A beautiful day for a race, much nicer than the last time I ran this race in 2005 when it was windy and rainy. Mairi and I drove over to the Vale in case we had to take some of the club members, but with a bus and two other cars, we weren't needed. So off we went, and as Mairi hadn't been up through Glencoe for many years, she was spoilt with an absolutely superb day for scenery. So nice that every good viewpoint had it's own horde of photographers, complete with tripods getting what was probably the best pic f the year. Stunning.We arrived in plenty of time to register then have a coffee. After meeting the others I had a warm up with clubmate Elaine and Yvonnne from Dumbarton AC. I had by that time I had discovered my club vest was lying on my bed in Cardross, having looked it out and promptly left it down. So I was forced to run in a t shirt!
Quick lo visit before the start meant I was near the back at the start and as I crossed the start line, realised I hadn't reset my watch, so after a bit of footering I finally started it about 15 seconds late. Off we went and I soon passed Garry, who was running his second 1/2 marathon and I told him to watch for the climb from the turning point, thereby incurring the wrath of two Kirkintilloch Olypians for whom that information was not what they wanted! I was running quite freely but was soon overtaken by Rob and Elaine, who soon took about 50 yards out of me. Maybe I was running slower than I felt. But no, the miles were ticking off inside my usual splits, even allowing for the watch malfunction. The course is mainly downhill from about 4 miles to the turning point, where of course we have to run up the hill we've just come down. By that time, I was swapping places on a regular basis with a Lochaber AC girl Theresa, who seemed to know every spectator or steward we passed. At the top of the hill at Corpach I was running well and I was thinking a Pb was on, but suddenly at about 11 miles I started to feel my right hamstring getting tight, and the strange sensation of my left leg running better than the right started. I'm sure this is the result of driving so much as I get a numb feeling spreading from my glute to the hammy when I'm driving long distances, which this week had been every day. (see yesterdays post for my solution to that wee problem!). By mile 12 I was in bother and felt as if I could be about to tear the hammy. I slowed down but then had to walk for about a minute. I got going again and managed to run the last mile and the bit. I finished in 1.43.41 for 80th,which I think is my 2nd best 1/2 ever just short of the 1.41 of three years ago in the same race. How disappointed I was. Still, only Rob and Elaine finished ahead of me from the club, Steph, running after injury was next, then Garry, Jimmy, Geraldine, Catherine and Chris. JR ran with Karen and Sandra, pacing them to 2 hrs 30. a vast improvement on their previous runs.
Plenty other good runs from Dumbarton area runners and at the presentation I was delighted to see Elaine Somerville and Yvonne Boyle took 1st and 2nd in the over 35 ladies and Neil Prior of Dumbarton took second male vet.
WHW family members I met included Jim Drummond, who had engaged in his usual slagging of JR when they passed. And I introduced myself to Thomas and Silke who both had good runs but I will leave them to report their own races. I'm sure there were others running, we will no doubt find their reports on the forum or blogs.
A good race, as popular as always, but if forced to choose one from this or Aviemore, then Aviemore would always be my choice. Maybe I'm getting used to being off road!
Finished off a lovely day with Sunday lunch at Duck Bay Marina.