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The Mighty Deerstalker

Report by Sheena Jackson

Julian and I completed the Mighty Deerstalker Double Stalker on Saturday night (18.3 miles).

The event starts and finishes in the grounds of Traquair House in Innerleithen and is run on the basis of it being an adventure rather than a race.

The double stalker is two laps of the event, with the first starting in daylight at 3:30pm. The first 3 miles include a waist high wade along a stream followed by a 2 mile climb up through the forest mountain bike tracks of Innerleithen then a long, tricky and extremely slippery descent over claggy mud and tree routes. There was then a waist deep river crossing which was taken out for the second lap due to the fast rising waters. Then it’s round and up more hill to the scree climb which is a hands-and-feet job to reach the top – we reckon about 600-700m high. Following that, there was a descent on ropes down to the river and more running along the very edge of a fast rising river (again diverted for the second lap as deemed too dangerous in the dark), then on to the tunnel – a 10 metre wade through chest high water in a small tunnel in the dark, then back along the river to Traquair House for the second lap in the dark with head torches.

It’s a fantastic event and quite impressive to see the lines of head torches up and down the hills. Those just doing one lap are set off in waves to stop too much congestion at the natural obstacles but inevitably there are some hold ups on the narrower sections and water sections but the camaraderie is brilliant.

We finished in 5 hours 21:56 (Julian) and 5 hours 22:00 (Sheena) and apparently I was 2nd Female Vet 40 (there may only have been 2 FV40s in it!!). Julian was 8th MV40.

The Rat Race events are brilliantly organised and great fun and I’d definitely recommend the Mighty Deerstalker for anyone wanting a bit of an adventure.