10k Racing, Celebrating Parkrun with Storm Ciara and Veterans Awards.

What better way to celebrate Rabbie Burns Day 2020, with a fantastic parkrun at Dean Castle Country Park in Ayrshire – the home of our national bard. Although a cold morning, it was brilliant to see a piper at the start line to get things underway in Scottish style.

Not only was it a marvellous turnout with excellent support from local runners, but it was a surprise to see a few more runners from the club, Ron’s Runners with some of them trying out this route for the first time. Well done to Corrie, Wendy, Amanda and especially Bert and Mark who were just finished a night shift!

For me, I approached this run with the mindset of not going for a fast pace. A target time of around 25 mins would have been great as the undulating course can be unforgiving, especially the second time around. I did manage an average pace of 7:53/mi, clocking a time of 23:43, about a minute or so behind Bert, who’s training is starting to pay off and had a great run.

The next day it was off to Vogrie Country Park (as I travelled through to the east coast after parkrun), for a 10k event hosted by the volunteers at Scurry Events Trail Running. This was two laps of a challenging hilly trail route in the area of Tyne Valley. My pace for this run was 8:21/mi which gave me a respectable time of 52:30, not bad going as the terrain was tough underfoot while tackling a few hills along the route too.

The busy 5k was one lap, which proved to be a good morning’s running by all involved – including Louise, who’s getting more involved in Trail running, well done! πŸ‘

Following a few days recovery, my next outing was a short run during my lunch break. Although it’s recorded as 3 miles, these were testing conditions as the wind was against me most of the way and with a steady incline from most of the route, it proved to be great training. A tough pace I set at 7:55/mi, clocking a time of 23:50, so not too bad at all.

The start of February, and the next day after my previous windy run, it was the first of two visits to Meadowmill parkrun. For both events, the weather conditions can only be described as very challenging indeed, with the first one (on the 1st) more so.

This was evident in my times and average pace as although I felt like I struggled a bit. I clocked a time of 22:31 and average pace of 7:11/mi and 21:52 and 7:02/mi (on the 8th) respectively. The celebrations were in full swing second time around though as Meadowmill parkrun were celebrating their first year, well done to all involved in making this event possible. Loads of cake consumed afterwards too! πŸŽ‚

The next day and looking to burn off those extra calories from parkrun cakes (not just any cake – parkrun cake), it was out a familiar training route around Musselburgh Race Course, Levenhall Links and onto the coastal path back into Prestonpans. I titled this run on Strava, ‘Into The Eye of The Storm’ as the conditions can only be described as treacherous. But that’s what makes us runners unique, just get out there and run, taking great care off course!

This 5.5 mile run took 46:30, with an average pace of 8:20/mi. I was very surprised because the start of the route was the worst, with blizzard conditions and a head wind against me. Much to my surprise, as I descended down onto the coastal path, all was clear with great views onto Edinburgh. The small wind was now with me as this window of calm weather was very welcomed, as I ran back into town and up the hill to the finish.

Although completely drenched and feeling the effects of the cold air, I was very pleased I had got out braved the elements to conquer this stormy run. β›ˆ

On a lighter note, for my achievements to date, I’ve been nominated for two Scottish Veterans Awards. My categories are Lifetime Achievement Award and Contribution to the Scottish Fitness Industry and Society Award. I’m completely humbled for these nominations and to reach the finals. Thanks to everyone who believed in me over these past few years. πŸ†

During my last run, my tune for this blog came on and while listening to it I was reminiscing in my mind about seeing these outstanding guys perform last year. Just goes to show age is no barrier to doing what you do:

🎸The Who – Pinball Wizzard 🎸

Thanks guys, and stay safe out there. πŸ’ͺ


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