Saturday 21st December saw the return of our yearly Festive Forest run, a seven mile jaunt around Blairadam Forest, starting and finishing at Clentry. Thankfully this year we had no issues with the weather other than a bit of wind in the weeks on the run up that resulted in a couple of trees being blown over. It all added to the excitement though and a wee added detour through the trees to get around them.
This year we had 46 pre-entries, slightly up on last year. In the end, we had 39 runners toeing the start line on the day, again slightly up on last year too which was good to see, with 20 opting for the early start of 12:15 and the remaining 19 starting at 12:30.
Down to business and it was Steven King, one of our V40’s who showed the youngsters how it’s done, stopping the clock at 46:17 to take his 2nd title here having previously won back in 2016. Then it was a ‘race’ for 2nd and 3rd place with only 13 seconds separating the next two to finish. Jonathan Millar held off a late surge from last year’s winner Neil McLure to finish in 46:56 with Neil just behind in 47:09. An in form Samantha Laird was the quickest of the women to take her 3rd title in 4 years crossing the line in 52:33 with Alison Sutherland 2nd in 53:41 and Gail Murdoch 3rd in 60:31.
Moving onto the Veteran categories, Ben Hopkin and Hannah Campbell/Sam Newington claimed the V40 titles in 49:36 and 61:36 respectively. Lee Holland took the men’s V50 prize in 50:15 while Gail Beveridge clocked 63:35. On to the V60 category and it was Peter Simpson who took this title in a time of 50:48 while Clive Cable claimed the V70 prize in a time off 77:25. Ross Hunter was our sole Junior finishing in 55:23.
Thanks to the following volunteers who helped on the day, without you we would not be able to stage our event: Allan Macaulay and Stephen Greer for doing the course setup and marshalling, Val Macaulay and Alison Whyte for marshalling out on the course, Gillian Cable and Joy Gudgin for finish line recording, Ken & Sue Walker for the after run punch and to those who brought along some goodies to eat. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone.
Another thoroughly enjoyable time but with plenty of energy left for the Christmas ceilidh at night.
Roll on the 2020 event….
Race report courtesy of Barry Davie, Run Director