Sunday, 31 October 2010


Today was a beautiful day - weather wise and season wise. You just can't get any better than Scotland in the Autumn, and today was just a perfect day. Next to no wind (unlike the previous week). Sunny but not too warm. And the light really brought out the colours that cheer me up this time of year.
It was a good day for doing a race. Or at least a run in the country...
Luckily I had a race to do! And it was one in a nice part of the country -  the Jedburgh Half.
Not too sure, but I think this might be the fourth time I've done this race and I really do like it. A nice sort of elongated figure of eight type route that takes you out of Jedburgh and onto some really nice [closed] country roads.
The day now boasts three events and it really does have a "festival of running" feel about it. There's the half, there's now a 10k (2nd year I think?) and there's also a wheelchair race.
Anyway. I was also feeling a lot healthier today than I felt all week. I put this down to three consecutive days of "proper" food (aka "Italian"). My digestive system needs pasta, tomato, basil and olives on a regular basis.
I digress. Back to the race. As I say, I felt good and, while I didn't have a time in mind, I had decided that I was going for it today.
I'd actually forgotten that the 10k and the half start at the same time so I was surprised to see upwards of a thousand runners at the start.
Didn't hear a gun or a hooter.... I was just aware of someone shouting "GO" we did.
I know there's a bit of a climb at about ten miles in this race, but I always forget that there is a bit of a climb at one to two miles as you leave Jedburgh and it can feel a bit tough when your trying to settle into a pace (my woeful lack of warm up didn't help).
Found myself in and around a group of runners that included a few faces I knew. Willie Jarvie of Portobello, Alistair MacDonald of Dundee and a couple of Moorfeet (is that the plural?). However, when we got to the 5k mark most of the group peeled off to go onto the 10k route while I suddenly found myself up near the front and a hell of a lot lonelier.. One of the Moorfeet's was doing the half but even by this point though he had pulled away never to be seen again (probably back and showered by the time I got in).
Still, I realised I was "up there" so just got the brim of the cap pulled down, the eyes fixed firmly on the road ahead and got on with the job in hand.
At eight mile or so you find yourself retracing your earlier steps and I was passing loads of runners going in the opposite direction. As I passed Anne she shouted over the road that I was sixth. The pressure was on.
My main aim was to keep the distance between me and seventh and just try to get sixth place. However, at the start of the hill near the end I managed to catch the bloke in front and pull away.
The last mile and half is fairly quick (downhill) and I just pushed as hard as I could. Crossed the line in 1:18:05 for fifth place, a new PB, and was over the moon to discover it was good enough for first vet.
Favourite type of prize vouchers as well (money)..... John Fordham's has been making a lot of recommendations in the Guardian's jazz reviews lately, so no excuse not to check some of them out!

IF I'd remembered my camera I would have posted a nice picture. This will have to do. Though to be fair Jedburgh probably hasn't changed much....

Did anything disapoint me? Well yes... where was the brass band?? Every other time I've done this race there's been a brass band at about the four mile mark playing either the theme from Rocky or the theme from The Great Escape. They were sadly missing this year.

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