So history was made today - the first time the 'kilomathon distance has been run in Scotland. If you put aside the outrageously expensive entry fee it wasn't a bad event and I enjoyed taking part but there were a few glitches to be overcome for next year's event. For such a well publicised event it wasn't a huge field. This may be because it was a heavy weekend fixture wise with the Loch Ness Marathon, the Scottish Vets Half Marathon and the McAndrew Road Relays keeping many of the top club runners away.
The course itself was far more challenging than I thought it would be. Starting from the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston just outside Edinburgh. The first few km were around the showground and along rough paths around the perimeter fence of the airport before heading off along country lanes to the Forth Road Bridge. Crossing the bridge was good but it was a steep incline and went on for much longer than I expected. Coming down off the bridge just after 10k marker, the leading runners were heading back in the opposite direction. By this time the field was strung out and whilst there was not much chance of me catching anyone, there was a big gap behind me too. Running through the picturesque riverside town of Queensferry should have been enjoyable but the cobbled streets made it a bit of a challenge. We then hit a huge climb out of the town and by country lanes back towards the airport and the finish line.
I finished in 1.47.08, slightly slower than my target time but well up the field (no results yet but I think I finished in the top 15) and I was relatively pleased with the first part of my double marathon challenge (the easiest part admittedly). It was a good hard workout and I enjoyed racing over an unfamiliar distance and along a course I hadn't run before but there is plenty of room for improvement.
Firstly, the race was supposed to be 26.2 km but every one's Garmins were reading 26.5. Fair enough, it could be argued that Garmins are not 100% accurate but the consensus was that this course was slightly over distance. Once I downloaded the data it appears that three of the km's were about 100 metres long the rest were about spot on. The second problem was trying to get out of the car park after the race - it was chaotic and took the best part of an hour! (and they charged us £3.50 to park!).
A nice touch was getting your finish time texted to you within a few hours of finishing but it was disappointing that it didn't include finish position or age group position. Despite this it has the makings of a good race and I was pleased with my performance. The race takes place next year on the same day as the London Marathon, so I won't be able to take part but it is timed about 5 weeks before Edinburgh Marathon and so I can see a much bigger field next year - hope they sort the car park out by then!
Update and full results will follow when available.