
The annual forest race series got under way last Wednesday 18th May, when a record entry of 182 runners took part in this 5 mile race in the wonderful setting of Culbin Forest.The series consists of 4 races, Culbin, Roseisle (wed 1st June) Quarrellwood (wed 15th June) and Monaughty (wed 29th June), they are aimed at runners of all abilities and include childrens races which are held prior to the adults runs.The Culbin race was won by Simon Pride (Forres Harriers) in a time of 28:12, first Nairn runner was Stuart Thomson in a fantastic time of 29:47. Other NRR times are as follows - Ryan McKenzie 32:18, Danny Bow 33:39, Gordon Main 34:50, Phil Andrews 37:15, Dave Webster 37:21, Kenny Macleod 38:47, Jim Graham 43:15, Corinne Ferguson 44:09, Fiona Macleod 46:50, Morag Macleod 46:51 John Rushforth 51:46 and John Ferrie 56:26.The next stage of the series takes place in Roseisle forest on Wednesday 1st June with registration starting at 6:15pm, children's race starts at 6:45pm and Adults at 7:15pm
Many congratulations to Morag,Peter and Danny for returning from the Benromach 10k with place prizes. Morag and Peter repeated their Moray 10k exploits by taking 2nd place and 3rd place in their categories (SV50) and Danny came home with 2nd place for SV60
To put the cherry on the cake both Morag and Peter won overall series 2nd placings and Danny took 3rd SV...well done to everyone that competed in the Northern Scot 10k series but a special well done to our trophy winners.
Club runners were out in force for the Benromach 10k, which is the last in the Northern Scot 10k series and is held in Forres. The weather was to play a big part in the runners timings as the sun beat down and the windy provided a testing first 4k on this flat but open course. Once again Ben Livesey(Birchfield harriers) led the 237 strong field from the start and won the race in a time of 32:16. First woman home was Melissa Whyte (Inverness Harriers) 37:03. First Nairn male was Peter Widlof with a time of 41:56 which was good enough to win him 3rd place in his category. First Nairn female was Jenny Henderson in a great time of 45:55. Also amongst the prize winners were Morag Macleod and Danny Bow,Morag winning 2nd place SV50 and Danny 2nd place SV60. Nairn club times are as follows :- Peter Widlof 41:56,Danny Bow 42:48, Andy Hodge 44:14, Colin McGregor 44:51, Jenny Henderson 45:53, David Webster 46:33, Chris Rankin 46:34, Jenny Bryce 47:46, Maureen MacKie 50:30, Morag Macleod 52:57, Fiona Macleod 60:30, Mo Russell 60:30, John Rushforth 66:11, Nicola Williamson 68:29, Judith Henderson 69:26 and Tracey Houe 69:26.
When Becki and Ryan came along to the club on a cold and windy Wednesday night back in the dark winter, they told us of the event that they were training for and I immediatley thought they were both mad !! But last weekend saw the holding of the annual "Highland Fling", a 53 mile all terrain ultra marathon, no its not a typo, it was 53 miles ( I dont go that far on holiday). Below is Becki's report on their adventure.
We both woke up most upset that the weather, was sunny and bright, not what we were looking for at all. Hitting temps of 22 degrees at some points, with little shade up on the hills, it affected a huge number of runners, increasing overall times and over 60 pulled out for various reasons. The course record was beaten this year though by a new face. So, first ultra for me and second for Ryan, it’s a 53 mile course with around 6000 foot of climbing. Roughly split into 4 sections, a road and trail section, a hill and forest section, an extremely hilly and then technical up and down section by the Lochside, boulders, tree roots, etc and then a huge climb back out through the hills to the last 3 flat miles.
