Today's enter on the day entertainment was HBT's bog trot. I wasn't sure if I would or should do this really and then I couldn't see a reason why not. Its in my back yard practically. A measly £3 to enter. I'd be going out today anyway. All morning it looked like it was going to chuck it down and Andrew Stavert tells me it did rain hard for a while. But I missed it. The fear of standing around getting freezing in the rain prompted me to take the car up to the start at St Margaret's Loch. A bit soft given its only a mile.
I needn't have worried. As we arrived there the sun came out and shone brightly. Andrew was telling me something about Liverpool and a 30 foot puppet coming out of the sea and a letter. I felt like I didn't know if it was a dream or a vision that he'd had, but apparently its something real. I decided to go for a leg stretch and a pee. Not so easy at Arthur's Seat. I kept climbing higher only to find there were more people on higher vistas looking down upon me. I finally found a cunning spot beneath some damp crags amongst some jaggy gorse. I think I got away with it. The gorse is smelling of coconut in that summery way that it does.
The HBTs were running a tight ship this year and we were set off pretty much on time. I'd promised myself not to hare off this year as last year I remember peaking too soon - somewhere around the bog at the start where it is tempting to race hard before the ground gets too steep. I took the 1st steep up easier too, hoping to pace myself so that the 3rd climb would not be so hard. I felt pretty good topping out and running back to the start for the 2nd loop. Somewhere on the Rad Road however I ran out of something. I ran the whole thing, but at too great a cost, and not at all quickly either so by the time I topped out there I felt hellish. I was passed by a few folk and I don't think I ever regained the places.
Peter was filming from the crags above and seemed to be suggesting I run harder. I had no intention of running harder! I thought I would run a bit slower so that I could feel better! And so I did. I took it fairly easy on the 3rd climb too (not that it felt easy - it didn't ) and then ran to the finish as quick as I could manage. I was quicker than I was last year, but last year Murray Strain took us on a bit of a diversion so the route was longer. My average pace was slower than last year. Time to play the marathon card. I did run a marathon on Sunday. I don't know if that made much difference. Its a while since I've run at that intensity and my blood still feels a bit fizzy now.
Anyway. Robin Thomas gave his excellent safety talk to start with and kept us entertained with a random prize giving (including 3 bottles of beer for Portobello, just for existing I think) until the main results were processed. It was won by Ray Ward, 2nd Andrew Wright of Carnegie?, 3rd HBTs Dave Wright, MV40 Brian Marshall, The ladies race was won by Moorfoot Sarah McCormack, Christina Rankin (Kilbarchan) and HBTs Kate Jenkins with Hilary Ritchie as FV40 and Hilary Spenceley FV50.
A great "wee" race, low key, friendly and tough like the HBTs themselves.