The Devil’s Beeftub Bathtub

10th September 2011

Just after last years race I got a emaill from Jon Broxap
"Would you consider the Beeftub as a Brittish Champs Race next year", Last years good weather made me think it might be a good idea so I said "yes"

Leaving Roslin at 8:15am the weather was not looking too bad, but soon there was a spot in the windscreen , then there was another and all the way down the rain was coming and going. Looking ahead it looked brighter, well it wasn’t.
Arriving at Corehead Farm the usual parking field was slowly eating my car. Parking was going to be a problem.
Bob, Cammy, JBF and Digby got onto the case and started filling the edge of the track with cars. Ed (from Corehead) told us who we could block in. The next thing we needed was the registration info, Andy and Hilary arrived having been held up by a fast running slow driver!
Joanne, Helen and Moira got on with the number ticking. Nick prepared the timers and showed me how to use the megaphone
Andy S, Gordon and Simon set off to the start and set up the feather banners and the Carnethy tent (essential kit! Thanks Andy).
It is great when the team know what to do!
The cars kept arriving and the rain kept falling and at 11:30 Hilary, Moira and I (with Gordon holding a brolly over the kit) headed for the start to get the Ladies Race underway.
Andy Fallas Nick MacDonald and Simon Titmuss headed up the hills to Marshall. The third Carnethy feather banner was already up the first hill (thanks Anne and Ian Nimmo and Margaret Forrest)
The 25 ladies were asked to line up along the fence, a male runner complained
“Why are you starting them here when there is a trodden path heading up the hill 100 yards away, This is a British Championship race you know!”
I said “Because this is where the race always starts! Are you by any chance a road runner?”
“Yes“ he replied
I said nothing more!
The Ladies headed up the slopes into the mist. Twenty minutes later they appeared out of the mists of Great Hill. Pippa Maddams leading the field. The second lady, Mel Price, required first aid to a knee gash, (I took a while to find the first aid kit hidden under the masses of gear dumped out of the rain in the tent), while Sarah Ridgway in 5th had the worst case of cramp I had ever seen, an other knee needed a plaster and as the last runners came in the men assembled along the fence. Will I have to go and get the spare first aid kit for the men?
The timers were reset and the men were off. The four lines taken up the hill were interesting, merging together half way up. The rain came on harder, all the ladies race stood in the tent and waited.
The weather for the whole mens race was pissing down and eventually the leaders appeared out of the mist. The descending of winner Morgan Donnelly was impressive, it seems the faster you go the less you slip. Lloyd Taggart was 12 second behind then there was the Hesling Gap! Our Sam had led a stream of runners off course and really split the field up. Al Anthony came in third over 2 minutes behind and then there was a continual stream of runners. report on @daleside blogspot
Hilary’s timer stopped recording at 60 runners (Hilary was outside the tent), Moira (inside the tent) was cuddling her timer inside her jacket, there was no further backup!

Joan, Joanne and Helen were on the finish numbers, the sheets were getting soggy, but I kept my finger crossed and with 90 odd runners in, and no injuries, I ran off to Andy and his Laptop with the results sealed in a plastic food box.
The Ladies Results were already sorted and he got to work on the mens.

With all the results done, finisher 18 was too soggy to read, I headed off to a group of runners and asked if anyone knew who finished about 18th. The first guy I asked said “probably me, number 110” amazingly he was our man.

The prize giving was the usual beefy affair, with Bull or Devil flavoured wine and Steak for the winner of senior and v40s, Fray Bentos steak pies, Hobgoblin beer or cider for the rest.
The Devil’s Beetub of other prizes consisted of Beef Jerky and Oxo Cubes with Red Bull as the only Veggie option.


The runners all seemed to have a good time (apart maybe from the off course ones), especially the ladies giggling and chatting in the club tent!

Driving past the Beeftub on the way home we saw the sun beating down on the hills, typical!

Thanks to all of my helpers, and to Ed Glenwright of the Borders Forest Trust for making us so welcome.


My invaluable helpers

Bob Waterhouse, Digby Maass, John Blair-Fish, Cameron Scott, Nick MacDonald, Gordon Cameron, Moira Stewart, Helen Bonsor, Joanne Anderson, Andy Fallas, Simon Titmuss, Ian Nimmo, Anne Nimmo, Margaret Forrest, Joan Wilson, Hilary Spenceley and Andy Spenceley.

Bad manners & slippery slopes
The Carnethy sexagenarian massive were soundly trounced by a very young looking bunch of English oldies. As we started up the heathery slope I was being held, pushed & tripped. Protesting I was told - "if you hang about I'll climb over you". It was the usual queue and I was no slower than anyone else. Not a Carnethy, but a bad mannered visitor. Well shame on you! Rant over. I thought I'd finally beat Neil in a race as I overtook him near the top but a reluctance to hurl myself down the scary correct line in the mist led to the loss of several places. Progress prone, once out of the murk, proved much faster and I shot past in a fair imitation of a one man bobsleigh, but couldn't sustain the gain once back on two feet. So Carnethy MV60 1, 2, 3 of JBF, Bob W & me. Sadly no prizes but a great day out, and a privileged view of the beeftub from a new angle, and a large and sore friction burn from wet grass.

The start was like a comedy sketch
three runners face planted within the first ten paces. Despite being boxed in by a row of runners on the start line a boost of speed on the climb was sufficient to reach the leaders on a gravity defying uphill crawl. Upward glances at the Carnethy banner fluttering in the breeze by the monument, an awesome sight. On round the head of the coire, wading through the water logged ground. A couple of falls and skids, then a wee kick up to Annanhead Hill. Going strong and welcomed encouragement from Andy F. Round the head of a burn and onto Strait Step path, which carves a narrow and somewhat treacherous (at-speed-in-the-wet) trail under Great Hill. Massive drop to the right slows the pace a little to reduce death potential, it's narrow and exhilarating. Heart sinks, this is the wrong way, losing height and time, reach the decent route...
Morgan and Lloyd fly down the hill towards our select group of lost souls, only problem is we have to hike back up before we can follow them down. Al Anthony is the next to fly towards us, clearly too canny and experienced to have followed our erroneous ways. Final climb dispatched and damage limitation became the aim of the game on the steep boggy descent, 9 month old polished x-talons were not meant for this.
Comrie tomorrow, praying I don't go wrong.





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