The Laggan 10k is an out-and-back, starting at the village hall close to the river Spey. In aid of the local primary school, it promises beautiful views in “Monarch of the Glen” country, legendary home baking, and an impressive array of trophies, all for a tenner.
It didn’t promise sunshine, but when I arrived it was a beautiful blazing hot highland day, bright yellow gorse, snowy peaks and blue sky. I picked up my race number from the village hall and set off on a quick warm up.
There is also a fun run, and the village hall was soon filling up with local kids, volunteers and even dogs wearing running numbers, giving a great community feel to the event. As 2pm approached, a start line was chalked across the road, the piper struck up a tune, and we were off. The course is quite hilly, undulating 400ft over the 6.2 miles. Having run Dumbarton 10k only a couple of days before, I started cautiously and hoped to reel in a few runners on the way back. As the route unfolded, the views to the west really were spectacular, and apart from the occasional mouthful of midges I was feeling good. At the turn I was in 10th, and thought I might make it into the medals as the event promised a first, second and third in the SV category. I picked up another two places on the back 5k to finish 8th in 40:18, but didn’t quite manage to bring home any silverware, placing 4th SV. Congrats to first male Paul Murdoch (36:53) and first female Megan Wright (38:46).
The post-race spread was even more spectacular than the views (thanks to the ladies of Laggan church) followed by the prize giving led by the Primary School Head. A cracking race, really well organised and supported, definitely one to do again. Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers, well worth the round trip.
There was another great turn out from the club, with at least 33 Bellas turning out for this 3rd race in the Polariod series (and all imprtant club champioship race). We didn’t quite manage the PB rush of last week at Clydebank, but there were plenty of good perfromances.
The starters has forgotten their gun, so we had to make do with a hand clap and a shout of ‘go’.
With the first 50m or so on a soft grassy playing field there was a bit of carnage at the start with a few fallers as everyone bunched together to get round the first tight bend. One runner beside me complained he got a dead leg – as he tried to hurdle someone on the ground he’d whacked his head with his leg – not sure the poor guy on the ground would have seen it that way!
The course was pretty flat on the way out to the turn point at about 4K at which point a nice slingshot round a fencepost had us running back towards the start/finish area. So it was back along the cycle path but in a change to last year’s course the route twisted and turned through the houses which was fine, but without 8 and 9km markers I had no idea how far away the finish was. Oscar was cheering us on at the 2nd last corner, then once the finish line was in sight (at last!) it was one last push for the line. Back to the soft grass for the last 50m
Tewoldebeberhen Mengisteab (Shettleston) won the race in a fantastic 29.46. Bella highlights include a good few PBs, yet another top 10 finish for Bruce Carmichael, and 3rd mens team prize (Bruce Carmichael, Bruce Carse, Russell Whittington). Good work by David Archibald too, who threw out the rule book and ran a 10K PB 4 days after his Edinburgh marathon.
We should also say a big thanks to Kenny and Andrew Hardman (and others?) who helped Julia McDonald across the line and over to the ambulance people after having a bit of wobble on the finishing straight. I didn’t witness it myself but thankfully Julia seemed fine by home time.
Well done everyone, and let me know if missed out anyone’s PB asterisk below:
Position Athlete Name Gender Category Chip Time
10 BRUCE CARMICHAEL M SEN 00:33:35
14 Bruce CARSE M SEN 00:33:44 *
17 Russell WHITTINGTON M V40 00:34:07
20 Iain BURNS M SEN 00:34:21 *
27 CIARAN DOUGHERTY M SEN 00:34:41
32 Nick REID M SEN 00:35:04
47 GERARD SCULLION M V40 00:35:43
78 Alastair MACLACHLAN M V50 00:38:01
88 Hamish BARBOUR M V50 00:38:18
89 STUART MCMILLAN M SEN 00:38:28
98 Frans ROELOFSE M V50 00:38:51
110 JIM ROBINSON M V50 00:39:34
135 Ann ROBIN F SEN 00:40:27 *
139 LOUISE ROSS F SEN 00:40:29 *
168 MARY SENIOR F V40 00:41:18
169 CHRISTOPHER DOAK M SEN 00:41:17 *
197 Tom MCMILLAN M V60 00:42:12
213 Camilla SIMS F SEN 00:42:56 *
240 Gerry HANLON M SEN 00:43:46
250 Rose MCROBERT F SEN 00:44:01 *
263 Brian KEENAN M V40 00:44:07
269 Norman BOYLE M V60 00:44:25
277 JANE WILD F V40 00:44:47
283 Kenny MCDONALD M V40 00:44:52
312 Carla WARD F SEN 00:45:41 *
318 Julia MCDONALD F SEN 00:45:52
326 David ARCHIBALD M SEN 00:45:58 *
337 Madeline SMILLIE F V40 00:46:04
345 Lucy MACKAY F V40 00:46:12
388 Maree SHEPHERD F SEN 00:47:30
428 Suzanne MOTHERWELL F SEN 00:48:27
452 Suzie REID F SEN 00:49:26
496 Jill HERBERT F SEN 00:50:45
My legs felt like they had recovered alright from the Kirkcudbright half four days earlier so I headed down to Ayr for the Land O Burns 10k organised by Ayr Seaforth.
