Last night I decided to head up the road to Crieff for the Knock Hill Race. I don't normally do hill races, and I wasn't particularly in the mood for it after a hard day at work. However it is part of the Strathearn Harriers club championship, and as I was one of the people who suggested that a club championship would be a good idea, I felt somewhat obliged to support it. If I'm being completely honest, I also went along because I thought it was a race where I thought I might score quite a lot of points. The club championship scoring system is fairly complicated, and I won't bore you with the details here (if you are really interested you can find more information on www.strathearnharriers.org.uk), but there seems to be 3 key factors which influence your points: your own time, the winner's time, and your age. I can't do much about my age, but I didn't expect the winner's time to be particularly good, as it is not a high profile race. I therefore hoped to score quite a few points.
Well, I ended up finishing 17th (out of 46) in a time of 36.54, and I think I scored 13.8 points. This has put me in 2nd place in the club championship, 0.1 points behind the leader, Gordon Morrison. I should really point out that both Gordon and I have both done 3 events, while quite a few of the other serious contenders have only done 2. The race was a lot harder than I expected. I have been for a walk up Knock Hill with the dogs, and I don't remember it being particularly steep. Last night it seemed like a real slog. It didn't help that I was desperate for the toilet and had to stop half way up the hill, losing at least 30 seconds in the process. However I worked hard throughout, and passed 4 people in the second half of the course. All in all it was a good workout - a good hard run, without killing myself.
John's blog (www.west-highland-way-race07-training.blogspot.com/) has a timer to the start of the West Highland Way race, and when I looked a few seconds ago it told me the race starts in 29 days 3 hours 39 minutes and 10 seconds. That doesn't seem too far away (and since I've been typing this it has changed to 29 days 3 hours 38 minutes and 8 seconds). I'll try and have another couple of weeks of relatively high mileage, then start tapering down for the race with about 3 weeks to go. My taper will be helped by the fact that I'm backing up one my friends Bobby (free Bobby! - anyone who listens to Robin and Cat on Real Radio will get it) in the Devil O' The Highland Footrace on 9 June. This race covers the second half of the WHW, from Tyndrum to Fort William. (Free) Bobby came with us for last week's long run, and looked in good shape. I'm confident he'll do well in the Devil O.