First up was the Monklands Half Marathon on Sunday 17th. A blustery wet day and a fairly challenging route but all went well and I clocked my fastest time of 1:21:34 for this race on my umpteenth outing finishing in 3rd place. They also have a little dudes race which Andrew had fun racing whilst I was hammering the half.
Strava details here : https://www.strava.com/activities/306231280
|My wee coach being taught how not to lose the contents of your stomach|
Wednesday the 20th and on to a new race on the calendar, the Antonine Trail 10km Race. James Stewart was helping with the organisation and had given me a shout about it and we had even had a recce run on route a week previously to see what lay ahead. So with tired legs a 10k sprint ensued, trying to keep up with mountain goats David Gow and Norry McNeill I was well and truly burst by the time I got to the top of the first climb on Croy Hill only a mile into the race. There was a bit of respite with slighly gentler climbs after descending Croy Hill but another climb of 1 mile up to the Antonine Fort site finished me off. It was just a case of getting to the finish back up another climb from Auchinstarry basin at which point half way up I passed a Shettleston runner bent double depositing the contents of his stomach to the side of the trail. I finished in a respectful position and time but it hammered home how little speed and hill work I have managed to fit in.
An excellent and tough race which will no doubt sell out quickly next year.
Strava details here: https://www.strava.com/activities/308419023
Next up was the Edinburgh Marathon, a race which continues to divide opinion on whether it is overpriced, not even in Edinburgh, a logistical nightmare!!! I have ran several Edinburgh events and every one has had a different finishing point but I must say it is certainly an easier route than the first one I ran in 2003 which started with a climb from Meadowbank up over Arthurs Seat. I decided to drive through and park at Ingliston and have a ride on the most expensive single line of transport anywhere in the country, the Edinburgh tram.
A very efficient service straight into Princes Street and a short stroll down to London Road and I was good to go. The weather forecast had been for wind and rain but apart from being a bit overcast the conditions were ideal although a little blowy. The first couple of miles I ran with George Taylor and we had a good catch up but I was feeling fresh and pulled away with a target in my mind of 2:50. The miles flew by and as we neared the turnaround point the leaders were heading back towards the finish and they all looked to be putting a bit of effort in. Now I had not really noticed much of a wind till now and checking my watch I reckoned 2:48 was going to be on but that was soon dispelled as I turned back onto the road on exiting the grounds of Gosford House at 19 miles to head back to Musselburgh. A strong head wind for the next 7 miles made for one hell of a shift and it was all I could do to try and get close to 7 minute mileing. By the time I turned left into Pinkie Park for the final 100mtrs I was drained but noticed if I put a sprint on I could squeeze in under 2:51. Just made it in 2:50:57 to clock a new PB, slightly disappointed it was not a greater margin but a PB all the same.
Quick shower and change then strolled along Musselburgh High Street and caught a bus straight back to Princes Street and onto a tram back to Ingliston, easy peasy logistics.
Calling it the Edinburgh Marathon is maybe stretching it a bit but it is a really good event and seems to have ironed out many of its previous problems. There were loads of foreign runners so it obviously has a wide attraction value and great for tourism.
Strava details here : https://www.strava.com/activities/315537477
|51||Gerry Craig (346)|
Photos for 346 >
|Photo courtesy of Sandra McDougall|