|Position||Finish Time||Chip Time||Number||Category|
|Emma Lougheed||449||0:48:15||0:47:02||138||Women 20-39|
|Keith Chinnery||620||0:54:50||0:53:38||268||Men 50-59|
Emma said: After battling the gale force winds at Musselburgh 10k in July and having managed to beat my previous PB by some margin despite the elements, I had high hopes for Stirling 10k which is advertised as being fast and flat (despite the image on their race numbers and finish t-shirts)…..and then I sprained my ankle in August which led to a couple of weeks of no running and doubts about the PB.
With the ankle strapped up with KT tape and fingers crossed I arrived at Stirling and had no trouble parking in Springkerse Retail Park just round the corner from the start at The Peak leisure centre.
Weather conditions were looking good with a promise of sunshine and little to no wind….it was all down to the ankle now!
I managed to meet up with Laura from Porty parkrun in the start area and also found my friend Lorna from work who was running her first 10k (I fear she may hold me responsible for this). The organisers say there’s no bag drop facility but there were rows of lockers in the leisure centre corridor so i’m sure you could get away with using those if needed. There was a row of portaloos in the start/finish area with the usual pre-race queues but we found rather nice facilities with no queue inside the leisure centre 🙂
This is one of the Scottish Athletics Championship events so attracts a lot of good club runners. That said, there was a real mix of abilities and definitely not an “elites only” event. I started quite near the back as I’d been chatting with my friends and it seemed to take forever to cross the start line. As a result I probably lost of bit of time weaving in and out of slower runners in front of me but I was still cautious of how the ankle would feel and it wasn’t too much of an issue as you’re soon out onto a wide road for the first couple of km.
The first part of the race was fairly quiet, round a light industrial / retail area and then into the housing area at Riverside where a few locals were out supporting with an offering of jelly babies. The route then crosses the river (very narrow bridge!) and you head out and back along the same stretch of road. By the time I crossed the river I was settled into my running pace and felt like the ankle would hold out OK. Along this stretch the sun really came out and it was quite exposed with no shade and rather warm. I actually quite like short sections of out and back route and was on the look out for another friend who I knew would be near the front of the pack which took my mind off thinking about dying for a short time. Cheered her on as she flew past on the other side of the road then I slipped in behind a couple who were running at a decent steady pace and briefly enjoyed the view across to Stirling castle.
Thanks to a garmin malfunction (ok, user error!) my watch hadn’t started as we crossed the start and I lost nearly a km so I was trying to estimate my finish time as I ran. I knew it was going to be close to a PB but the heat and lack of oxygen to my brain was affecting my ability to do mental maths and run at the same time. Around 8km there’s a short uphill section as you come up from the river. On a normal day I’m sure you wouldn’t bat an eyelid at it but by this point it was nearly the end of me! Spurred on by a friendly marshall at the top I got my head down and tried to focus on the finish line but that last 1.5km was never ending!
The finish area was back at the start and by this point lots of runners had finished and were cheering everyone else home. People tend to hang around as they wait for the results of the Championship results so this made for a good atmosphere at the finish. I managed to spot David of Porty parkrun finish token no.1 fame and aimed for the finish line which somehow didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Without a garmin time I still wasn’t sure if I’d managed a PB or not so it was anxious wait for the official chip times (result – 47:02, 17s off my PB!).
After doing my best not to be sick over the volunteer who was snipping the chips off trainer I had a short wait in the finish area to collect goody bags – the usual selection of snacks, water and a technical t-shirt in the Stirling 10k trade mark neon. No medals and my only criticism would be that the small size of t-shirts are much too big for us smaller girls. Having collected my goodies I walked back up the route a short way, found a patch of grass to stretch on while cheering people home, and then walked up to meet Lorna and her friend coming the other way to finish. They were followed not long after by Laura so we had a catch up at the finish and swapped notes on the run. I’d left my money in the car and was going to go back for it but the coffee van queue and the queue inside at the leisure centre cafe were both pretty long so I decided to head for home and called at the Costa coffee at Stirling motorway services for my caffeine fix.
All things considered I enjoyed Stirling 10k. It definitely has PB potential, it was well marshalled, the set up works well, and for the price the goody bag was pretty decent.