Went up to a new race on Deeside last night. Dess Woods Night Race organised by Deeside Runners. I wouldn’t have gone all that way myself but I got a lift, as on many previous occasions, with Jonathan Weir. The race start was at an activity park which had agreed to open its cafe late to accommodate the race. This was great as it meant registration, changing and race briefing could all be done in the warm. Only place to warm up was going straight up the hill from the start and I declined the opportunity……race started and we were off, all 46 of us. The race consisted of a long long climb followed by an undulating cross country loop of 2/3K then a steep downhill and back up loop of the same length, a repeat of the first loop, then back down the hill to the finish. Started ok and managed to outlast the hill ie still in a running action when it started to flatten off …..got into my stride and was bowling along nicely when I failed to spot a bump in the grassy field and tumbled head over heels …..only my feelings were hurt as I dragged my aged carcass from the ground and tried to get going again ……then a surreal experience ……I’d started OK but really didn’t expect Alan Smith of Deeside to be behind me …..he cruised past talking about some old mannie from Westerlands who needed to look where he put his feet ……cheek! ……Alan and a few others got past at this point before I got going properly…..turned out he has had a cold and was just having a jog ….though he passed a lot of runners in the second half of the race. Managed to pass a few people here ……then over a wall along a trail and we started the second loop, long downhill then undulating on narrow grassy and pine-needle covered paths before turning steeply back up beside a burn ( which we could hear but not see) which almost bust me before we came out at the top to repeat the first loop again …….hung on in and started to close on the guy ahead ….should have got my ass in gear earlier as though I reduced the deficit by 100m or so by the finish he still beat me by 10m+. In to the cafe to get changed and have some excellent food …..results were announced within 30 mins or so ….Peter Henry of Deeside won in 36mins and I was just over 10 mins behind …..the first and only M60. I recommend this race as can’t think of anything about it which wasn’t well planned and executed.

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