Well done to Chris and Les who took part in this race having enjoyed it so much last year. Humply course but very friendly and well organised. Recommended. Link to event website here at Dunblane 7.5 Miler
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Chris said: “If you want a challenging race… then this is a challenging race! And challenging for the organisers and the runners. It starts at the gateway to the Dunblane Hydro Hotel; runners must wait patiently as the traffic is stopped and the organisers put the chip timing mats out before we can nip out to start our run! There’s a really good atmosphere at the start with a piper to get us going in a great setting! And we need everything we can to help us out – you don’t go far before you meet the first hill, then you’re lulled into a series of misguided of false insecurities as you do the 7.5 miles. Just as you think that there can’t be many more hills – along comes another one! And if the humpliness wasn’t challenging enough – there’s the gustiness – a report from me wouldn’t be a report from me without the woes of wind! And for the first 2 – 3 miles you felt it! You just about get over the hills and the wind and the feeling of lactic acid in your legs every time you hit the downhill when along comes the drag between miles 4 and 5 – phew – that’s a real old stonker. I’m sure too that someone moved mile 6 along the road a bit as it seemed to take ages to get there! The last half mile deserves a special mention – even with the piper pushing you on it really is a corker – particularly the driveway UP to the finish line; but your grimace turns to an easy smile with the message boards of support as you find your way up the final hill and then have to ‘find your legs’ quickly for a short and flat sprint finish.
I didn’t have the energy to remove my chip at the end – and to be honest – was too busy blethering to a couple of women as we’d been ‘pacing’ ourselves against each other so one of the marshals removed my chip for me and had a real old laugh with us. So friendly – you really can’t beat it. Then it was off to collect water and the important banana and biscuits! Just what I needed. But challenges apart this is still a fabulous race and I’d recommend it to anyone – I’m looking forward to it next year – I had a great time. The organisation is really slick, the results were posted in the hotel within about 30 mins of the race finishing, the marshals are lovely – very, very supportive. It feels like a real community event from the young children handing out bottles of water at the halfway point water stop, to folks cheering you on from their gardens or at the bus stops. The police are great – stopping the traffic to make sure that your safety is paramount – and everyone has a smile on their face.
Once again Les and I were in a race where records were broken – this year it was a new course record: 39:06 (wow)… however, once again, it wasn’t Les and I who were breaking it. But that being said I was delighted with my result. Les on the other hand – who’d done a PB was a tad grumbly! There’s just no pleasing someone! Sounds to me like he’ll be doing it next year too to try to improve on his time…!”