One of the races of the year that I was really looking forward to was the Broch (Fraserburgh) Half Marathon. I am originally from Fraserburgh, so my home town race was always going to be a bit special. I had also ran it last year and knew what to expect. I had set my sights on my first sub-two hour HM of the year, but after battling injury for the past few weeks and tiring myself out with 4 races in a row, I decided before running not to risk hurting myself further by pushing it.
Having stayed the night before at my parents’ house, I had the luxury of an extra hour in bed and hot porridge cooked by my Mum first thing. That should set me up nicely. The weather in the morning was ideal. 2°C, clear skies and sunshine and barely a breath of wind – ideal.
At 10:00 I headed down to James Ramsay park to register and pick up my T-Shirt. Quite a few familiar faces had made the trip from Aberdeen/Stonehaven and I was pleased to see Naomi in running gear despite being worried about whether or not she could run. At 11am, the race promptly started. For the first time in a long time, I was running this race naked! Not through choice, but because I had left my Garmin in Aberdeen. For the first time in a long time, I would have to run to feel rather than by checking my pace on my wrist. Don’t worry though, lovers of statistics will still see them at the end of this post, as I had my phone recording my movements in my back pocket.
The first two miles were around a part of the town, down past the new sports centre and then out the road running on path by the main road out of town. Running around 9 minute miles (reported by my current company) I decided that this was too fast for me, so slowed down a little. This then takes us through the wet and slightly muddy Philorth estate, before heading out onto quiet country roads. Not one car would be seen on the roads around here. The next few miles would be ran around 9:30 to 10 minute miles, so keeping a steady and strong pace.
At around 6 miles in, I really felt the legs tiring and slowed right back to a 10:30 min/mile, which would see Naomi and Claudia catch me. I must admit, I did expect to see them a lot sooner. Naomi was feeling a bit sore, but doing a great job in keeping going. She is often a bit critical of her running, but one thing about her that I would love to pinch is her ability to keep going regardless of time, distance or discomfort. Of course, by discomfort I mean her having to put up with me teaching her a song about three cras (crows) sitting on a wa (wall) and subsequently having part of the song stuck in her head for the remainder of the race. You’re welcome!
After a short section of the Formartine and Buchan old railway line, it was back onto the country roads before going back into Philorth estate and heading back the way we came. Having remembered the last two miles from last year was particularly pleasant for me, where I took full advantage of the gentle downhill all the way to the finish, I hoped for more of the same. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Sore, tired legs had me slow down to a walk/jog for the rest of the race and a disappointing 12:53 for the final mile.
Still, despite the disappointing finish I did have a cracking race. I ran fairly strong and consistent for the majority of the run, the weather was great and the company on route was fantastic. A nice fast/flat race too. Friendly and helpful volunteers and great organisation. I was pleased to see the introduction of a bespoke medal for this one (which I will post a photo of later today) and a brilliant feed of soup, sandwiches and cakes afterwards. Prize giving was in the new sports centre which was looking brilliant.
A particular well done to Stuart Milne who grabbed second place in an impressive 01:18:47. Also, my uncle George Mutch who ran the race on his 65th birthday in 02:02:09.
Gun Time: 02:15:19
Expect this blog to be a bit quite for the next while, as my next race is in February for the Forfar multi terrain half Marathon which stands for cold, wet, icy and COLD! I have no idea why I have entered this race again!