Chip time: 1:53:28 PB!
It had completely slipped my mind how early this race started (8 am), and what implications that had on the time I could sleep in until (before 6 am). After a Saturday of lazing in the very un-Scottish heat and sunshine, complete with ice-cream, barbeque, and frisbee, I was ready for a loooooong sleep. When my (super irritating) phone alarm went off at 5:32 (I don’t like rounded times for an alarm), a happy camper I was not.
Still full of the cold, I went through to the bathroom and blew what felt to be roughly 17 kilos of snot from my head into about half a roll of toilet paper. I then ventured into the kitchen to make my porridge, which I enjoyed with a vanilla Power Bar and some Gatorade. Glancing out of the window, I remember thinking I had never been happier to see clouds!
At about 6:15, I set off for the start, which was about a mile and a half from where I was staying – a perfect warm-up walk. It was actually a bit chilly, and I hoped the cool air would hang around.
After dumping my bag and taking part in the toilet queue waiting game, twice (in a very timely fashion to the supremely efficient toilet ushers), I headed to the start, and to the ‘black’ pen, full of finishers hoping to clock in at about 2 hours. After a few minutes chatting to a fellow American, the crowd starting creeping forwards, and the race started pretty much bang on time.
I had decided to try to run the first mile or two without music, after reading on other blogs that the motivation of music only lasts for so long. I was counting on the initial excitement to carry me through the start, and it did – and then some! There was a real sense of camaraderie amongst the runners, and since there were so many of us, the route never really cleared out, so we were all pretty cozy, especially after the sun (and pounding heat) broke through the cloud and opened into bright blue skies. It was also nice to hear the supporters along the way. And to eavesdrop on people’s conversations that had decided to run together.
In fact, I didn’t really mind not having music in the first half, and didn’t pull my mp3 player out from between my two bras (very handy storage area), until after 8 miles! After that, the heat was really starting to weigh people down, and I felt I could use the extra boost. Thanks go out to Elton John (I’m Still Standing), Adam and the Ants (Stand and Deliver), David Bowie (Golden Years), Right Said Fred (I’m Too Sexy), and Brittany Murphy singing ‘Faster Kill Pussycat’.
At around 10 miles, the ‘elite’ runners passed us on the other side of the road, and the hot tarmac seemed to go on forever before it was our turn to turn around. It was good as I managed to spot someone I knew that was running, and we did that retarded ‘smile-like-a-goon-and-wave-fanatically’ thing. It was also a pretty good feeling when the turn eventually happened, somewhere after mile 11. To the person who decided to hook up their hose to a shower feature and attach it to a ladder just after mile 12: you are my hero. Nothing in my immediate past has felt as good as running through that cool mist felt. Thank you.
As the mile 13 marker came into sight, I know I was sporting a full-beam grin because it was nearly over. I dread to look at the photos – in fact I might just avoid it. When the finish line came into view, I think I overdosed on joy. I didn’t beast out a sprint like I would normally do because we were running on plastic sheets, and I didn’t really feel like my shoes were getting decent grip, but I kept it fast and steady until I crossed the line, REMEMBERING TO STOP MY GARMIN (!!!!), and immediately felt like puking, which thankfully, I did not.
I got the medal, the water, the goody bag, and my breath back, and then wandered into the battlefield of spent, hot, but elated runners. It wasn’t long before I ran into Allan (the waving runner), and we took some obligatory finishers photos before starting the trek (seriously, it was like a 25 minute walk in steaming heat) to the shuttle bus back to Edinburgh.
It didn’t take us very long to establish that the finishers medal was:
- Really, really heavy; and
- Shaped like a penis
All in all, a well-organized race. I had a great time, scored a PB, and received my first cock-shaped medal. Not bad for a Sunday morning!