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A Glorious Autumn Day on the Shores of Loch Ness

A Glorious Autumn Day on the Shores of Loch Ness :) It dawned still and clear on Sunday 4th Oct, temperature was about 7 OC - almost perfect for marathon running. The hotel had roused their chef from his slumber to cook up some porridge at 0630 in the morning for the hardy few who were running – there was a distinct lack of partners and children! My hydration strategy would have been perfect if the buses to the start hadn’t been delayed for 45 mins. I think there weren’t enough of them for what is now the UK’s 3rd largest marathon. This meant that the journey to the start was getting more and more uncomfortable for me and many others, until the driver bowed to the pressure (!) and made a much needed pee stop en route. As we arrived at the start and climbed out of the bus Bryan Burnett (STV’s Scottish Passport and speedy marathon runner) was announcing a 50 minute delay to the start due to the late arrival of the buses. This meant we had plenty of time to bask in glorious highland morning sun and get our baggage on the wagons. I had caught up with the 2 other CAAC’ers who were running and the 10k’ers the previous night at Pazzo’s pizza (thanks again Gillian) but didn’t see either of them before the gun went off and we ran over the chip mats to the sound of the pipes and drums. It was pretty congested over the first mile but it wasn’t long before I spotted a deeply focussed Corrie running her 4th marathon. I dropped in behind her and we agreed that our target times were similar and we’d work together with that goal in mind. This turned out to be fab for me as she set a consistent fast pace over the undulations of the first 14 miles. In fact we went through the halfway point in 1:32 which would have been Corrie’s pb if she hadn’t run so well in Glasgow a few weeks previously. We started to count down the miles and had got to Mile 16 when she started to drop back off my pace slightly and the two blokes who were shadowing us. She waved me on and we shouted ‘only 10 to go’ as the Garmins gave their cheery bleeps. (thanks again for the first half pace Corrie). As we climbed up the hill from Dores (fantastic support, wine gums and jelly babies) my NBF - Baz and I were running well and passing people. The good people of Inverness had turned out to shout their encouragement as we dropped down into the city and towards the Ness bridge. Over the bridge and really going for it now - somewhere between 3:15 and 3:20 in my sights. Passed the restaurant from Saturday night (great food, rubbish service) over the cobbles and a cheery wave from Steve Blair – thumbs up for the photo I think. On towards Gillian, Nick and the girls with the Go CAAC banner that Gillian had made and in the final mile now, it’s a tough one but I went under the Race clock when it was still showing 3:17 something. Absolutely delighted ! Met Dave P in the finish funnel who looked as tho’ he’d emptied himself for a first marathon PB. Didn’t see Corrie after the race but I’m sure I heard her name on the tannoy for a very respectable time and PB too! The guys I’d travelled up with had also run pretty good times of 3:06 and 3:47 respectively – maybe we should see if they want to join us… Confirmed time 3:16:34 new PB by 12 mins. :D Maybe you could do a lovely results table when they come up Nick: :)
Nick's picture


[table=head;sort=9]Race No| Firstname| Lastname| Cat| Cat Pos| Gun Time| Gun Pos| Chip Time| Chip Pos| Club 1553| David| Patton| MU40| 71| 03:17:25| 150| 03:17:24| 158| Corstorphine AAC 3393| Derek| Ireland| M40+| 53| 03:17:48| 155| 03:16:34| 149| Corstorphine AAC 3031| Lillian| Macruary| F35+| 7| 03:27:58| 262| 03:25:57| 251| Corstorphine AAC 3302| Corrie| Roberts| FU35| 16| 03:32:49| 346| 03:31:44| 346| Corstorphine AAC 1252| Kenneth| Stewart| M50+| 83| 03:58:12| 848| 03:56:26| 842| Corstorphine AAC 3226| Lynne| Gow| F35+| 63| 04:05:08| 1001| 04:03:44| 1007| Corstorphine AAC 1455| Stuart| Clarke| M50+| 182| 05:56:03| 2084| 05:53:33| 2086| Corstorphine AAC [/table] 2173 Finishers
Dean Carr's picture

