Sunday, 8 February 2015

Devilla 15k Trail Race

Wow was all that sunshine really forecast? I think it was due yesterday but turned up 24hrs later and just in time for this fab trail run. I have done this a few times and usually find it much the same: fun and lightfooted at the start but taking it's toll by the last mile or 2. It feels more like a half marathon by the end such is the leg sapping nature of the twisty-turny single track. 

I felt much better than last weekend, which is just as well. A tough session on Wednesday followed by 6x4mins Wintervals on As Seat, Thursday, let me know things were on the improve and I went into today feeling a wee bit more confident, a good bit less full of the cold.

Andy: a cheerful face on the start line.

I was so busy chatting to folk and saying hello on the start line that when the hooter went I realised I had not properly set the Garmin or the stopwatch and in fact hadn't got a good place towards the front. Given the great weather it would have been wrong not to carry the camera. I got the Garmin and watch going then took note (and a photo or 2) of all the folk ahead of me that maybe shouldn't have been. I moved forward and by half a mile had overtaken the gasping ladies who probably set off a bit sharply. It is not a parkrun. 

There is a mile or 2 of forestry trails (as above) before the nice stuff (below) kicks off. If the whole 9 miles were singletrack I would be much more pleased, although it would be more taxing and slower. I noticed there was a marshal placed at exactly the spot where we were sent off on a sabotaged route last year. The course this year was very well marked and marshalled.

Douggie and I had been running together through the pack. We could now see Nick from Dunbar directly ahead - he had dropped back from team mate James A and I reckoned were making ground on him.

By the time we dropped off the big trails and onto the single track down to the reservoir/loch we were right on Nick's heels and I went ahead of Douggie and the Carnegie runner to chase Nick down the thin trail. I knew there was more technical ground ahead and thought I might make good use of it. Unfortunately Nick was a long way from finished and although I caught right up to within a few seconds he neither slowed nor showed signs of fading. I had pretty much spent myself trying, by the 10k marker, and Douggie and the Carnegie went ahead as did Nick while we all overtook David L and I was beginning to fall to bits. 

10k marker

David L had run parkrun yesterday in another impressive sub17. However it seemed to be taking it's toll and we caught David not long after the 10k sign. He was not having a good run, having spent a while in third, but now going backwards through the field. He looked well unwell at the end.

My camera came out in sympathy (again) and stopped taking decent pictures. Maybe I just get all wobbly as I flail around towards the end of races these days. Whatever the reason I took no decent photos in the last part of the race. The bit I enjoyed most was the "1k to go" sign, which was hugely welcome. Shortly after that I heard footfalls chasing me down and felt obliged to stop slacking and run hard from there to the finish line as I knew the team points/places might be close. I managed not to get caught but it was a close thing. I was pleased to get in under the hour and more pleased to hear Johnny had won - GOOD JOB!

JLaw: new course record.
(And the most sisters taking part in both distances.)

I thought the team prize might be a close thing between PRC and Dunbar, however it was (I forgot) a four person team to count. And we narrowly lost out to the home club, Carnegie, by one point. As some compensation I won first M50. Willie J got third M50. There were a number of age group winners from Porty ladies but I can't remember who got what. Yana, Emily, Aileen, Sue?

A great event in spectacular weather. Big thanks to the organisers, all those who helped out and marshalled, and the genius who got sponsorship from a beer company.

Results here later

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