Duns Reivers Week Fun Run, Berwickshire, Thursday, July 10, 2014

Colin Blackburn

I moved up to the English side of the border – I can’t afford to have to get a new passport – a couple of weeks ago and had hoped to take part in the Berwick Curfew Run shortly after the move. Unfortunately while Alister travelled up to a race right on my doorstep I travelled down to Manchester for work! It looks like I missed a good one. Looking around for a local race I found this little gem hosted by runduns. It’s a few miles over the border in the small Berwickshire town of Duns and forms part of their summer festival, the Duns Reivers Week. The town seemed to have numerous events every day for a week or so. Thursday evening included the 5K run, a shorter run for the kids, a marching pipe band and a torchlight procession followed by fireworks.

Registration for the run was pretty informal, in the town square outside Hugo’s Bistro. Four quid, no numbers. At 6:28 the field gathered at the start line. At 6:29 some of the seniors, me included, were asked to step forward so the the all-too-eager juniors didn’t get bowled over at the start. At 6:30 we were off. At 6:30:05 the all-too-eager juniors overtook the front-row seniors! A short closed road section took us out of the town and into the grounds of Duns Castle. After that it was a very pleasant multi-terrain run around the castle’s woodland paths and meadow tracks, including running alongside a lake called Hen Poo (I didn’t leave the el off). The race ended with a run back down into the town to finish just outside Hugo’s.

I was pleased to get my medal after the announcement that due to the large number of entries they may not have had enough – what is it with races in the Borders in July? I’m not sure of the results but I was happy with 22:56 on a slightly undulating 5K. After the race I got a chance to chat with a few Tweed Striders, my now local club, before Elfie and I went for a Chinese. While we ate a marching band went back and fore on the street outside the restaurant window playing various Scottish classics. All a bit surreal. We didn’t have time to hang around for the procession but maybe next year we’ll plan ahead.

It’s not exactly an easy race for Striders to get to but if anyone is up here in July for, say, the Kelso 10K, then this little race is a nice warm up and a great evening out in Duns.

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