Two Races: Dale Head & Tinto


Dale Head – The picturesque Lakeland finery of the Borrowdale Valley.

Tinto – That ambiguous stretch of Scotland that isn’t quite the Borders and isn’t quite Lanarkshire.


Dale Head – A dash across a field, a ‘high-feet’ gallop through a burn (a beck?), then on to a steep track and then even steeper hill-side presenting multiple route options.

Tinto – Straightforward runnable hill path with a bit of mud at the bottom and some rocks at the top.


Dale Head – Those of us who didn’t quite make the cut for the small number of FRA teams we were afforded and some extra-keen types who wanted a double-race weekend.

Tinto – A strong field of mostly Scottish hill runners enjoying the last hurrah of the season.


Dale Head – Appallingly. I was feeling good for my most of the ascent, enjoying a wee back n forth with Ally for most of the climb. I took a terrible line off the top, lost some places at the start of the descent, then lost some more and then I lost heart. By the time I hit the path motivation had been replaced by frustrated resignation and by the time I hit the bottom I was in a foul mood. There were loads of Westies out offering enthusiastic encouragement, but this only elicited spiteful anger – just shut the f*ck up. I crossed the line and had no desire to talk to anyone so went off for a sulk warm-down instead. Maybe it’s not such a good idea to have a significant emotional investment in hill-race performances?

(At the relays on Saturday Mark criticised me for writing race reports that were just ‘excuses’. I beg to differ, offering excuses suggests the outcome as unfair, but I tend to get the results I deserve and that’s the problem.)

Tinto – Pretty good, had a fun time.


Dale Head – The race was twinned with the Borrowdale Shepherd’s Meet and we learned that the things you look for in a successful tup are a strong back, feet in each corner and two hairy testicles.

Tinto – Andy won, breaking the record, and Micky was 1st V60 – nice one lads!


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