Aberdeen Sport Relief Mile (and Craigievar Castle)

Aberdeen Sport Relief Mile

Distance: 6 miles  (5.66 according to my Garmin)

Medal: Yes

Too coordinated?

21 degrees Celsius in Aberdeen today, and the hottest day recorded in March in the UK ever – what can be bad about that?

Despite a heated argument with my phone last night regarding clocks going forward and smartphones being too ‘smart’ to accept manual time changes (really?), I was up early for the Sport Relief mile (or in my case, 6 mile) at Duthie Park, here in Aberdeen.  With staggered start times for the different events (1, 3, or 6 miles), everyone finished at roughly the same time, and the course was clearly marked, but that’s where my praise ends.  The ‘course’ was a ‘half mile’ loop, and the 6 mile fun runners were told we had to do 12 laps to complete our 6 mile run.  Exciting.  Also, according to my Garmin, the laps were slightly under half a mile, and after my 12 laps I had only run 5.56 miles.  Still, it was a gorgeous day, and the run was for a good cause, so it wasn’t too bad – in fact, I got to know the marshals pretty well by then end, and despite the ‘sturdy’ lass in a KISS t-shirt walking the entire 6 miles WHILST SMOKING (!??!?), everyone seemed to be giving it their best effort.

Especially my boyfriend.  He ‘doesn’t run’.

I had managed to convince him to sign up for the 3 mile run, which he reluctantly agreed to, and he looked less than enthused this morning.  Despite that, he actually finished in good time, not stopping once!  He was panting, red, and in ‘some mild pain’ afterwards, but he managed, and bagged his first ever running medal!  My friend Grant also came along (for the 6 mile race) and kept me company running the laps.

Runners in the park

Glad to be done!

With our bottle of water, we walked back to my flat, showered, then grabbed some lunch.  Grant went home (to ‘laugh at [his] hungover sister’) and Ian cycled home to pick up his car, a 1954 MG TF (he is very fond of this car).  The initial plan was to drive to Banchory for an ice-cream, but upon reaching Banchory and eyeballing the queue for the ice-cream shop, we drove on:

As we were in the area, we thought we’d stop by Craigievar Castle.  Surprisingly, the car park was empty when we arrived (we soon realized that it was not yet open season, so you couldn’t go inside), but we headed to the castle and towards the Hill Trail.

The walkway to the castle

2 miles = 1-1.5 hours?

We thought we’d try the Hill Trail, instead of the Bluebell trail because a.) it was a bit early for the bluebells to be out and b.) hills imply views.  Scoffing at the notice telling us it would take us an hour and a half, we hit the incline.  We walked through peaceful wooded areas…

Ian pressing on

More woods

After about 20 minutes we reached a clearing and got some decent views:

Hills, etc.

Before heading back to the castle for a few obligatory snaps before setting off home:

Suck on THIS, Annie Leibovitz!

Doorway of the castle wall

So how was everyone else’s weekend of running (or otherwise)?  I know at least a couple of you were involved in Sport Relief – how did everything go?  I just have one more week to make it through before two beautiful weeks off for school Easter holidays.  There is an hourly countdown in my head!