There was a good field, probably just over 300 runners and looked like some serious runners at the front as we lined up waiting for the start. I had made a schoolboy error and forgotten to charge my Garmin during the day so it was touch and go whether what little battery was remaining would see me through the race. As the race started there was the usual stampede where everyone started off a bit too quickly but after 200 metres I found myself at the front with an Ayr and Kilmarnock runner. I soon pulled away and built a steady lead over them both as we ran along the water front for the first couple of kilometres. I followed the lead cyclist as we twisted and turned through streets of houses. By 5k I could no longer hear any cheers for runners behind and as part of the course doubled back on itself I could see I had a big lead. I knew mile 4-5 featured a steady climb so eased up a bit to save my legs for the last mile. By 6 miles we had entered the old racecourse park. I picked up the pace and finished strongly, winning comfortably in about 34:15.
I was delighted to take the win especially with what felt like a very comfortable run just days after a half marathon.
While most runners were concentrating on the Edinburgh marathon festival, I headed down to the south of Scotland to take advantage of my parents’ babysitting service and the opportunity to get a wee race in.
Kirkcudbright is a wee town about 45 minutes away from Dumfries. It’s not a particularly big place and to be honest I wasn’t expecting much from the half marathon but I was glad to be proved wrong. The race formed part of the local celebrations so there was a good crowd gathered at the high school for the start of the race. They also had a BBQ doing burgers and the most amazing bouncy castle/obstacle course I have ever seen. As I lined up on the start I was beginning to think I would prefer to stay at the start instead of running!
Anyway, as we set off the front two runners went flying off ahead. I recognised Neil Renault of Edinburgh AC and knew it would not be wise to try and keep up with him so I let them go. By 3 miles I was alone in 3rd place as the front two had built a good lead and the chasing pack were nowhere to be seen. The first 5 miles were nice and flat. My legs felt good and thoughts started turning towards a PB. The next 4 miles though soon put paid to that. The hills came thick and fast and a strong headwind combined with the heat made for difficult running conditions. Thankfully still being alone in 3rd place meant I could take my foot off the gas a little which meant I could enjoy the scenery and the cheers of the supporters. I think half of Kirkcudbright must have been out as there were people everywhere. Mile 9-10 was a steep downhill and then I picked up the pace again for the last 3 flat miles back to the school. I crossed the line in 3rd place in 1:14:20, a time which would have won the race comfortably the previous year but strong competition this year meant it was some 5 minutes behind the winner.
I then had to do an interview for the local paper which was probably one of the most awkward moments ever in my running career. You know when you see idiotic footballers getting interviewed and they come out with a whole load of clichés and repeating themselves, well I pretty much did that but in running terms!! It was like my mouth and brain had just stopped working together, but all added to the fun of the day.
By the time I got back I wasn’t hungry so never even got my burger but still enjoyed my day out. Tough, scenic course but a well organised race with good support so would thoroughly recommend it for next year.
Reflecting back on my Edinburgh marathon experience, I would say I learnt three things that’s day;
1) Pacing is everything when it comes to running a Marathon and something I need to clearly work on.
2) Running a marathon is an emotional experience. Well it was for me, just ask anyone who saw me from around mile 20/21 onwards…
3) The BRR cheering crew is simply the best in the world. FACT.
