This is the first time I have ran this race so was unsure what to expect. The route had changed from previous years as well so I couldn't even ask other runners what the course would be like.
Mandy and I drove up on Sunday morning from Edinburgh and conditions in Edinburgh were perfect for a good race, but what would Pitlochry have in mind for us?
Arrived in plenty of time, got parked and walked up to the registration hall, the weather was till ideal. Cool and hardly any wind. On the way up the road I had discussed with Mandy what my race plan should be. With my main goal being Loch Ness marathon in a weeks time, should I race this 10k or just use it as a training run. I had been to the physio on Friday and discussed my options with him as well and it was generally agreed that I should go out, see how I feel, if I start to get heavy legged, ease off.
I got to the start line after a nice easy one mile warm up, which I would soon find out was the first mile of the actual route. We were all asked to take to the start line and at this point I had a choice, do I sit back maybe 4 or 5 rows deep from the starting line or do I get a good position right on the start line. I look around and before I know it, Im in the second row. That will do, I guess this means I'm racing today!
3,2, 1 and we were off and wait a minute, I'm sitting in 3rd place! I check my watch I'm not running at a pace which is too fast so I relax a but and settle in to a nice pace, within the first mile I'm now sitting in 7th place with two or three other guys running near me. I see one guy just up in front and I seem to be pulling him in on the inclines and not loosing him too much, if at all, on the downhills.
About 3 miles in I pass the guy in front and the 2 other runners who were behind me are now running with me, either just in front or just behind, we swap positions quite a bit during the rest of the course, I pull them in on the uphills but they get away on the downhills. This was a bit annoying for me as I knew the finish was on a downhill and I just couldnt get my legs turning any faster on the downhills.
My aim for the race was to get sub 40, that was achieved. I actually finished in 37:54, a season's best which I am over the moon with, I also finished 6th overall and 4th for my age category. The first 3 runners to finish were a good 3 mins ahead of me so I was never in with a chance of a top 3 finish but I felt good to be that close to a podium finish.
Now is rest time for the next week, I will keep my legs ticking over but nothing major. The training has been done and I feel great. Bring on Loch Ness Marathon! 2:54:00 anyone????