15 April 2012
I only decided to do this race last week as a spur of the moment thing. Training has been going well and of late I have been staying (largely) injury free. I admit to being a bit surprised at the high cost and was raging when I saw that entry yesterday at the expo was £18 cheaper than online and that they’d closed the online applications basically inferring there was little chance of late registration. Bear that one in mind for next year guys….. And they make you collect your number/chip etc the day before rather than the morning of the race which forces a stopover in Edinburgh for those not too near the city.
So, went out in Edinburgh for the traditional pasta meal. As is now custom pre-race, split a bottle of wine with friends and had a couple of fine ales in the pub afterwards (Cloisters – really good beer/service). Retired to Darren’s and Halsted’s flat and sat up chatting until 1ish. And for the first time in about four races, I had the return of the restless night, waking every 40mins or so. On the morning of the race, I got up at 7am for muesli and banana special (gluten free of course). For reasons best known to himself, Darren put out a very fine dram for breakfast (an aged Glenrothes) – not sure what that was in honour of, but toasted in a fine sunny (but decidedly cold) day. Darren took us as close to the start as possible in the car leaving a nice mile and a bit leg stretch to the start. Plenty of facilities for the pre-start pee fest (it gets to some of us, OK!).
The route itself was more challenging than the official Edinburgh marathon with more climbing from c. mile 6. But it was well marshalled, and the weather really was perfect. Cool, light winds and bright sunshine. No probs on the way round – loads of water stations with some additional for GU gels and Powerade. Knew I was on for a good time from about mile 7 when the uphill did not slow me down dramatically. I eventually got in in 1hr 39mins 40 seconds. Thought it was a PB, but was ONE SECOND out. But this was a more challenging course than Ardbeg and so I have no complaints. The time sort of makes me Mr Consistent, and today was a much tougher course. The bands at the finish were excellent, especially Kassidy. The question arises, would I do it again? I’m not keen on repeating races, but I’d recommend it to others. I will be firing off an email about the reduced entry price on the day before – maybe they did not have the numbers they needed, but a bit cheeky anyway. But apart from that irritant, this was a cracking day out.