Most of my running is done alone, along the quiet minor roads around the village or along empty forest tracks. Today’s run was different. I ran alongside about 2600 runners in the Baxter’s River Ness 10K run. This run is part of the Festival of Running which also includes the Loch Ness Marathon, The River Ness 5K (which I did as a newbie runner last year) and the Wee Nessie 400m run for under 5s.
Although I don’t like crowds I loved the whole ‘family fun’ atmosphere at the event with thousands of runners from all over the UK and beyond. It was so great to see the wee tots walking around wearing their 5K and 400m medals! 😉
The weather was perfect for running at about 14°C, but hotter in places in the direct sun. I felt I positioned myself well at the start as I was running alongside many similarly paced runners. I passed quite a few, but rarely felt I was ‘wasting’ time dodging and weaving past crowds.
The course is great in that I felt I was going downhill more than up, although the total elevation loss was only 30m more than the gain. I knew I had run a good first 5km, but didn’t really check my Garmin at all until the final stage. The final two kms are along the River Ness, one km heading towards the town centre, across the main road bridge, then one back towards the sports ground. This final bit was really tough, but I kept on as best I could and tried to smile at the waving, cheering crowds and gave the occasional high five to the children.
I had thought it would be super if I could run the 10K in about 55 mins and I just beat that, with a chip time of 54:46. My category position for F50+ = 25, from a total of about 185 in that category.
I’m especially pleased since I’ve done no real speed training all summer. Since my return to running following the injury lay-off in June, I’ve usually only managed one 7km run, one 8-10km tempo run and one long, slow run each week. Plus about 150kms cycling. All this must have been sufficient to help me develop sufficient stamina to get this PB!