Cademuir Roller Coaster 12th August 2017 (Ali Stewart)

Having not been fit enough to join the Elite team at the John Lucas Relay in Strathaven, I decided to keep my fitness ticking over by heading to Peebles and do one of the 3 races on offer this year, tagged as the Cademuir Roller Coaster.
Saturday saw the Moorfoot Runners having a selection of 3 distances on offer. They were, 3.8K 176m, 5.8K 321m and 8K 433m. These races also incorporate the Scotland Junior Home International trials. So I knew it was going to be a pretty fast field.
I opted for the longest option, which didn’t start until 15:30. So I paid my £2 at the school and headed up to the start, to watch the second race finishing.
Having walked the John Buchan way a few years ago I knew roughly the route we were going to take. However there would be a kick in the tail this year, as we were to do 2 loops of Cademuir Hill. This increased the normal race length from its usual 6K, 274M to 8K, 433m.
The starting line-up was pretty mixed age wise, but not sex wise, as there were no female runners entered at all. As for the junior trial there was around a dozen in that category. The rest were some well kent faces from Penicuik, Gala, Moorfoots, Carnethy, Teviotdale and a few other clubs.
As we set off on our first ascent, I just took things easy and tucked in behind a fellow from Moorfoots, as I thought that he’d know how to run the course.  There was a long climb up the first hill which I walked half off, then an even longer downhill before our first climb of Cademuir itself. This was a struggle as the sun was out by now and things were heating up. So it was a pretty slow climb. I just about made it to the starting point of the second loop when the race leader lapped me. As expected it was one of the young guns. The second loop wasn’t as bad as the first as I knew what to expect. As for the long downhill on our way out, well that was now a long up hill on our way home. Thankfully the finish was a good downhill run. My main aim was to complete it unscathed and that was achieved. It’s a race I’d recommend for next year especially if they offer the 3 options. This would be a perfect starter hill race for anyone looking to take up the sport.
Race winner Gavin Bryson, Edinburgh AC in 36 minutes 7 seconds. I finished in 24th out of 31 with a time of 56 minutes 13 seconds.