OK, so the day after a 16 miler in the Lammermuirs and what are the chances I'll make the 8.45 meet at the Quayside for Bert's 15 mile Sunday road run? Slim to none would be the bookies' odds but by a strange quirk of fate (and the forecast deteriorating during the day) I thought it might be nice to catch up with the Porty group which is steadily growing and adding a couple of miles each week. Time to jump aboard the marathon bus while it is still warming up.
I think there were about 22 of us by the time we kicked off around 9am. I had cycled the 5 miles to the quayside so had had time to wake up along the way. It was a coolish day but I didn't want to wear too much suspecting the run might deteriorate into a race if Bert's history of Sunday running was anything to go by. You won't be left behind if you can keep up.
I should have paid attention at the bible class (tm Coach Gordon) before we set off. Bert gave a route description. I was pretty sure I knew where we were off to so I didn't listen. Anyway someone in the group would know the way. I knew where the Pentcaitland cycle path was, and the general plan was run till 7.5 then turn around. Ready steady go!
It was great to see Steve and Willie there. Steve is hopefully starting his recovery from, well a variety of achy bits, knees and things, and hasn't been managing enough miles lately. Today would have been Willie's longest run in quite some while as well. Us over 50s have to stick together!
The first 2 or 3miles disappeared in chat and laughter before I made my way to the tête de la course where Robert answered my question (which way?) with such absolute confidence that I trusted his decision to take us the wrong way at Whitecraig. When my watch bleeped 5miles I knew we were off piste as Bert had said we would be at the top of the hill by 5. And we hadn't even started to climb the hill.
However since we were doing an out-and-back we would all cross paths eventually. And I had a notion to do 16 rather than 15 as I had done that yesterday. I passed Gav and Ellie (and Shadow) then Willie and Steve, pressing on till I met Bert around the 9 mile mark. I hoped that turning there would bag me 16 miles so returned at approx 7 min miling (over the correct route) back down to Musselburgh.
It wasn't particularly lovely weather or very scenic but it was great to batter out 16 miles feeling strong and able to keep up a decent pace. Perhaps time to sign up for a race or 2. (Already signed up for Stirling Marathon which takes care of the annual road 26.2.) Thanks Bert, always a pleasure.