|Russell Beswick||44||MSen (21)||01:39:37|
|David Hope||57||MSen (25)||01:43:45||PB|
Now in its fourth year, the Angus HaM is a small, friendly event which is run on quiet rural roads to the North East of Dundee. Starting and finishing in Monikie Country Park the race takes runners around a ‘humply’ route with a tough uphill finish. New club members David and Russell took it all in their stride though. Well done to both.
David said : After my struggles at Heaven and Hell I was in need of another half marathon to try and restore my confidence. Russell had informed me about his own struggles at last year’s Angus HAM with a tough climb to the finish. Sounded perfect!
So I travelled up to Monikie Country park with Russell for a 10:30 am start. There was a bit of a queue for parking but there was just about space for everyone and we still had time to register and hear the race briefing before the start. We were both making our official ERN debut and I got a chance to show off my new ERN running vest.
The official website for the race said that the first half was either flat or downhill and the 2nd half was either flat of uphill. We started off running around the reservoir and then onto the open roads. I ran with Russell at a nice comfortable pace for the first half but I was a little bit surprised to find a couple of hills thrown in on the supposed downhill section. Russell pulled away from me on one of these hills after about 6.5 miles and I was left alone on the country roads which although being open to traffic were pretty quiet.
There was a nice heavy shower of rain and hail after about 8 miles just as the real hills began and my ERN running vest was suddenly weighing much heavier on my shoulders. A steady climb from 9 to 10 miles was pretty tough and made slightly worse by the fact I had got it in my head that I was approaching 11 miles! The next couple of miles were a bit flatter but then miles 12 to 13 just about finished me off. My pace slowed dramatically but I was determined to keep ploughing on and banish the demons from Heaven and Hell. Once I reached the top of the hill there was a flatter section and although I could see the finish line in the distance it seemed to take a long time to actually get there! I was delighted to cross the line and find I had knocked almost 13 minutes off my half marathon PB.
Overall I really enjoyed the Angus HAM experience. The route was quite testing but it was quite pleasant running through the rolling farmland countryside. The route was well marshalled at all turns and there was even a pretty regular police presence. The only real downside was the lack of cakes on offer at the end which I have gotten quite used to recently!