Red Wine Runner

A Scottish Running Blog

Tag: aberdeen (page 2 of 8)

D33 Ultra – 3 days to go!

The days and weeks keep slipping by and all of a sudden it would appear to be March 2013. Not even the start of March – it’s now the 13th of March which means the 2013 D33 Ultramarathon is only 3 days away!


This time last year I was in full race-preparation mode and absolutely raring to go. This year it’s been a little bit different obviously as it’s not my first ultra, but also training does not stop at this race for me this year. I’m taking a far more relaxed approach which has allowed me to enjoy race week so far and just look forward to racing. I have a few ideas about what I’m going to aim to achieve on race day, what I’m going to eat and what I might be wearing, but in comparison to last year I’m so laid back I’m practically horizontal.

The five day weather forecast came online yesterday and I’ve been obsessively refreshing BBC weather to track any changes. I’m not normally this fussed about weather, but right now it has been snowing heavily for the last 24 hours and that does not bode well for a good race. It seems to be melting quickly though, and the forecast actually looks reasonable for Saturday, if a little on the chilly side.

New Picture (26)

I’ve been lucky enough to never yet raced in truly awful weather. I know this will change at some point, but I’d quite like it not to be this weekend. Last year’s weather was perfect and I even got a head start on my dodgy running tan with some excellent stripes from my running sleeves – let’s keep everything crossed for a repeat of that.

Stonehaven Running Club is doing a couple of mini-buses to transport runners up from the South, as parking is limited and we have over 20 runners taking part. This will be a great and fun way to start the day, but I really hope I don’t get carsick! I’m really looking forward to wearing my club vest again and running my first club championship race – there are 10 ladies running so even if I’m last there are a reasonable amount of championship points to be had.

I know this is the first time I’ve mentioned Club Championship races here, so here’s a quick note from the SRC website on what this means: Nine races have been chosen as the basis for the club championship. An individual can enter all 9 races but only their best 5 scores are added up and the highest scoring male and female will win the cup at the end of the year. Points are scored as follows: the SRC runners are ranked on their finishing places within the overall field, with the ‘winner’ scoring an extra point. So 1st finisher scores 21, 2nd finisher 19 and so on down to the 20th finisher scoring 1 point.)


I’m pleased to report that my training has been going very well; I’m steadily churning out mileage weeks in the mid-40s and am suffering no ill-effects. I took a look at what I’ve done this year so far compared with last year, and I was quite encouraged. At times in the last fortnight or so, it’s felt like I haven’t been working as hard as last year…but it’s obviously because it’s getting easier, not that I’m doing less…

2013 weekly miles so far2013 weekly miles so far – you can see in week 6 where I crashed and burned a bit and skipped 30 miles of back-to-back that weekend…

2012 weekly miles from end of Jan2012 miles from the last week of January until D33 race week.

In comparison, 2013 is much heavier on the miles, far more consistent and includes at least two hours of cross training a week on top of the running. I am also about a stone lighter and much, much stronger. All good things.

In terms of my goals for Saturday…I’m still undecided. I will probably call it on the morning, or a few miles into the race. Last year my time was 5hr56m which is 10:47 pace, but I think I could easily shave 10 minutes or so off that without pushing too hard. I know if I decided I wanted to really crush this race I could probably get under 5hr30 but I think that effort might have training consequences which might set me back in my last weeks of preparation for the Highland Fling. I’ve got to keep my eyes on the prize! My Long Slow Runs in training have been at around 10 minute miles, so I reckon I will stick with that kind of pace and see where I am at half way. A steady 10 minute mile pace for the entire race would see me in at 5hr30 but I will be incorporating walking/fueling breaks as usual, although probably every 45 minutes rather than every 30 like last year. It is likely that I will also negative split as well, due to the slight downhill nature of the last section.

