Position: 3rd female finisher! This has been edited. See comments below.
Medal: Yes, and it has finally changed!
I have a soft spot for this run. It’s a fun run, but there are some sad types (translation: me) who take it seriously. When it started in 2008, I was the first female finisher. Just. I stopped after the ‘lap of honour’ around Pittodrie Stadium to bestow a kiss upon the lips of my boyfriend, was briefly overtaken, and then someone shouted at me to “Keep going, you’re not done yet!”. I regained my position and finished ahead. Here I am coming to the end of my victory lap in 2008:
The following year I missed out the run. The third year, I finished second female. In 2011 I was second female finisher again. This year? Well, I had planned to take it easy and just enjoy it as a fun run.
Originally I was meant to be running it with Danielle and her husband, Pat. Unfortunately, Danielle had recently seen an osteopath who told her that she couldn’t run (or even walk) the 6k race. Still, we had planned on going to Nando’s afterwards, so her husband was still going to run, and she would spectate/cheer, along with Ian, who, despite my best efforts, refused to run.
Ian and I were picked up just before 12 and made it to the stadium with about 40 minutes to spare before the start. We got our Santa suits on (I brought my own heavy duty belt as the plastic ones just do not hold up well at all), and then Pat went to go and put his extra stuff in the car. The problem is, he also kind of left the car key in the car. The only car key.
At about this time, the supremely cheesy warm up was getting ready to start. I found Ronnie outside (he wasn’t taking part as he’s still injured from going over his ankle during a trail run at night), and some familiar faces from Fetch. I decided I would try and run with them, since I had left my music in my rucksack with Ian. Unfortunately, after the sloooooooow beginning, I managed to lose everyone. It isn’t particularly easy to spot people you know when everyone is wearing a Santa suit. So I had no choice but to plod along at my own pace.
Luckily, the sun had decided to come out (it was dark, gloomy, and chucking rain horizontally earlier in the day). It was cold, so the felt suits weren’t too unwelcome, and the cold breeze from the North Sea was actually kind of refreshing. I picked off runners one by one, but made a conscious effort to ignore my Garmin completely (success, by the way).
The course snakes around the upper and lower promenade along Aberdeen beach, so you get a couple of opportunities to see who’s in front of/behind you. At about 5k, I started noticing the leaders along the promenade below. I kept my eyes peeled for any women, and when I only counted 3 in front of me (plus one ‘unsure’), I was annoyed I’d started so far back at the start and had taken it easy (ish) so far. Obviously, I sped up, but there wasn’t much of the run left.
By the time I had reached the stadium for the final lap, I had overtaken one of the women, but the rest had finished. I focused on staying strong until the end, despite the cold rain and wind pummeling my face (yes, the weather had turned), and managed to overtake a couple of guys before finishing. I was pretty pleased to come fourth, but I’ll definitely go back to my more aggressive starting position if I return next year. Like I did in 2010:
By the time Pat and I had run, a recovery van was at the car and a man was expertly fishing keys out of Danielle’s car with a hook on a wire. Quite an ambitious attempt, but within a few minutes we were sitting in the car, sheltered from the rain. As planned, we continued on to Nando’s for some well-earned Sunday grub where we talked of school, old phones, and haunted castles in Scotland. Natural conversation, obviously!
Afterwards, Ian and I said goodbye to Danielle and Pat, and headed home on foot. There were some beautiful rainbow clouds in the sky, but my smartphone did not do the best job of capturing them:
And with that, my 2012 racing calendar comes to a close! I wonder how much more I can fit into 2013?