David said : I tried my best to convince some other ERN runners to join me for a Tuesday evening run down in Moffat but disappointingly I couldn’t find any takers. There had been a lot of heavy rain and there were a lot of puddles on the road down but by the time I arrived in Moffat the rain was just a light drizzle. I went to register at the Town Hall, watched the end of the junior race and then got myself changed. After a light warm-up I was ready for the start.
There was a pretty big crowd of runners and spectators as we lined up beside the Ram statue on the High Street outside the Town Hall. I wasn’t at all worried to see Moffat Mountain Rescue were offering first-aid support! After a countdown the klaxon sounded and we were off and running. The first 3.75 miles were along the old Edinburgh road and were advertised as a subtle but gradual rise of 350 feet. According to my Garmin it was a climb of 215 feet but it never really felt like running uphill at any point. The road had a few puddles to negotiate as the rain started to fall a bit harder as we meandered through the rolling countryside, past farms, burns and wooded areas.
Once we reached a farm at Ericstane things started to get really interesting – a climb of 550 feet in just under a mile up a muddy, rocky, slippy track where my feet were regularly sliding about beneath me and getting very wet. It was a pretty tough climb but I was able to make up some places as I overtook a few people (some walking, some running) and I was determined that I wasn’t going to walk at any point. This was where my recent Radical Road training really paid off!
Eventually I reached the top and popped out onto the main A701 road very close to the Devil’s Beef Tub. After getting my breath back I was soon into my stride again for the final 4.5 miles and 750 foot descent back to Moffat. It was a pretty enjoyable descent as it was never particularly steep and I managed to maintain a good comfortable pace. I did get overtaken by a few runners on the downhill but I kept checking my watch and I was happy with my pace so I wasn’t too worried. I managed to close up on a guy in front of me as we arrived back into Moffat and then stuck with him just biding my time. Once we reached the High Street again there was a big crowd out for the finish which helped spur me into a sprint, overtaking the guy in front before crossing the line. I got a goody bag with a bright luminous yellow t-shirt (another one for the collection), a Mars bar and a coaster at the finish. There was also water, orange juice, tea and coffee available.
Overall I thought it was a very enjoyable event. It was a nice, scenic route with a challenging hill thrown in, it was well supported and organised with three water stations. The only small complaint I would make was the lack of toilet facilities at the start/finish. The only toilet I did find charged 20p for the privilege. It would have been nice to do the run on a sunny summer night but the rain and mud just added to the fun factor. Definitely another one for the calendar next year.