Dunblane 7.5mile Road Race

This will officially be known as The Last Race That The Other Half Gets To Choose. Basically because every time he picks one, it includes the words “gently undulating” and “slight climb” in the race briefing which prompt the regulars to chortle knowingly. 

Forget, for a minute, the weird distance. You do get over it. I promise. 

4 weeks post London he felt I needed a bit of a kick start. And boy did I bloody well get one. 

It’s fun to enter smaller, more obscure races. As long as you’re quick like a club runner, like Brian is. If you’re slow like a sloth then it’s not so much fun. But hey. Someone has to come last… (I didn’t this time…) I’m actually not *that* slow these days, but that’s by my standards. Bean is now faster (marginally) than a glacier. 

This was actually a lovely wee race and one I would recommend to those in the locality. You’re piped down the hill (by a piper, not like on to a cake) beside the Hydro to the start line (note; it is the MOUNTAIN that you run back up at the end, by the way…) and then you’re set off on the main road. It’s a loop out of Dunblane to Kinbuck and then back round OVER THE ACTUAL BLOODY ALPS and then down into Dunblane only to be faced with over 200m of elevation in the last half mile. Which is fun. 

It was hot. So damn hot. And from about 3 miles in my left calf had decided that this was definitely TOO FUCKING SOON, BEAN. 

There was a mythical water station at “4 miles” which eventually appeared as a watery mirage after one of the mountain roads rounded a corner. I’ve never finished a bottle of water at a race yet. Until Sunday. 

Brian, or Speedy McSpeedFace, had zipped off at the start. Both of our Garmins had failed to get a signal. Mine woke up after 600 worrying metres where I decided I really need to learn how to pace without a gadget… But his didn’t wake up until about 1.5 miles in by which time he thought by keeping up with those around him he’d be doing alright on pace. Turns out that 4.45/km otherwise known as “imminent death”. 

Meanwhile, I’m bringing up the rear, where I’d found some lasses from my local running club which i have never attended (swimming night coincides, you see…) and it was lovely to chat for a bit before the hills stole all my words and my soul. 

A very picturesque race on a sweltering Sunday meant that I soon began to reel people in. One thing I pride myself in is the fact that I no longer walk/run. It works for some people but not me. I’m better if I just keep on jogging. I was getting particularly hacked off with the girl that repeatedly SPRINTED PAST at under 6min/km and then walked until I’d JUST passed her before taking off again. 

Eventually I decided to match her run pace behind her and then lost her. More efficient, my Arse. 

The real bastard about this race is the end. Not often I’ll say THAT. But the whole time you’re running down hill back into Dunblane, you are ALARMINGLY AWARE of the fact that the hill back up to the Hydro looms over you. And you have to run up an equally impressive slope to get to the bottom of Death Hill. 

By the time I reached the bottom of Death Hill, Mr Speedy had finished and come back down to find me, admitting afterwards that he had expected to wait a lot longer for me than he did. He jogged up beside me as I basically cried that I could absolutely NOT do this (I was doing it) and I overtook maybe 4 or 5 others on the way to the top. It really was brutal. And SO FECKING HOT. 

Somehow, I’ve no idea how, but SOMEHOW I found the beans in my legs to beast the finish with an impressive (or not) sprint and even heard a chap say “Christ I’m amazed she has that much energy left”. Oh yeah, bitches. Check my impressive stride…. 

There were snickers bars and MEDALS! How lovely! Not the usual script for teeny races but an ace surprise. 

£15 was decent value for money for a race that was VERY well marshalled ( by some wonderful people!), well organised and provided refreshments and bling. Thoroughly recommended (but practise hills. Honestly.) 

My time: 1:17.53

Brian: 1:02.56 

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