Glen Clova Half Marathon

For years I have heard about Glen Clova half marathon and for years I have wanted to run it. I've heard mixed reports but people always go back for more so I thought it can't be all that bad. Can it?

Mandy and I tried to book in to the hotel at Glen Clova as soon as I knew I was running this race but due to the popularity of this race, they were already full. Instead of staying we drove up on Saturday morning from Edinburgh, which isn't actually that bad a drive. A couple of hours up the road and we arrived at the Glen Clova hotel. The weather looked near perfection.

On a the way to the hotel we drove part of the course. It was undulating to say the least! Not a single bit of flat to be seen. There goes the plan of a PB then! The course was so undulating I decided to leave my racing shoes (New Balance 905) in my kit bag and run in my more supportive Saucony Guide 5s. The reason for this is I felt I would need some cushion on the downhill sections which the racing flats don't really provide.

I had a chat with some of the other runners at the start who had ran the course before and was glad to hear the second half of the race was a bit flatter. 

Registration completed, race prep done (put on my club vest, go for a warm up) and then I headed to the start line. Mandy wished me luck and then headed for the warmth of the hotel. Once the race started it was a nice surprise to see Mandy up round the corner being the Pitreavie AAC cheerleader. 

The race went well, I made up quite a few places by taking it easy on the uphills and relaxing and using gravity as my friend on the downhill. The first 6.5 miles were pretty undulating but then the way home was much flatter, except for the hill at 12 miles which gave me the worst stitch in my side that I have ever had. I had to stop to get my breath back and lost a place in the process. I wasn't happy about that but I really couldn't do anything about it. 

Finished 13th overall out of 248 runners in 1:23:32.

Since the race I have only got one run in, my work has been really busy and I have been working late. I'm hoping to get out tomorrow for a 13 - 14 mile run and then head down to Edinburgh parkrun on Saturday. 

Hopefully over the next couple of days I will get some more blogs posted as well as I have quite a few things to say! You have all been warned.

Owain Williams

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