The North Berwick Law Race has been an annual event in the sleepy harbour village of North Berwick since 2009 now attracting just shy of 300 runners to run 3 miles from the harbour up to the summit of ‘The Law’ and back down, taking in 600ft (182m) of ascent.
I had actually never been up The Law but had heard that it’s a ‘steep little bugger of a hill’ from other runners, so with a wee bit of trepidation I headed out to try the race out for myself. They actually allow 10 year olds to enter so how hard can it be right……
The race starts at 7:30pm in the harbour and with a rather loud shot of the gun we were off at full pelt through the main street of North Berwick. Being used to running ultras it was most unusual for me to be starting so quick so it was tough on the old ticker, the first tumble took place right in front of the Pub with a runner falling down and the rest of us scrambling to jump over or around him (sorry pal, no one stopped to help!). I was pushing the pace hard early on and started passing runners on the first slight incline up through the park, once we hit The Law it quickly became apparent that its a hands on thighs gruelling fast walk to the top. The top runners were already coming back down past us about 3/4 of the way up the hill although I managed to claw back some places here as I love the uphill and hazard a guess I was possibly 4th female at this point, grab a rubber band from the marshals at the summit and then ‘fly’ back down. Hmm not so much flying for me, with downhill being my weakness I was pussy footing down the hill as a few of the women came back past me. This bugger is steep! I’m glad it wasn’t wet or it would have been a nightmare coming down!
Once you hit the bottom it’s a lovely flat and easy downhill into the town back to the harbour so you can really let the legs fly, I managed to fly past some runners here, though played tag with a 10yo (yes a 10yo) for the rest of the way (and he beat me) though I rounded back up a few more runners, another 1km and I would have had the ladies that had passed me.
What an atmosphere when you hit the main street again, lined with the entire village population and a pipe band, it was truly electric. Stumbling across the line you get a medal, a bottle of water and you can swap your race number for a free ice cream at North Berwick Fry. Which I did, after I’d enjoyed a fish supper first of course. A great wee race for the summer (it’s always in the 1st week of August), would definitely recommend for a fun night out with some friends, £6 to enter on the night (you can’t pre-register) and a great lung buster. Certainly a great way to train on the hills with a race pushing you for speed. I for one will be back next year.
Not sure of official results but I think I finished somewhere around 25-28mins and no idea of placing!
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