9th June 2012
Traprain Law race

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We were spared a repeat of last years deluge but the recent rain led to the iconic river wade being ruled out and a detour via the bridge added 0.6m to the distance. Lots of Carnethy vests though the large turnout was not really reflected in the results. Leading lady Charlotte tumbled on the descent and badly bruised her knee, giving herself a dead leg that forced her retirement and gave the win to HBT. Adam and John R withdrew, we know not why. I fell over as usual. Gordon clinched a prize as did Bob W, and Michael's wee boy got to sit in a fire engine as East Linton celebrated the annual gala of which this race forms a part. Results - the turnout of 93 runners was the largest for many years, possibly ever! More photos here

After last year’s deluge we enjoyed an excellent brief weather window this time with warm sunshine.  However, the previous night’s rain on the hills had created a characteristic River Tyne surge overnight of over a half metre’s depth increase on the previous afternoon’s already high level.  The murky brown torrent at the early morning pitch inspection led to a reluctant decision to abort the river crossing. It was even too deep to immerse the old and well-used race depth gauge (KB).  
A record 93 starters made for congested progress along the raging brown torrent.  Beyond the normal river entry point, the dunk diversion took runners to the Hailes footbridge and a backtrack along the road to re-join the steep climb to Kippielaw.  From Kippielaw, the field margins to the quarry were heavy going through the long grass.  The rock outcrops on the east ridge seem to get longer each year due to soil erosion.  Here, the restored rustic municipal gas-pipe fence protecting the quarry edge did little to enhance the otherwise imposing east ridge.  

This year, Exmoor ponies replaced sheep on the Law, with copious piles of steaming Exmoor excrement along the race line.  Was this the reason for the unusually luxuriant vegetation?  There was one heavy tumble on the descent (an over-exuberant overtaking move?) - but no serious damage.  One clearly delirious competitor ignored three large arrows on the ground marking TURN RIGHT and turned left for Haddington. 

The family Gala Day operations on the field were well attended compared with last year’s rain washout.  Thanks to all our helpers, without whom the race would not happen: Fiona, Anne, Jane, Therese, Barbel, Barry, Jon, Nick, Chris, Stuart, plus our community coppers Gavin and Kevin on their assault mountain bikes.


My first hill race since my big run. Question - how will I feel racing fast? For me it was all about seeing everyone and having a great weekend with the family. Myself, Monika and Greg arrived nice and early. We met Keith and Barry the start official, had some banter going with fellow Carnethies also. Time for race start, the horn went and here we go!! The first mile I really struggled and was over taken by many folk, after that I got into a relatively good pace coming into Traprain Law itself. The climb was short but steep and seeing Nick Mcdonald with his camera was good. Then the down hill and stretch home to the finish felt really good, I managed to go all out and answered my question how the legs would feel. They felt good. I arrived at the finish happy with my time of 54 minutes. Great admiration to Keith & Trevor for organising such a good event and with it my family really enjoyed themselves especially Greg. Also great seeing everyone. We headed to Edinburgh as quick as possible as there was sunday to think about, Dechmont Trail race.
Michael Nowicki

More excellent race photos from Bob Marshal here and from Sandy Wallace here. Thanks guys!

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