Sunday, 28 April 2013

I'M IN "HEAVEN & HELL" HEAVEN

Off to Perth today for the Heaven and Hell half marathon.
Yesterday was a beautiful day - ideal running conditions, but then - as seems to be the way of things these few weeks past - the weather took a bit of a turn for the worst during the night.
So this morning we got up to dark clouds and a wind that could be said to be "brisk" at the very least.
Even those feckin' useless roadside signs were warning drivers "caution high winds" - a startlingly expensive way to declare the bleedin obvious. I've been of the belief for some time now that a few strategically placed flags or windsocks would serve the same purpose at a fraction of the cost.

Anyway.. Got up to Scone Airport where they actually DO have a windsock and it too confirmed the bleeding obvious - only in a cheaper and much more attractive way.

Collected our numbers and had a bit of a chat with some other runners. Julie Oswald of HELP and Wull Hynd of Moorfoot were there. Me and Wull spent a wee while exchanging details of injuries and niggles.

Me and Anne left the registration area in plenty time and went for a bit of a warm up along towards the start and continued for part of the course before doing a U turn and getting back to the start line in time to get ready.

A few words from the starter...a quick 3-2-1 and we were off.
And once more I found myself in the unfamiliar position of "right up there" following the lead cyclist. I didn't dare look round, but I knew for the first couple of miles I had Mr Hynd and another bloke not far from my shoulder.
The first part of the race was fairly quick, with the wind behind us. In fact the first hill didn't really bother me too much.
Because I was in front I actually found myself coming down the hills a bit quicker today than I'm usually comfortable with.
At about the 7 mile or so you turn to start the second "big" hill. Jeeze - the wind hit you right in the face as soon as you turned. In fact there was a stiff head wind for the remaining 5 miles or so.
Managed a wee look behind me on one of the hairpin bends going up the hill and I was quite surprised/pleased to note that there was a bit of a gap between me and the next runner.
The top of the hill is also the last water station. I didn't bother with a bottle as all I wanted to do was keep on going. I was terrified of even losing time drinking.
The last long straight two miles or so is hell. A couple of times I looked back and thought I saw the guy behind me closing the gap - turns out it was just cyclists following the race!
Crossed the line in 1:23:22 (by my watch). Only a little quicker than my last go at this race - but given the conditions I was more than happy (delighted in fact, given I'd won). Possibly the slowest "winning time" they've had, but I care not a jot.

I'm placing my recent good fortune squarely at the door of my "luck cat's eye, road stud". Christ... even when I don't have any injuries I might keep rubbing it on my legs!!

Quite a good result for East Lothian in fact. Julie was first lady and Anne got first in her category.
In fact Anne "won" twice, as she will get to drink the bottle of wine that came as part of my prize.

5 comments:

Piotr Januszewski said...

Once again congratulations for your win. The other bloke- it was me and the name is Peter- nice to meet you :)

runtwo said...

Well done stuart, good run. Injuries/niggles? My arse.

Yak Hunter said...

Yay!!

Colin Gourlay said...

Incredible result on an aptly named race. Well done Stuart - from all of us at Musselburgh and District Athletic Club.

Colin

Stuart said...

Thanks folks.