|Position (125)||Category||Category Position||Time|
|David Dye||54||M 40||14||1:45:18|
|Vicky Crichton||77||F Senior||12||1:50:47|
|Alan Salvage||103||M Senior||17||2:00:48|
|Gary Hall||108||M 50||15||2:06:02|
It was a warm sunny morning as Gary, David and I drove to Haddington, but concerningly breezy as we arrived at Neilson Park. Haddington is a lovely route through the pretty East Lothian countryside, if a little, well, humply. Looking around the small field (just 125 runners) it was clear this was no fun run and the alarmingly fast start confirmed my concerns. With stellar support from David I managed not to kill myself trying to keep up, watched the front runners drift off into the distance and settled into a steady pace. By mile 5 David had pulled away in front. As had everyone else. With just occasional glimpses of the folk in front and behind, I ran what is a quiet route pretty much on my own from that point onwards. It was hard, both physically and mentally and the occasional wee boy with jelly beans was a welcome sight. The final stretch to drag myself over the line and lie on the grass outside the rugby club was tough and only the promise of cake got me up again. Still, each race is a learning experience, so I have three take-home lessons from Haddington:
1. Afternoon starts are not ideal. But the answer is unlikely to be going out dancing the night before and getting in at 3:30am. While it does solve the ‘when to eat for breakfast’ issue, it doesn’t make for fresh legs the next day.
2. Don’t change your running routine. If, for example, you don’t normally take water on runs, then don’t take water at both the early water stations (no matter how hot it is). By mile 10 you’ll be frantically searching for a gap in the hedge to avoid doing a ‘Paula’.
3. You guys rock. I find it really hard to run alone which is why I love ERN. Your chat keeps me going and distracts me from the demons in my head telling me I should stop. There were bleak sections when I imagined you all there. Hell, there were times when I would have been chatting to you out loud, should I have had the breath going spare.
With massive thanks to David for great early pacing and Gary for driving and all the excellent words of encouragement. For those of you as concerned about this as I am, I give the spread 5/10. It was very welcome and pretty generous, but a high pastry to cake ratio and with no savoury choice for those weird folk (David) who don’t care for sweet treats.