After Loch Ness, I wanted to set up a few races to keep me ticking over during the autumn/winter months so I’m at a decent level for when I start training for Paris. Lochore 10k was one and the Men’s 10k in Edinburgh today was to be another.
This is a race that’s been set up to try to tackle the issue that life expectancy in men in Scotland is the lowest in Europe, encouraging more men to take part in regular physical exercise with around 40% of entrants never having entered a race before and also raise awareness of the health issues, both mental and physical, that affect men in Scotland.
I did this race a year ago for the first time, really enjoyed it, signed up for the Glasgow one back in the summer and it wasn’t a difficult decision to sign up for this again. The race is organised by GSI Events, who organise the Edinburgh Marathon Festival so I knew it would be a good one.
The race starts on Lawnmarket, just down the road from Edinburgh Castle, takes a sharp left and heads downhill before taking us in to Princes Street Gardens, out the other end, past Waverley Train Station, up round and back onto the Royal Mile again – all in the 1st mile! It has a good downhill stretch towards Holyrood Palace before taking us round some parts of Edinburgh normally used in some of the EMF races before taking us up Cowgate. If you like races that aren’t flat then you will love this one. I love the course for its central location as well as the uphill and downhill stretches which, for me, makes it far more entertaining than a solid flat race and the miles pass very quickly as a result. I was pleased that the form I’ve been working on this year worked very well for me, probably the best so far.
After the long stretch up the Cowgate, we were treated to a nice downhill stretch through Grassmarket with the perfectly placed water station. Even though it was a chilly day, it still felt really nice to pour water down the back of my neck. From that point, I felt the urge to push on and so I did. Normally I would be using others ahead to pace me or be considerate to my pace and save something for later but my body felt like it wanted to drive on.
We came down onto Lothian Road and then it was on towards Murrayfield Stadium and the finish. I had run mile 5 pretty well and felt like I was able to step up some more. As we approached Murrayfield, I remembered that it wasn’t a straight path and that we had to run around to enter the stadium from the other side to get to the finish line. It didn’t seem to make much difference though and I kept speeding up, still managing a sprint to the finish line. I crossed the line in 40.49, and while it’s not a PB, I still feel like I’m making good progress.
What’s in the goody bag I hear you say? First of all the medal was pretty cool and weighty too! The tech tee was good, the Zero tabs are good although Allison has now inherited them, the hair gel and suntan lotion are very nice to receive but the standout has to be the rainbow drops! They were standard sweets when I was a kid and didn’t realise they still made them!
Another good thing to receive was the little bag with leaflets and an apple. Normally I don’t really care much for the majority of flyers in goody bags but this was different with a flyer on the Eating Well Guide, a leaflet on Prostate Cancer and also a booklet about understanding Mental Health. Given how much mental health, cancer and many other conditions affect our lives, I think it would be good to see these kind of leaflets in the goody bags at all mass participation events. If it helps at least one person then it’s a good thing.
I’m already looking forward to doing this race again next year and would highly recommend it.
Happy Running! 🙂