I woke up on the Sunday morning to a grey sky and drizzle and immediately thought yippee, today is going to be a good day for running. Not so good for the spectators as Graeme was packing his waterproofs. As we made our way to the start line, the nerves were kicking in but I kept them at bay by just reminding myself of all the training runs I had done since January to get me to this point.
After a rather frantic walk to the start (and the right start at that!) I met up with Hayley and Lynne and we made our way to our pen. We had arranged to meet up and start together as we were all aiming for around the same pace. My plan was to keep it to 9-9.10s and as the gun went off I was feeling confident. The start was downhill, so it was really easy to get carried away but I kept reminding myself to reign it in and keep to my target pace. Now what is it that say about best laid plans….
So despite my plan, I ran much of the first half of the race slightly faster I should have. At one point I clocked a 8.39 mile which was far too fast (for me at least). However at this point I felt really strong, comfortable and was absolutely loving the race. In short, I felt like a super hero flying through the course. When I saw and heard the BRR support crew at mile 9/10 my confidence was boosted even further. Their cheers were immense. I was cruising along and thoroughly enjoying the experience. I seriously thought I could keep this pace for the whole way. Oh how naive I was…
As I reached mile 15, I was beginning to feel a little less confident and by mile 16/17 it happened. The marathon came up and slapped me right in the face for being an idiot and starting off too fast. It all went pretty much downhill from there. A welcomed surprise of seeing Bob and Matty at mile 22/23 gave me a much needed pick up and brought tears (of joy) to my face. By this stage I was dying and every step and shuffle I made was painful and utter hell. At this point it was only 3 miles or so to go and I knew I would see Graeme and the BRR support crew soon. I had arranged with Graeme that he would be stood at mile 24, so when I reached there and he wasn’t there, the tears (not of joy) returned as well as a few expletives. Thankfully he was only a couple of hundred metres further down and when I saw him, yes you guessed it more tears were experienced. However he pretty much told me to get a grip, to stop crying as I was wasting energy and to focus on the race. It was the kick I needed. As I approached mile 25 I could hear the BRR support crew before I saw them. My tears turned to a smile and I knew then finish line wasn’t far. The last mile or so was the longest ever.
As I crossed the finished line in 4 hrs 13 mins and 23 seconds (pb of just over 30 mins), I was wrecked. I burst into tears yet again and swore I was never doing another marathon again. Or so I thought… Yes Davie and Peter you were right, my marathon hangover has now subsided and I’m already thinking of what my next marathon will be. With the right pacing perhaps next time I’ll be able to get closer to 4hrs if not under… For now though I’m enjoying my week of recovery and not eating pasta.
Well done to all the Bellas who ran in the Clydebank 10k, it was a cracking turn out from the club, with no fewer than 35 of us showing up for this club championship race. Despite a bit of a downpour during the warm-up the conditions were pretty much perfect.
Highlights include: 2nd MV40 for Russell, 2nd team prize (Ciaran, Bruce Carmichael and Russell), four runners posting sub-34 times and seven sub-35. Not sure if the ladies won any team prizes, although surely can’t have been far off with those times? And next onto the PBs…. there were a lot of PBs!
Position Bib # Athlete Name Gender Category Chip Time
7 53 Ciaran DOUGHERTY M SEN 00:33:18 *
8 694 Bruce CARMICHAEL M SEN 00:33:22 *
9 42 Russell WHITTINGTON M V40 00:33:43 *
13 611 Bruce CARSE M SEN 00:33:50 *
18 789 Iain BURNS M SEN 00:34:36 *
19 657 Alastair EWEN M V40 00:34:42 *
24 643 Graeme PATERSON M SEN 00:34:59 *
38 401 Nick REID M SEN 00:35:42
43 431 Gerard SCULLION M V40 00:36:04
65 613 Peter GOODWIN M V40 00:37:40 *
68 511 Alastair MACLACHLAN M V50 00:37:52
86 770 Stuart MCMILLAN M SEN 00:38:51
99 520 Jim ROBINSON M V50 00:39:30
105 309 Andrew HARDMAN M V50 00:39:36
110 723 Hamish BARBOUR M V50 00:39:38
135 616 Louise ROSS F SEN 00:40:49 *
136 478 Ann ROBIN F SEN 00:40:49
142 267 Henry MERRIWEATHER M V40 00:40:59 *
146 76 Mary SENIOR F V40 00:41:15 *
153 421 Christopher LOGUE M SEN 00:41:19 *
162 714 Tom MCMILLAN M V60 00:41:34 *
174 652 Christopher DOAK M SEN 00:41:46 *
228 627 Shona DONNELLY F V40 00:43:11
233 399 Camilla SIMS F SEN 00:43:19
243 127 Brian KEENAN M V40 00:43:25 *
253 668 Kenny MCDONALD M V40 00:43:48 *
266 665 Tomoyo FUJIWARA F V40 00:44:16 *
276 628 Julia MCDONALD F SEN 00:44:37
285 641 Rose MCROBERT F SEN 00:44:48 *
286 783 Stuart RENNIE M SEN 00:44:33 *
307 474 Madeline SMILLIE F V40 00:45:22
314 807 Stephen BELL M V60 00:45:34
339 475 Carla WARD F SEN 00:46:17
375 240 Maree SHEPHERD F SEN 00:47:27 *
445 614 Jill HERBERT F SEN 00:49:50 *
478 402 Suzie REID F SEN 00:51:07
532 640 Natalie REID F SEN 00:52:56 *
Big thanks to Kev Queenan and David Archibald and all the others who came out to cheer us along. And a massive thanks to all the coaches who have been putting in so much effort to get us all in shape to run times like these.
