I didn’t manage along to this race last year, but those who ran it last time said it was a great short race, so I was really glad to run it this time. Just three hilly Harriers – me, Rob and Chris, travelled to Largo in the gorgeous weather. As usual I was running late and almost forgot my shoes, which just added to my pre-race nerves. We arrived with plenty time for warm up and stretching, (and for me, time to worry about what might lie ahead!). It was a good turnout this year, with 75 runners starting. Thankfully there was a little bit of cloud cover so it wasn’t too hot. We were assured in the pre – race briefing that the route was a straightforward out and back and was well marshalled, which was a relief for me as I had the ‘getting lost’ fear too!
We started up a short tarmac hill and were then quickly off the road and on to a trail which was very runnable, and then our first stream crossing. After that, my memory is as usual a little vague, but I just stuck with my default setting of ‘run fast, keep sight of another lady runner and pass her if you can’. We carried on through a field and then I pretty much disappeared into eye – height grass on either side of a very narrow path. Eventually it opened up as we ran up an initially gradual incline and then up a steeper hill to the foot of the Law. Then my favourite bit – the uphill! I don’t know why, but this is always the bit I find the most enjoyable – probably the change of pace after the fast run. However, I realised pretty quickly that the downhill was going to be a bit steep for my liking.
I had managed to pass the lady I’d been chasing, and then I spotted Rob a couple of places in front – a pleasant surprise, but to be short lived because then came the downhill. What can I say other than that I didn’t fall, and I was only passed by two folk, frankly a miracle with my cautious downhill approach! Rob quickly disappeared from sight, and I met Chris on his way up. My legs felt pretty done by the time I was down but I had sight of the lady who’d passed me again and I caught her as we moved into the flat ground again. Then I was basically a mad fast run all the way back, past a very nice family providing water and a very welcome soaking with their hose, and through the two stream crossings. The final sprint down the road to the finish was tough on the legs but made for a fast finish.
Great race – fast, mostly very runnable and lots of encouragement from the lovely marshals. I was very happy to be placed 2nd lady – or was that Rob?! :-). Good company and a fab way to spend an afternoon!
13th Rob Wilson 56:10
16th Gill Cairns 57:40
49th Chris Downie 1:08:37