First adventure festival a Muckle success

Outdoor lead.
Outdoor lead.
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More than 600 competitors took part in Langholm’s first Muckle Toon Adventure Festival at the weekend.

And despite Saturday’s heavy rain, the volunteer organisers of the event, aimed at showcasing the local scenery, proclaimed it a success.

Event secretary Eve Johnson said: “We are delighted and are very proud of the support given by the marshals and townspeople. Our Muckle Maker marshals absolutely made the event.

“We’ve had feedback their enthusiasm and smiley faces, and how great they were throughout all weather conditions was one of the highlights for our competitors.

“We are thrilled by the feedback from competitors and we hope to welcome them back soon.”

The three-day event attracted 220 runners, 150 mountain bikers, 300 road cyclists, 110 walkers and 34 cyclists for the Friday night uphill time trial from Whita Hill to the Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial, along with many children taking part in the kids-only events.

Eve said: “Friday was fabulous. We were thrilled because supporters lined the route with cowbells and whistles and made it feel like an alpine stage of the Tour de France.

“Saturday was wet but nobody minded. There were large crowds lining the High Street and Kirk Wynd and the runners went through a guard of honour made by the Burgh of Langholm Pipe Band along the Kirk Wynd.”

More than 250 people packed the Buccleuch Centre on Saturday night for the sellout talk by adventurer, author, expedition cameraman and speaker Mark Beaumont. Eve said: “He was really informative, friendly and just inspirational.”

Saturday’s events included the Evans Cycles Ride it! 15 and 25-mile mountain bike (MTB) marathons, half marathon and 10km runs off-road around Langholm, guided walks and children’s activities.

On Sunday hikers were out in better weather, there were children’s activities, and road cyclists tackled the 30, 60 and 90 miles routes.

Eve said: “The general feedback has been they were very challenging but very enjoyable.”

The volunteer organisers hope to run the event again next year and thanked all the partners who helped, particularly Buccleuch Estates and Langholm Rugby Club which hosted the event’s ‘basecamp’ which was “fantastic. It had a real buzz and atmosphere,” said Eve.

Winners: Friday night uphill time trial: mens – Gregor Sharp 00:08:36; MTB – Liam Beaty 00:09:31; female – Lisa Cross 00:10:38; u18 – Neil Roberton 00:10:26: Saturday 10km run: male – Sean Cotter, Leeds; female – Joanne Young, Langholm 00:54:25; over 40 male – David Liddle, Carlisle 00:53:26; over 40 female – Janet Priestley, Lockerbie 00:59:11; over 50 male – Louie Plenderleith, Glasgow 00:54:30; over 50 female – Pauline Mc Adam, Hawick 01:00:55; local male – Ryan Milligan; local female – Joanne Young: Saturday half marathon: male – Bob Wiseman, Carron 01:31:49; female – Amanda Henderson, Musselburgh 01:45:32; over 40 male – Craig Grieve, Hawick 01:40:01; over 40 female – Pamela Paxton, Hawick 02:12:13; over 50 male – Edmund Rooney, Oxton 01:50:17; over 50 female – Susan Sutherland, Lauder 02:42:10; local male – Charlie Borthwick 01:39:40, local female – Kirsty Ash 02:31:58.