All good intentions and that kind of thing, but maybe the definition of an early start was misinterpreted. After the umpteenth pint at a friends 40th birthday party in the Killearn Black Bull on the Saturday night I eventually made it home in the early hours feeling decidedly worse for wear. The evening meal was curry – does that count as a bonus point on the Westies curry league?

The next morning the profuse sweat during the kiddies 2k fun run (no I didn’t enter for an easy victory, my 5-year old insisted I run it with her) was more Belhaven Best than exertion. A few paracetamol and a caffeine gel later and it was the inaugural Killearn Hoolie 10k at 11am, with around 100 intrepid runners setting off – rather bizarrely starting from the same pub as my pre race dehydration session. In what turned out to be a JD-inspired run, I started slow along a hilly course out of Killearn and along the water track to Strathblane, but after a km or so started to perk up and the speed correspondingly slowly increased. The first half was definitely sedentary, with the hills and Belhaven slowing things down, but after I cheered up at the turn I maintained a nice sub 4min per km split time and finished in third place overall with a slightly slow time of 41.45 (but happy enough in light of the hilly course). The first two runners were miles ahead out of sight (one from Bishopbriggs and one I think from Dunblane). It definitely makes a change to be overtaking and to run a faster second half.

The race atmosphere was fantastic, with a pre-race warm up aerobics session and pipers at various points along the route. Running on the track, but with the start and finish in the main village, was also a bonus, with the changing terrain and views fantastic. And all this for only £10 for on the day entry. The most enjoyable and friendly 10k I have ever run – hopefully they will repeat it again next year, in which case I will definitely be lining up on the start line. But maybe, just maybe I might change my pre-race preparations.

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