So let’s say my goals are as follows:

Bronze – finish strong and uninjured around the same time as 2012
Silver – 5hr 45 or less
Gold – 5hr 30 or less
Platinum – as above, but with a win at the rugby later on that night against France 🙂

Finishing my first ultra - D33 2012

Finishing my first ultra – D33 2012

I am so excited to do this race for the second time and to see my ultra friends again. The last miles of that race last year are still my favourite running memories ever, and I dearly hope I am luck enough to get a second day of happy times. Kynon is marshaling at the half way point so I will get a nice hug and a kiss to set me off on my way back home, and my Mum is planning on popping up on a couple of occasions too. Hopefully one of them will make it back to the finish in time for me but if not it’s no big deal as all my favourite running people will be out and about, either running or helping.

If this is your first ultra – best of luck to you and I hope you don’t have bad taperitus like I did! It is a wonderfully friendly race and if you don’t already know what the big deal about ultras is, by the end of Saturday you surely will. Just relax and think of it as a nice day out running with friends. Chat to everyone who passes you and be sure to try the flapjacks at half way! Stick around at the end and grab a beer and some cake, then get the train to Stonehaven for the after-party at the Station Hotel.

See you at the start, and remember; fear no distance!

Nuffield Health Jogscotland 5k Challenge – RACE REPORT

Nuffield Health JogScotland 5k Challenge
6th June 2012

Official time: 25 mins 21 secs
Finish position: 69th/201
Age Group position: 23rd/50

As far as races go, this was probably one of the least enjoyable experiences that I’ve had so far for a variety of reasons. The Nuffield Jogscotland 5k Challenge is a series of races which take place in the larger cities and towns across Scotland and are marketed towards the newer runner, corporate groups or people doing their very first race. There was a large group of us from Fetch heading along so Kynon and I decided to join in for the fun thinking it would be a pleasant way to spend a summer’s evening with friends.

Now obviously nothing could have been done about the weather, but unfortunately nearly everything else about the race was shoddily organised. After signing up online we received no further information about the event other than what was available on the website (the race started at 7pm in Hazlehead Park – a very large park in Aberdeen). The website stated that detailed instructions would be sent out by email before the event, however when it got to 4pm on the day and nothing had been heard, I decided to call JogScotland HQ.  I’ve done enough races to know that if I turned up an hour beforehand I’d have no problem finding the start and getting myself sorted out, but I was irked enough by the lack of communications both by email and on the JogScotland Facebook page that I decided to call them anyway to see what they had to say. I was put through three different people on the phone before I could get someone with an answer which was: Just turn up. When pressed about the lack of communication they responded that ‘Someone was supposed to do it, but then they were off and it kind of didn’t happen’. Really?! From a locally organised club race that might be an acceptable excuse, but JogScotland is a national running organisation with full time staff and if I’m paying to attend one of your events then I expect more.

There were many people calling the JogScotland HQ and local running shops looking for information which they were then posting on the JogScotland Facebook Wall to help clueless runners. The Facebook Page had been deluged with queries and complaints including some from people who had never raced before and were confused and nervous about the event. There was, and as yet still has not been, a response from JogScotland about the lack of pre-race information.

We arrived at 6pm to collect our packets and hoped there would not be long queues. The Scottish Summer remained true to form and less than a fortnight after complaining about running in 28C heat, I had my winter running gear back on again as we were faced with temperatures of 8C, a nasty wind, sideways rain and heavy fog when we left the car.

Packet pick-up was in some tents and there was also a burger van and a bag drop. Pre-race entertainment was provided which consisted of an aging pub singer in a silver flared catsuit and blonde 70s wig, singing along to a backing track in a portable trailer stage. I say ‘entertainment’ in the loosest possible sense; our enthusiastic chanteuse never got any closer to the notes she ought to have been singing than a minor 2nd below.

Undeterred, we went to find the start which was somewhere in here:

7pm came and went and there was not a single indication of when the race would actually start. Thankfully we had rounded up all of our friends and were able to have a laugh about it all whilst sheltering from the rain.

