Alastair said : I previously took part in the Scottish Gas 10k in 2008 and 2009. Since parkrun started this 10k sort of fell off my radar. However… still recovering from torn ligaments in my ankle sustained during the 7 Hills Challenge (people, if you think you`ve really hurt your ankle near the start of a race don’t attempt another 12 miles/5 hills running on it, even if you do PB by 19 minutes!) I’ve been cutting down my mileage and attempting some shorter-than-my-usual races (on my physios’ advice). Musselburgh had been painful, North Berwick Law Hill Race had been fun so on the last day of pre-entry I signed up for the Scottish Gas 10k… and followed that up with an awful 6 mile training run (we all have them, but that’s not really a comfort, is it?).
On race day, parking & registration were well organised. I chatted to a few familiar faces before the start and it was soon 10am and time for the off. A slightly uphill start & busy as the 5k and 10k races started together. Then left into Waterfront Avenue following it down to West Harbour Road where we turned left again heading for the newer section of walkway and then onto the prom, where the 5k runners soon turned to head back. The breeze was behind us but I found this section quite warm and humid. I didn’t look at my Garmin but felt surprisingly strong with no pain, and I did have to remember to ease off the throttle a bit for the sake of my ankle. Quite a bit of overtaking/being overtaken followed as we approached the turning point at the Cramond flagpole. I took a walk-break while I took a drink from the water-station then started running again and regained my position. It was now breezy with a slight drizzle, and what can only be described as a single-file slog saw us heading back along the prom towards West Shore Road as the parkrunners amongst us put our slip-streaming strategies into operation (in other words find a bigger taller runner and tuck in!). I enjoyed this part, basically listening to some tunes and not looking too far ahead. Once we were back on the road it wasn’t long until we veered right and hit… THE HILL!!! That little path back up to Scottish Gas HQ is a leg killer, especially so near the finish. I overtook some folk on the way up, then we were running alongside the building followed by a sharp left along the finishing straight and over the line.
So, 49:36 in 2009 and 52:07 this year. Happy enough! A technical T-shirt, water bottle, water & orange juice plus a cereal bar were the goodies for all finishers. Results were online the following day. Summing up, I enjoyed my unscheduled return to the Scottish Gas 10k, finding the race well organised and just what I needed as another “test” race.
Alastair “Scotty” Scott