Sunday 19 September 2010

Stirling 10k

Results | Photos | Route map

Cool, rainy, wind-less conditions in Stirling made for fast running times, but tricky for taking photos, with a wet camera and slippery road surfaces.

The first 4 runners all dipped under 30 minutes. The Shettleston Eritreans took positions 1, 2 and 3, followed by Caithness runner Andrew Douglas (now running for Inverclyde) in 29:46.

Tsegezab Woldemichael won the race in 29:28, followed by Tewoldeberhan Mengisteab and Tsegai Tewelde in the equal time of 29:37.

First lady was Sarah Inglis in 34:31, closely followed by Jennifer MacLean in 34:40.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Cashel Trail Race

Activity on Garmin Connect | Photos

Today I went to Loch Lomond to take a few photos at the Cashel Trail Race. The 7km route follows a figure-of-8 on scenic forest trails.

I've been out of action all week with a crocked back and floored by a virus, so I just hung around near the start of the race. There were only 15 runners. Peter Devenport was first, followed by Paul Thompson, David Dickson and Ellie as 1st lady. I'm pretty sure that Helensburgh and Westies made up more than half the field.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Millport 10-mile Road Race

Results | Activity on Garmin Connect

This was my 8th 10-mile road race, and turned out to be my 2nd fastest ever.

The previous 10-milers I've done are the old Tom Scott route from Law to Motherwell Strathclyde Loch, round Derwentwater (twice), Llandudno, Lasswade (twice) and one previous attempt at the Millport race.

The old Tom Scott route was early days, so I stood no chance of getting under the hour. I close to the hour with 60:30 at the hilly Derwentwater course. I've missed the hour both times at Lasswade with the big climb out of Roslin Glen. Llandudno was my first sub-60 minutes 10-miler back in 2004 with a time of 59:56. This was far too close to be happy with, so in 2007 I managed 56:25 at Millport.

I'm sure I will never beat this 10-mile PB, but I was still keen to clock another proper sub-60 time, so was aiming for around the mid 58-minute mark, which I thought should be comfortable and achievable.

At lunchtime it was far too warm for running, but luckily by 2pm it had clouded over, with a breeze picking up.

I set out with the front runners, but soon David Simpson, Keith Hood, Grant Wilkie (all Corstorphine) plus Stuart Gibson of Cambuslang had all pulled away. So I was left chasing Alex Allardyce and Tommy Lawrence, sitting in 7th place. After less than 2 miles I was caught by Kevin Hutchinson, and we ran together until about mile 9 when I suddenly upped the pace and managed to pull away by 7 seconds in the last 200 metres.

I was pleased to record 58:28, which pretty much matched my target time. And Ellie did well to finish as first lady in 66:37, which was almost a minute faster than she ran in 2007.

Saturday 11 September 2010

Strathclyde Parkrun - Event 23

Results | Activity on Garmin Connect

My first attempt at the Strathclyde Parkrun down at Strathclyde Loch.

The field was much smaller that at the Pollok Parkruns, and the course is quite different. Where Pollok is a hilly, 2-lap course, sheltered in the trees, Strathclyde Loch is a totally flat, out and back course, exposed to the elements.

There was a noticeable headwind as I set off with Daniel Bradford and Bryan McLelland from Glasgow Uni. I probably started too fast, clocking 3:15 for the first kilometre. Fatigue, the headwind and a sore right knee all kicked in during the 2nd kilometre, so I started drifting backwards and was caught by David Gardiner and David McElhinney. I tried to hang on, but never got near them again.

The final couple of kilometres drag on a bit since you can see the finishing tent from a mile away. However the dog walkers and cyclists keep you on your toes by repeatedly blocking your path, and stepping in front if you.

I was hoping for around 17 minutes, but timed myself as 17:27, which puts me currently on 3rd place in the MV45-49 league table.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Ben Nevis Race

Results | Activity on Garmin Connect

My 6th shot at the Ben Nevis Race and a new PW of 1:55:49.

The race started 3 minutes early at 12:57. We were all gathered on the start line, and I was wondering what we were going to do for the next 3 minutes, when suddenly and without warning a hooter sounded. I was jolted into action, not knowing if this was a false start, but it seemed that the race had begun so I tried to scramble clear of the masses by running around the outside of the field and then realised that the only runners in front were Ian Holmes and Robbie Simpson, who were just jogging along chatting. I could easily have passed them to lead the field out onto the road, but thought I would look a bit of a prat, so eased back and starting letting people overtake.

Once on the climb above Achintee my legs felt pretty rusty at this kind of thing, and I was struggling to run much, and losing dozens of places. Eventually above the aluminium bridges I got back into it and started catching people again, and above Red Burn it was the usual grunt to the summit, with Paul MacLean and Steven Fallon for close company.

The first woman, Italian Cecilia Mora powered past just before the summit, but I guessed I catch her on the way down. On the descent I tried to follow Bruce Smith and Bruce Poll, and was doing OK for a while pretty much tracking Bruce Smith, but just before the Green Wall I could feel my heels on fire and my right knee burning, so I could only hobble down slowly, catching Cecilia Mora just before Red Burn whilst tripping and almost going headfirst down the last steep bit.

Once on the tourist path, my descending lacked any commitment. I just pottered down and gave no chase to Dave Murray as he sped past.

Hitting the road I was surprised to see Steven Fallon just standing there having a drink, looking for all the world like he'd dropped out of the race. I took a drink and tried to galvanise myself into action. I already knew I wouldn't do sub 1:55, and could hardly be bothered to make any additional effort, but just by increasing my foot speed I went past 3 runners on the road and jumped in front of John MacDonald in the last 100 metres.

The race was won by Finlay Wild in 1:35:39, beating both Robbie Simpson and Ian Holmes.