Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Not so miserable at Moffat

The Moffat 15K run is one of the best “hard training runs” around - where else can you get a good undulating 3.75mile tempo run, a hard trail 1mile up a steep hill as a strength workout, and then 4.6miles of quick road downhill to get the speed up and the legs turning over?
Knowing this doesn’t mean that my enthusiasm for it doesn’t dwindle over the day (it starts at 7:15pm on a Tuesday), especially as the rain didn’t seem to be letting up this year, but then again….the thought of running with clubmates and having the obligatory chips and cider afterwards got me there as usual.
I remembered it being rather hot and windy last year, but my over-riding memory was of a guy tailing me all the way down the long road run to shelter from the headwind, only to sprint past in the last few hundred metres, and I really didn’t want that to happen again.

A rather damp start
It was an interesting start with a couple of guys shooting off in to the distance, but I settled in with the next group of men. It was still drizzling and the puddles stretched all the way across the road so the most direct route wasn’t always the driest. I had thought of trying to tuck in behind some of the guys, but that doesn’t come naturally to me, as I generally just run my own pace, so I found myself leading the group out. I was surprised to be up running with my clubmate David as he’s much quicker than me, but it was fun to push on in front on the inclines and then watch him speed away from me on the downhills.

David and I after the finish

Most runners dread the uphill (especially on such a wet, muddy day) but I was actually looking forward to it. That was the last I saw of David as he comes into his own on hills, but although several of the men pulled away from me initially, I overtook them again one by one as the relentless climb continued.

Downhill is not my forte, but back on the road, the main aim was just to keep the legs turning as quickly as possible. Two guys ran past chatting as if they were just out for a stroll, but I noticed that they then stayed the same distance in front of me all the way down into town.
It was lovely to see the tape at the finish line and discover I’d improved on my time from the year before by 40 seconds, despite the trail marathon just 10 days previously…..and be only 2 mins away from Edinburgh Commonwealth Games particpant Lorna Irving’s course record. Most of the guys who’d been in front of me were there to shake my hand as we got our tea and Mars bars - including Mickey Breen, who won the race by a considerable margin in another quick time.

Many locals were out to line the roads at the finish and we could stand there with our cuppas, cheering everyone else in……2nd lady was my clubmate Lisa who had a fantastic run…..and I was really impressed to see 29 members of my club racing on a miserable night.

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