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NEXT EVENTS 27-28/04/13 - Run Balmoral 28/04/13 - Lighthouse 10K & 5K, Portmahomack
27/04/13 - Scrabster Hill Trail Run (~5 miles)
27-28/04/13 - Run Balmoral
28/04/13 - Lighthouse 10K & 5K, Portmahomack
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13/11/10 - Tain Trail Hill Race
Jack, Colin, Sandy, Alistair, David and Ewan set off form Thurso on a cold but bright Saturday morning southwards to Tain to take part in the tough but enjoyable hill race. John was picked up in Halkirk and Gary made his own way down. After much 'banter' on the way down we arrive fresh and early at Tain Academy Community Centre with plenty of time to register and get the craic with the other runners.
A late arrival was Hamper who decided at half eight (much to Roz's delight!) to come down for a run before heading off to the bright city lights of Inverness. A welcome addition indeed especially as Roz could be the team photographer - cheers! Coby also rallied a few runners from Brora to take part in their first but hopefully not last Tain race?
NHH team photo
So with registration and 'warm-up' completed a hardy band of runners lined up at the start in the Academy carpark. Next thing we were off through the houses, under the A9 underpass, through some more houses and finally off the tarmac and onto slippy, soft underfoot conditions along tracks into the forest and then the uphill begins. By this stage I couldn't make out any leaders - so with the thought of a race win (!!) out of my mind I settled in to 'enjoy' the run near the back of the pack. The uphill climbs for about nine miles along forest tracks, it levels out in places sufficient enough to gather your energy again for the next climb. The mile markers were counting down and by mile five I had settled in to a comfortable pace, happy in the thought that the sun was shining and a pint awaited me in the hotel afterwards. Conditions underfoot were pretty good apart from a few sections of track infilled with stones and muddy sections around miles six & seven. This is where David slipped and came down hard on some stones, which caused damage to his knees (see photos) but didn't deter him to battle to the finish - these Orkney boys are made of tough stuff! Around the eight mile mark comes the sting in the tail with a very steep half mile climb, which has a very welcome water station near the top to look forward to - managed to run all the way up this year! After that climb you know then that it's pretty easy going along the remaining forest tracks and then there is a three quarter mile tarmac downhill (sprint) finish all the way to the line and a welcome banana and juice. More importantly there is a miniature bottle of Glenmorangie for all competitors and I'm happy to say that mine has already gone in celebration of Scotland scoring three points against New Zealand!!!
A very welcome hot shower awaited us back at the Academy along with stories of what might have been! Onto the St Duthus Hotel and a great spread of soup, savoury and sweet delights, which you can easily justify eating loads (which we did!) after a tough race. With five runners in the top twelve and an excellent second place for Jack we did pretty well overall but even better our table won the most raffle prizes. Special mention to the CLIC Sergeant guys and the Tain Runners for putting on such a good race and post race refreshments, we will definitely be back hopefully with more runners.
The full results can be found on the www.tainrunners.co.uk (click) website.
Report by Colin
Jack finishing in 2nd place
Sandy (on the right!)
David's leg after stumbing in wet section of track
Post race refreshments
Post race refreshments