This race meant a lot. I wasn’t aiming for a time or anything, I just wanted to spend some time away, in a happy place.
If you read my blog you can probably tell that I’m a little enamoured with nostalgia, memories, reminiscing. So bear with me here.
One of my earliest, most vivid memories is of coming to Kirkcudbright as a little girl, it must have been in April as there were daffodils everywhere. We’d stayed in a site called Brighouse Bay, as you drive in there is a Gloster Meteor airplane…is it real? I don’t know. Anyway, we’d go crab fishing (tying bacon to a string and lowering it off the harbour), I was into all sorts, fairy rings, magic. I’d been given a book about rainforests and I’d become preoccupied with the habits of the Jaguar, how it seemed to laze about on low hanging tree boughs.
One night, Dad took me out for a walk in the dark, I remember the beam of the headtorch illuminating the trees, ‘Are there Jaguars here Dad?’.. I asked, afraid, ‘Not in Kirkcudbright Haileymo.’ Came the reply.
So anyway, we stayed in that very same campsite and, after an evening of drinking and watching ultra running videos, I woke up feeling a little shaky. Still, the race was at 1.00pm, the sun was shining and guess what? No Jaguar attacks.
Having the van makes a big difference and we arrived at the start with plenty time for me to register and chill out for a bit.
The atmosphere was lovely and the weather was just stunning, too hot really.
Ed saw me off and I started ok, it’s a road race so I was bracing myself for ankle issues, luckily the start was pretty easy easy going, round the houses and up through the town centre. I divided the race into 3’s and allocated myself 3 miles to think about one thing, the next for another issue….etc… I have a lot on my mind clearly!
The first section followed the coastal road so although it was sunny, the breeze made it quite pleasant. The verges are so full of beautiful wild flowers at the moment and the view into the bay made things enjoyable. After around 4 miles the road turned away from the sea and seemed to be pretty much a steady grind uphill. There was no breeze now and so the heat became quite oppressive, I started to feel quite tired and by the time I’d hit 6/7 miles I was pretty low. Luckily, spectators were encouraging and I chatted to a few other runners along the way so that took my mind off things.
I wouldn’t say that halfs are my strength, certainly not on road and when I have done them in the past I bonked at the 10 mile mark. This was playing on my mind as I hadn’t had anything to eat since 10am and it was so hot at this point. I took it steady and luckily a downhill section took the edge off for a while. Soon I was in Kirkcudbright and the finish was in sight.
I finished as 8th woman, 3rd in my category, 82nd overall (granted there were 200 runners so not a massive field!) but I was very pleased.