Wednesday 29 July 2009

Narnain Boulder Dash

29th July 2009

After the Killin Games Race, I headed via Crianlarich to Arrochar and went for a wander up the hill above Loch Long, since I was a bit early for the Westies club handicap race. Eventually 8 runners turned up, and Elizabeth kindly volunteered to do the time-keeping.

I set off 2nd last and only caught Maria on the lower section of descent, and Johnston about 30 seconds before the finish. I managed a PW with 38:59. Donald Evans had a great run to beat his time of last year, and finished in 35:48, a new club course record.

Killin Highland Games

29th July 2009
Results | Photos

Last year, Steven Fallon had strongly recommended the Killin Highland Games hill race, so I thought I would head up and find out what all the fuss was about.

I arrived in Killin on a Wednesday afternoon with heavy rain and low cloud, and a muddy field awash with squalling bagpipe players.

Luckily the rain eased off for the run. Lochaber runners Colin Donnelly and Tom Smith belted off in the lead on the first climb, followed by Ben Stevenson, who turned out to be doing the junior race, then Steven Fallon and I were exchanging places in 3rd/4th place. At the summit turn I was a lying 4th and Steven rapidly opened a gap and disappeared on the descent. I was then caught by Iain Anderon of Kirriemuir and tried to keep up, but fell up a couple of times on the slippery ground, and so eased off and pottered off the hill in 5th place in 26:25.

Photo courtesy of Steven Fallon

Sunday 26 July 2009

Ben Rinnes Hill Race

25th July 2009

This was my 3rd running of the Ben Rinnes race, and thankfully not as sweltering as last year. David Riach and I lead the jog round the grass track at the start after which Andy Symonds promptly took over the pace making on his way to a new course record of 1:56:55.

The usual faces all overtook on the track up to the golf course. Once on the hill proper I was running in the company of Adrian Davis, Phil Mowbray, Richie Cunningham, etc. Richie had a strong run and got the better of me, despite attempts to close him down after the second road crossing. Adrian faded and Phil pulled out with crocked ankle. I thought I might be on for a PB of 2:16 something, but despite running as hard as I could from the golf course to the finish I finished in 2:18:11.

Ellie had a good run finishing as 2nd lady in 2:35:27, less than 2 minutes after Megan Mowbray.

Sunday 19 July 2009

Pollok Park Run - Event 33

18th July 2009

I took part in my first Pollok Park Run since January, and it was Ellie's first Park Run and her first ever 5km race. There was a pretty good turn out with 243 runners. I decided to conserve my energies at the start and tried to avoid getting swept up in the cavalry charge, but starting fast enough not to get trampled.

After the first 500 metres the wind quickly went out of the sails of most of the runners around me so I skipped forwards through the field and launched into the first little climb at 800 metres on a right bend and nipped past Rob Soutar and George Taylor to move up to 3rd position with the first 2 runners way out ahead by now.

For some strange reason I thought Rob was George and we battled along shoulder to shoulder until 2km at which point Rob opened a slight gap and George came past. At 2.7km where you link from Lap 1 to Lap 2 I had to shout Rob back as he was taking a wrong turn which allowed George to get a slight advantage. And from that point on I could never quite reel them back in, and Rob was always slightly behind George. So the 3 of us came in with George 17:22, Rob 17:25(ish) and me 17:30 for 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Ellie finished just ahead of Hamilton in 20:21 to Hamilton's 20:39.

Battling with Rob Soutar of Shettleston George Taylor of Giffnock Hamilton and Ellie
Photos courtesy of Gill Williamson, Eastwood Photographic Society

Sunday 12 July 2009

Crieff 10k Trail Race

12th July 2009
Results | Race Details

Crieff 10k reports: 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Not the usual sunny weather this year. Instead cooler with smirry rain. My lower back had been giving me serious gyp for the past week, so I wasn't expecting much today and didn't bother doing any proper warming up.

The race starts at the immaculate Dallerie playing fields in Crieff courtesy of Morrison's Academy and Strathearn Harriers. I set off steadily and exited the fields in 2nd place on the shoulder of Murray Strain who would go on to win the race by some margin. I tried not to overcook it at the start and allowed a few runners to drift past until Colin Glencorse caught me at the base of Laggan Hill. I ran side by side with Colin for a couple of hundred metres, but suddenly felt quite strong and decided to press on thereby by overtaking the Corstorphine and Carnegie runners in front (Christopher O`Brien and Michael Harvey). I then pushed on and passed Ewan McCarthy to crest the hill in 4th place, with Tony Jackson of Perth and Robert Gilroy not far ahead and still in sight.

I wasn't sure how to play the next stage on the descent. Ewan passed me then slowed, so I passed him again, and this carried on about 3 times until I hit the short road section at halfway still in 4th place, but feeling like we had been just coasting the descent. That said, once we started back alongside the hedgerows to the river bank I didn't feel that fresh, and was very soon passed again by Ewan with Chris O'Brien in his slipstream. I should have worked a bit harder to keep in contention from 5 to 7km, but instead I dropped another place as Michael Harvey passed me at the start of the flat river path section. Again I should have dug in harder, but instead just coasted along hoping I could chase them down in the final kilometre.

I did make up some ground on the climb back to the road at 9km, but then felt rubbish once we hit the level tarmac and didn't get going quickly enough. I finally sort of got my act to together about halfway across the playing fields and started closing down position 5 & 6 pretty fast, but it was too little too late and I ran out of grass, so had to make do with 7th place in 38:06, so just a fraction over my sub 38 target.

Ellen was the only other Westie running at this superb classic trail race of which there are far too few in Scotland. Ellie was having serious gyp with the scarring around her prolapsed lumbar disc, and was in considerable pain, but managed to run 43:59 for 5th place in the women's race.

We dropped in at the very impressive Drummond Castle Gardens on the way home before having an exciting and noisy flat tyre change right on the M80/M876 interchange hard shoulder.

Race Route Race Route Route Profile Drummond Castle Gardens