It’s been a while to gather my thoughts on the occasion between resting, work and 4 days spent on a course so now that everything has returned to normal, here goes!
It was an early start on the Saturday to get up and through to Edinburgh for the 10k race at 9am. It wasn’t really early for me as I’m normally up early every morning for work but this was completely different. It was a bit more than the usual race preparations as I had not just one race to get ready for but four. Everything was laid out the night before so it was just a case of sticking everything in my bag. I’m terrible for going out and forgetting things so I prefer to do things this way. The thing was, my clothes didn’t take up too much space but it was the second pair of running shoes, energy and recovery drinks and bottles that made it hard to pack and zip the bag shut!
My brother was kind to give us a lift through so that made things easier. We arrived in plenty of time to go to the toilet and head across to Dynamic Earth to stick our bags in and say hello to the Macmillan team before making our way to the start line for the 10k. For anyone who hasn’t done this race before, you’ve got a slight decline then a flat section for the first half mile before turning the corner and the start of the climb around Arthur’s Seat. This is far from easy and you can easily spot those new to the course who went off far too fast before discovering the steepness of the hill. This was a good stretch where I caught up with Mike and Alan who were also setting out to do all 4. We wound our way round the hill before heading back down the other side only to be met with a testing headwind, the last thing you want when you’re looking for a quick downhill session! To think that I got a 5k PB in this section of the 10k last year!
The second half of the 10k is a bit undulating as the route heads around Duddingston Loch but it’s a breeze compared to the first 5k! The bit I found tough was the last mile or so where we headed back along a footpath then up a hill to get back onto Queens Drive and to the finish. Somehow I had it in my mind that the final section on Queens Drive wasn’t far but I was completely wrong and had to take the foot off the gas a bit as we still had just short of half a mile to go! Coming round the final corner and the sprint to the finish brought back wonderful memories from last year and so I promptly tried to recreate my finishing pose from last year as I saw Lesley Martin, one of the photographers who took some amazing photos last year, standing beyond the finish line.
I made my way back to the final bend and caught up with a friend, Ginnie, who was there cheering on her boyfriend while I was looking out for Allison however, in the time it took me to get round there, Allison had already finished. We had the best part of an hour to kill before the 5k but it felt like 5 minutes before we were making our way back to the start. The great thing about the 5k race here is that it’s ‘just’ once round Arthur’s Seat without the added loop. I say just but when you sign up to do both races, you really have to clear the thought out of your mind that you have to go back round the hill again and so you have to just get the head down and get on with it. The winding road on the way up wasn’t too bad this time and the bit at the top was pretty good but the headwind was waiting for us again as we made our way downhill and it was good to get momentum all the way down Queens Drive and before we knew it, we were coming back round that final bend and a sprint to the finish. Job done!
It was great to meet so many people there from my new friends Alan and Mike, to Gus aka Roary the Lion (who I already knew) and also one of my running inspirations, Mark Cooper, who was the first to do all 4 races and is now inspiring many other people in his work with Maggie’s.
After we finished, we went in search of a drink and also visited a bus stop on Princes Street to see the poster promoting the Marathon Festival with my photo on it!
I ran the 10k and 5k at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of my dad and also to help others receive valuable support on their journey with cancer. I am still accepting donations if you would like to contribute to this great cause. Thank you