It seemed like a good idea at the time: It was February and I was starting to panic at the lack of races in my calendar. I found the Edinburgh Kilomathon – further than 10k, end of March, perfect prep for a half marathon in May or June I thought. So I entered.
Then I thought about it: An 8:15am start. In Edinburgh (over an hour away). The morning after the clocks go forward for the start of summer time. Maybe not my brightest idea after all.
A Kilomathon is a frankly baffling idea where events usually run in miles are then run in kilometres. This was 13.1 km, which (for the benefit of anyone outside the UK and USA) would be a half marathon in miles (13.1 miles). Get it? No, me neither. I think the idea is to step people up from the 10k distance. Either that or it is a surreptitious effort to convert Brits to the metric system.
So the weekend arrived. I drove to my friend’s 40th birthday party last night and left at the obscenely respectable time of 10pm. I set my alarm for 5:30 am (I will remind you that it was really only 4:30 am) and headed off to Edinburgh, with the reward of a beautiful glowing red sky as I headed east.
The race started at the Ocean Terminal shopping complex in Leith, to the north of the city, on the coast of the Firth of Forth. Not the most scenic of start lines but with the bonus of a Gregg’s Bakery (I resisted a steak bake), and real, proper toilets. That flushed. And had toilet paper. And soap and running water. And did I mention they flushed? Ocean Terminal also happens to be the home of the Royal Yacht Britannia, now a floating museum, which we ran past in the first km.
It was not a huge event, I would guess about 2000 people lined up for the run to Murrayfield Stadium. It was thankfully dry and not too cold at the start (a balmy 5C). The event crossed one or two roads but was otherwise on park paths or cycle paths. It was mostly flat, though I strongly suspect that most of the cycle path was a gradual incline, barely noticeable to the eye, but definitely noticeable to the legs. |
My preparation for this event was patchy and not particularly focused, I managed 20 mile weeks through most of February and I’ve been working on speed and hills but the last few weeks have been disrupted by weekends away, job interview preparations and my fall last Sunday (all wounds healing nicely). So I had a broad goal of running slightly faster than 10 minute miles (6 minute/km). My first 3 miles were around 9:40 each, but mile 4 was tough and blew out a bit. I hit 10k just on the 60 minute mark. The final kilometre was a horror: Run past the entry to Murrayfield Stadium then do a weird zig zag to the side of it that seemed to go on forever, before finally entering the stadium, the home of Scottish Rugby.
My final time was 1:19:04 which works out to be just under 10 minute miles. So not too bad and it gives me an idea of where I am.
Organisation at the start and the finish was generally pretty good, except that I just missed a shuttle bus back to Ocean Terminal and had to wait half an hour for the next one. The goody bag had the usual guff, but the medal is pretty 🙂
I got home and had curled up on the sofa for a much needed nap!