Sunday, 12 June 2011

Skye Half Marathon 2011

(Taken by 'Grumpy' Vicki)
This was my 100th race (Saturday). Originally I had planned on running the Dirty Lochalsh 30 but through a combination of cohersion and logistical problems I had chosen the Skye Half and i'm glad i did. It was a fantastic day, if a 'little' toasty during the run. There were nearly 300 starters today. The race begins at the bottom of a hill and just seems to go up forever! I hadn't expected the route to be as tough as it was. I knew it was undulating, but the hills just kept coming at you and being baked alive didn't help either. The great thing enroute was that the organisers had put on plenty of water stations today. The course scenery was amazing, beautiful as you would expect from Skye, the only down side was that I didnt carry my phone to take any along the way, if I had i'd probably still be out there!! So i only have one (above, taken by Vicki from the Skye Grumpy gang). I hadn't been looking for a PB today and wanted to finish in around 1 hour 50 minutes, and around halfway i would have been grateful to just get to the finish, between the heat and the hills it was tough going. Coming down one of the short inclines i could feel my left groin muscles tighten up so that added to a 'just finish' approach. I take my hat off to all the Skye runners, they have some serious terrain to train on up here. I covered the first few miles in around 8.20min pace but eased off soon after as the hills came thick and fast. If any runners out there want a seriously challenging race next year, pencil it in your diary, you wont be disappointed. To add to the challenge, on the last long climb we were also battling against a head wind, which was good to keep us cool but murder to run into with already heavy legs. Once at the yop of the climb its all down hill, nearly two miles, into Portree to the finish. Great crowds were out all along the route offering encouragement and jelly babies. Finished in 1 hour 52 minutes 8 seconds. I'm happy to have fiinished in under 2 hours today. This will be one on next years race list. Another great reason for enjoying today was meeting the Skye 'Grumpies' (of Facebook fame). A great bunch of girls and guys, most of whom are based in Skye with some, like myself, from further afield. So to Fiona, Tina, Rachael, Vicki and Hugh (who won today and then promptly collapsed after crossing the line, with heat stroke, went to hospital but reappeared at the end, hardcore!!) and all the others I met for Tea at the end, it was great to finally meet you all and hope to do so again very soon.
Next race was going to be the Kirkintilloch 10k in 5 days, but I might give it a miss so my groin muscles is fully recovered for the Dunfermline Half in two weeks.
On Sunday I was along at the Vale of Leven 10K (Lomond Shores) taking as many photos as I could!! I've run this event 3 times but due to the Skye Half was giving it a miss this year. Another very hot day and a huge turn out for the last of this years Polaroid series. I haven't put the photos on here but they are on my facebook page.

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