Five Bellas ran the Self Transcendence 5K Scottish Championships at Silverknowes Esplanade, Edinburgh, on Wednesday night: Craig Reid (16.17), Iain Burns (16.58), Carla Molinaro (18.14), Mary Senior (20.44) and Linda Kennedy (21.43).
Very picturesque location on the Firth of Forth, and very flat, but very tough.
Results are here – the winning time was 14.40!!!
http://run.runandbecome.com/wp-content/ … 070514.pdf
You can also watch us all cross the finish line (or not – as the line seems very vague with a number of folk stopping before it!)
I headed down to Dumfries this evening for the 5 mile Hollywood Stroll race. It’s not quite as glamorous as it sounds, following quiet country roads on the outskirts of Dumfries. The course itself is undulating which makes it hard to get into a steady rhythm and the wind also meant my splits were all over the place.
The race was 15 minutes late in starting due to a larger than expected number of runners. Not ideal since I hadn’t had any tea and was getting hungry so just wanted to get going as soon as possible! About 350 entrants eventually lined up on the start line. I started up near the front and by the time we were 200m in I was in the lead. By the end of the first mile I had built up a good lead and with a strong headwind I eased up a bit until about 2.75 miles in. Once the course turned I had a quick look round and could see the second placed runner from Dumfries some way behind. I knew from my average pace that I wouldn’t be getting a PB but knowing I was in a strong position for my first win of the year and picked up the pace in the last couple of miles and finished strongly in 27:05, a minute or so ahead of second place. Good selection of food at the finish line including yogurt drinks and trifles in the sun made for a good nights work. Only downside was that I had to run off before the prizegiving to pick up the wee man from my parents’ and get back up the road, cant have it all though I suppose!!
Back in 2005 Chris Upson set up a webpage to provide more information on the Scottish hill running scene, as well as providing race details and calendars it collates all results and allows you to look at clubs and individual runner profiles.
Since its creation Bella has had 115 different club members participate in a hill race, the 6th highest total from around 120 clubs listed…… not bad for a road club.
Bella Page – http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/Runners.aspx?ClubID=C1007
Anyway, back to the main point… tonight at ‘The Whangie Whizz’ Bella’s David Stakes ran his 100th hill race since the site was established (Only around 60 runners have reached this target so far from over 12,000 runners on the site).
David has done a great job representing the club at these events and taking the purple vest on tour. From short local races like tonight’s to the gruelling Stuc a chroin & two breweries races, and from the borders to Kinlochewe in the North David is ever present.
David’s full list – http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RunnerDetails.aspx?FromSearch=true&RunnerID=R8084
To put this in perspective, when you compare this achievement with some of Bella’s other seasoned hill runners you can see that the rest of us have a long way to go.
Dougal Ross – 55
Andy ‘Mountain Stig’ Birnie – 44
Grant McDonald & some guy Mathieson – 36
Well done David…… Keep up the good work !!
Online entry is now open for this years Jimmy Irvine Bella 10K. The race will take place on Saturday 8th November 2014 starting at 11am. All the important details including online entry are on the event page here.
If you click on the picture in this post it will link to short film from the 2013 event.