A long weekend up North with family in God’s Own Country handily coincided with the Glenlivet 10k, according to the website the most beautiful run in said country. What with all the pavement-pounding I’d been doing recently, it sounded like a perfect excursion. I had high hopes for a good performance, I’d made plans, worked out times, paces and splits and all that sort of thing. Truth be told, my number one priority was not to start off too fast, balance was key.

After a slightly rushed warm-up (hadn’t quite factored in the length of the queues for registration), I was at the front of the course at the start, set off and found myself in the front pack. The first km was all downhill and surprisingly steep, which was all to the good – my fancy new watch informed me that I was making excellent time. Swings and roundabouts though because the next few km were much steeper than I’d anticipated. My watch wasn’t happy with how I was doing, but I told myself that there was no point in pushing things this early. If this was how it was so be it –  I gave up on all thoughts of a PB and focused on just staying steady. By this point I was in 4th place, but the Forres Harrier I had attached myself to was slowly pulling away, since we weren’t even 1/3 of the way through I didn’t bother to fight for the place.

As with most good road races the rest passed mostly without incident. Cheers from my parents and Christine definitely helped at the 4km and there was a magical moment at around 6km when I realised that I was going to pass the runner who was still 20 yards in front of me. The views on the back road behind the distillery were lovely and long straight road at the end was ideal for running. I managed to stay relaxed and consistent throughout, serene in the knowledge that as long as I didn’t do anything particularly stupid it was all going to work out alright. I crossed the line in 3rd place with a time of bang on 37.00, just under two minutes behind the winner.

Not quite sure if it’s the most beautiful run in Scotland, but as road races grow it was pretty stunning and the route was a lot of fun. I will definitely be back next year.

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