Finally, after a 20 minute delay we were herded towards the gantry; a man with a megaphone mumbled something unintelligible and suddenly we were running. It was a wild stampede across the field reminiscent of High School Cross Country; I decided that I wanted this over as fast as possible so I would just run all out and throw away any thoughts of smart pacing – especially as the race was obscuring my Garmin anyway!

Mile 1: 9:01 (all uphill)
Mile 2: 8:14
Mile 3: 7:47
(all downhill)
.10: 0:24

The route was mainly on trails and grass through Countesswells Woods which suited me just fine, however I suspect some fragile souls may well have been traumatised by having to skirt around vast archipelagos of horse poo floating in the giant puddles. It was really just a case of head down and go for me so I have little to report from the race itself other than the course looked like it was very nice and I want to explore up there one day when it’s not pouring with rain. Unfortunately due to bad course marking and a lack of marshalls, the lead pack got lost in the second mile and ended up passing the main contingent again at great speed when they found their way again. Thankfully I’m not fast enough to have those problems but was able to hang on to the feet and neon jackets of those in front of me, who at times were only just visible in the thick fog.

Upon crossing the finish line I was expecting a t-shirt, goody bag and medal as promised; however at the time it appeared that there would be nothing for us other than water and bananas. No-one wanted to hang around so we quickly dispersed; and thankfully noticed on our way back to the car that goody bags, t-shirts and medals were being dispersed at the same tent as registration which was away from the route back to the carparks. Again – there was no communication at the finish line to indicate this at all!

I don’t normally run in a full face of make-up but given that I’d come from work I had my usual eyeliner/mascara etc on; this obviously ended up streaked down my face in the pouring rain creating a marvellous look. We quickly made an exit and got home as fast as possible to warm up and dry off, feeling somewhat disillusioned with the whole experience, although glad to have had some fun with our friends.

So to summarise the improvements required; COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION! It is so important in all aspects of life and something which should be an enjoyable experience can quickly become confusing and frustrating for participants if they don’t know what’s going on. I do believe JogScotland may have had some factors working against them which caused the delays (slow confirmation of set-up location from Aberdeen City Council, a traffic accident by the park entrance which delayed the start) so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but there was no reason why this could not have been relayed to the runners. I know they’ve been organising these races for quite some time and my friends have always had good experiences so something doesn’t quite add up. I feel sorry for those who may have been doing this as their very first race however; it is really not an accurate reflection of organised racing in Scotland so I do hope they’re not put off!

GUEST BLOG: Gin Soaked Jogger

Whilst I’m recovering from being brutalised by the gruelling heat at the Dunblane Road Race yesterday, I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my friend Claire, the Gin-Soaked Jogger, who has written an account of her first-time experiences at last week’s Baker Hughes 10k.


Buckfast Bolter? Tinny Trundler? Gin-Soaked Jogger – A note to a would-be-runner.

Firstly I suppose I should caveat any athleticism related to this post and freely admit I am 163cm tall, I weigh about 11st, I hit the gym enough to take care of the amount of pizza I eat and I love a bevvy.

I like to think I have a decent handle on my fitness. As long as my pizza-to-skinny jeans ratio is in order, I’m fairly content. I’ve never been a serious runner, have enjoyed playing full contact/touch rugby and cycling a bit; but have never before embarked upon a 10k race in Aberdeen.

Photographs used with kind permission from Roz Galloway

Having signed up for the 2012 Baker Hughes 10k around four months ago, I assumed I had plenty of time to get into shape and to expect to cross the finish line in a respectable time. I made the mistake of assuming a moderately fit individual like myself could expect to sail over a 10k finish line like a semi-pro, with an abundant surplus of glittering energy to spare. However, after waiting until I had around 7 weeks until race day to really start training properly, as opposed to hitting the treadmill at an easy, pedestrian pace, the creeping realisation of my ignorance started to loom.

