Yetholm Race Report

borderhotel-450Had never done this race before and as it was relatively close by decided to have a go. The race starts in a quiet valley just outside Kirk Yetholm and just over the Scottish border. Also doing the race were Keith, Jim, Gemma and John Longstaff.
The race was a nice, informal relaxed affair with only around 40 entrants. The weather was nice and sunny although a bit windy. At the start I got in with the leading pack as we had to hop over a fence, go through what I can only describe as a ploughed field and up a steep climb to the first summit.
I felt pretty tired on this climb and at the top there was an undulating grassy run over a few more tops and some traversing over the side of other hills. At this stage I was pretty close behind Keith and Jim but was starting to feel a bit fatigued and sick and they gradually pulled away. The course was really tough at this point with a series of steep ups and downs over rough ground and I had to dig in over the seemingly never ending climb up The Curr. From the top the route runs along the border ridge and the Pennine Way for around 4 miles to the finish.
I thought this would be a nice part of the course with a nice run-in but I couldn’t seem to get going and my pace was getting slower and slower and I was also trying to ignore the waves of nausea and I did not enjoy the next few miles in the slightest! Just as I was nearing the finish Gemma came flying past me-she looked in great shape. I had no chance of staying with her and she was out of site in a few seconds! She is a natural to fell running!
Gemma apparently had an exciting finish and did a flying impression on the finish line which involved a few cuts and bruises and a trip to the medical van! Thankfully there didn’t seem to be any serious damage and I trundled in in less spectacular fashion soon after.
At the end I still felt quite nauseous so forced down some crisps which made me feel slightly better.
At the prize giving Saltwell nearly cleaned up as we won the team prize, Gemma was second female and Jim was first V40. A mention for Keith who was first Saltwell back and looks in great form after his injury lay offs. A special mention to John Longstaff as this was only his second fell race (after Borrowdale!). John you sure pick some tough races!
The next few days after the race I felt lots of aches and pains and generally run down so I think my poor performance was in part due to a virus I had picked up. This was made up for by the success we had as a team! Time for a little rest period I think!
Anyway, this is a fantastic low key race in a beautiful location with a friendly atmosphere and I would certainly recommend it!
Kind regards