We had to register quick with this one, luckily Sadie had made a note of the opening date and reminded me when it opened which is just as well as 900 places went in a matter of hours, the Friday 13th race date not putting anyone off. It was a lovely evening as we made our way to Fife for this Friday night race with an 8pm start time. The race itself starts in the village of Kinghorn and the whole village seemed to be full of either club running vests or fluorescent yellow jackets, this was a well marshalled race!
The race started at the bottom of a hill under the railway line and it was a bit of a jumble as 900 runners made their way down to the start line and shuffle past each other to line up behind the start line. The race started and we had a sharp uphill start which was followed by a gentle rolling road through the villiage down towards the all important beach, the locals were all out in their gardens, drinking wine and beer, having bbq’s and cheering us on.
We hit the beach and then it felt like the real race had started, the Black Rock is a huge rock out in the sea which is normally surrounded by water and is only accessible at low tide, hence the 8pm start time. The sand was still wet from the tide going out and the rock seemed a long way away. I was a bit worried about running in the sand as my previous beach runs have been hard but the wet sand made the going a bit easier. It was a tremendous sight seeing the snake of runners in front of me stretching the miles across the beach. The view of the sea and over to Edinburgh in the evening light was pretty special too. As in most of my races lately I seemed to have a steady flow of runners passing me, but I kept my head down and feet moving. As we neared the Black Rock the sound of bag pipes could be heard and I looked up to see a piper standing on top of the rock playing. I thought it looked fantastic and evidently so did Sadie as she managed to photograph him while running!
We splashed round the rock calf deep in seawater and then back onto the sand for the homeward stretch, as we got close to the shoreline there were lots of little kids running around looking for high fives (although I am sure the lead runners don’t get as many running alongside them) then back on the same route but the gentle rolling downhill has now turned into an upward push, as we hit the final downhill to the start line I knew to keep something in the tank as I had read there was an uphill at the end as the finish line is just beyond the original starting point. I was glad I had, as we hit the bottom of the hill there was a sharp left them, under the railway line and a very sharp lungbusting uphill with the finish line at the top.
My hill training seems to have paid off as I pushed hard up the hill and passed more people in that final stretch than I had the rest of the race. We were rewarded with a bottle of water, a banana and the all important bottle of beer! Sadie and I had an early start the next morning (more of that to come shortly!) But there was a bit of a beer festival going on after the race and a lot of clubs seemed to have come in minibuses to take full advantage! Harriers minibus and designated driver next year?
This was a great race with a fantastic atmosphere and one I would recommend!
Sadie Kemp – 36.21
Gilly Marshall – 43.02
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