You’ll run on beautiful riverside paths through stunning woodlands, and up onto the hills with fabulous views of the Tweed Valley, in all its autumn splendour. But there’s a very cool surprise too.
The trail leaves the woods and dives into Neidpath Tunnel – a 600m railway tunnel, complete with lighting effects.
The routes makes a fantastic run even without the tunnel finale, but running out of the beauty of the Tweed valley autumn and into an unforgettable underground running track will be something you really won’t have experienced before! It’s going to be amazing fun!
How long? What kind of trails?
The trail will provide a top quality run with a choice of two route lengths – we’ll confirm the exact distance once the final tweaks to the course have been sorted, but the routes will be around 10k and 20k. The routes will include beautiful scenery, trails by the River Tweed, a viaduct crossing, some cheeky climbs and stunning forest.
The entire course is off road, with footpath, dirt track, gravel and stone surfacing along the way.
The start and finish are in lovely Hay Lodge Park in Peebles EH45 8JQ and the course follows the banks of the Tweed, past Neidpath Castle and over the railway viaduct before heading uphill and into the woods, with fabulous views down to Peebles and the valley. Mixed woodland trails bring you down to the Tunnel and a fun return to the park, where you cross the river again and return to the finish.
Timing is provided by a Sport Ident system. You carry a small timing card on your wrist, which you scan at the start and finish timing stations to record your time on course. You can choose, within a 30 minute period, when you want to start and the timing operates like a time-trial system. It’s not a mass start battle to get onto the trails first. Run on your own, run with your pals, start early, go at the back – it’s your choice, do what feels right.
What’s the Tunnel all about?
Neidpath Railway Tunnel is 600m long with a curve in it which means when you’re in the middle, you can’t see either end, and normally it’s totally pitch black! It was opened in 1864 and was last used by a train in 1954, and it’s in remarkably good condition.
For the event, Edinburgh-based lighting production maestros Black Light, are going to rig the tunnel with some cool lighting effects which will make running through it a particularly interesting experience.
Headtorches are not necessary despite running through a tunnel!
Will the Tunnel be scary?
No, ‘fraid not. Come back another day and run through it in the dark if that’s your thing! (You won’t be disappointed.)
There will be marshals positioned throughout the route, and even inside the Tunnel. They will be in radio contact with Event HQ and can help in the very unlikely situation that you might need help.
The course will be clearly marked throughout with arrows and course tape where required.
What should I wear?
One of the joys of trail running is that all you really need is a pair of trainers and some water. Best to bring a waterproof just in case, and an extra layer in case you get cold afterwards. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Footwear with adequate grip for slippery off-road conditions required (trail shoes are strongly recommended for this event).
If you haven’t run in a trail race before, please consider the following as you prepare –
- The course will be undulating on a variety of terrains. Get used to running up and down inclines, and negotiating mud, roots and uneven tracks.
- Become comfortable with your footwork – hips, ankles and legs aren’t used to uneven ground and changing direction if you’ve only run on tarmac before.
- You’ll discover your pace in far more erratic in a trail race with both slow and fast sections, so you may not achieve your goal pace/race time.
- You should start the race well hydrated and fuelled. You may want to carry an energy gel during the race.
- There will be a water/refeshment stop on the course, but please do not solely rely on this if you think you will take a while to complete the course.
Peebles is easily reached from all over the UK and a short transfer from airports and train stations. Regular bus services in the area are provided by First Group, Bus number 62.
If you are arriving by car the main roads into the Tweed Valley are the A7 and A701 from the South and the A701 from the North. And if you’re arriving by air you will probably arrive via Newcastle or Edinburgh Airport.
The closest stations are Edinburgh Waverly Station or the brand new Galashiels Railway Station. Check Travelline Scotland for dedicated bus connections.
Share car transport whenever you can – there’s a very useful car-sharing website at www.tripshareborders.com