Monday, 21 June 2010
The course took in most of the centre of Edinburgh before heading towards the coast at Lower Granton and via Newhaven, Leith and Portobello before heading back around Holyrood for the second time and arriving back at Inverleith Park for the finish.
I grabbed a few hours sleep whenever I could but made sure I was around the course to provide encouragement when it was most needed.
Yasmin completed her epic adventure just after 8am on Sunday morning.
Here are some Moon Walk Photos - more to follow
Most of the race is along the tow path of the Forth and Clyde Canal. Not the best surface for speed but at least it is flat. At about 4km it opened up a bit and the field was starting to spread out a little. At half way we turn off the canal and up a steep hill towards Bishopbriggs. The next 2km are along the road before turning back onto the canal. Gerry Craig had opened up a gap but as we turned back onto the canal I saw Chris Upson and Paul Carroll not far behind.
I worked as hard as I could back along the canal and was starting to close Gerry down a little but couldn't catch him as the finish approached. 19th place and 37.33. not a bad performance on this course.
The race was won by Eritrean asylum seeker Robel Negash of Bellahouston Harriers in 32.14 almost a minute ahead of Shettleston's Paul Sorrie.
Gerry Craig finished in 37.26 and 17th position and Peter Ramsay 44.05 - 69th position.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Sunday, 13 June 2010
After yesterday's race, my legs weren't feeling too bad but I was not looking forward to asking them to race again today. Driving down to the start at Loch Lomond I decided to take it easy and just get round to complete the fourth and last race in the Polaroid series. I didn't have a target in mind - just to run and enjoy it. However, as soon as I was lining up at the start I began to think it would be good to try and run inside 40 mins.
I did take it very easy at the start and until we finished climbing at about 2.5km. I then started to work my through the field on the downhill section that followed. At halfway, I was inside 20 mins, passing runners and feeling quite comfortable. The hill at 7km brought back some bad memories of Bendrigg but I was flying over the last few km. With about 800 metres to go I passed Chris Upson , who had done a 10 mile hill race yesterday, and we both managed a sprint to the finish line to dip under 39 mins. I ran 38.50 for 52 place.
Gerry Craig ran his first race since the Edinburgh Marathon and was pleased with his progress to finish in 37.41. Ralph Connolly ran a PB and edged closer to his goal of a sub 40 min clocking but just missed it by 5 seconds! Christine Catterson 45.01 and Donald Branney 45.10 completed the Victoria Park City of Glasgow finishers this morning.
Saturday, 12 June 2010
Friday, 11 June 2010
Tomorrow I team up with the Southport Waterloo squad for the Bendrigg 10k. A roller coaster of a road race along quiet country lanes around Bendrigg Lodge just outside Kendal. There is a sting in the tail of this race with a steep climb for the last km to the finish line.
Sunday is nearer home and I will pull on my Victoria Park vest for the last in the Polaroid 10k series, the Vale of Leven. Starting at Loch Lomond Shores, the hills in this race come early on with some climbing through Balloch Country park.
I am not expecting fast times for either of these but the plan will be to try hard on Saturday and take it a little easier on Sunday. I have hardly run this week and so hopefully I will be well rested for the next few challenging days.
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
This was the first time this race had taken place and so it was a small group of runners taking part and none of us knew what to expect of the course. The buses dropped us off at the entrance to the forest and within a short walk we were at the start and ready to go. The forest trails were pretty good but a bit rocky in places and despite a short climb at the start, the first mile was fast. A steep climb to the 2 mile marker followed and then we were running along some undulating paths in the shadow of the huge wind turbines that seemed to stretch for miles. Two leaders had disappeared into the distance by this stage, third and fourth were gradually pulling away from me and I was running neck and neck with local runner, Ian Hughes from Calderglen Harriers, in fifth and sixth places. I had narrowly beaten Ian a few weeks ago at the Monklands Half Marathon and by the looks of the youngsters ahead of us and the large gap opening up behind us, we were scrapping for the vets prize. Worryingly, Ian was pulling away from me on the hills but I was catching him and easing past him on the downhill stretches.
Before long we were out onto the road and I was looking forward to the downhill running to the finish. Mile 8 didn't disappoint and it was fast, very fast but then we were going back uphill and with the help of some local supporters urging him on my rival had pulled away from me. He passed the fourth placed runner who was slowing as I also caught him. I recognised his Irn Bru vest - it was the runner that appeared in all the Scottish papers having collapsed within sight of the finish line at the Edinburgh Marathon and was helped to his feet and over the line by another runner. Considering that was just two weeks ago I couldn't believe he was back racing so soon and running well. I chatted with him about his Edinburgh experience and he told me that despite his problems on the finish straight he ran 3.00.12 in his first ever marathon. Amazingly, the runner who heroically sacrificed his own time to help a fellow runner in distress did dip under three hours on chip timing because he started from further back in the field.
I pushed on and despite the promise of downhill, it certainly didn't feel like it with some long steep climbs as well as downhill sections. Before long we were running into Strathaven and I could see Ian Hughes was flying and had caught up another runner to take third overall. I held on to fifth place and second vet - so my only reward this time was a glass of water and a Jaffa Cake on the finish line.
This was a tough but enjoyable race. I hope it is not the first and last Chris Moon Half. Only 60 runners took part but I am sure it will gain in popularity in the future. There were at least three other races on in and around Glasgow on the same day but this is ideal for anyone looking for a challenging, low key, small and friendly race. The pie and ale were good too. A great day out.
Chris Moon is a former Army officer with operational experience who worked for a charity clearing landmines in Asia and Africa is one of the few westerners to have survived kidnap by the Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia.
Two years later he was blown up in a remote minefield in East Africa. He was walking in a supposedly cleared area in Mozambique in 1995 when the blast resulted in the loss of his lower right arm and leg. Doctors say he survived against the odds due to his determination and fitness.
Within a year of leaving hospital he successfully completed the London Marathon and a Masters Degree in Security Management.
He's done numerous marathons and many of the world's toughest ultra marathons including the Great Sahara Run and Badwater the 135-mile continuous ultra through Death Valley to the mountains.
He's taken parties to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and run the length of Cambodia to raise funds for charities assisting the disabled
Sunday, 6 June 2010
I finished 5th overall in 1.22 - full report to follow.
Friday, 4 June 2010
The idea of crossing Britain on foot has interested me since I first read Wainwight's Coast to Coast book many years ago. The thought of running it is even more appealing and so Matt Beardshall's account of his cross country adventure was a must read. Two runners decided to repeat Wainwright's original route from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay - 180 miles in 7 days. Matt and Vin, accompanied by friend Mal on his mountain bike attempted this challenge back in 2006.
This book is a compelling account of their adventure and the challenges they met along the way. What makes this an interesting read is that these guys are every day runners - they are not Dean Karnazes - and so this was not an easy target they set themselves. Of course I won't tell you whether they all made it across to the east coast in one piece - you should get a copy and read this one for yourself.
I have to admit that despite the enormity of the task, after reading this I couldn't help but be inspired to attempt this myself...one day. I have lent my copy to a few running pals in the hope that they would be similarly motivated but nae luck so far.....maybe there is something wrong with me to even think about attempting this! Even if you are not inclined to race accross Britain, I recommend you at least read about it.
The fastest pensioner title was eventually awarded to its rightful owner, Cheshire based Colin Rathbone who finished in a speedy 3.05.51. Well done Colin - I only hope I am still running those sort of times when I reach 65!
More stories of famous marathon cheats