Thursday, 2 January 2014


Quite a pleasant start to the reference period we refer to as “2014”. My last race of the period we referred to as “2013” was the Black Bun Run. 35 Dunbar Runners, friends and family gather on “Auld Years Night” for a 1.5 mile dash through West Barns and back. The fact that it was the last of the 2013 club championship counters may have had some bearing on it, but it did feel a bit more competitive this year. Anyway… I gave it my best shot and was rewarded with a “pb” for the course of 8:27 which actually gave me a bit of a lift; 2013 was a good year for me apart from one thing … a definite lack of PBs. So, to get one now, albeit on an “unofficial” race seemed like a small victory. Anyway, there were still two runners a good bit faster on the night so well done to them.

After the run, and a few drinks in the Masons Arms (or whatever it’s called these days) we went to Brian and Theresa’s to “see in the bells”. A great night with lovely food and for someone to invite someone who is so “anti-New Year” was a generous act! Now… as a jazz fan I know very little about “pop” music, as I believe the kids call it, but even I was amazed to discover that Ian Sills did not know that Dougie Vipond was, and indeed still IS, the drummer with popular beat combo “Deacon Blue”…. “Yes Ian… that Dougie Vipond…Yes. The one off the Adventure Show… Yes..the one from Landward”.

Got home in the wee small hours hoping to get a good nights sleep before the Portobello Promathon the next morning. Hope, however, suddenly vanished when I realised the Woodhall Hippies were having a “do”. An outdoor “do” complete with light shows and amplified music. The night time hours were therefore passed in fitful sleep, assisted by and MP3 player under the pillow with the soothing sounds of Coleman Hawkins being piped into my brain via in ear earphones, while I dreamed of Dougie Vipond and Gene Krupa taking it in turns to “battle it out” on hippies craniums. 

Anyway. The first morning of 2014 dawned and after the, by now traditional breakfast and episode of Breaking Bad, we got into the car and headed off for the race.
Got there with loads of time to spare. Met up with Nick and then had the “luxury” of having enough time to do the whole course as part of our warm up. The sun was out, the sky was a beautiful blue and there wasn’t even much of a wind. Perfect conditions.
Anne heads off for a warm up.
By the time we got back from the warm up there was quite a crowd mingling about the (ex) Bowling Club. It’s always a good chance to exchange hello’s and happy New Years and what nots. I really like this race. I’m sure there are other races up and down the country with the same feeling to them, but when you are in the midst of a period that “celebrates” excess and over consumption etc. there is something cathartic about something as simple as a race.

Tried to get myself positioned relatively close to the start as I’m aware it can get a bit crowded going through some of the bollards on the first leg out to towards the Dog and Cat home. A few words from A Jackson, a quick blast on his whistle..and we were off.
The first section of the run is very familiar to me as it takes in part of one of my work based runs of choice. However, a furtive glance at my Garmin assured me that I was going a fair bit quicker than normal (given it was a race – that was a good thing).
It’s pretty much a case of “head down and keep working” on this run. Little chance to take in surroundings etc. I was surprised though, after about two miles or so, to pass Rab Watson of Musselburgh. Turns out though he was having a bit of bother with his calf and “normal service” was restored at about two and a half miles when he passed again.
New Year - same old ugly running style.
I’d had Pete Buchanan in my sights for a good bit of the run as we went out towards Joppa and managed to catch him up not long after the turn point. From there all the way back we ran pretty much neck and neck with odd turns by each of us to pull away. I had tried to count the “SV” marks on numbers of the runners in front of us and [wrongly] though we were racing for 2nd and 3rd SV place (we were in fact going for 3rd and 4th). With about 200m to go however Pete pulled away quite decisively, and I just didn't have anything to answer with.
Still it undoubtedly helped me get a PB for that race.

So. Last year ended with a PB and this year started with one too. Can’t be bad.

More of Bob Marshall's photos HERE

Pete's blog HERE

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