Friday morning and I went into the Merchant Hall to continue work there. However the powers that be decided the smell of paint wouldn't be a welcome addition to the evening's entertainments so I was asked (nicely) to leave. I was about to argue the case for the low odour water-based paints I use but decided in fact they were right, best take the day off.
I had a couple of other things to sort out but it meant a slightly earlier start to a run I had hoped to do with Michael G. Who is on his way North, having followed jobs from London to Sheffield he has now at least returned to Scotland, although slightly overshot Edinburgh by moving to Fraserburgh. On his way through, we caught up briefly to do a few miles along the coast and if that didn't aggravate his chronic groin injury, he might consider the Murieston 6k trail race on Saturday. He is a long way from full fitness, unable to run any kind of mileage weekly, but he is also keeping things ticking over by cycling and swimming and doing as many gym sessions as he can stand.
The tide was very high and the sand very soft which made for quite hard going.
I was worried he might overdo the run down the coast and let him set the pace. The whole run was spent blethering about races and physios and come-backs. Although the weather was a bit grey and drab we had a very jolly 10 miles talking about the future and (surprise surprise) running plans.
We ran right past this immature gull and it didn't budge. Not a good sign.
Next day and MG is up for Murieston. I was pleased as it was quite a long way to go for a short run. And I might not have bothered otherwise. However I wanted to support this CAAC run: if they were going to the trouble of putting on this low key 6k trail race through rather lovely countryside then the least we could do is turn up and enjoy the unexpectedly bright weather.
I had taken a variety of tops anticipating rain and wind but eventually pinned the number to a vest. I chatted to loads of folk just before kick off then rather wished I'd done more of a warm up and a few strides since the brevity would mean setting off at full speed. There was a record turnout of runners. (40ish?) MG was bigging me up but I pointed out several fast boys from CAAC and EAC. And at the arrival of the legendary Jeff Farquhar, MG and I exchanged looks and raised eyebrows. And Edel was there as well. I see Edel at the Meadows on a Tuesday but we are usually so busy killing ourselves it doesn't leave much time for chewing the fat. I have a feeling the last time we were both on the same course was last season at some xc relays and although men and women were running at different times she was faster by a couple of seconds than myself.
BC started first and finished first
The first couple of hundred yards were on road, then we turned right and onto cinder paths lined with trees. I settled into 5th place, I think, and although those up front drifted further ahead, happily those behind also got further away. So I spent most of the race on my own, occasionally checking behind to see nobody was catching up. It was very pleasant. Mostly hard pack dirt trails with a few slippy wooden boardwalks. We had been warned before the start they were deadly.
photo Alan Ramage
I had studied the course map briefly before the off, but all I recognised while running was the turn-around at the far end before we partially retraced our steps. There was a marker at 5k (I had forgotten the Garmin again,) and I noticed I was well past 18 minutes. And yet it didn't feel slow. I was beginning to make ground on the O'Brien up ahead (Steven this time, Chris was organising,) but it seemed unlikely I'd catch him before the line, and sure enough I didn't.
photo Alan R
photo Alan R
photo Alan R
I took photos as we ran round. It takes very little effort to do this and a lot of them (particularly where the trees blocked out much of the light) were shoogly rubbish. It can wind up those following as it might look as if I am just out for a stroll taking snaps and relaxing. Make no mistake I was racing hard. Edel thought I was taking the piss and let me know after she finished! Herself and Michael had changed places a couple of times. They both finished next in line after myself. I was surprised Michael ran so well given his lack of training. (And a week of boozing at a friend's wedding in Portugal etc.) Hopefully he didn't do any further damage to his injury. He was pleased to be going that well. I hope he enjoys his move North to the Broch and sussing out the Fraserburgh running club.
One controversial moment during prizes was the 5 seconds docked from Bryan C for his over-enthusiastic false start. However he was still 1 second ahead of the second runner, both of them beating the course record. Edel was first lady.
First male 40 and colleague of Shery, Steven Brown
Thanks to CAAC for organising this gem. You could run it in road shoes like Michael or hill shoes like me and either was fine. There was some tape out to mark the course but a “neighbour thoughtfully removed it”. However there were well placed marshals at every turn and you couldn't go wrong. It was well worth the short journey over to Livingston and I am looking forward to the beers (first old man) later. The constantly twisting course was a pleasure to run and although a couple of small undulations was mostly flat. Almost certainly a trail 6k pb course! Thanks CAAC.
Lothian had this as a club championship race.
Sharyn and Sue both won prizes.
Photo Alan R. More photos on Sharyn's facebook page
Results on CAAC website