Having been too disorganised to sign up to the race, I thought I’d take a leisurely cycle along to support my fellow Harriers today.
Cycling from Glencorse Barracks backwards along the route, I was struck by just how much uphill pedalling I was doing. Suddenly not having signed up to this race was beginning to sound like a good idea after all!
I reached the start line just in time to take cover from the incoming mortar rounds, which thankfully turned out to be just the test for the ‘starting pistol’. I’m not sure how far away from the start line the organisers thought the athletes might be standing, but they weren’t taking any chances!
The slight incline towards the first corner gave a hint of what was to come later in the race, and I managed to snap a few smiling faces before cunningly dashing round just in time to see the leaders emerging into Roslyn Glen. I have to say, from my vantage point halfway up ‘The Tormentor’ I was impressed with everyone’s pacing. Lots of smiles greeted me, and the Harriers all looked strong! I tagged along with Vicky, who informed me cheerily that this was her training hill, and so she was comfortable running up it. She certainly wasn’t jesting, and made short work of the slope to be greeted by her family at the top.
From here I pushed on, eager to catch up with Tim and Mark if possible. Heading down the hill into Auchendinny, you could almost read the anticipation on the runners’ faces of what was to come. Again, though, some strong running up the long incline showed that the athletes had all clearly prepared as much for this second hill as for the first.
The last four miles of the race seemed a little easier, at least on my bike(!) as the hills dwindled to the odd short rise and the end grew closer. I caught up to Tim and Mark just in time for a couple more pics, before then sadly missing them at the finish. (Well if you will insist on running too fast!)
Overall, a fun day out, although I’m rather glad I was on two wheels rather than two legs!
P.S. I absolutely, categorically did not pinch a delicious bite-size cinnamon roll from the amazingly adorned cake table in the finishers’ tent!
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