At parkrun on Saturday I heard about the Christmas Canter the following day. A 10k race down at Aberdeen beach. At the time, I did not consider running the race as I have not been running since Fraserburgh half due to physio orders of 2-3 weeks of rest/cross training. As I got bored that evening and decided to try a 5k test run which felt fine, I decided that I may give the race a go and would decide in the morning for sure.
Morning arrived and just as I had made up my mind to run the race I got a text from Naomi who had also just decided to run it. Brilliant! The weather look OK, and even given the mild temperature I layered up in preparation for the usual cold sea-wind down Aberdeen beach. Smart decision, as it turned out. Yes, glad I wore that jacket Naomi 😉
I arrived at the leisure centre in plenty of time to register and get organised for the 10am start. I started the race with Naomi. The race started on the upper promenade with the wind in our backs. This gave a very nice first mile in 8:14. Shortly after though, we had a 180 degree turn onto the lower prom, where the wind was now in my face. Somehow, while trying to keep up with speedy Naomi, we continued at roughly 9-9:30 minute miles for the entire stretch where I had to put up with the most ridiculous display of slipstream running I have ever seen in my life. A woman running right on my heals, sheltering from the wind actually kicked my foot at one point. If that wasn’t bad enough she would catch her breathe behind me and then push on to the next runner and let him do the hard work for her for a bit before moving on again.
Another 180 degree turn down by the toilets at Fittie and back onto the upper prom with the strong wind in our backs again. By this point, I had used almost all I had on the previous section and started to fall slightly behind Naomi. I pushed on, trying to keep up for as long as possible but decided to send Naomi ahead to ensure at least one of us beat Ms Slipstream. I settled into a slightly slower pace and got chatting to another runner for a bit.
After the full stretch, there was a final 180 degree turn and it was back with the wind in my face. It seemed stronger than ever at this point. Sore/tight calves and tiredness slowed me to my slowest mile of the race, but I was able to push on the final few hundred yards when super-fast Carolyn came back to meet me and perked my mood up.
The medals we were given at the end were fabulous. The race was ran with minimum organisation for charity. The only criticism I would have was no water at the end of the race. Thankfully I had a drink in the car and a wee helper to run get it for me.
Position – 47/62
Time – 59:46