The second Sunday in a row to waken up early with rain and wind battering the window. Lovely! I got up, put on as many layers as I could possibly run in, packed my brand new jacket that I was quite excited about trying and headed to pick Rachel up before going to Dundee for the Templeton 10 mile road race. During the journey, we realised that the wind was going to be a problem, but thankfully it looked dry.
At Finish in New Jacket – Gore Air
On arrival, we picked up our numbers and quickly made our way back to the car in order to keep warm. We would sit there as long as possible, repeating phrases similar to “this is going to suck!” At the last possible minute, I put on as much running gear as we had (which was thankfully all windproof) and headed down to the shed where we picked the numbers up. The toilets were cold, small and rather smelly outdoor facilities on the side of a loch. I stood laughing at the ducks (ducks are hilarious) for a few minutes before heading down to the start line with Rachel. As the start line was about a mile away and it was only 15 minutes to go before the start, we had to run part of the way there, which worked as a nice warmup.
At the start line, they walked us down a large hill. I remember someone warning me that the hill you go down at the start is the hill that you run up at the finish. Walking us half way down seemed like a waste of gravity, but never mind. The non-chipped race got going, so I saved pressing my start button on the Garmin until I was over the line so that I could get an accurate time for myself. We carried on down the hill and round the corner, which worryingly already felt heavy in the legs. This is going to suck! On looking behind, it was clear that we were already near the back of the pack. Not a place I like to be. A few moments later we were treated to the first big hill. On running up this, I was shocked to feel a pain right up my shin. Yes, the same problem I had been dealing with over the past few weeks only a lot worse this time. I sent Rachel up ahead while I stopped and stretched. I got going again and on looking back could only see a couple of people in the distance. I tried to get some pace going again, but every time I pushed on it would hurt in the shin. Very tempted to pull out when I passed the marshal at 2 miles in, but I decided I would go to the next marshal. This would continue to the half way point, at which point I would decide to keep going as much as possible.
For the first two miles, I managed around 9 – 10 minute miles which was actually fairly acceptable. The next few though would be a lot slower (between 10 and 14 min/miles) with walks and stops to stretch at various points. At about 6 miles though, there was a nice downhill section. I tried to push on and make the best of this as I could and managed an eight minute mile followed by a close to 9 minute mile. Much better I thought, until I turned the corner and was hit full on with a 25 mile per hour head wind. I battled against that as much as possible and got to the eight mile marker. Unfortunately, any joy from this was taken away by the memories of the uphill that was about to come. Mile 9 marker was on the middle of the hill and then the last mile of the hill was a nice forest stretch. I saw up ahead what I reckoned to be the last placed male runner and dug deep to make sure I passed him. I did this and finished the race. Not bad for being one decision away from pulling out at mile 2.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with this race, but unfortunately it is not one that I found any enjoyment in. The scenery was fine, the hills were challenging, the organisation was good and the marshals/helpers were friendly and encouraging. One water stop, which was enough on the day. Low cost entry and T-shirt/goodie bag on finishing, along with a selection of food for everyone.
Garmin Time: 01:47:08
Gun Time: TBA