Anyone who owns a pair of decent running trainers knows 10ks are largely regarded an “undemanding” distance; booting out 10k in an under an hour is “easily achievable”, especially for would-be athletes, marathon-chinners and all-round ass-kickers like my chum Red Wine Runner. I’d like to say to any the would-be, fair weather athletes such as myself out there; No, it’s not.

I would also like to say to any other novice joggers and weekend warriors; be prepared to awaken muscles you never knew you had. Being in pain from sports is one thing, but brand new pain is quite distracting. Who knew your ribs and clavicle muscles could get sore whilst running? Also standby for your previously pedicured toes to start moulding into garbled, bloodied stumplings, leaving you with more of a trotter than a foot. Be aware that parts of you that don’t chafe usually – might begin to chafe, when you start clocking in some miles. “Chub-rub” (upper thigh friction) is a mile-munching menace!

Bear in mind also, running outdoors on steep hills, over crumbly kerbs, dodging jakeys, dog turds and traffic is FAR more difficult than chugging out a mile or two in the comfy shelter of an air-conditioned gym, gawping at Beyonce on a plasma screen, whilst sipping a chilled energy drink and dabbing your brow with a fresh hand-towel. Speaking of shelter, rain can [and will] get you from all angles, especially when training on an Aberdonian beachfront. A decent waterproof can make a polar difference to a strong run and a “I give in” hobble. Lastly, be prepared to take firmer control of your bodily movements. As I nearly found out, your otherwise safe little toilet schedule may be subject to rapid and unexpected change. Be careful – no one likes a poopy pants.

Around about the month-to-race-day mark, I found that I would bottom-out (no pun intended) on the treadmill after around 4k, and crumble like Cadbury’s flake after about 3.5k road-running, so one Friday night I asked my seasoned runner chum Red Wine Runner for some training tips. To which she imparted this little nugget of advice, rich in its’ brevity:

“Just don’t stop.”

Easy enough for an ultra/marathon runner to quip, (whilst glugging a tin of lager I might add!), but when all my reading-up and treadmilling was officially not working, I decided to give “not stopping” a go. Would you believe it?! She was right!

Before I knew it, it was 7 days prior to the Baker Hughes 10k. In conducting a little dress-rehearsal I felt infinitely better equipped to take on a 10k race. I found that familiarising myself with the actual terrain I’d be facing on the day was irreplaceably helpful. Having the luxury of living in the same town in which I’d be racing meant I could have a few dummy-runs, as it were. Most of these I did with a chum, Lucy. Although Lucy’s pace is slower than I’d usually run I really enjoyed her consistent tempo. I would usually start running like a Special Ed kid on fire – pace all over the shop – running like Phoebe from “Friends” …but running with a comfortingly reliable pacemaker like Lucy helped me sort that right out. Cheers Luce.

So 7 days and a few staggered 5k jogs (and some leg/arse strengthening weights sessions) in between, the Baker Hughes 10k was here – and I was ready.

Trembling like a crapping terrier with nerves, I was at the starting line. Aiming to skim around the 1hour 15mins mark as I had done in practice, I waited with the thousands of others whilst the thoroughbreds down the front sprinted out of the blocks, aiming to clock in their lightning-fast finishes. Basking in the uncharacteristically warm weather, I reckoned by about the first kilometre I’d be sweating like a Geordie in a maths test. Having prepared for “washing-machine-weather” adding wet kilos onto your bodyweight and a typical Aberdeen coastal wind, on the day the sun was well and truly out and the race was on!

To be honest, I’m unable to deliver a kilometre by kilometre account of my race performance, how dull for you I’d imagine, dear reader. Maybe due to the heat, or the adrenaline rush, or my lack of rigid game plan, I don’t really recall what I was thinking all the way round other than: “Just don’t stop.”

One thing I can say however, having so many people cheering and clapping; my parents, my gorgeous training partner Lucy (sadly stricken down with illness prior to race-day), and my wonderful boyfriend cheering me on as I sprinted to the finish line; I found running the 10k a fantastic experience that I’d definitely consider doing again.

