So I’m back home, I’ve refuelled, rehydrated (it was pretty hot) but I’m not quite refreshed – that’ll be a wee while yet.
Now I reflect.
Although my body objected to getting up early for the 8am start, organising the event with an early start was a wise move. Not only did it allow two mass running events to head off one after the other, (the full marathon started at 10am) but it also attempted to escape the heat of the day.
I was dropped off by the Fegrig support team and joined the stream that joined the river that became the sea of participants for today’s half marathon.
I found a spot and made sure I had all my necessaries – hat, vest, gels, wallet, phone, number, bin bag – all ticked.
Time to leave the bag behind.
There were those who were panicking to get the bag on the lorry, those who were at the wrong start point (there were two) and folk who just looked scared.
I felt chilled, I’m sure it was the urban bin bag chic.
My starting pen, the pink one, was at the front of this particular starting area and I meandered towards it down Regent Road, taking in the sights and sounds of thousands of adrenaline and porridge fuelled runners.
My urban bin bag chic kept the breeze off
It wasn’t long before the countdown and we were off down the clear and open road of the half marathon adventure.
The journey itself was fairly uneventful with most residents still safely tucked up in bed. What dawned on me was how personal the route between the 3rd and 7th kilometres was. The buildings that were my primary and secondary schools are now flats, I ran along the road I travelled to school and to my first job. As we sped along, to my left was the park I used to run and play in, and up another road was the area where I lived for most of my childhood. My grandparents lived up there, my aunt and uncle over there with another set of relations in the next street along. We didn’t roam far back then. It was a nostalgia trip.
Despite my trip down memory lane I was becoming aware of the increasing heat and glare from the sun. Once we left the shade of the tree line it came to bear. Kilometres 7, 8 and 9 were hot for me. Not my pace but my temperature. I decided sense was better than sun stroke and took my foot off the accelerator. I’d rather collect the medal personally than have it handed to me by the Red Cross volunteer tending to my poorly self.
Thankfully the temperature for the second half of my race did drop as the sun became shrouded in the forecasted cloud. This gave me a wee boost and helped push my tiring bones along the East Lothian roads to the finish.
You can the see altitude graph from my Suunto watch; a fairly flat course after the initial spikes and that long downward woosh!
On a better day with less sleepy legs a definite fast course for me, but today I was happy with 2:00:26 and some mild sun burn on my shoulders.
The finish, as with most things from this organisation, was pretty spot on and efficient. There was a bit of a log jam just after the finish “line” as the space narrowed at the green gate, prior to the goody bag area. But for me nothing serious.
and picked up the goody bag that wasn’t; it was a box.
Breath normally once again and with my mind back to normal. Time to share my thanks, excuse the noise from the breeze.
Then home on the bus – by far the best option – and time to refuel, rehydrate and have a look in that box and break out the official shirt from its cellophane bag and put on the medal for the photo shoot.
A very smart medal, I do like bling that looks like it has some relevance to where you have just run. Although you don’t actually run through the Edinburgh old town that is depicted on the medal – just saying….
Not a bad shirt either, pretty ubiquitous within the running community in these parts and now I can be in the club.
Medal on, only for the photo.
It had to come off, it was dipping into my muesli.