Hallocross - Getting Freaky Down In Dalkeithy


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Those ghastly people at the Tri-Centre moved the cooky, freaky and spooky cross circus away from Craigmillar to the grounds of the Dalkeith Country Estate for the first ever time ever this year.

The wild and wonderful setting had a dark and eerie feel to things even during course set up, with organisers battling against the elements under leaden, darkened skies, complete with obligatory crashing of thunder and smokestack lightening as well as a smash load of hail surrounding the Shelley-esque venue.

As things were haunting up, you may have been mistaken by the wailing, whining of ghosts, ghouls and spectres, stalking the grounds. In fact the omnipresent noise was that of turbo trainers and rollers whirring dervish-like in the cobbled car park behind the ornate church... It is indeed Hallocross, but there would be skulls to be crushed and a nocturnal battle to be had, and yeah it is meant to be a bit of fun:).

The race attracted a full field of of top crossers such as Gareth Montgomerie (GT Muc Off Racing), the trans-continental, globe-trotting Rab Wardell (Trek Factory Racing), Davie Lines (MG-Maxifuel) and the vanguard of the Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series elite, as well as the coolest bunch of freaks, no hopers and bampots who just love the cross scene in Scotland.

From the gun or whatever it was, demonic lights lit the parkland, shrubbery and swoops, droops and roots of an already creepy and challenging course. Amidst all the hollering, heckling and flailing, it was the unofficial World Nocturne Cross Champ Montgomerie who had his bat-like vision set on a win.

Amongst the cross femme fatales, Maddy Robinson (VC Moulin-Bruce Lee!!) was well in control of the very strong female contingent which comprised of some cross sexy Bees, bats and horny devils.

As the course chopped up and left many a seasoned cross creep on the floor through the Cats Tongue Litter Tray, and Devils Drop Riverside “Rooty Tooty”section. The Bell tolled yet again in the 45 minute slog for Gareth Montgomerie and Maddy Robinson to take the overall spoils in the main race.

The best action however was the job the judges, Stuart McInnes (Tri-Centre) and crew had giving out the bulging prize purse of Lazer Helmets, Silva, Tri-Centre and Cats Tongue goodies.

I will summarise this the best that is possible: A Doctor who was a Doctor was splattered in Blood and EPO syringes, A Horny Thor Viking, a cross-dressing bearded Devil (very attractive in the moonlight), and a pair of neon Stick people in gimp onsies nabbed some swag..the rest are a mere blurr set amongst the backdrop of what is going to be a Horrific Celebration of Scottish Cyclocross.

The organisers, Stuart McInnes, Simon Kirkness and a brood of willing helpers extend a boney deathly hand to Dave at Lazer Helmets, The lovely folks at Silva Lights, Thistley Cross Cider, Dalkeith Country Estate, Wild Rover Food, Borthwick Cakery, Jac n Chris for the timing as well as all the shady marshals and sign-on who got down, dark and durty in Dalkeith.

This is a must for 2014... Hallocross in Scotland is banging, howling and dying to see you next year.