First I wanted to wait for some official race photos to appear online to link here, but if I looked anything like I felt, then vanity is better served by the lack of images.
Last Sunday was the day of the Loch Ness Marathon and the Festival of Running. I took part in our company team for the 10k corporate challenge. The four of us were pumped at the start and physically drained, but truely happy afterwards.
Over 2100 people were at the start (and, later, past the finish line, together with thousands more at Bught park), which was at 10:45. I had taken the bus, done some warm ups on the way to Inverness Royal Academy and, luckily not literally, run into some familiar faces.
As the starting signal sounded I hooked up with the top group for about half a kilometer before having to let them go. For the next two miles I stayed with two runners around me. The course was great, so was the weather, ideal conditions. I looked at my wrist to check on the pace occasionally and even though 10k is not a long run it became quite a struggle at times, especially towards the finish.
The crowd cheering along the last mile and around the finish line did not lose its effect. 300m before the finish I could make out the official clock, counting mercilessly. It was then that I learned to appreciate the repeated, exhausting sprints during the interval training sessions. I did not expect my body to obey to the command “faster!”, at that point but it worked. I smashed my personal best by almost five minutes and finished in 37:52.
Carsten, to whom I owe a lot for pushing me week in, week out, wrote in turn that the definition of a runner is “has at least once, on an official course, run 10 kilometers under 40min.” I’m relieved how applying the training plan played out. Had the ordeal been in vain I’d be well mad, cursing all the hills, roads, winds, shoes, feet, legs and brains involved.
There is one more run at the end of October, so a few more weeks of soles slapping on tarmac, but once that one’s done there shall be hibernation, at least for a while.