Monday, October 1, 2012

UK Day 4 - Inverness Race

Yesterday, I woke up and the first order of business was to complete the 10k race I had come to Inverness for in the first place.  The Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running, unfortunately, does not have a half-marathon to complement the marathon, 10k, and 5k events.  I usually run a half-marathon (about 21k) in the spring and fall of each year, but this time I had to make due with a 10k race.

Quartney (I keep forgetting to link to her blog.  You can find it here.) is more hardcore than I am, so she was running the marathon.  Thus, she also had to be up and out the door earlier than the rest of us.  Sagar and I were running the 10k event, and Amy was our injured cheerleader (otherwise, she would have been in the marathon).

Sagar picked me up about 8:30 and we went to the start  line for the 10k, where we promptly waited about an hour and 45 minutes for the start of the race.  Although it was sunny, it was windy and kind of chilly.  About 1 hour and 15 minutes into the wait I started shivering, something I can't remember doing that much in the past few years.  Needless to say, by the time the race started I was quite ready to run.

The race course did a good job of showing Scotland's natural green color.  The marathon course was basically a straight 26.2 miles along the Loch and the river to the ocean.  The 10k course wound around through a park before merging with the marathon course towards the end.  So, despite the name, I didn't actually see much of Loch Ness proper; instead, I saw more of the river from the Loch to the ocean.

I ran a pretty good time: 44:43 according to the chip time.  I think that works out to a 7:12 mile pace, once of my fastest races ever.  There were a couple of factors helping me out, though.  (1) I was cold and wanted to get warmed up quickly.  (2) The grade of the course was pretty much downhill all the way.  This was not true for the marathoners, but was helpful to those of us in the 10k.  (3) The 10k is roughly half my usual event distance, so I felt like I could push a little harder.  Regardless, I'm still pleased with the result.

After Sagar and I finished, we met up with Amy, took some photos, and got some food.  Then we went out to find Quartney on the route.  Sagar actually ran the last mile with her, while Amy and I tried to take photos.  I got one good one, but Amy has a few more on her camera.

Here are my best photos from the event.  I should mention that Sagar ran the race in a green "morph suit" which is apparently based on some British TV show that I am incapable of understanding.  Also, by some twist of fate, his number and mine are one different.

The rest of the day was a long, determined drive back down to the city of Kenilworth, where I stayed with Quartney and Sagar.  Although watching the rolling hills of Scotland slowly taper down to the flatter lands of England was interesting, it wasn't great for pictures.  On some evenings, one goes to sleep; this was an evening where we simply all passed out from exhaustion at the end of the day.


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