Today's fun was the Tortoise and Hare Relay race as organised by Fife AC and taking place in the woods near Giffordtown village hall. We'd done this before at the end of 2008 and loved it. The race consists of a slower and faster runner (T and H) running 2 X 2 mile loops. The woods are lovely. The atmosphere is friendly. The relay aspect adds to the excitement for everyone, making the final placing and where you run in the race more unpredictable.
I had a chance to have a chat with Sophie Mullens aka Tiny Runner who I met at the Tour of Fife last year. She's just getting into training for the London Marathon. Lots of other people from the tour of Fife too. (Also Adrian Davis who I have sat drinking beer with in Namche Bazaar, singing along to the Doors on the juke box!) This year's going to be a special tour de Fife with, I think, 6 races in 7 days. (You get a day off in the middle.) We are leaning very strongly towards doing it again this year.
Anyway, today...There was a fair bit of drizzle which intensified as time passed. Not a problem when you're running but it spoils the photos. I feel I've slowed considerably over the snowy icy Christmas etc. time and its an effort to try and run faster. Peter went first and I think came in in 5th place. I took off fast but that didn't last long! I tried to run as smoothly as possible but it was a struggle, I found it hard to settle down to it and it seemed a long, long 2miles. The next time Peter came in he was in 6th and I maintained my position all the way round. I caught up towards a runner in pink but she was too far ahead to get before the end. The 2nd lap was slower but felt a lot better just in terms of my head being right and not getting in such a state inside.
We got our warm clothes on and headed back to the village hall where there was a spread of cakes and hot drinks and juice. Fife ac know how to put on a race...and it only cost £3.00 each to enter. The prize-giving was nicely handled by the now familiar team of Chris Russell doing the talking and Brian Cruickshank handing out the prizes. The prizes went down to 7th so we also got 4 bottles of beer and a jar of marmalade to take home with us!
The winners were two boys of about 12 years who surely have good running careers ahead of them. In 2nd place were Sophie M and Neil Young whose name I've always noticed in results because its the same name as a downbeat Canadian singer that I like. The Fife ac Neil Young appeared to have been designed specifically to run. Ridiculously long legs - almost cheating - and very light. He flew in miles ahead of the rest of the Hare field.
So now we are trying to maximise our recovery before tomorrow's Forfar multi-terrain half marathon - which looks likely to be very wet - at least underfoot if not also chucking from the sky. Our recovery strategy has been as follows - some cakes and tea - followed by tomato soup and rolls as soon as we got home - and then sitting around in our stinky running gear drinking tea with the fire on, too lazy to even have a shower yet. Meanwhile the plates are piling up at the sink - our laundry bins overfloweth. What was it Neil Young said? "A man needs a maid." ...A tortoise and hare need a maid.
NEWSFLASH -text from Richard Dennis just in who has been running the Thames Trot 50 miler today. He's finished in a very respectable 8hrs 12mins and was 2nd lady!