For Ryan, up until 20 mile marker was looking on time for his 10 and a half hour target , but at his first checkpoint, his drop bag had been lost,so nothing to eat or drink, bar a coca cola for the next 7 hilly miles. Needless to say,this was a very difficult point and he did well to get through. Seeing his former club member racing the relay gave him a push to beat them, which pulled him into his next checkpoint. Even with dehydration having set in he managed to complete the course, by power walking the last 13 miles with a very disappointing (for him) time of 11:55, making him 195th out of 320 finishers. He had made the final checkpoint with over two hours to spare. Looks like we need to do some warm weather work!!
My race was a little different, being my first one I wanted to go out and be within the 15 hour target. At 6am It started well, I felt really comfortable, until about 28 miles when the heat really started to get to me. I had a group of girls that were all running together they had all completed ultras before and were telling me stories and giving me tips, which I will need to put into practice. Surprisingly I enjoyed all the hilly sections and hated all the flats of which thankfully there are few) Around mile 28 I took a wee tumble down a hill, giving me two beautiful black knees. Another slip on my ankle at mile 38, I really need to sort my clumsiness, and got to the final checkpoint. You need to be at the final point before 6pm, we got in at 4:30, so plenty time to spare. Walked and ran the next 13 hilly miles, breaking them into wee chunks. Managed to run as fast as possible over the finish line where there were still loads of people cheering. I came in at 14 and a half hours, which was 308th out of 320 finishers.
Absolutely fantastic event, cannot wait to do it again, completely caught the bug now and was well marshalled with friendly faces all along the course, bar the ones who lost Ryan’s bag. Both want to really carry on with the long distance and for me it’s just about improving on speed. Anyone who is up for it next year?? Perhaps a ladies/guys relay team or we could take a group down???
Fiona McLachlan took part in the above event last Monday (2nd May) and recorded a time of 5hrs:32mins:02secs...Well done Fiona , most improved Female :) We are hoping to have a report on Fiona's race soon.
It was decided that this years fee's would be slashed to £15 and £10 per student.
Helen has decided to step down from the committee, she had served as treasurer since 2006 and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her very much for the fantastic job she did while in office. We certainly hope that we will still see her on club nights and ofcourse hope that she will continue to provide the superb baking etc.
The annual club awards were presented to the following
Most Improved Female - Fiona McLachlan
Most improved Male - John Rushforth
Club Spirit award - Alistair Stewart
A vote of thanks was also tabled for our coaches,Gordon Main, Danny Bow and Susan Smith without whom we truly would be lost.
Chairperson - Alistair Stewart
Vice Chairperson - Louise Scott
Acting Sec - Fiona Kelman
Treasurer - Vacant (at moment)
Membership sec - Carol Stewart
Committee members - Denise Main, Susan Smith, Debbie Halliday, Fiona McLachlan, John Ferrie, Gordon Cruickshank, Kenny Macleod.
This years club fees are now due and they have been reduced to £15 and £10 for a student. Carol Stewart is our membership sec and she will be delighted to take your money.
How to look good.
Running in warm weather can be a struggle but running in warm weather in the wrong t-shirt can be a nightmare. The club is offering you the chance not only to feel cool but to look cool. For the small sum of £4 you can be the proud owner of a club"half marathon" technical running shirt. They are only available in XL, but they are a small XL if you know what I mean. To place your order please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and REMEMBER its first come first served.
Balmoral Multi-terrain Half Marathon
Maureen Mackie flew the flag for the club at this grueling event which was held the day after the 10k in the grounds of the Royal castle.Maureen, who ran it with 4 of her friends from Banff described the course as "hilly and uneven and made Clava easy in comparison, definitely a course for hill runners !! but the scenery and views were stunning".
Maureen finished this new course in a great time of 1:54:51,
John Ferrie was the only club member to take part in this years Balmoral 10k which was held on Saturday 23rd April. John ran a time of 72:41. I look forward to recieving a full report from John in the near future.
Unfortunately due to a timing "malfunction" there has been no official times issued for this race. Once I get word from the people that ran for the club on the day I will publish their times that hopefully they recorded for themselves.