I suppose the take home message I’d share with anyone attempting their first 10k, on a base of moderate fitness is, like RWR said: “Just don’t stop.”

Although it sounds like a smug mantra, uttered by honed athletes and effortlessly muscular runners, I found this bit of advice extremely helpful. If you’re anything like me, then you may find the temptation to “just stop” when pushing yourself out of the clichéd comfort-zone is pretty high. I’m sure even those annoyingly determined, samurai-style disciplined over-achievers out there have their days where they felt more like the fly than the windshield. But I can honestly say Red Wine Runner’s brief advice holds a lot of gravity for me. I’ve definitely learnt the value of momentum over the last month:


Sweating, smiling and sprinting, I crossed the line in a not-too-glacially-slow 1 hour and 6 minutes and I was honestly thrilled with my time. I’m still beaming, actually. I had a great day, smiling with the crowd, waving to my supporters, raising money for a local charity and giggling my way round the course looking at runners in suffocating costumes. The post-race beers were also some of the best I’ve had in a while, nothing like a cold one (or five) when you’ve earned it!

It would seem that even a gin-soaked-jogger like me can cross the finish line. And if I can do it, so can you.

Baker Hughes 10k 2012 – RACE REPORT

City of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k 2012
20th May 2012
Chip time: 51 minutes 33 seconds
Place: 1117th / 3652 finishers
Category place: 101/863

I woke up at 6am on Sunday, excited for my third attempt at the Baker Hughes 10k and was delighted to be greeting with bright sunshine and cornflower blue skies upon opening my eyes. It was a beautiful clear, calm day! I leapt out of bed and busied myself making breakfast; which was cold overnight oats (porridge oats and milk, left overnight in the fridge to soak) with seeds and dried fruit, cranberry juice and coffee:

I was planning on walking/jogging down to the start as it is 3 miles from my house and I felt that would be both a suitable warm up and would avoid any car parking/public transportation problems at the race village. Everything had been laid out the night before so the morning routine would be flawless, but I still found myself running around fussing about silly little things. Nerves amplify feelings and I was feeling the usual race-morning stresses, but still excitement was the overwhelming feeling as I looked forward to meeting all of my friends and putting in a good shift on the road. It felt great to pin on a number again and know that I was going to leave nothing out on the course – I was going to run as hard as I possibly could that morning and be the fastest runner I’ve ever been.

The journey down to the beach went quickly; Kynon and I walked a mile briskly and then ran a gentle mile and then finished up with a walk alongside the many other runners making their way to the start.

Reaching the beach I was curious to see if the usual brisk winds would feature on the Esplanade; the beachfront is notorious for being windy even on what would appear to be the calmest of days, but there was only a light breeze which offered some relief from the sun already beating down strongly at 0830. Although I’m not a fan of running in great heat, it was a huge relief to have lovely weather for the race after the continuous barrage of rain wind and snow (yes!) which we’ve had for weeks.

We arrived and started looking out for familiar faces. At last count, there were SIXTEEN of my friends who running this race! I didn’t have to look far before I nearly tripped over my favourite Gin-soaked Jogger, Claire, who was running for local charity, Befriend A Child.

After speaking to Claire and her boyfriend Adam, we spotted Ryan and his enthusiastic supporter, Sheenagh, who snapped a couple of pictures:

With Jim, Kynon, Brian and Ryan (pic by Sheenagh)

There was an awkward mass aerobic warm-up, which we all carefully avoided whilst making last minute preparations for the race. I had a bag which I was planning on depositing in the bag drop, but Sheenagh very kindly offered to look after it (thank you!) so I didn’t have to worry about my valuables being unattended. I took a High5 gel just before it was time to get in to our corralls, we wished each other good luck and went our separate ways.

pic by Sheenagh

Kynon and I elected to enter the 46-50 minute corral and head towards the back. Nerves were building at this point and we both stuck on some music and just focused on visualising the race. I was planning on maintaining a minimum of 8:20 miles for as long as I could and then see how I felt in the last mile or so. My biggest concern was blowing up too soon and running out of steam. I knew my knee would be ok – I could run through any pains that occurred but the only potential problems would occur due to incorrect pace execution at the start.

