I don’t know how I ever survived summers in London. Having returned to Scotland I can no longer cope with summer temperatures. Anything above twenty degrees and I’ll declare a heatwave, take up residence in my new garden with an ice-cream and a white wine spritzer, and refuse to move. I certainly don’t want to go running, and definitely not fast running. No wonder I found the Chicago marathon such hard work.
With an 11am start time and already-high temperatures this was a tough race for me. I prefer a much earlier start, although on the plus side I did manage a lie-in, Archie walk and a proper breakfast before I had to head to the race, which was an uncommon treat.
This was a family-friendly day out, with a 10km and 20km walk and tattie sack race (carry them on your back, then take them home for dinner) alongside the 10km race. A teddy bear led our group warmup, and kids played nearby on a bouncy castle (and wandered over the course, adding to the challenge level of the final mile).
At 11am we were off. The route was a single loop along the promenade, part of the Parkrun route. We started outside the Boardwalk Beach Club cafe opposite Silverknowes road, out along the seafront to Cramond, round the flag pole and back along the sea toward Leith, up Gipsy Brae and back to finish on the seafront.
I started well, and felt strong, but soon started to struggle in the heat. Miles two an three were hard going, and I was outraged by the (tiny) hill up Gipsy Brae – a mighty 33 feet of elevation. The sea breeze created a fairly strong headwind out towards Leith which definitely slowed me down, and I couldn’t wait to turn and have it on my back, but as soon as I did I realised that the wind had been providing blessed relief from the sunshine and I was very, very warm for the second half. I grabbed some water from a marshal, drinking half and pouring the other half over my head.
I was a little disappointed with my finish time. I’m claiming a sub-1 hour as my watch gave me 59:50 (and it took a few seconds to get over the start line) although I think ‘officially’ I’m just over the hour. Still someway off my 55:50 PB, but probably unsurprising as I’ve been focusing on distance and gaining my trail legs rather than speed.
And did I mention it was hot?