NYRR 4 mile race
While on a family holiday Chris Rankin found time to take part in the NYRR 4 mile race which is held in Central Park New York. Despite so appalling weather Chris was placed 606th out of 5144 runners and recorded at time of 28:30.
Bisgoes 12 Mile race through the eyes and legs of Linda Taylor (sorry for the delay)
The Bisgoes 12 Miles started for me by catching the 7.20am ferry from Kirkwall to the island of Westray.I spent the one and a half hour crossing talking running,as there were lots of runners there for the event too.Registration took place in the ferry office at the pierhead when we arrived.The race numbers were made from material rather than paper and were re-usable! Great recycling idea for a small event.There was the option of walking or running the 12 miles and also a 3 mile and a 1 mile run for youngsters.We gathered at the T junction at the head of the pier,bracing ourselves against the strong wind blowing straight off the sea.The race briefing told us there were several water stations(juice and sweets on offer too) and as for toilets,"just knock on any door,they are all pretty friendly"! After a slight technical hitch when a replacement stopwatch was sent for,we were all set to start when a very valid question was shouted out - "which way do we go?"Having set off (all in the right direction) it was a relief to discover that the strong wind was to be mostly on our backs.There were few marshals along the scenic route,with yellow arrows positioned appropriately at junctions.I had slight cause for concern coming through the village when I noticed two runners ahead of me stopping and looking around.The cause of their confusion was a sign at the junction advertising a house for sale.The locality of the house was indicated by,yes you've guessed it,a yellow arrow.A quick check with the ladies at the water station and we were back on track.Towards the end of the run is Noltland Castle which was built in 1560 by Balfour, a dodgy bloke who was implicated in the murder of Mary Queen of Scots 2nd husband.Well you can't come from Orkney and not know something about history.Meanwhile,back to the Bisgoes 12.Incidentally 'Bisgoes' comes from the Norse language meaning two inlets.Maureen Mackie had warned me about the hill at the end.(Maureen was 1st equal in this event the first year it was held and,legend has it,continued on for another 4 miles,helping a friend with marathon training).The hill was as steep as Clava! I couldn't believe it! I asked the marshals at the end for a stewards inquiry because "Orkney used to be flat"! Having conquered the hill,the immediate reward was the finish line.And the rewards just kept coming in the shape of the converted farm steading,now a beautiful hostel and self catering cottages that is Bisgoes.We were treated to a huge barbeque with plenty of wine or beer to wash it down.I actually had to ask if there was any water and was directed inside where water,juice,tea,coffee and home bakes were all available,not forgetting the ice lollies which appeared later on.It was a lovely sunny day by then,perfect for sitting out on the grass,enjoying the Orkney air.Before leaving the barbeque,everybody got a 'I DID IT' badge and a certificate with their time.Shuttle buses ran back to the village and to the ferry,although the properly organised had arranged accommodation and were staying on for the buffet and ceildh.Somehow as the ferry left,it felt as if we were leaving just as the party was really getting started.
Lochaber Marathon Sunday 10th April
Well done to the five club members that ventured to Fort William to take part in the Lochaber Marathon on Sunday 10th April. Mother nature all of a sudden decided it was summer time and the temp hit a dizzy 21c by race time. A field of 404 runners started from the shinty pitch in Fort William and headed out the Mallaig road for 13 miles before turning and heading back to witness what must be one of the most scenic routes in th UK. Every layby was filled with well wishers which helped to spur on the runners and their were a few familiar faces amongst them which was a great boost for the Nairn runners.
Gordon Main 3:28:33, Malcolm Beharrel 3:40:39, Kenny Macleod 4:19:47 Mo Russell 4:35:57 and Morag Macleod 4:40:02
Glenlivet 10k Sunday 10 April
Three of our female members were also battling against the heat on Sunday when the took place in the 2nd Glenlivet 10k. The undulating course has been described as "anything but easy".
