We arrived around 9 and stopped by side of park to cheer few folk as they went past, soon got cold though so we headed off to park and collect our numbers and say hi to everyone and cheer people through. Everyone was in good spirits as was i. George & Connor had arrived just before us and i told him i was feeling great and hoped i felt better after this race than after his! John K was there bright and early armed with his camera/video and was great support throughout.
This was my 3rd week in a row racing and I'd PB'd twice already, was i capable of a 3rd? Time would tell. Before too long Adrian gathered us together for briefing, Gavin Harvie noticed we were wearing same shoes and said in future he'd call ahead so we didn't clash ;)Then it was time for off.The sun was shining and i felt really good.
For first few laps i kept Ian in my sights, now although this concerned me at first thinking I'd gone off too fast and not learning lesson from last week i felt really comfortable so i decided to keep at same pace. I really enjoyed not wearing garmin and stressing over it and every time i passed the start again (every 1.5miles)i calculated what time I'd like to get round for next time. I'm pretty sure my pacing was spot on but i guess I'll see when the splits are published! As i passed the start line i heard Ian coughing in the loo and was bit worried as i knew that was 2nd time he'd stopped and this was me overtaking him, but i carried on trying not to think about it.
I kept on at my steady pace and eventually heard him behind me, and before too long he'd overtaken me again. Once again i kept him in my sights for few laps which was good. Around lap 13 Donald overtook me, i loved that everyone was really supportive and that even the 100k folk were saying well done to us! i felt bit of fraud and kept saying I'm only doing the wee race, you lot have been running for 3 hrs before we came along.Amazing how fast these guys were going! How very humbling. Heard loud voice behind me telling me what "he's seen that arse before" or words to that effect. It was Mark aka Gobi who was running for Wales.
Wasn't too long before he went flying past me though and i was on my own again. Gavin gave me great encouragement the (many) times he lapped me, must be his go faster shoes ;)Debs passed me around lap 18 i think and then again on next one, she was looking amazing and was making it look too easy quite frankly. Thomas just kept whizzing past as if he was out for wee jog!Paul H passed me a more than a few times and then as i neared my last few i lapped him, clearly not his day if I'm lapping him! He was still very encouraging to me though, that's what sums this race up i guess.
I Managed to catch up on Donald and he bemoaned going off too fast and said "you caught me again" i reminded him he was a full lap in front of me. He finished in 4.30 and said he was looking over his shoulder expecting me to catch him again, i usually do in trail/longer Ultras but not on "short flat stuff" Mark was soon bellowing behind me again saying he had cramp but it was fine as he was enjoying the view lol, i was on my penultimate lap by this time and i mentioned to Mark i wanted to beat last yr's time, he said i was going at a really steady pace and he had no doubt i would, we ran through checkpoint as i started on my last lap and Mark stopped to check how many laps he had left. Mark finished in 8.33, certainly not his best but was as upbeat as ever.
Have to say the support was just fantastic, i got cheered every time i ran through and considering i had to run through it 20 times this really perked me up big time.
My last lap was great, when i was halfway round i upped it a gear and really went for it, Connor had ran out to meet me and ran in last 200metres or so with me telling me to *go for it* bless him. Crossed line in 4hrs38min and 21 secs. a full 9 min PB from last year! Better still i felt good, i didn't feel like all crickety and sore like i did last week. Ian had finished very happily in 4.26 and was there to cheer me in and a couple of my Perth friends Debs & Marianne had popped down to support to which was brilliant.
George handed me his phone and Karen was on other end super excited for me and telling me I'd just had a bad day last week. We headed off pretty soon after for shower before we got chilly so missed the prize giving but we got back in time to see both Thomas & Debs finishing which was fantastic.
Both of them had an absolute stormer. Scotland winning the Men's team prize was bloody fantastic. Well done to all the Scotland Team, both boys & girls, you're all truly inspiring. So all in all i think George's race last week taught me a good lesson, we need to have the tough races & the bad days so we can experience the good times.
This is my philosophy in life anyway and i need to carry it through to my running too. I reckon my coach's training is starting to pay off, guess he knows what he's talking about huh?
Got home and had lovely Chinese and some bubbly to celebrate, seems i caught the sun! >>>
If you've not seen JohnK's video of the day, go watch it, it's great!