The Mighty Deerstalker: Report

Saturday 31st March saw the inaugural Deerstalker 5k and The Mighty Deerstalker 10k adventure runs. The event was based at beautiful Traquair House, just outside Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders.Innerleithen (and Peebles, which is just up the road) are world renowned for their downhill mountain biking courses? and at registration the competitors discovered that both the 5k and 10k would be making full use of them? both going up and down!The Deerstalker Village in the grounds of Traquair House was blessed with blue sky and sunshine throughout the day, the varied selection of free attractions (Deerstalker Ale, Falconry and Sheep Dog Displays, live bands, food, laser clay pigeon shooting, archery, MTB obstacle course, quad biking) and the fact that the Deerstalker Village was open to both members of the public and the 650 competitors meant that a carnival atmosphere was in full swing when the Deerstalker 5k started at 5pm. The Deerstalker 5k was effective the first half of the 10k so would give a good indication of just how tough the course was going to be. With rumours of porridge filled sumps, swamps, assault courses, huge river crossings and 1000?s ft of ascent no one really knew what to expect. After 45 minutes no one had managed to finish and everyone?s worst nightmares seemed to be being confirmed. Finally the first runner staggered in after circa 50 minutes! The Mighty Deerstalker turned out to be mightier than expected with the ?10k? course measuring in at a mightier 15k! Starting at 7pm, head torches were compulsory as most of the course would be completed in the dark. Within minutes of starting the course had the competitors wading through a waist deep and extremely muddy pond before starting up a huge hill and into the forest and assault course obstacles. From the top of the hill the competitors had a breath taking descent following a ?north shore? MTB descent complete with huge jumps and banking turns. After a mad dash following a knee deep river for 100?s of metres through the village of Innerleithen it was time for another gutting hill climb. The second major descent followed shortly with an amazing route marked with bike reflectors through the dense forest. It was back down to Innerleithen, via the river and one dark and flooded tunnel, before the final dash across fields and through the grounds of Traquair House to the finishing line in the Deerstalker Village.

planetFear´s Shane Ohly, looking pleased… and a bit surprised!

Competition in The Mighty Deerstalker 10k was intense with planetFear?s Shane Ohly setting a fast pace right from the start in the hope of splitting the field and avoiding queuing on the obstacles later in the race. Three times Shane lost the lead as he lost the course in the growing darkness but each time he fought back to the front to eventually win by a comfortable margin. It was almost a planetFear ?double? as Heather Clark who was working in the planetFear shop coming second in the woman?s race. Full results and gallery to follow. More information