Great Winter Run 5k, Edinburgh

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