I’d never been to Forres until this weekend, although it’s a popular place for the Vets’ (oops, Masters) championships. My short visit showed why: the course was a splendid woodland trail, book-ended by grassy parkland to get the old legs working. Forres itself is a most attractive small town, somehow free of urban blight and boarded-up shops. Perhaps its most famous local runner is Don Ritchie the “ultra” runner, some of whose records still stand.          A warm-up round the course, and Gibby, Sheila and I lined up for the “unisex” first race (V65+ men slipstreaming behind the ladies). My attempted tactic of keeping Gibby in my sights soon turned to retrieving my place against an encroaching 75+ category runner. It’s perhaps encouraging to notice how the participants look leaner and keener as they get older!  A 6k race (under 4 miles) feels like a bit of a sprint, and I was only sorry that I couldn’t gain pace for the last grassy half-mile. Thus I didn’t break 30 minutes, as hoped, but kept Gibby’s lead over me below 3 minutes. Sheila was one of 3 V65 women finishers.  Time to draw breath, and pass gloves to Cap’n John for the (comparative) youngsters’ 8k race, in which both John and Dave Calder were debutants. As the field snaked round the parkland before entering the woods, two legends were visible at the front and back of the pack: Bobby Quinn showing that life continues at 40, while Robin Thomas (“YP”) plodded at the tail, with Ian Marshall (“Nixon”) for company. Kilbarchan’s Quinn ran away with the race: as for the two Boggies, I am tempted to quote Long John Silver:  “Drink and the devil has done for the rest / Yo Ho Ho, and a bottle of rum!”

Selected places and times: first the V65+ men (6k):

7. Gibson Fleming (Westies)  28m 01;  11. GrimGraeme Orr (Westies)  30m 59

Ladies (all ages 35+ over 6k):

1. E. Mooney 22m20; 3. A. Mudge (Carnethy) 22m 46  57. Sheila Thomson (Westies) 34m 41

Men (ages 35+ to 64, 8k)

1. R. Quinn (Kilbarchan) 27m 21; 78.Dave Calder (Westies) 34m 11; 104. John Hamer 38m23

119 finished







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