As far as I’m aware the race started on time at 0930 and before I knew it I had crossed the start and was on my way. Past experience made sure I started tight on the left hand side of the crowd to avoid having to take a wide turn at the first corner; I sneaked around it deftly and then the race really began.

Kynon and I had planned to run together as long as possible and for the first mile or so we were side by side. There are a lot of tight turns in the Baker Hughes 10k course so it’s important to run the tangents so you don’t lose precious time by adding distance. I was religiously checking my watch and kept my pace on or below 8:20; I kept having to reign myself in though as the temptation to let my keen legs run off madly along with the crowd was huge. I kept on looking down and seeing 7:xx, which is great, but I knew I’d struggle to hold that for anything longer than a few miles.

The course curls around the harbour before making its way on to the South end of the Beach Esplanade; we ran past many warehouses and supply vessels with workers standing outside clapping and cheering, or just looking on in amusement. Support is always thin on the ground at this point but soon, after a short incline, you find yourself at the end of the Esplanade looking North up the coast and you can see two miles worth of runners and supporters stretching ahead of you.

Up until this point Kynon and I had been near each other, taking turns to lead the pace. At least that’s how it felt in my head – I don’t know whether it was intentional on his part! Around the 4k mark he stopped appearing in my peripheral vision – I later found out that this was when he started having problems with a hip flexor and slowed to a walk to stretch it out. Somewhere around this point Rachel passed me; ‘Keep up!’ she said! Challenge: accepted!

I kept on pushing though and glided through 5k in 25 mins 48 secs which was bang on target for a new PB. Shortly after 5k there was water which I happily poured over myself; I don’t think it can have been much warmer than 15C or so at that time in the morning, but working hard in direct sunlight felt very uncomfortable for this winter-hardened Scottish runner. I took a few sips and washed out my mouth; I didn’t NEED the water to drink and I didn’t want to give myself a stitch by gulping it down.

Mile 1 – 8:06
Mile 2 – 8:29 (???)
Mile 3 – 8:13

I don’t know why mile 2 was so slow…

The 10k race is a funny beast – it’s just over so quickly! After the 5k mark it felt strange to be thinking that I was over half way done and that the pain would be over soon. I just kept pushing on down King St, never letting myself take the foot off the gas and telling myself I had no excuses – this is only 50 minutes of your life, you are not in that much pain, stop complaining. You know how it feels to run 3 miles and know you’ve another 30 miles to race, so to only have 3 to go today is a luxury – HTFU!

I had been told that my Grandad was going to come down and try and see me on the course. This meant a lot to me as he’s never seen me race before; I was looking ahead anxiously trying to spot him at the point where he said he’d be, and I saw him! I pulled out of the crowds and took the corner wide whilst waving and smiling; he gave me a big wave and a cheer which was a huge boost at a point in the race when I was really starting to hurt – 8k.

The course made its way around the high-rise tower blocks of Seaton and along the long, flat straight of Golf Road. In all honestly I started getting tunnel vision here and I really remember nothing of note. All that mattered was getting to that finish line as soon as I possibly could, but still leaving a little in the tank to tackle the cruel and challenging  hill by Pittodrie Stadium in the last kilometre. I began to get a stitch in my right side which impeded my breathing and caused me some nausea, but I was able to ignore it despite the nagging pain.

I reached the Hill and shortened my stride slightly and leaned into the incline. It always lasts slightly longer than you expect, and the extra bit at the top just when you think it’s over is a killer. I passed Rachel again on the hill and then finally reached the sign merrily proclaiming “400m To Go!”

Please don’t puke. Please don’t puke. Please don’t puke!

