It’s all about the cake at the Forth Road Bridge 10k – well, at least it has been for Mark and I since we began running this race 5 years ago. As fairly novice runners back then the course was quite tough – lots of uphill as well as down – and the wind… and the rain (2009 was particularly dreich). So, walking (limping) into the little community hall at the top of North Queensferry and being confronted with tables groaning with sandwiches, cake and biscuits, lovingly made by friends and family of Pitreavie AAC, was a sight to behold. And all for FREE. Safe to say, any effort expended on the Bridge itself was quickly outdone by mountains of sugar-laden treats. As it has been most years since!
The course itself is scenic and undulating. It seems to attract a large number of club runners and young, gisele-like elite-types every year (winner was 21-year old Kyle McLellan from Nithsdale AC in 00:32:27). The weather was warm and clear with a fair bit of wind, but the downpours that came later held off until after the finish. Starting at the top of the hill in North Queensferry, you run down past the train station and turn sharp left under the railway bridge. Passing Gordon Brown’s house (no police guard this year, I noted) you start the long downhill of Ferryhill Road. A quick in and back to the scrapyard at the bottom of Ferryhill then it’s onto the A90 and a long, steady incline to the north end of the Bridge. Over the Bridge the scenery is stunning (if you get the weather and you don’t suffer from vertigo) and takes your mind off the fact the Bridge is a lot curvier than it appears. Then it’s down into the underpass on the south side and up and onto the other side. As I turned onto the Bridge again a marshal shouted “Not long till cake!” which reassured me that I’m not the only one who does this for the home-baked goodies on offer! Visions of cake were interrupted only by the sight of the foundations of the new Forth Crossing (or Caledonia Crossing or whatever it’s going to be called) emerging from Port Edgar. The wind was quite strong on this side too but thankfully hitting us side-on, not face-on. Behind would have been better but hey-ho.
Up until this point I had barely looked at my watch, convinced I hadn’t trained enough to beat my 45:45 PB. At 9km I glanced down and squinted in disbelief at 44 min, so ramped up the pace to try and finish within 45. Didn’t quite manage it but still beat the PB by a good 20 secs. Seems those track and hill sessions have made a difference! Mark also beat his PB and bagged his first sub-50 min 10k.
We were actually quite restrained with the cake at the finish this time… the sweetness of success enough this time perhaps?
Jan Dawson – 00:45:22 (pos 99)
Mark Dawson – 00:49:05 (pos 160)
Full results here: http://www.pitreavie-aac.co.uk/files/Owain/ForthRoadBridge10K2013.pdf