|Neil Page||20||MSen (10)||01:24:49|
|Russell Beswick||124||MSen (47)||01:39:54|
|Murdo Macleod||146||MV50 (18)||01:41:47|
|Kirsten Hill||407||FSen (54)||02:10:43||PB|
|Heather Jones||470||FV40 (67)||02:29:00|
10 years before T in the Park, and its 100,000+ daily visitors, arrived to shatter the peace in and around the quiet town of Kinross, a slightly quieter event began and established its own slot in the calendars of its fans. The route of the Loch Leven Half Marathon “takes you round the scenic shores of Loch Leven on gently undulating roads” according to the website of host club, Kinross Road Runners, and is a favourite of several ERN members.
Murdo said : I heard from Heather, Kirsten and Russell that they were taking part in this event and, as I like the course, signed up at the last minute on Entrycentral and while there saw that Neil was also registered. Nicola agreed to drive up (she was keen to see Rona, Lily and Mary Page while we were running) and we were going to pick up Russell at 0900 to be in time for the 1100 start. When I got up on Saturday morning I checked the times to discover the race started at 1300 not 1100 so thankfully managed to get hold of Russell and postpone the pick-up. Not so lucky with Nicola who was not chuffed to be told that she could have had a couple of hours extra in her kip! As it was, Nicola was full of the cold and I was feeling under the weather and while still going up was in two minds whether to run or not. Anyway, picked up Russell (who had been puzzled why we were originally meeting him 5 hours before the race!) and had a nice drive up. The registration (and finish) were changed this year to the new Loch Leven Community Campus and we duly registered and picked up our numbers. We had time for a leisurely coffee and a lovely bacon roll before the main crowd arrived. There was a piping competition going on at the same time so it was good to hear the pipe bands in the background while we were getting ready. Met up with everyone before running down the half mile to the start area. There was a wee delay (5 minutes) while they sorted out the timing mats and then we were away. There was a 500 strong field and it took the first flattish few miles to spread out. The weather was warm and sunny but with a noticeable wind which was behind us and helping for the first half. It’s nearly 6 miles to the very welcome first water stop and the turn round the Loch and a long slightly downhill straight to Scotlandwell. Russell passed me at this point and looked to be going very well. The humply bits start as you go through the village, quiet steep but not that long and it continues, albeit slightly, for the next few miles before heading down towards the finish in Kinross; headwind was nagging all the way for this section. Because of the new finish, the last mile or so is different; you come off the road onto a cycle track for a section before rejoining the main road into town. The actual finish is outside the new school, well supported and nothing wrong with it but I did use to enjoy the finish in the park.
I ended up having a good race, my man-flu didn’t seem to affect me at all apart from the jog down to the start where I felt a bit tight chested. Tried to keep a steady 8min/mile pace all the way round and actually achieved 7.45’s and finished comfortably in 1.41.47 my fastest time for this event. Saw Kirsten (great race, 10 minute PB) and Heather finish before we met up with everyone.
This is a lovely race, the views are stunning and we saw them at their best on race day. The memento this year was a nice engraved mug (they always have nice goodies) and it’s always a friendly event. It’s a race you should do; The new Campus was excellent for registration, toilets, cafe etc although I do personally miss the finish in the park. As I said, good finish crowd and supportive if understandably sparse at times spectators on route. Many thanks to all organiser, marshals and volunteers at Kinross Road Runners. Recommended.