Sunday, 6 December 2015

Festive fun at Sunny Dunny

Dunbar Festive Half 06/12/15
Sometimes it's hard to keep up the appearance of a perennial scrooge. Today was one such day, and I let the mask slip for long enough to enjoy the Dunbar Festive Half. More social run than race, the course is about 13miles and is an out-and-back along the JMW with a big rectangular loop of tarmac at the far end. Stuart had suggested a few Porties come along, which we did.

Everyone starts at whatever time they wish with midday being the cut-off which you have to arrive back before. Stuart had put out some flour arrows through the houses at the start but as I hadn't studied the map properly and could see that although it went past places I knew, there were some places I wasn't familiar with. So I decided to shadow Stuart who was setting off at 10.30. So 90mins to do a 13miler, that will be a chatting pace run? Steve and Richard H set off with Rhona and David to pace set and guide, Richard L set off with myself and Stuart and another Dunbar vest. 

Ian and Julie getting festive.

I decided to carry the camera since we were running so slowly and I'd have plenty time to set up photos. The weather was amazing considering the last few days' downpours. There was a bit of a headwind setting out but it would be to our backs on the return journey so that was all good. First thing I noticed after we set off was that we were running quite a bit faster than a 90min half would suggest. Richard has been focussing on swimming and spinning during this bad weather, with not so much running, so I would take a photo pointing back to get a shot of him "enjoying" the pace. I wondered how long he would last. I let Stuart lead the way because a/ I didn't know where the way was and b/ I could only just keep up. If I ran beside him there was a good chance he would speed up even more.

Normally here I would follow the coastal trail but we went left and picked up the larger track.

working harder, sweating, and RL starting to drop back?

Around the estuary Richard had dropped back and we could see James catching up in his santa outfit.

James had set off a minute behind. On the other side of the bushes another Dunbar runner.

The road behind. RL nearly visible.

Second left off the main road and the rise to the top of the hill.

Past the ford and onto the Knowes Farm Shop

Again instead of doubling back along the riverside trail we went left onto the "main road".

At this point we began to see some of the runners who set off earlier, up ahead.

Steve, Richard, David and Rhona

jazz hands

A bit of cross country before crossing the bridge and back onto tarmac.

prizes for finishing!

mmmmince pies!

I think Richard had done a wee bit extra, including the occasional stop to check the map.

Back indoors for a hot shower then soup sandwiches and homebakes. What a great course! It really helped that the weather was splendid, especially after the last few days which left a fair bit of splosh and mud out there. Top marks to Dunbar for putting on such a great run on a scenic but testing route and big thanks for inviting us along. Stuart and I did about 1.25 which the Garmin says is about six and a half minute miling - good going over such varied terrain and with a headwind on the way out. Can't think of a better training run, and the soft ground makes for less trashed legs. Many thanks for the mince pies and the festive fun. Superb day out!

started on the right, did the loop anticlockwise then back the same paths

I took hundreds of photos. In the region of 474! Here are about 350 of them in a slideshow...

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