Dunbar sent three of their finest (and me) to Cumbernauld on Saturday to fly the flag at the National Cross Country Relays. And, for the second year running, I was first leg. My least favourite position in a relay race (my “favourite” position in a relay race is actually loafing about, at home, on my sofa, and ignoring the fact that the event is on at all).
First leg is too much like a bog standard race for my liking. A mass start where, within a few seconds of the gun going off, you get that sinking feeling as you watch a barrow load of “proper” runners storming away from you.
Still. There is nothing left to do but get the head down and get on with it – fifteen minutes, or so, of eyeballs-out, lung bustin’ fun. !!!!”. Anyway, even further down the pack the battle between 69th and 70th place is often just as exciting as that between 1st and 2nd.
My approach to racing never really lends itself to report writing after the event. I don’t always catch sight of my surroundings, I seldom find time (or breath) to “chat” while I’m running and even my friendly little “inner monologue” stops it’s whimsical musings to concentrate on screaming at me “keep breathing…… your heart isn’t going to pack in yet….run faster you worthless f***er".
None of the above is hugely problematic when writing a report of the cross country at Cumbernauld however, as it’s possibly one of the blandest, least inspiring routes known to man. Find a large grassy field with a bit of a hill in it…snake a 2.5 mile piece of red and white tape through the field – that’s pretty much it.
Surprised myself by finishing about a minute quicker than last year though (though last years was a good bit water logged and muddier).
Handed over the metaphorical baton to Andy S running his first event of this type before he then passed it down the line to Grant and Andy A. All in all it wasn’t a bad performance from a team of vets of various types.
Borders XC starts this weekend. But I’m still not certain if I’ll run. It’s quite a hilly and challenging course and my sore toe still isn’t happy when taken out of the comfy, supportive confines of his road shoes.