On Saturday I headed through to Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh to compete in the Great Winter Run 5k and then watch a feast of top quality Cross Country action with Kenenisa Bekele topping the bill.
The 5k started on the road next to Arthur’s Seat went uphill for two kilometers, levelled out for one and then back downhill for two. The first kilometre was sheltered and I found myself out in front. We were then met by a fairly strong headwind and I held onto the lead until two kilometres. At that point Adam Priestley from Corstorphine AAC and Sean Gaffney from Inverclyde AC both came past me and then got about 50 metres ahead.
I was feeling tired, but dug in and hoped for the best. At about 3.5k I caught Sean and moved back into second place. At 4k I passed Adam and had the amazing feeling of only having the pace car and 1k of running between me and a win.
I managed to hold on and for the first time in my life had the incredible feeling of breaking the tape at a race. Neil Thin of Edinburgh AC came through to take second place.
My split times should give a flavour of how hilly the course was. The first mile was run in 6:03, the second in 5:52 the third in 4:49 and the last 0.1 mile in 4:52 pace. The third mile was the first time that I have broken five minutes for the mile.
After the race I met up with Stewart Roberston and Bryan Burnett to watch the cross country. It was very entertaining and we witnessed the race event of Bekele being outshone in a cross country.
To finish of the perfect day after the races had finished we headed to The Royal Mile for a few beers.
Report from Russell
Last night’s AGM saw a new committee elected for the next year. We’d all like to thank committee members who were standing down for all their help and dedication over the last few years, particularly Scott Kennedy and Club president Emma Birnie who’d both served for a long time and given so much to the club.
We’d like to wish the new committee all the very best over the next year, which next year will see the club’s tenth anniversary.
The new committee is:
Club President:: Robert McEwan
Club Secretary:: Carla Deans
Membership secretary:: Maddie Smillie
Treasurer:: Peter Gallanagh
PR officer:: Alistair Kell
Womens captain:: Jane Wild
Men’s captain:: Brian O’Donnell
Social convenor:: Lucy Mackay
Ordinary member 1:: Jim O’Hara
Ordinary member 2:: Julie Fitzpatrick
Huge congratulations from the club to member Gavin, who completed the UK Ironman. Gavin wrote a superb summary of his experience:
First of all, thanks for all the support over the last few months.
I managed to complete my first triathlon in 13:53:29.
I took 1:32:59 to cover the 2.4 mile swim; 7:22:30 for the 112 mile bike and 4:32:19 for the marathon, with the other few minutes in transition changing and sorting myself out!
The swim start was delayed unitl 6:30 due to the overcast and dark conditions, visability above water was very low and underwater you could see about 6 inches. So the mass start of 1500 swimmers all thrashing about and jockeying for position means that you get punched, kicked, pushed and prodded a fair bit for the first mile or so. I had planned to take it easy on the swim and expected to come out the water at the back of the crowd.
Safely through the swim it was onto the bike for 3 laps of a undulating and windy course. The feed stations every 12 miles never came quick enough, there were 3 big hills on each loop, and a fun fast downhill section reaching speed of upto 48mph!!. After 112 miles of physical and mental highs and lows it was a quick descent back to the transition area.
After another changes of clothes and liberal application of vaseline I was on the run course. This was a very hilly figure of 8 loop that you ran three times. The first mile was a surprisingly easy 9 min/mile which set the pace for the first loop. On the second loop, things where getting tough, so I took full advantage of the aid stations, positioned every 1.5-2 miles. Which had Gatorade, power gels, pretzels, water, bananas and flat coke, I stuffed myself with everything except the coke and walked through them. By the 3rd and last lap my speed was getting seriously slow and I figured that unless I puled my finger out I would be over the 14 hour mark. So now I took onboard the flat coke and my last 4 miles was done in under 32 minutes (fast for me!). So running along the final 100m in my ancient Bella vest in the dark towards the finishing chute was a proud moment.