I was looking forward to taking part in the Club Cross Country today as the last time I did it was 2008. When I got back from church it was raining and windy but that doesn’t put off an ultra runner!!
I parked at Kilbarchan and just as I got out the car David MacIntosh was running up the hill so we ran over to the Milliken Farm where we hold the cross country. Steven was there so the three of us did a warm up lap.
Steven hasn’t run the race before so it was good to check out the route. As expected it was very muddy and wet but the X-Talons were superb.
It was still raining and windy as we started but I warm enough after the recce lap. I wore a long base top and my club vest, shorts and gloves.
Here is a lap of the course. The Senior men do 3 laps and each lap is 1.63miles so 4.88miles in total ….All the groups start together and run various distances. I think there were 6 of us in the Senior Men. I started near the back as I wanted to start steady. I could see Alan Craig not too far ahead and thought he would be a good target to keep in sight.
The race starts with a run up the ploughed field, round the tree and down again. Then across a muddy field, down a lane, down another muddy track, back up a ploughed field, back on a track for quarter mile or so and then over another muddy field and back to the start.
I caught up with Alan on the muddy track and tucked in behind him for a mile or so. On the up hill field I went ahead and Alan tucked in behind me. We ran together for the rest of the first lap.
We went through lap 1 in 11.57. Alan took the lead again on the hill to the tree and I tucked in behind for most of lap 2. I did take the lead for a while feeling okay. Alan went past me again just before the tower before the uphill field.
I was hang in on a bit and the gap widened a bit. Calum and Lesley were supporting their son Ewan and gave me lots of encouragement each time I went past. Thanks guys!
I completed lap 2 just behind Alan in 12.20. I was keen to try and stay as close as I could to Alan but he worked a bit harder on the way down after the tree turn and I couldn’t quite get back in touch. The gap widened gradually.
I wanted to have a good strong last lap so concentrated on my own run. I saw Callum Matthews heading towards the finish as I was heading out on the loop. He looked as though he was running strongly!
I was happy with my run even if I couldn’t quite stay with Alan. I gave Calum and Lesley a high 5 as I headed to the final field and the finish. I saw Alan finish as I entered the field and I crossed the line in 36.49 with a last lap of 12.31.
Donna Matthews was on hand to take some photos …
Steven came in a minute or so later and we went round once more as a cool down!
Another good indication that I’m going well at the moment. In 2008 I went on to run the West Highland Way Race in 19.59.33 so let’s hope I can do something similar at the HM55 and HM110 !!