Great Run Edinburgh 10 mile – As those that read my committee intro blog will know – I love big races so when my daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas I asked her to enter me in a Great Run race. She did and Edinburgh was the result.
A race like this also gives an opportunity for a weekend away for myself and Mrs O’G. Add to that the fact that Virgin Trains were offering cheap travel to the event and it really was a win/win.
10 mile races are not the norm but I felt comfortable going into the race having trained with Sweatshop for a marathon I was never going to do and having completed the Darwen hill fest half a few weeks ago. Covering the distance was never going to be an issue. However, knowing the route was going to be really hilly and having become happy with 9 minute miling , I wasn’t chasing a good time but went to enjoy the views of the Scottish capital.
On the morning I decided to walk to the start at Arthur’s Seat leaving Mrs O’G in the hotel bed with a course map so she could find me later. After 30 minutes I arrived at a field with about 50 others so decided to use one of the 30 or so empty toilets. By the time I came out 2 minutes later the field had filled with 5000 people!!
I went to join my pen (in with first one with the top 35%!) but had to stand by the entrance as it was full of people trying to wave arms and warm up – not just before the race but because the temperature was about 0 degrees. After a 5 minute delay we were off, past Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament building then up the first hill – the Royal Mile. A nice downhill to Waverley station before a serious climb up The Mound. We then wound our way around the town (passing Mrs O’G at the 3 mile mark, Greyfriars Bobby, and the 5 mile point). Several long hills followed but fortunately there was a great downhill and flat section behind Arthur’s Seat. The 8-9 mile section was another long, steep climb but it was then downhill to Holyrood Park and the finish.
Heard Mrs O’G again at the finish, crossed the line and stopped my Garmin – 1hr 21 minutes – 8.05 minute miles. Wow, on the flats, downhills and the first hills I had been 7.30 and 7.45 miling!! OK the last hill was very slow but the last mile was also well sub 8 mins. Delighted? – you’d better believe it!!!
The goody bag consisted of a protein bar, crisps, water, Lucozade, a medal and, a first for Great Run, a technical t-shirt. An old Scottish mate had provided a list a great boozers to try and it would have been rude not to.
Not having to get back for work meant we could enjoy the evening and Monday as well – A great weekend indeed.