Finished in 4.12.42, most of the Orkney folk already home but a few still to come so waited for them in another heavy hailshower before the very welcome soup etc!
Time to chill before the ceilidh which went really well and two of us picked up age group trophies.
Tired legs and brains yesterday, a last walk on Balnakeil beach, trip to Smoo cave for the first time visitors, lunch and the drive home - which was not without incident, almost collided with a French driver who had come off single track road onto the wrong side of the road at Bettyhill. Lots of braking and both drivers somewhat shaken but unharmed.
Complete brain fuzz at work today but guess that means it was a good week!
Race morning didn't dawn too bad but warned by the RD that he would pull out any runners looking like they were getting cold I changed jacket to my heavy waterproof and bunged on a hat.
Off out through the village, wind hitting straight away but still dry. Worse exposure out of the village heading down to ferry turnoff but still not too bad. Became aware that everyone was clumping together in an attempt to gain some wind protection but we were all too close and kept bumping into folk and wanted some space, wasn't to happen though as any time I got clear of our little clump the wind slowed me up and ended up back in it again!
Then at 6-7 miles the extra treat, heavy, and I mean heavy hail, not just short showers but 10-15 min at a time, painful on exposed thighs! Brief respite, then another bout, and so it went on, a few folk slowed dramatically and 4 withdrew and were pulled from the race at this point! At the same time the hill climb started, on and on until just over 11 miles in, then downhill for 2 miles until the turn. Still tough going into the wind the only consolation we were going to have the hail on our backs in a minute!
So pleased to see the marshall at the turn and it even stopped raining. The way back was a completely different experience, the field spread out and it was much nicer running though tough on the old legs pounding downhill for about 4 miles. Felt realtively strong up until 22 miles though and then it wasn't far to go though the last 2 miles were hard work, made up a few places on the way back in and a marked negative split for most folk.
Friday we were meeting 2 other Orkney marathon runners off the bus and three others coming by car in the afternoon, had a drive down to Oldshoremore, very nice beach but a bit chilly to linger when the rain came on. Rest of the day socialising, drinking tea and eating. The decision not to run the marathon on the Cape had been looming all week and finally announced on Thurs, no surprise with more 40 -50 mph winds forecast but disappointing especially for those who hadn't done it before. So we knew about the wind, rain, hills but there was one treat in store yet!
Tues 3 of the 4 new Orkney runners had enjoyed it so much they were up for the hill run before heading for the ferry while S decided on hot choc instead and I couldn't resist running though had planned to marshal. $0 mph winds and rain forecast and didn't disappoint though the rain eased off and the route had some shelter from the wind after first tough 2 miles so I really enjoyed it, much more than the HM for a change. Just over 50m for 5.5 miles.
Wed round Durness 10.4 miles with a slight variation due to lots of trees down in the woods we ran round the back of them instead. Always my favourite run of the week and pushed it as hard as I could, making it slightly less fun but just pushing me into the top half of the field. 1.36 or so. Perfect conditions, little wind and sunshine.
Thurs beach run, well I was marshalling but was persuaded into fancy dress with Peter to be Asterix and Obilix, good fun and a bit of running around in the sand in the company of Noddy, and Big Ears, two wombles, two penguins, the royal family and many others! Followed by the coldest of sea swims and back home for hot soup which I'd made earlier!
Hi all, back after Cape Wrath week last night, probably the best week there though not the best weather. All started so well with drive over on the Sat in brilliant sun with views over the beaches of Bettyhill, Tongue, Melvich and Durness and a beautiful sunset when we arrived.
Sunday morning and went for a walk on Balnakeil beach, the rain and wind set in and that was us damp and cold for most of the day when we ventured out. Gathered for the meet and greet, to have other Orkney folk for company at start and finish of the week and all met up. Furthest comer Don from Alaska had taken almost as long to get there as he would spend there but was a great runner!
Monday morning dawned fine and warm, off on the bus, had agreed to run with S from Orkney at the start as this was her first half so off we went, a wee bit too quick to start leading to a poor 3-6 mile bit for me, still warm and sunny, then as went up Loch Eribol the sky darkened and about 9 miles the rain, temp dropped about 10C and rounding the corner on the first big hill a strong W wind . Being from Orkney we didn't mind too much but carried on arriving at the finish cold and windswept. Not a great time for me, 1.54 but S delighted with a sub 2 first half. Peter in just behind me, hmm, not sure about that!