Saturday, 5 March 2011

Falkland Flyer Age-Graded Trail Race

As we got into our kit before heading for Fife I had to reflect that it was a good thing that the Heat magazine photographers probably wouldn't be there. There aren't enough  circles of shame really to cover it. Hibernating you can forget yourself - and then suddenly into the light of day comes - hairy legs and armpits and those damn "Christmas" pounds - just when are they planning to drop off? Anyway, enough about Peter...its my blog after all.

The Falkland Flyer trail race was also to be an age-graded race, which mixes things up in an interesting way. I knew it wouldn't particularly favour me at present but it seemed a VERY good alternative to the 10 mile road races on offer tomorrow. Its a bit of a hike to get the 40 miles to Falkland but Fife always put on a good race and make it worth it. There was a good turn out of familiar faces.

The air was very cold before the start of the race and it was a thought to strip down to vest and shorts. I knew that not far into the first hill I'd be regretting it if I wore anything long-sleeved though, so braved it. I set off in a funny state physically. Usually I'll get at least a burst of speed at the start of a race just from the adrenaline mounting but I felt very flat and cold to start with. I pushed it on the hills - and it must have been too far into the red and I developed a sore stomach. Suddenly 6 miles was looking like a very long way! It was cold enough so that even though I was working I felt quite chilled. I thought about dropping out and walking back to the start but the knowledge that the pain would stop nearly as soon as I stopped and then I'd have to walk or jog back to the start and explain myself and all that jazz made it seem easier to keep running. At some point in all that I relaxed and my belly pain melted away. By 2 and a half miles into it I was actually enjoying myself.

My favourite bit was on the off-road uphill at half way. There I got to pass - even if only temporarily - a whole heap of people who had gone past me before. Still something tucked away in my legs from Carnethy I guess.

Throughout the race I passed Pamela Cruickshanks several times and she passed me back. I caught her again at the top of the hill and thought maybe I had her as I now felt much more comfortable and she didn't attack back immediately. After a while though, on a long downward incline she came steaming past at a speed I really couldn't hope to match. I was very impressed. She looked in great shape.

Sophie Mullins atop a huge pile of wood meant that the end was nearly upon me! I picked up the pace as much as I could but couldn't catch Pamela. I think I narrowly held off another chap - my oxygen starved brain has not retained any detail about this though.

It wasn't the quickest time for a 6 miler but I think it is fair to say in terms of ups and downs its a pretty brutal course. Because I felt so bad early on and then recovered I was in quite a good mood at the end. If I'd continued to feel like I did at the start I think I'd have packed the whole running thing in.

The prize-giving was interesting. The Fifie-wifies did very well. Everyone was given their age-graded time so I'm looking forwards to having a good scan to see where everyone was. Peter was 4th to cross the line but was 7th in age-graded terms - clocking an impressive 31 minutes something! Jeff Farquhar beat everyone literally, physically, morally, totally...

Well done once again Fife AC! I had (I'm ashamed to say) 3 cups of tea - a bit of iced gingerbread, a cake with blue icing and a smiley face, half a chocolate biscuit and 3 savoury biscuits. All for £3. Peter came away with a bag of goodies for coming 7th. Brian Cruickshank was the evil genius behind it all.

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