I don't know what sort of sun-god, deity or idol they worship in Haddington, but it certainly seems to shine on them. Nine times out of ten it always seems to be sunny and hot for their races.
And yesterday's ASICS Haddington 5 was no exception, it was an absolute scorcher.
I was looking forward to doing this race this year. The timing of the Edinburgh Marathon means that I've missed it for the last couple of years, but the shift in the marathon this year gave me a couple of weeks between the races so I thought I'd give it a go.
Met up with some other runners at the registration tent for a bit of a blether. Then a couple of us went for a bit of a "warm up" (as if that was needed).
I know this will be unpopular with some, but I was pleased when it was announced that mp3 players were banned from the race and anyone caught wearing one would be pulled.
A bit of race instructions from the starters and we were off....
Usual jockeying for position during the first few hundred yards of Nielson Park, bit of a lung-busting climb over the bridge past the Tynesdie Tavern then it's heads down and eyeballs out on stalks for the more or less four mile circuit of quiet country roads (though not "closed" roads - hence one reason for the mp3 ban), before the final fast section back over the bridge and into the park.
I'm sure there is a "proper" way to run a five mile race and I'm sure more experienced runners know how to pace it, but I adopt a fairly simplistic approach that can be summed up in one word... "Charge"!!
Clocked the first mile at about 5:45 and just gritted my teeth and tried to hold on. By the first mile I was already drenched in sweat and cooking up. I threw my hat to Neil Scott who was marshaling at about the 1.75 mile point - I really shouldn't have been wearing it. On some sections of the course it was like running through an oven.
For about the first three miles I was trying to chase down the black and yellow vest of a Falkirk runner and finally managed to catch and pass him just about at the four mile mark.
However, I never really got the far away and he got his own back by passing me on the road before the run into the park.
Still. I managed to get 29:24, eighth overall and 1st local club vet. Pleased with the time and happy to add to Dunbar's modest haul of silverware (we got three).
I enjoy these shorter runs during the summer. Just as well really, as I've got a few of them lined up! Still... can't neglect keeping the weekly mileage up so I was out for a longer run this morning. In thick mist and heavy rain! What a contrast from yesterday.