The glorious D33.
Thank you to George Reid and the marshals for another great race.
In my eyes, Aberdeenshires top running event.
As forecast, the day was sunny although the temperature was only 4 deg c when I left my overnight stay in Bucksburn. I drove the back roads to the Duthie Park which goes over the disused line at Culter. I momentarily stopped on the bridge and looked down on the track Only one cyclist at this time of morning, soon there would be a couple of hundred runners heading out on the trail. I pulled into the car park at 0800, the majority of runners had still to arrive. After registering I sat in the car, it was too chilly to stand around, for me anyway.I noticed a drop bag system was on the go but I had everything I needed in the North Face back pack. On the pack was one bottle of electrolite and one bottle of water, I would hardly drink the electrolite until the end, I should have filled both bottles with water.
At 0830 I joined the throng of entrants and generally wandered around kicking stones and jumping up and down. At nine we were off, it was good to get going and warm up. The goal today was to run the whole race at a comfortable pace, so I decided on 10 minute miles or just under. If all went to plan, 5 hours 20 minutes would be the time, a result I would be chuffed with.
Running past Garthdee, the runners had to avoid a burnt out moped dumped at the side of the track, not a good sight. Thankfully, after this Deeside was at its best in the sunshine with lovely views over the river, fly fishermen, swans and the steam railway, which for some reason was not operating today.
It was good speaking to Bill, a fellow WHW race entrant, this made a couple of miles pass quickly.
The light breeze was in my face on the way out which kept things cool, I knew it would get warm on the way back. At the half way checkpoint I was dead on target, 2 hours 40 minutes but this race tends to gets hard on the way back if underestimated. I decided to eat and walk rather than stop, so quickly scoffed a muller rice and mini cheddars.
It did get warm on the return leg but I managed to keep on target, just under 10 minute miles. I ran and chatted to a runner called Jane which helped pass the miles once more. I was beginning to get tired legs and knew a couple of water stops were coming up. Getting hot and thirsty I spent a few minutes at both, drinking water and coke, scoffing jaffa cakes. With 6 miles to go it was time to knuckle down and try to keep the pace going. This wasn't easy for the next three miles but as the GPS watch clocked 30 miles I found some energy and stepped up my pace. The last three miles were the quickest of my run which I suppose is how it should be. I forgot to stop my watch on crossing the line but the time is around 5 hours 22 minutes, job done.
No mp3 was worn this week so I have still got podcast 9 to look forward to.
Saturday 33 miles approx 5.22.00 Weekly total 52 miles