29th June 2012
Anyone who has run this top notch 10k trail race before knows it is always midge hell….not this year!
Instead it was monsoon hell.
After finally getting work out the way, I made the last minute dash to East Kilbride in the pouring rain on Friday evening, thinking all the way there – are there going to be any trails left or will they have been washed away along with half the Scottish railway network? I arrived to a flooded field and another deluge / total soaking on the way to the Clubhouse – this is going to be fun. I had persuaded a road running friend that this is such a lovely run in a lovely park with lovely scenery and lovely cake, that he should try it as his first ever trail race. Oops.
There were far fewer runners than normal, understandable but a shame, as Calderglen Harriers do such a great job of organising all the races at this event every year. I think I was the sole Westie representative – no pressure. My friend was a little worried when he saw how covered in mud the fast runners were simply from warming up – I dragged him to the start line – once you’re wet you’re wet and what’s a bit of mud.
Positives: No midges – they were all drowned. (along with a couple of dogs, some small children and a granny)
Challenges: This was cross country not trail running – mud, slime, totally treacherous wooden walkways and steps, and and rivers of soft flowing gravel, making a tough wee run a whole lot tougher.
A good winning time by David Phee of Giffnock North in 35.39 for the boys and Edel Mooney from Lothian RC in 40.23 for the wummin.
I felt ok in the first half of the race, but knew it wasn’t going to be easy to keep pace in such soft ground. I managed to hold off a group behind me all the way into the last km, but I had nothing left on the last incline and total jelly legs on the way down to the finish when I was going backwards – more cross country training required…….and hill training and general training…… I was hoping to better my time from last year 54.07, it was not to be, 1 minute slower to finish 17th muddy girl and 99th overall in 55.04 – oh well – next year. I never thought I’d say this but bring back the midges!!
My friend Richard thought he was in the trenches for the first couple of km’s! (oops again) but soon warmed to the mud and rain to complete his first ever off road run in 61 mins and he loved it! Phew.
The fantastic spread afterwards in the Clubhouse was so appreciated by every drenched, mud encrusted runner. Yum. (Maybe if I ate less cake I would run faster…..)
Top way to spend a Friday evening and good practice for Crieff on Sunday.
And I hope the Arrochar Alps goes brilliantly on Saturday for all runners and superb organisers / volunteers, sorry to be unable to help out or spectate this time.