Results | Route details at EveryTrail
Another Sunday, another half marathon.
I'd not done Alloa Half before, but I knew it has reputation for always being windy, and today didn't disappoint. The calm conditions of yesterday had vanished and were replaced with a blustery westerly wind, perfect for ensuring that miles 6 to 10 would be tough going.
I tried to set off as conservatively as possible, and slotted into a largish group of 1:17/1:18 type runners aiming to shelter from the wind. I tried to sit on the back of this pack with Mark McColl, Dan Gay, Wull Hynd, George Taylor, Toni McIntosh, etc. but all these runners were too skinny to get any shelter and after 3 miles or so I couldn't keep up with them anyhow, so instead decided to jog alongside Ewan Jack who was keeping a nice steady pace that I thought I could live with.
My plan of running with Ewan worked fine until about mile 5 when we turned into the wind at Tillicoultry with a slight uphill rise. I was feeling jaded already and could feel myself falling off the pace, allowing a small but uncloseable gap to open between me and Ewan.
Neil Deerey caught me just before mile 10 which spurred me into action, and I managed to regain a bit of pace for the last 3 miles. I was fairly sure I had missed the 1:20 target but with 2 miles to go I decided to give it all I had left. As I arrived back into Alloa I knew I was getting very close to dipping back under 1:20 so gave an all out sprint for the last 400 metres, which saw me nip past Ewan just before the line to cries of "yah scumbag!".
My gun time was 1:20:18, so less than a second per km off my target pace, which I suppose isn't that bad, although I still think I should be aiming at more like 1:18. Toni McIntosh was first lady in 1:17:47, and the race was won by Eritrean athlete Tsegezeab Woldemichael in the incredible time of 1:07:42.