Originally billed as ‘elites-preferred’, there was a strong field assembled at Comrie Croft last Sunday – all the usual fast guys n girls of the Scottish hill-scene and a sprinkling of handy-looking road runners keen for a race. (Apparently this scared wee Sam – he didn’t show up.)

 

It was a beautiful sunny day but my heart wasn’t really in it. I’d camped up at Comrie the night before, but my lie-in didn’t compensate for a poor night’s sleep. A solid block of training in the first part of 2020 had left me fit, but like a lot of folk I’d lost psyche a bit over the past six weeks and knew I wasn’t at my best.

 

Still, it was good to catch-up with folk I would normally chat to at least once a week but hadn’t seen since February. More importantly, it’s A RACE, and there aren’t that many of them around at the moment. Standing on the start line I banished thoughts of a DNS and focused on the task at hand.

 

We’d been set off in waves of 30 or so. Angela Mudge did a good job of handicapping and I was surrounded by enough comparable runners throughout to make for a proper race. I started off easily at the back of my pack, slowly working my way up the field until I found my peers. I swapped places with Will Bowers & others for most of the race, always having someone to chase and someone to put the pressure on. Forget about my heart not being in it, I was in the Zone now.

 

The first five miles were undulating trails, tracks and road before 1.5 miles of just about runnable climb. This was a real slog, not helped by the midday-sun beating down on my head & shoulders. I could see Peter Gardner in the distance was struggling, but then again so was I. Kirsty Dickson overtook me half-way up, I put in a bit of effort on the final 400M over the plateua and just managed to catch her in an exciting sprint finish.

 

I spent the next 20 mins or so sitting at the top of the hill in the taps ‘aff heat, chatting to pals and watching runners arrive against the backdrop of a fantastic cloud inversion. I’ve missed this.

 

  1. Robbie Simpson (Deeside Runners) 50:51

31) Tom Callan 01:00:38

41) Holly Page (Edinburgh Uni H&H) 01:03:57

45) James Callender 01:05:07

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