Or, crazy fools go sliding in mud and ice.
The first lesson learnt by participants in the Mighty Deerstalker night run is, do not trust the organisers – with their 5k (and a bit), 10k (and the rest) advertised distance runs, they’re having a laugh.
Yes, yes; the idea is that everyone has a laugh – all dressed up in tartan and tweed, gadding about up scree hills and down river, scrambling over obstacles, face pressed against the rear of the competitor in front, sliding through snow and mud, tripping over tree roots and dangling from a cargo net. Of course, that’ll be a hoot.
It’ll be like Total Wipeout, except in the freezing Borders of Scotland, with snow on the ground and not in balmy South America, without the lucrative prize money but with a few thousand more competitors making intimate acquaintance with mud and ice, and rather than lasting a few short chucklesome minutes it will be an endurance test of nearly four hours because the organisers can’t count.
5k? Try 9.7k.
10k? More like 17k.
When your doctor, who is also your trusted friend and a race veteran, is running the race with you, and advises you to slap on the anti-chaffing cream because what with the mud, the hills, the tree roots, the snow and the ice you don’t want to add tweed induced crotch burn to your miseries – then you know it’s not going to be funny.
But….actually, on second thoughts, we didn’t run the race – Archie did.
And that is hilarious!
What’s even funnier is that Archie trotted like an old stag to the slaughter, without reading any of the pre-race bumph, having completed just 3 tiny, little training runs. So the 500 yard struggle up river, waist deep in ice melt and the double whammy hill climb, thigh deep in scree came as something of a surprise:
“I’d been scrambling up and falling down the same scree slope for nearly a mile and as I came to the top I saw a determined trickle of head torches climbing a slope on the far hill. I turned to James and said; they wouldn’t make us do this twice? My heart sank when he said, Oh, yes they would.”
But the highs were cheek by jowl with the lows:
“We ran for a while with the Edinburgh Uni Netball Team – they were a balsy lot -singing to keep us all going and there was a DJ in the woods – the Forest of Funk – I liked that. You had to just throw yourself at it and you can’t help but laugh when the woman behind you wails; I’ve got mud in places and I didn’t know I had.’
When it was all done there was no option but to strip down to the – oh, good grief – and shove every last mud encrusted tweedy thread into a big black bin bag, push the car – which was up to it’s axle in mud – out, and head for home.
As big as the laughs were the well done should be louder, both Archie and his compadre and A Hume model, James Millar completed the run in under 4 hours – something of a triumph: Archie 3.51.10 and James 3.49.48.
Other friends out on the course were; James’ wife Sarah Millar who ran the 5k (and a bit) along with two other friends – Bronwyn Armstrong and Jo Ballantyne. All finished unscathed, Jo was 9th in the 5k and 2nd in the female section.
Final word: Apparently Karen wanted to tip the bin bag of dirty kit into the bin but Archie won’t hear of it. Could this signal his intentions to run the Mighty D again next year?
For more on the Mighty Deerstalker and the Notorious Night Runs Series click link. Thanks for the course pics!