What better way to bridge the, admittedly short, gap between the cross country and road race seasons than with a pair of brand new trail events.
|Place (90)||Category Pos||Gun Time|
|Verity Whiteside||50||15 (F)||00:27:33|
|Gillian White||68||13 (F40)||00:30:32|
|Mary Macleod||85||28 (F)||00:33:47|
|Place (354)||Gun Time||Gun Cat Pos||Chip Time|
|Robin Jones||172||01:17:09||48 (M)||01:16:45||1|
|Rachel Moir||239||01:23:16||32 (F)||01:22:52||1|
|Mike Newton||258||01:25:19||69 (M40)||01:24:54||1|
|Stephen Maloney||266||01:25:53||57 (M)||01:25:28||1|
1 = First race over the distance. PB = Personal best time over the distance.
The last Sunday in February brought seven ERN members, several of them running in their first off-road event, out of hibernation early to sample the delights of the Devilla Forest 5K and 15K trail races.
The inaugural Devilla 5k and 15k trail race, brought to us by Carnegie Harriers, took place in the woodland and forest above Kincardine, Fife. With the ample parking, registration, changing facilities and the start/finish area all within the grounds of the Scottish Police Training College at Tulliallan, the event was off to a tremendous start. Several faces familiar to regulars of Edinburgh and Falkirk parkruns were out to meet and greet everyone as they arrived, (and out on the course marshalling later), directing us to the appropriate car park before we followed the signs to race registration in the College Assembly Hall, where we were given our race numbers, timing chips and finally our running store discount vouchers and bottle of one of the race sponsor’s beers! With race numbers pinned and beer stowed safely for post-race rehydration, we found our way to the changing facilities where we could make final preparations for the race and deposit our bags before proceeding to the start area.
The start/finish area was on one of the roads in the college grounds, but, apart from a short 200m stretch of tarmac at the start and finish, the route for both races was all on more forgiving surfaces, being a mixture of woodland trail and forest access roads. The various and occasionally frequent undulations and twists and turns on the course will have been a test for those who run mostly on roads and footways, as on short sections of this course it was necessary to watch every foot placement to ensure you didn’t take an unexpected and sudden detour from the intended route, but that’s all part of the enjoyment of this type of event isn’t it?
The course had been described by the organisers as ‘fairly flat’, which for the most part it was, one minor exception coming at around half way, just after the conveniently placed water stop which we would pass again later, about two miles from the finish. The extra effort required for that slightly steeper section was rewarded by the views from the top of the hill however, if you took the time to notice.
It was suggested that some of us weren’t muddy enough when we finished. I guess the ability to take the straightest path through wettest and stickiest of terrain is something that only comes with practice. We’ll just have to come back next year!
Rachel said : “This was a well organised race with a superb route, almost all of which was on mud trails or forest track. I would thoroughly recommend this race for next year, just don’t wear your brand new white trainers!”
I have to agree 100% with Rachel, though I know one or two ERN members who’d be delighted to run this course in brand new white trainers, just so that they wouldn’t be white for too long! ;o)
I don’t think I heard a single criticism of the event the entire day, everyone I spoke to being quick to praise the venue, organisation, marshalling, support and the fantastic course. This is an event that everyone should try at least once and I’m sure once you have tried it, you’ll want to do it again. Congratulations go to Carnegie Harriers for bringing us a new event which I’m sure will find a permanent place on the race calendar. Highly recommended.