About a week after racing at the West Districts XC Race Bruce sent me an awesome email to say that I had been selected to race for West Scotland at the Bupa Great Edinburgh International and Scottish Inter-District Cross Country Race in Edinburgh. I don’t think it had really sunk in what level I would be racing at until I turned up in Edinburgh on a very chilly Saturday morning!
As I arrived at Holyrood Park at 9am on Saturday morning the park was already buzzing with marshals putting barriers out, people warming up and blaring music from Capital FM. When I arrived at the park I started to walk the course I thought one of my ‘friends’ was running towards me as I recognised her, so I gave a cheery wave for it only to register as she passed me a pretty rapid rate that it was in fact Paula Radcliff an idol not a friend! At that moment I think I registered that this race was a pretty big deal.
After warming up for about 45minutes with a combination of lunges, monkey squats (don’t ask) and strides I was ready to go. I stood on the start line completely under-dressed with 42 other girls. It was pretty intimidating standing on the start line with so few runners but also really exciting to get your name called out by the commentators as you stepped up to the line. The course entailed 3 x 2km laps that went up shorts sharp hills, along slippery muddy banks and across a couple of small streams. It was a great course and certainly sapping on the legs, as I was warned that it would be. The race was great fun and I loved having my name shouted out at every corner, it would become apparent later that this was because another girl called Karla was one place behind me! After 24minutes of running I finished the race in 26th place, 6th in the West District (beating my previous West District placing by 4 places) absolutely shattered!
This was definitely one of the hardest races that I have ever done, I ate 4 Hot Cross buns for dinner because I didn’t have the energy to cook and slept for 12hours straight to prove it! Give me another Ironman any day !