Sunday, 28 November 2010
Water of Leith Half Marathon
Peter and Richard had agreed to take over organising this race from Jim Bruce this year so we assumed we would be too busy to run the race. The race already has a well established team of people who do all the various bits however so in the end there wasn't that much that seemed to be needing doing, and we did run it. It had been snowing over night and there was much that could go wrong and couldn't be controlled, so I for one was glad that a number of people had pulled out. All the fewer people to fall down dead, faint, fall and break themselves, get run over by traffic, drown in the water of Leith or get lost. I guess I don't have the right temperament for organising a race!
At the time I was still hoping that the Borders XC would go ahead so I was trying to save myself to some extent for that. Running 13+ miles probably isn't very good prep. for anything but what I did was wear Skins and other warm clothing which I knew would take the edge off my ability to race but would keep my muscles nice and warm and comfortable. I hadn't had much sleep the 2 nights preceding the race and so was frankly puzzled when my alarm went off at 7am on Saturday. Had I set it by mistake? It took a little while to realise it was set so I could get up and race.
There had been a pretty radical transition over night - Edinburgh was now nice and white! A shame for Peter's efforts the day before out making white flour arrows on the route. There were the odd traces of them in the lower reaches of the course but of most there was no trace. Someone had been out with red paint marking the 1st bit of the course - and this was nice and clear except there was a wee man in a tiny snow-plough snow-ploughing the pavements! He gave me a nasty look for running on the pavements and I gave him a nasty look for obliterating our race markings...
My handicap was unachievable so there were no real temptations to try to race at all. I let my companions go (starting with the same handicap as me) right at the start of the race and had about the 1st 5 miles of the race all to myself. The sun had come out and I was glad I was running and not marshalling. The snow was pretty good underfoot, not very slippy. Much better than a couple of years ago when the course was seriously icy and there were quite a number of nasty scrapes and injuries. I think Lucy got dragged by Kipper a bit and got a scraped leg, but that was the only injury I heard of.
After 5 miles people started to come past me in dribs and drabs at first and then later clumps! I could hardly contain myself in the last 2 miles when Michael Geogheghan announced that I was 49th! Yeehah.
The last mile or so was the slippiest and most treacherous of the whole course so I rather unexcitingly stopped and had a walk in the last 100 metres or so.
A major disappointment of the day was that the cakes and homebakes for the finish were held up in Perth and never made it to Edinburgh. A couple of half pints of Guinness in the Waterline were nearly as good though and it was good fun chatting to fellow Porties. I later made up for the lack of cake in my life at Peter's mum's 80th birthday party with banoffee pie and cheesecake, followed by birthday cake. Not sure if its a hangover from drinking I'm experiencing today or some kind of sugar hangover. (Also, cos it was so cold it was difficult to drink anything to rehydrate. I take it fizzy white and red wine doesn't really do that?)
Hungover and a bit photophobic today just in time for some dazzling running in the snow and sunshine.