The Deerstalker 10k is not your normal race Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for a start it is not 10km long!
I did the first Deerstalker event along with Drew a good few years ago but for one reason or another it took until this year for a return visit. The route is based on the trails (and rivers) around Innerleithen and this year had a slightly delayed start of 17:45 in the evening (in order to ensure a portion of the course was in the dark). I was amazed to find out that around 1600 folks now enter the 10k edition with another 600 odd in the shorter 5k race which is held earlier in the day.
As on my previous attempt, I opted for a start position near the front of the field in order to clear the first obstacle of hay bales about 100m into the course. Safely over the bales it was out the back of Traquair House and onto a short road section before a left turn into a muddy (very muddy in fact) field. Suitably dirty and wet, the next section was a climb up the mountain bike trails complete with a scramble under the first of a number of cargo nets. From the high point of the course there was a fast descent back down to the road and another cargo net (this time to help stop runners from tipping onto the road). Next was a short section along side the River Tweed with a couple of dips in the water to prepare for the long river section through the town where the local kids (and some adults) heckled from the bridge Ã¢â‚¬Â¦or was it words of encouragement?
A short climb followed before an easy traverse into a fairly steep scree gully. I enjoyed watching a guy trying to Ã¢â‚¬Å“powerÃ¢â‚¬Â up the scree, only to stay more or less stationary. A firework display indicated the first runner had topped out the gully. Over the log balance and there was a cracking wee ridge descent back towards the town. Down in the woods along side Leithen water the last of the light had gone and it was time for the headtorch. The remainder of the course was a bit of a blur due to the lack of light but one comic moment was when I forgot about the flooded culvert section Ã¢â‚¬Â¦a short yelp (not very manly) was let out as cold water went well above the waist ! I was pleased to finish in 26th position in 1 hour 29 minutes Ã¢â‚¬Â¦and something seconds.
HBT had a good representation with Don Naylor being first home in 1:16:53, Steve Cairns in second position and Clare Gordon being second girl home in 1:34:32 just behind Aly Raw of Bingley.
Had a bit of a chat with some folks from Carnegie Harriers before some beer and a nice warm sleeping bag called out. A great event and something a little different with and loads of fun thrown in.
Blew the cobwebs away with a blast round the red route in Glen Tress with some real mountain bikers Ã¢â‚¬Â¦and suffering significant upper body pain today for it!