Tufty Trail Race 2018 Review : Into the Squirrels Lair

Having already visited Fife for Saturday’s Lochore Meadows parkrun, Sunday saw Mabel heading back into the Kingdom. This time we were off for a spot of Trail Running hosted by those nice Falkland Trail Runners people. The Tufty Trail Race sounded like it’d be a lot of fun.

We particularly liked the phrase “no significant hills”…

Should have asked them to define “significant”…

The race itself took place in the grounds of Falkland estate. It was difficult to get lost on the way from the town hall where the registration took place and the start, but we managed it. Luckily we were looking so obviously lost someone kindly pointed us in the right direction.

We arrived at the start and chatted to some of our fellow competitors as the minutes counted down. Our GinRunners t-shirts are a great ice breaker. The race briefing followed, where we were told what “significant hills” were. Apparently that’s a “significant” hill you can see in the photo. Anything else is just a mere undulation to the Psycho Squirrels.

We took our customary position towards the back of the starting line and frankly wondered what we’d let ourselves in for. We didn’t have too much time to wonder though, and soon we were off for a lap of the big field before heading out into the woods.

And heading for the hills.

The Falkland Balloon

The course was described as being like a balloon. We ran up the string, did two laps of the balloon then back down the string again. The string was a long, gradual uphill which was greeted by a worrying smattering of rain, which thankfully never came to anything. Every potential wrong turning was well marshalled, and top marks to those folk. Their words of encouragement were well needed by the time we were on our second lap of the balloon.

Big red mushroom
Power Up !!!

The long, gradual uphill was followed by more uphill. quite a lot more. The first time we headed up our heads were filled with cheery thoughts of “we need to do this all again” but we soldiered on. Someone had conveniently left MarioKart type power-ups at the side of the course or us though.

Every uphill has a corresponding down and we were quite looking forward to that by the time we got to the dancing marshals at the highest point of the course.

This is where it got awesome.

Leaving the main trail we started a long, sweeping descent back down towards the knot. (Ok, Ok, enough of these balloon analogies, nut they started it !!!). We picked up the pace and were enjoying ourselves when a shout of “passing” made us jump. Yep, We’d been caught by the leader who was most of the way round his second lap.

We could probably have kept up but we let him go.


Tufty Trail Race Elevation Profile

A few more speedy types overtook us before we got to the bottom, where they headed back to the start while we set off back up the hill.

Second time around.

Tufty Trail Race Medal

The second slog up the hill was made more bearable by the fact we were REALLY looking forward to hitting that big, sweeping downhill again.

The marshals were still doing a great job jollying everyone along. With a minimum of grumbling we made it round our second lap and then headed back to the start. For once we were genuinely sorry it was almost over, we’d REALLY enjoyed the trails.

Arriving back were we started there was just another lap of the field between us and our well earned medals. We crossed the line and collected our bling before heading back to Race HQ for the presentations.

And with that another “must try” event was ticked off our to-do list. The cancellation of the Falkland Trail Runners Dirty Weekend had delayed our first visit to the psycho squirrel’s stomping ground but one thing is for sure..

This won’t be the last time we run the trails of Falkland with these nutters.


Relive ‘Tufty Trail Race’