When my friend Graeme Reid announced that his scout group in Milngavie were organising a trail race through Mugdock Woods I checked on my training diary and was pleased to see that it fitted in well with my plans!
Katrina was keen to run as well so we both entered. It was good to see a number of whw family also running including Ian and Sandra. We left home just after 9.30am which gave us plenty of time to arrive, register and go for a gentle warm up. The weather looked a bit mixed but once the race started it was superb.
Graeme’s scout group did a great job in registering all the runners and setting up the course. At 10.45am Graeme briefed the runners. Thanks to Steven Hill for all the photos.
Just time for a photo before the start …
I knew the part of the route that was along the whw but a good part of it was new to me and I was looking forward to seeing where Graeme took us. He explained that there was a big hill after a couple of miles.
I set off with the aim of trying to run as hard as I could for the whole race. I wasn’t sure about times but thought anything around an hour would be good as that would be 7min per mile pace.
I started about 20th or so and settled quickly into the pace. Fortunately I ran on the right hand side so got into Steven’s photos …
In the first mile or so I went past a few people including Sandra, Lorna and Ian then found myself on my own with 4 runners about 100m ahead.
I spent most of the race counting my breathes as I find that helps me to keep the pace up. I count 4 lots of 40 and then have a glance at my watch to see what my average pace is.
After a couple of miles we reached Iain Wallace who directed us up the hill. It was a tough climb but I was feeling okay and was catching the guys ahead. It levelled for a bit then climbed again and then again. I was breathing really hard at the top but pleased to see I had made up ground.
The volunteers around the course were excellent and keep us on the right track. I went past the two guys who were ahead but one hung on to me and we ran together for the next few miles helping each to keep the pace up.
I was pleased that on the long downhill sections I was holding my own so maybe my Ben Lomond descents are helping!
At the far end of the course it was great to see John and Noanie cheering on the runners. Once we headed back to Milngavie I was confident of the route and continued working as hard as I could.
The guy I’d been running with pulled ahead and I couldn’t stay with him. Once we reached the road and then turned into the woods again I thought it was now just over 2 miles on good path but I’d forgotten that Graeme had explained we take a slightly different path to the right of the whw route.
I must admit I struggled a bit on this path and the guy ahead disappeared and another runner caught me. As he caught me he said he introduced himself as David Wilson who follows this blog and who won my latest ‘Guess My Time’ competition for the Cateran 55.
He was obviously more comfortable on the trails so I tried to hang on to him but he did pull away after a bit.
I was pleased to see Iain again at the top of the stem as I knew it was straight forward from here to the end. I was continuing to push as hard as I could. There were a few people out cheering everyone on.
I ran through the town, down the steps, over the bridge, turned right and pushed to the finish.
Steven was there taking photos of the finishers …
There is a final hill up to the finish line.
I stopped my watch on 1:00:56 for 11th place. Official times will be out in a few days. I chatted with those who had finished around me. Then I headed back down the course to see how Katrina was doing.
Katrina finished around 1:15 which she was pleased with considering her knee is still quite sore. We headed over to the scout hut and enjoyed the excellent cakes on offer.
Thanks to Graeme and his team of volunteers for an excellent race. I will certainly be back. I would also like to run the route again at a more leisurely pace when I could look around a bit more!
My heart rate graph shows a consistent effort!
Strava has a cool feature now that compares all the runners who run the same route. Have a look at the one from today’s race.