Maureen Mackie 51:52, Fiona McLachlan 70:37 and Susan Smith 75:20
Tres Bon Chris
Well done to Chris Rankin for taking part in the Paris Half Marathon which took place last Sunday (6th March). Chris recorded a time of 1:44:13 with splits of 24:49(5k), 48:27(10k), 1:12:57(15k).
Moray 10k Sunday 27th March
Loads of orange vests were on show yesterday at the Moray 10k. The 2nd in the Northern Scot series was held in Elgin with the start and finish in Cooper park. Conditions were slightly cool with a head on wind to contend with for the later part of the race. Ben Livesey won the mens race and Melissa Whyte, who had 24hrs earlier represented Scotland at the National Cross Country event in Belfast, won the womans event.
First Nairn man was Peter Widlof and first Lady was Maureen Mackie. Peter also picked up 3rd place in his category as did Morag Macleod.Well done to all who took part and to Moray Road Runners for another successfull event.....click on icon to view results
The Gairoch 10k was held in Inverurie last Sunday (20thMarch) and club member John Ferrie made his way along the A96 to take part, he kindly supplied me with the following report " On Sunday I was off to Inverurie for the Gairoch 10k, it was a well organised event with a field of around 500 runners for the 10k race.The weather turned out to be very sunny and warm so the winter clothes were dispensed with, and shorts and T-shirt were the order of the day. At mile 4 I was making good time but then I began to tire so managed a time of 67:30, which I was quite pleased with for my first run of 2011, bring on the next one." John Ferrie.
A cheeky wee run (his words not mine) by Iain Blackburn at the Newtonmore 10 mile race, gained him a great time of 66:35. Also taking part were Colin McGregor 71:41 and Adam Thomas 72:12.Click on icon to view results
Malcolm Beharrell 1:35:14, Paul McCruden 1:40:35, Maureen Mackie 1:42:12, Paul Webster 1:42:15, Jenny Bryce 1:48:00, Aileen Tough 1:48:23, Carol Stewart 2:02:00 Debbie Halliday 2:03:05. Full results Here
Club members time were as follows:- Stuart Thompson 37:28,Jonathon Ross38:52,Laura Ross38:56,Peter Widlof 39:39,Danny Bow 41:24,Gordon Main 41:53,Andy Hodge 41:54,Malcolm Beharrell 42:13,David Webster 44:01,Paul McCruden 44:28,Phil Andrews 44:48,Jenny Bryce 44:55,Maureen Mackie 47:13,Morag Macleod 48:26,James Graham 50:46,Donald Ross 51:10,Kris Kellas 51:13,Stuart Innes 53:51,Linsey Matheson 53:55,Carol Stewart 54:20,Debbie Halliday 54:37,Andy Shirreff 55:38,Corrinne Ferguson 55:41,Fiona Craig 57:23,Fiona Macleod 58:35,Kenny Macleod 58:53,Grace Main 59:19,Clare Rhind 60:11,Fiona McLachan 62:27,John Rushforth 63:05,Judith Henderson 69:36,Julie Mackintosh 69:37,Nicola Williamson 69:37,Gordon Mackay 71:50,Carol Chisholm 72:24,Anita Nicol 74:36,Diane Marples 76:45,Susan Smith 76:46,Valerie McCready 76:53
Kinloss to Lossiemouth Half Marathon Sunday 20th Feb 2011
Well done to the 6 club members that competed in the annual Kinloss to Lossie half marathon last Sunday. Conditions were favourable for the 166 runners as they set off from the gates of the RAF base at Kinloss. The route takes the runner along the coast road to Lossie via the villages of Cummingston and Hopeman where the wind had slightly increased and the runners had to face it for about 3 miles. All 6 of us were delighted with our times, with both Morag and Paul recording PB's. Morag also won 2nd prize in her age catergory. Unfortunately there seems to be a slight mistake in the official times and both Maureen and Chris have had a minute added to there correct times which were :- Dave Webster 96:48, Paul McCruden 97:19, Chris Rankin 101:21, Maureen Mackie 101:41, Kenny Macleod 102:18 and Morag Macleod 108:08.