Hogmanay Handicap race

Time: 2.00pm
Route: Hogmanay Route from Kilbarchan (See route)
Distance: 10.53miles
Time Run: 1hr 09mins 59secs (average pace 6.39)
Mile splits: 7.09, 6.39, 6.37, 7.08, 6.31, 6.22, 6.04, 6.20, 7.08, 6.49, 3.09 (5.56 pace)

This was the last of the four Club races over the Christmas period and it is definitely the hardest. It is a tough route with the first 4 miles all uphill and then another tough hill after 8 miles coming out of Bridge of Weir.

There were about 15 runners this year including guests Ian Beattie and Marco Consani. The handicaps were given out, there was some discussion and slightly redone and we were off. I set off at 48mins on the watch with Ian setting off 30secs after me, then another 30secs to Stevie. John McL was 1min 30secs behind me and Donald & Marco 6mins behind me. I had Louise 1min in front.

I felt I had a decent chance of doing well and was aiming to see if I couold break the 1hr 10min barrier. I was 26secs outside last year. My foot felt okay starting off so I relaxed and tried to run my own pace. After a couple of miles of uphill running I reckon I was about 30secs behind Louise. At the first turning at the stone Louise went straight on instead of right but didn’t lose too much time. Over the next 6-7 miles the distance between us didn’t change much. At some points I got closer and then at other points she pulled away.

I was feeling good and I had my times from last year for 3, 6 and 9 miles and I was slightly up on all of them so things were looking good. I finally caught Christina at about 8miles just before Bridge of Weir. Louise went slightly wrong again before the cycle track and I shouted to get her on the right way. Half way along the cycle track she stopped for a ‘comfort break’ and I thought I’d be away.

There is a long climb out of Bridge of Weir and I was working hard up the hill. I could see someone ahead but I think it was the girls relay team. I caught Max just before the long downhill into Kilbarchan and then Louise comes past me. She must have worked hard after her stop and so I tried to hang on to her. We turned the corner withjust the final hill up to the finish. I got ahead of Louise again and pushed hard to the top of the hill and then the short downhill to the finish.

I stopped my watch at the finish and then once I’d stopped running had a look and was very happy to see it read 1hr 09mins 59secs!!! I’m getting pretty good at these close shaves! So that was 27secs faster than last year. In fact for all the Christmas Races I’ve ran faster than last year so that is a good pointer for the coming year.

The rest of the runners came in with there tales of how the race went. Ian said he was struggling after the first 4miles or so, Marco reckons that was the hardest 10miler he’s ever done. John McL’s 1hr 10mins 25secs was 45 secs or so slower than last year. Stevie had an excellent run finishing in 1hr 09mins 50secs.

I finished 3rd in the end and was very content with my Hogmanay Run. Tomorrow my 2000 training plan starts …. with a rest day! Jim O took lots of video clips of the race so I’ll put that together for the club web site.

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3 Responses to Hogmanay Handicap race

  1. Grellan says:

    You’re certainly comimng on in leaps and bounds John – well done on pushing the barriers to shave past the 1:10 mark. Best of luck with your 2009 plans.

  2. Davie says:

    Tut, tut. 10am Balloch Park main gates for New Years Day run. Easy!Have a very happy and successful 2009, John.Davie

  3. Thomas says:

    Aren’t those handicap races usually won by the one person who pestered the organisers the most to readjust their starting time?

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