Thursday, 1 January 2015


I woke to the sound of the wind lashing rain down the window. Happy new year! I flicked through an excuse book of reasons not to go to the Promathon but no dogs had licked my hand lately and there was nothing for it but to climb out of a lovely warm bed and see if the corner shop was open to sell me a can of Red Bull. They weren't but it was mild which didn't quite make up for the rain and wind but was ok. 

Mary took her waterproof camera along - if ever there was a day for it then this was it. I have nicked quite a few of her photos including the above - which was taken from inside the car and gives a good idea of how horrible it was. On the drive to Porty we saw Fergus running along and gave him a lift. I think he must have been overdoing the celebrations last night as he was behind me the whole race.

Bob and Lesley, out taking photos here and later at the Triathlon in Holyrood.

someone's car having an oil change in the car park

cruise ship survivors?

photo Mary

So after a good bit of a warm up and saying happy new year to loads of runners, we eventually got set off. The wind was swirling about but mostly behind us in the first and last mile with the 2 middle miles fighting against it. I tried not to spend myself in that first mile and settled by the first turn. A few folk I would have hoped to be near went past, while others failed to materialise at all. John B returned the v50 trophy but made no attempt to retain it and Colin F another v50 who beat me last year also failed to show. So I was first v50 until shortly before the turn at Joppa when Stuart H came past. I hoped to catch him once the wind was to our backs again but as we headed back towards the start it became apparent that wouldn't be happening. I felt I was going at a reasonable pace so just stuck in and tried not to squander too many places.

photo: Roly

photo: Bob.
Rest of the set here

excellent photo of cheery Willie M and John F

Richard was first in.

Gav was right in there.

I just managed to stay ahead of the first lady. It was 33 secs slower than last year but the weather made things tougher. I was pleased enough, really just pleased to be finished the torture. I haven't been doing enough short fast stuff and so it hurts. Shortly after the race I shouted on folk to proceed to the shore for a dook. Last year I did this on my own but this year there has been quite a bit of chat about immersions, following on from Mary's submergathon, and with JoTho organising an unofficial mass dook for after the Promathon. I wasn't about to hang around getting cold and got a fair amount of Porties and Dunbars down to the shore. Mary took photos and I shot some film. It was unusual to be surrounded by so many swimmers. It (the water)  felt much warmer than when we were in on the 29th but whether this is actual or perceived it is difficult to say. It definitely helps to get your heart rate up and warm up with a bit of a run first, and so the 4 mile sprint made it very easy to get into the chilly sea. We have a plan to get a thermometer to measure the temperatures as they descend all the way to April. I would like a thermometer on top of a swim hat in the shape of a lighthouse. Possibly resembling a Blue Peter appeal. I might have to make one like this. 

photo Stuart H

The man himself! See how the act of dooking makes people really cheery!

Johnny celebrating his 40th birthday.

Greta and Ian

After the immersion I walked barefoot to the car, got my kit and made my way to the showers. I had noticed they were open before the race. I thought Alex Jackson had responded to my email asking if we could have them open - particularly with the dook in mind. However he said it wasn't anything to do with him that they were open. Just luck. It certainly made getting dressed and going to the pub much easier without socks full of sand. On the way to the Espy we saw Ian McM - out with the Porty Dads - a local cult that do a little running. They were planning on lighting a bonfire and having a dook themselves though it seemed a bit haphazard and we went to the pub before they found the firelighters.

Best pint of the day.

After a couple of pints we headed off to Tesco's to pick up the makings of dinner. The shop was nearly empty (after being mobbed 24hrs before, for no discernible reason,) and well stocked. We buy all the ingredients for a magical dinner and their last 2 bottles of Spanish Red as it's only £2.99 and tastes so much better than many £8~£12 bottles I've had. Although this is exactly the sort of thing I should be cutting back on rather than filling the house with. I think the animal screams of drunk Leithers last night was encouraging an immersion in a different liquid. When I was looking up my blog from last year I see I spent Hogmany exactly the same way: reading a book and getting an early night without excessive drink. At least this year the google icon thing is a great improvement from last year's.

So, a good start to the year. Well the race was so-so but the fun and games before and after were good. The weather might get a bit better at the weekend but without Michael G's enthusiasm (due to illness and injury) I won't be going to the Greenmantle Dash tomorrow. I'm only 4 races away from the big 100 on SHR website but that will have to wait. Some folk are talking about a recce of the dreadful C5. WTF! It's bad enough racing it without actually doing it just for fun. Especially in bad weather. There are a million nicer runs in the Pentlands or Lammermuirs. Maybe I will go and buy a bike instead. 

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