Take two spoonfulls of Lumphanan to avoid indigestion. Actually – it’s 10 you want, kilometres not spoonfulls – it’s the earliest UK race of its kind in the calendar year apparently. My Lumphanan’s been playing up over the Christmas period. No, that’s the weather, -2 on the thermometer with the golf-club car-park turned into an ice rink for some extra fun at the beginning of the day. A Lumphanan’s plumage is wonderfully thick and soft to the touch. Not quite, but it is a nice wee village in rural Aberdeenshire and a good venue for road run.  I’m looking forward to a dram of 10 year-old Lumphanan. Maybe there is such a thing, I didn’t check, but I was looking forward to my first race in a while.

Good course this one, lots of character as far as roads go. Plenty steep for the first 2.5km, then plenty down, a bit of flat through idyllic surroundings, a snowy, muddy farm-track hill climb and then a final dash through sketchily-icey streets for the finish.

My own performance was a dull affair – all went according to plan. Pushed hard from the start, never felt easy, got harder towards the end but only desperate for the last 400m.  I made up places on the up, kept them on the flat, lost them on the down and was happy with where I finished.

Definitely appreciated Christine and my parents shivering in the cold to cheer me on at the end.  

Particularly glad to see that I can still avoid looking good in photographs – more fag-end of a summer night-out than vigorous athleticism.

Here’s to 2018!

1)                 Robbie Simpson 31.33 (nearly 3.5 minutes faster than 2nd!)


6)    James Callender 35.28

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