Off to Kincardine this morning for the Devilla 15k trail run. Organised by Carnegie Harriers and starting from the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan.
When we got to the registration we met up with Andy and Lee who was busy trying to "blag" an entry for a race that was already full. It's testament to the man's powers of persuasion that he managed it.
An excellent course, with great organisation and the college offers good facilities for the runners after the race (i.e. loads of hot showers).
The race itself? Well, what exactly is a "trail race" and when does it tip the balance and become a frikin' long "cross country"?
The vast majority of the route was on what I would call trail (i.e. very well defined forest roads and paths), but a couple of times we got routed on to decidedly squishy sections that saw us dodging in and out of trees (one of which I very nearly didn't dodge quick enough - just missed a "face slap" into a tree).
But those sections were certainly not the norm and most of the route it was easy just to get the head down and dig in.
I can remember one propper "climb" that went on for a wee bit, but the majority of the route I would define as "lumpy", which is the sort of terrain I enjoy.
I ran for the first part of the race in a wee group that included Ian S, Mike from Moorfoot and a bloke from Bellahouston. I knew that at least a couple of Carnegie runners, Darrin from Moorfoot and Johnny Lawson from Portobello, as well as a couple more, were ahead already.
As the run went on though Ian and the Bellahouston bloke started to ease away, but surprisingly (to me) I managed to pull away from Mike.
Mr Sills remained in my sights for the remaining few miles and I just concentrated on reeling him in (sadly, it wasn't to be).
At the 7 mile point (by my GPS) I passed a marshall who told me "you're in the top ten".
That gave me a bit of a boost and just the encouragement I needed to keep on diggin' in.
By the end I was 10th (58:09) just behind Ian.
Turns out Ian was 4th vet and I was 5th.
A really enjoyable run. Today's conditions were pretty much ideal as well. Cool rather than cold, overcast and very little wind.
A really well organised event and I was pleased, for the organisers, to see that it was fully subscribed.
Got to do it all again next week (on the road this time) at Lasswade. So a fairly "easy" week this week I think (effort wise at least, if not mileage).
Oh. Every runner got a bottle of beer as well. So that's Anne got two then. Given that Anne enjoyed the run, but has come home with a bit of an injury then she can use the beer as an anaesthetic (my diagnosis is tendinitis/shin splints). Though she didn't seem overly confident in my diagnostic technique or my display of medical terminology when I asked "do you get a squeaky feeling in your shin when you move the flappy bit of your ankle"? I knew what I meant.