- The sixth leg of the Borders XC Series at Spittal took place in good running conditions with little wind although pretty chilly. Apart from the usual slog through the soft sand at the start and finish the organisers had also changed the climb up to the clifftop path from the usual pathway to a scramble up the grassy banking which took most of the field by surprise, not just the newcomers.
The juniors got underway with 3 Harriers in the field of 76. Winning the race in a time of 14:24 was John McLean of Selkirk, first Harrier home was James Mercer in 15th place (17:06) just edging out Fraser Clyne in 16th (17:10) while Calum Murray ran a steady race to finish 42nd (19:07). Also running was Bill Knox’s daughter Anna who finished 63rd in 21:36.
After the kid’s finished it was our turn and I found myself right at the front as we lined up, as it’s a bit tight at the start I decided to just stay there and go for it from the start. Easy said but after the soft start and we had spread out on Spittal beach thing’s were still going well. A few different lines as runner’s headed for what they thought was the firmest sand. I had decided to stay high but had only checked out half the beach and in hindsight the closer to the water probably gave the best running but also looked slightly longer so maybe a case of six and half a dozen. At the end of the beach I went straight over the rock’s which nicked a couple of place’s back and then up the stair’s to scramble up the new climb. The clifftop run and I picked up a couple and also lost a couple of place’s but then lost a few yard’s at the turn which I never got back. However the descent back to the beach went well and after crossing the rock’s I decided to stick to the high line, however this left me isolated a bit and probably cost me a couple of places with nobody to race with. As everybody came back together I found myself about 20yds behind the first lady but still feeling strong enough for a final sprint, should have known better as the soft sand in the final 300yds doesn’t lend itself to sprinting. So had to settle for 19th place in 28:58 but happy with my run. Up at the front Dunbar’s Adam Crichton won in 24:28 while other Teviotdale runner’s were Darryl in 6th (27:00), Alan I enjoying his debut in the series and a first visit to Spittal in 31st (29:48), Degsy 38th (30:10) and Wayne 43rd (30:34). So that’s nearly it for another year with one race left in the series at Norham’s leg 0n Feb 19th at Floor’s Castle.
All that was left was a jog back along the beach for a warm down. Having decided to jog along the beach barefoot the temptation to go for a paddle proved too strong, didnae last long! As I came back out light headed I decided ice bath’s are not for me