Sunday, October 14, 2007

A double header (and apologies to allybea)

I have an apology to make to my good lady wife allybea. Last week I wrote a detailed report about our Loch Ness marathon weekend and mentioned everyone who was there, plus a few people who were not - but I failed to mention allybea. That did not go down well at all. I've been in the doghouse all week. All I can say is that I'm sorry. For the record I can confirm that allybea was there and, as is so often the case, she was my very best supporter. So thanks allybea.

Talking of allybea, she was so inspired by the marathon last week that she has decided to take the plunge again herself, and has entered the 2008 London marathon! More information on how she came to this monumentous decision is provided on her blog, as well as a great report of her previous marathon in New York:
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her entry is accepted. I might even enter it myself, if I can get another entry form before Friday's deadline.

I've had a busy weekend. Yesterday I ran for Strathearn in the East District Cross Country Relay championships at Dunfermline. Each leg was 4,000m over an undulating parkland course, a distance which I find incredibly difficult because of my complete lack of speed. Despite my involvement we did pretty well, finishing in 20th position overall in just under an hour. Not too surprisingly I was the slowest of the 4 with a time of 15.37. Digby did 14.31, Simon did 15.08, and Colin was the fastest with 14.18. Well done guys. Central had an amazing day, winning all 4 relays (men, women, young males and young females), and picking up a few seconds and thirds as well. It just shows what an incredible depth of talent they have within the club.

Today I headed off early for the Aviemore half marathon. I wouldn't normally do a half marathon just one week after a full marathon, but Aviemore is a pretty special event and I didn't think I could miss it. The event website gives an excellent description of the course:
A spectacular, scenic half marathon course on road and excellent forest
tracks starting in the shadow of the Cairngorm Mountains, around
breathtaking Loch Morlich, through stunning Glenmore Forest Park
and Rothiemurchus Estate, crossing the River Spey and finishing
in the new Aviemore Centre.

Sounds great, doesn't it? I can guarantee you it is every bit as good as it sounds. This is, in my humble opinion, the best half marathon in Scotland, and I'd be surprised if there were many better anywhere in the world. It's that good.

We were fortunate that conditions were just about perfect for running, and the views across the loch to the Cairngorms were indeed spectacular. My time was also a pleasant surprise. Despite last week's marathon and yesterday's cross country, I finished high up the field in 1 hour 27 minutes and 31 seconds, almost 2 minutes faster than last year. I think the scenery must have inspired me.

Finally, it's going to be a late night tonight, as Channel 5 are showing their highlights programme of last week's Loch Ness marathon from 12.10am to 1.05am. I just hope it is worth staying up to watch it.

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