RACE REPORT BY ANNE WATSON
We set off from Penicuik around 7.00am in damp, drizzly conditions. As we travelled up the M9, the surrounding countryside became whiter with a surprising covering of snow, and by the time we crossed Kincardine Bridge, the snow covered hills were barely visible through the mist.
Billy told us that the last time he ran Alloa, it was a bright sunny day. That would have been very nice to repeat.
There was plenty of parking in the town centre and ample shuttle buses to take us the one and a half miles to the race start at Lornshill Academy.
No need to register as the race numbers had been sent out in the post. Three gymnasiums provided plenty of warm space for changing and bag storage and the place was buzzing as people stayed indoors as long as possible to keep warm.
9.00am, the gun goes off and 1627 runners were on their way.
According to the guys, the course for the most part was great – gently undulating, picturesque and interesting with great support along the route.
I positioned myself at the bottom of ‘the’ hill which rises relentlessly around the 11 mile mark. It caused no problem for the front runners who barely broke stride, and many of the field coped with it well in their own individual way, spurred on by cowbells ringing and cheers of encouragement from the spectators. Others had to resort to walking or expletives, or both.
The top of the hill provided a well earned respite with approximately 400m or more of flat and the uplifting sound of two pipers. Then, a left turn and another deceptively long gentle incline before finally, a welcome downhill run to the school entrance and home under the finish banner.
This was a great, well-organised race, well supported by club runners and social runners alike. Local club Wee County Harriers sent out 37 of their members, 29 runners from Bellahouston Road Runners (another club in purple vests) and Central AC sent out both the men’s and ladies’ winners. Cameron Milne in 1:07:21 chip time (1:07:28 gun) and Jennifer Watson in 1:18:54 chip time (1:18:56 gun)
Our guy’s results – well Billy pipped Steve on the line!
Billy Dickson 1:52:34 chip (1:54:21 gun)
Steve Watson 1:52:38 chip (1:54:22 gun)
Chris Burns 2:29:38 chip (2:31:58 gun)
Well done, chaps. We’ll definitely be back next year!