Strathkinness to Blebocraigs
2nd May 2012
Having been garrisoned to the Kingdom of Fife of late, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been a bit out of the Westy loop, so was delighted to see this wee race taken place last Wednesday evening.
In a few weeks time, some colleagues and myself will be running the Edinburgh Marathon Relays Ã¢â‚¬â€œ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an expensive race but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a staff v. students rivalry to pay for and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s priceless. So Ã‚Â¾ of my team Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Alex, Rory and myself, turned out for a bit of race prep.
Strathkinness is a small village outside of St Andrews set in truly scenic countryside. The race organisers call this an Ã¢â‚¬Å“undulating courseÃ¢â‚¬Â. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d dispute that. There are two devilish hills to encounter along the way. Subtle it ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. Starting in Strathkinness, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a quick Ã¢â‚¬Å“WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your name? Where do you come from?Ã¢â‚¬Â and Ã‚Â£3 registration fee at the church hall. This equally reflected the start, no airs or graces for the Fifers, just a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Right then, watch oot for motors andÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ erÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ ayeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Go!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Off we wentÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Fifers, Taysiders, Unattacheds and one Westy. I started off a bit too quickly, possibly due to one runner beside me who sounded like he was wheezing a bit too much for the first few hundred metres. This made me feel a bit tense and could also be down to me not participating in any races for a while. Anyway, the first section towards Blebocraigs was pleasant as we raced down a country road, whizzing past a wonderful plethora of smells and a group of indifferent cattle.
8 mins in we were off the road and up a gravel path hitting the first challenging hill head on. Tackling this, my heart sank. I did stick in but lost a good few places and was overtaken by my colleague, Rory. Reaching the top was something of a relief and the field was noticeably spread out now. We then followed through a muddied, puddled route, which gave way to a track through Kemback Wood. From here I began to relax and felt more comfortable, taking back a few more places. Reaching Blebocraigs we turned back towards Strathkinness along a country road, which eventually led to the second hill, short and sweet it was much better than my first hilly encounter. Bounding over some fields for the concluding stretch, this part involved a bit of sidestepping to avoid some large murky looking puddles. Careful not to slip so close to the finish I sprinted towards a crowd who were forming in the distance. The end! Done! Finished! ReliefÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
I really enjoyed this race and will certainly recommend it to anyone who happens to be in the area. Bit of a trek from Glasgow for a 4.5 mile race but nice to run somewhere different for a change and there were few if any motors to watch out for! Back at the church hall there was a welcoming spread of sandwiches, cakes and tea for the runners, which was a nice touch and echoes much of what Grim said before in his friendly Fifers memo.
1. Zach Delaney Fife AC 24.51 MJU20
2. Chris Russell Fife AC 25.16 MV40
3. Neil Graham St Andrews Uni 25.35 MS
25. Morgan Windram-Geddes Fife AC 28.55 FS
46. Ciaran McDonald Westerlands 31.16 MS