The Greenmnatle Dash – at least 25 years since I had last done this race, but for 2017 I decided that the pros outweighed the cons;the pros being: a Westie winter league counter,a crisp sunny forecast, Davey’s offer of a chauffer drive, being hangover free and having the opportunity to dress up (fancy dress was after all, de rigueur for the Dash – well it was 25 years ago!); the cons being: a seasonal chest infection and the inclination to hibernate. The pros won out but my dilemma was, what fancy dress would be appropriate to lend Westie Woman panache to the event?! I whittled down the options to fallen angel wings with slipped halo and a fetching tunic and hat; PBs packed and we were good to go.
After a pleasant drive through a Borders’ landscape of frost furred hedgerows and sparkling fields we arrived at Broughton village hall; the initial scene was familiar – the bumbling bonhomie of race organiser Dick Wall, the kitchen bustle of soup-making ladies and a babbling, fidgeting gathering of runners. But there the warm familiarity ended – I recognised only a handful of faces in amidst babbling gathering, thankfully including a smattering of Westies (Don, JD, Steve H, Craig Freshwater and Chris McKiddie); everyone looked deadly serious- sprinting to and fro, kitting and re-kitting and to my huge surprise, not a wizard cape, set of fairy wings, dinosaur tail or even a Santa hat in sight – not even with ten minutes to go! After some hesitation I sheepishly folded away the elf tunic, retaining only, as part of essential ‘full body cover’ – my elf hat tucked secretly into my bum bag. Two minutes to go and suddenly in a spirit of defiance and nostalgia, I whipped out my elf hat and plonked it (back to front) on my head before sprinting off down the distillery drive towards our first obstacle!
No ‘tens from Len’ for my efforts with the obstacles – a clumsy clamber over the stone wall, a lucky lurch over the field fence and quite frankly a pathetic plunge across the burn, but these obstacles overcome I recovered my composure, called upon some elfin magic and got moving in proper hill runner style. Felt I did not bad, especially on the climb and as much as you can, I thoroughly enjoyed this crazy, painful wee race.
Westie players acquitted themselves well – with Steve Halsall finishing in 4th position followed by Craig Freshwater and then either Don or Chris, then JD and then me. Some beers were won – some ‘properly’ and some inadvertently by virtue of the fact that Dick could n’t read his men’s Over Fifties results’ sheet properly, but for JD’s sake, I draw veil – justice prevailed in the end!
Well done to Westies and well done to Dick for his 35 years of organising (kind of!) this lovely event and in particular, for his very successful efforts to encourage junior participation.