I’m back home recovering from doing another 10K race – the Run Balmoral Tartan 10K. That is why I wore my kilt – I don’t usually run in it! No PB this time and no great feeling of euphoria; more totally wabbit*. That’s OK as I wasn’t expecting a PB for this race as it is a tough race with an infamous hill. *(Scots word meaning exhausted, tired, worn out, knockered,etc).
I felt it hard going right from the start. The start line was congested – as all races are – but the congestion went on and on as the thousands of runners (1,852) were confined to a narrow track on the estate. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the race was around Lizzie’s (HRH) backyard of her Heilan’ home, ie Balmoral Castle estate. For the first 3 km. I couldn’t really get into my groove as I was constantly adjusting my pace to pass others or being held up while the groups of two or three ran side-by-side taking up the width of the road. I’m not really an ole grumpy anti-social person 😉 , but I’m used to running completely alone and don’t usually see another soul on my outings!
Once we turned off the surfaced track and started up the forest track the going got tougher. This is a 1.3 km long hill with 100m of ascent. I’ve been practising on a similar gradient locally for the past month or so, but I’m afraid I had to resort to walking for several 30-60 second-long stretches. The top of the hill came eventually and we were greeted by two pipers playing for us. That was a lovely touch. I had thought that I maybe would swing my kilt and do a wee jig to the skirl, but frankly didn’t have any spare energy to do anything other than keep moving forward.
So what goes up has to come down, and down we went. However this side of the hill had fresh snow earlier this morning and was wet and slippery, so I had to ‘ca cannny’.
Eventually, after 8 km, we emerged from the woods and could see the castle again, but boy were those last two kilometres hard going. I was delighted to be high-fived by lots of children among the spectators and hear comments such as “Nice kilt” or “Go on, Kilt Lady!” But I was really drained and when we finally came running back across the castle lawn I felt I was running through porridge! What a relief to reach the finish line. (Time 1:03:12)
Not everyone was as slow as me 😉 The first man did the course in 31 mins and first woman in 36.
I really enjoyed the day. The atmosphere was brilliant and the event was well organised and, of course, the scenery was wonderful.
No more hilly 10Ks for me – for a wee while! 😉
Here’s the route we took. Not that I expect any of it is open to the public the rest of the time.