The stitch in my side was stabbing away and as I tried to push harder going down the other side of the hill I felt the bile rise in my throat. I just couldn’t get my legs to go any faster! My heart was thumping and I was wheezing from the exhausting of hauling up the hill; it’s a real sting in the tail of what is an otherwise flat race. Normally as this point I’d be accelerating into a full on sprint; Rachel pulled up next to me and we ran together for a few strides getting faster and faster but then I plateaued and she out-kicked me and sped off.

Mile 4 – 8:18
Mile 5 – 8:19
Mile 6 – 8:10
0.27 – 1:57

I willed myself onwards through the last few meters; the crowds were a blur and I felt like hell but I knew it would be over in mere seconds. Line crossed, garmin stopped, lean forward, stagger onwards, quell nausea. I looked at my watch which read 51:32 – a new PB; job done.

Rachel came up and we congratulated each other on a good fight as we staggered up the finish gantry. I grabbed a couple of bottles of water for us, but had I known that this would be all we’d get at the finish line I’d have taken two each. This is where my only complaint about the race this year comes in – there was absolutely nothing at the finish line for runners other than a 330ml bottle of water! No goody bag, no bananas, no lucazade/crisps/cereal bars…nothing of the usual post-race snacks that even the smallest of races manage to provide. Once you were out of the finish chute there was no more water to be had, and as far as we could see there was nowhere else to get food other than a couple of burger vans. A big problem! After a tough effort you need a pick-me-up; at the very least a banana or something sugary like an energy drink to tide you over. On a day like Sunday where runners were coming in DRENCHED in sweat; they needed more than 330ml of water. Baker Hughes is already at the expensive end of the races available in the North East and up until this point I’ve always thought the £21 reasonably justified since you get a closed road course, t-shirt, medal, water and food; however I was very disappointed to not receive any sustenance after crossing the line this year. In the end we had to crash the sponsors hospitality tent (sorry Baker Hughes…) to get something else to drink and found some fruit juice and milk.

Anyway; shortly after I crossed the line I found Sheenagh with Ryan, who had stormed home in 48:03, next up was Kynon in 52:44, Brian in 56:20 and Emma in 58:03.

Pic by Sheenagh

Lots of smiley, happy, running friends!

Shortly we managed to finally catch up with the rest of my crew who we’d missed at the start – Niall, Scott and Fiona – who came in at 59:35, 1:05:27, and 1:05:13 respectively. Unfortunately for whatever reason we didn’t get any pictures together! Perhaps everyone was too hot and excited to stand still for long enough; never mind, we’ll just need to do another race together soon 🙂

I was really pleased with my race. I know I didn’t hit my sub-50 goal but I feel that I gave it my all on the day and ran what I was capable of on Sunday morning. There will be a sub-50 in my future at some point, but I’m not worried about it for now. I don’t intend on doing any more 10ks in the near future; I’m toying with the idea of the River Ness 10k at the end of September as so many friends are doing the Marathon that day and I’d like to come up and support them, but for me right now all roads lead to distance, not speed. I had an odd feeling of dissatisfaction after the race on Sunday; it was just too short, not challenging enough, it didn’t require enough effort. I felt like I had so much more to give, further to go, longer to run. Even despite a new PB and pushing myself to what at that moment in time for those 51 minutes felt like my limits, I was left feeling a little empty.

What I did get from the day, was the amazing warm fuzzy that comes with running with friends; the shared experience, the highs and the lows, the stories at the finish line, the sweaty smiles. Running is an individual sport but there is nothing that I love more than sharing with with my nearest and dearest. Afterwards, we all met up in a pub for a slap up lunch and drinks and enjoyed the rest of the sunny Sunday. Young, old, fast, slow, first timers, old hands; we are all runners.

Picture by Claire

PB Prosecco!

Scott, Fiona and Niall

Adam and Claire

Kynon and I

Next up for me is the Dunblane Hydro 7.5 mile road race on Sunday with Kynon. This will dove-tail nicely into some more concentrated Half Marathon training for the Stonehaven Half on the 1st of July which will lead perfectly into 9 weeks of training for the Moray Marathon on the 2nd of September.

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