It’s been a while since I was out and about on a Saturday night. But even then chasing down an airport runway was not part of my usual weekend routine.
‘The times they are a changin’, obviously. After the Harris Half Marathon, two months ago, I just kept running. Two competitions in and I’m hooked; I may have an addictive streak to my character.
I arrived at Inverness Airport two hours before the start with plenty time for extensive caffeine intake. Organisation was spot on, with live music in the departure hall, maps of the course and very friendly, approachable staff.
Shortly before midnight everyone was led onto the runway. Outside was pretty chilly and, not surprisingly, pitch black. A brief warm-up, gathering behind a banner, and “Go!”. It took me a good minute to notice my mistake: No one was ahead of me. A good sign close to the finish, but not 200m into the race. I did not know my pace (only that it was too high, as in ‘impossible to keep up over 5k’), and kept going until the guy who later won the race had mercy and took the lead after five or so minutes.
The fleeting smell of kerosene, the huge flock of birds that appeared out of nowhere around 4k and some inspiring conversations after the run will stay with me. I finished in 18:10, way better than expected and only slightly curbed by the fact that my watch recorded 4.85 instead of 5k.
The run was in aid of children battling cancer, the fundraiser I had set up made over £210 – another big THANKS to everyone for their support.
If competing in slightly strange races (and writing about it) seems odd, watch out for the next blog post. For a change it won’t contain a jog, but a dog and a log, late at night.