Monday, 20 February 2012

Scottish National Cross Country

Results | Photos | Route

Perth, North Inch
2004 - 0:42:03 (166th)
Irvine Beach Park, Magnum Centre
2005 - 0:49:39 (129th)
Falkirk Callendar Park
2006 - 0:47:09 (131st) - Slightly different course
2007 - 0:44:44 (88th) PB
2008 - 0:44:48 (107th)
2009 - 0:45:11 (133rd)
2010 - Missed race with gout. Took photos instead.
2011 - 0:46:27 (111th)
2012 - 0:49:18 (180th)

Saturday was my 9th Scottish National Cross Country, and by far my worst ever result. Almost 3 minutes and 70 places down on last year. I guess that's what happens with 6 weeks of sleep deprivation, combined with a virtually non-existent training regime.
Race Start from Scottish Athletics Facebook page
I had tried to cram some training runs into lunchtimes the past couple of weeks, but that only served to give me shin splints and a painful right adductor.  I therefore hobbled off ridiculously slowly around the first lap, thinking that I'd be able to enjoy the next 2 laps, passing a constant stream of runners. However it didn't quite work out like that. I got round Lap 1 in 15:57, about a minute slower than last year, but was finding it heavy-going on the slippery muddy hills, and was generally feeling pretty washed out, and not really in the mood for it, and very close to just dropping out altogether.

Photo by Mary Hunter
Anyhow, I battled on, counting down the kilometres, and waiting for that second wind to arrive, whilst listening out for the shouts behind me and trying to guess who would be the next runner to pass. At the start of the final lap I was caught and passed by Danny McLaughlin of Greenock Glenpark. We exchanged a few words, and I let Danny go. But once we reached the 3km to go point, I decided to start trying a bit harder and managed to catch Danny again and possibly also caught Craig Love. It was all getting a bit blurry by this point.

I think I maybe caught another couple of runners, including Grant MacDonald of Bellahouston Road Runners, and put a token gesture sprint finish down the final straight. All poised to catch another 3 or 4 runners in front, when suddenly it didn't seem that important to dive into the funnel before them, so I pulled out of the sprint and Grant nipped back in front right at the line.

It was a relief to finish, and I was glad that I hadn't just dropped out, but I didn't enjoy too much feeling quite so far off the pace.

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