Loch Leven Half Marathon

So, given I was in no way entering this race just to get a stupid T-Shirt, my friend continued to nag me for about the 3 minutes it took for me to cave in. You see, they normally do not do a T-Shirt, but given this was their 30th anniversary T they put on one special. Actually turned out to be worth it, given the customised Ron Hill T-Shirt they gave us was worth more than we paid in entry fees.

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© http://medalslut.com/

We left Aberdeen far too early in the morning and arrived a nice 2 hours before the race. Off we went to register. Registration was at the finish line and the start line was a mile walk away. We filled a bag full of possible layers and headed up to the start line. We had rain, freezing temps, wind and sunshine. This led to changing clothes every 5 minutes until finally deciding on only slightly too many layers.

The race promptly started at 1pm and we set off accompanied by a full pipe band playing us off.
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Don’t be fooled by the blue skies.

The first half of the race was amazing. Stunning scenery and a lovely backwind. Running felt great, so my two companions and I set off at an alarming speed. Even the uphills were good going. The splits for the first half looked like this:
1) – 1m – 9:13(9:13/m) – 163bpm avge – 204bpm max – 118cal
2) – 1m – 8:32(8:32/m) – 169bpm avge – 189bpm max – 146cal
3) – 1m – 8:33(8:33/m) – 185bpm avge – 207bpm max – 144cal
4) – 1m – 8:34(8:34/m) – 194bpm avge – 227bpm max – 143cal
5) – 1m – 8:31(8:31/m) – 181bpm avge – 194bpm max – 142cal
6) – 1m – 8:18(8:18/m) – 193bpm avge – 222bpm max – 137cal
7) – 1m – 8:40(8:40/m) – 191bpm avge – 227bpm max – 144cal

You could say that we were Loch Leven the pack behind 😉

Given that I am still coming back from injury and I am miles off of my usual pace, I wanted to keep this up for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the wind was helping a lot more than I thought. During the 7th or 8th mile, there was another water stop and a very short run up a farm road that they had added in to make up some distance. Here, all momentum was lost and we now had undulating terrain and the wind in our faces. Given that I was convinced my friend was set for a PB I sent my friends off ahead and took up a steady pace in order to finish the race. The rest of the race was a lot slower than the first half:
8) – 1m – 10:14(10:14/m) – 169bpm avge – 199bpm max – 174cal
9) – 1m – 10:22(10:22/m) – 161bpm avge – 177bpm max – 124cal
10) – 1m – 9:36(9:36/m) – 165bpm avge – 206bpm max – 43cal
11) – 1m – 10:19(10:19/m) – 157bpm avge – 169bpm max – 157cal
12) – 1m – 11:01(11:01/m) – 146bpm avge – 157bpm max – 97cal
13) – 1m – 10:46(10:46/m) – 150bpm avge – 161bpm max – 116cal
14) – 0.15m – 1:12(8:08/m) – 149bpm avge – 160bpm max – 19cal

routes-chart-elevation
Elevation

The end of the race felt fantastic. From the 12 mile marker I could already hear the bagpipes. Finishing a race with a full pipe band in full flow gave me a new lease of life (hence my speed going back up to just over 8 min/miles) and caused the hairs to stand on the back of my neck. The finish funnel was thick with crowds of supporters, kids with their hands out looking for a high five and my two friends who had finished just 4 minutes ahead of me. All in all, an amazing day. Very tired at the end, but by far my strongest performance this year.

Results:
http://www.winningtime.co.uk/index.php?page=results&event=219
Ronnie Mutch
finished in position 404 in the
Loch Leven Half Marathon 2013
with Winning Time certified times of
2:04:22 [race], 2:03:52 [personal]

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