Great running guys well done
Corrie's picture

I was worried at the start that the course was going to be tough, considering I don't do hills well. There were two big hills near the start but with having Derek leading the way up these it made sure I didn't start walking. Once they were out of the way the course had a few much more gentle ups and downs which were good for a bit of variation. The route was pretty quiet supporter wise but as we went through some of the villages there were a few locals out to cheer us on and the Marie Curie support teams were out in force for their runners which was appreciated by all, I&;m sure. There were a few motorbikes patrolling the course with songs blasting out as they were past and at one point someone has set up there stereo to encourage us near half way. At the half way mark the time was 1:37 a lot faster than I thought it should be so I was happy if I slowed I was still on for a PB. Derek was going strong and it felt like he wanted to push a bit faster but he held back for a couple more miles before speeding off. Legs were still feeling fine until the hill at 19 miles but the motivation was going. I decided to just walk up it a bit and I think running down from that took it out of my legs as the pain starting to set in not long after. Found it really hard to motivate myself to keep running and had to keep walking for a few steps every so often for a break. Need to figure out how to keep running when it hurts! At the finish line they were giving out home made cup cakes along with the usual banana and water. Even at the start they were giving out tea if you needed to warm up. Just a shame the bus company messed up and we had to wait so long before heading off to the start. Think I would have missed my bus home as I wasn&;t able to run to the bus stop. Thankfully Nick and Susan were able to give me a lift and stop for chips in Pitlochry on the way home. After saying at the end I would never run another marathon again, I seem to have blanked out all the pain (not long after the chips) and think maybe one day I'll do another. For now, I'm just glad to finish and take a good chunk off my PB. Well done to all other runners as there were some good times in the marathon and 10k and thanks for the support when it was really needed!
steveb's picture

Well done folks, especially on the PB&;s, excellent performances by all. I thought lend a bit of spectator/moral support to the marathoners as they were in the latter stages of the race. I had nothing but admiration for everyone that had reached that point in the race, but I was really really glad I had opted for the easier 10k option earlier in the day. Managed to see Dave, Derek and Corrie, gave them a wee shout of encouragement, don&;t think Corrie saw me as she was deep in concentration, Derek looked strong and was pushing all the way, Dave looked like he was on for a good time as well and a guaranteed PB. I managed to get at least one picture of all three of the above. Unfortunately Derek&;s thumbs up picture did not come out due to a bit of &;Digital Camera Lag&; (cheap cameras and all that), but a couple of others were okay. Unfortunately I missed the rest of the CAAC marathoners. Also, well done to the CAAC 10kers especially on the PB's.
Jan-Bert's picture

Some absolutely fantastic running there! Well done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have done this course myself a while back - the most beautiful one I have done, the hill between 18/19 mile just about finished me off!
jkirby's picture

Really impressed with all the marathon performances on Sunday. Well done guys – I’m in awe! Thought I’d better do a little write up of the 10k, which kicked off at 11am and finished nicely in time for us to watch the marathon finishers (with time to grab our free Baxter’s soup and roll first of course!). 5 CAACers took part in the 10k. Nick gave us a lift up to the start of the course, which was further up the hill and made for some good downhill stretches at the start of the race, and time to get in some quicker kilometres under our belt. It was a really scenic course, running through the trees at the start and finishing up and back down the river. Times are as follows below, with Gillian getting in the top 10 women! We were extra pleased to be tracked down by the Inverness Courier who took our picture for the paper – CAAC advertising in the Highlands! [table=head]Position|Race Number|Name|Time|Club|Category 67| 4091| Gillian Carr| 00:40:12| Corstorphine AAC| FU35 102| 4150| Jo Kirby| 00:41:48| Corstorphine AAC| FU35 209| 4135| Steven Blair| 00:44:31| Corstorphine AAC| Male 40+ 521| 4764| Stewart Snape| 00:49:06| Corstorphine AAC| Male 40+ 598| 4504| Jillian Hogg| 00:50:05| Corstorphine AAC| Female 35+ [/table]
dave.p's picture

I survived my first marathon, but boy was it a struggle. I had high hopes of going sub-3h or faster, given my Glasgow half run of 1h 16m 31s. But my legs gave up the fight in the final third, and in the end I was just delighted to have finished the thing! I was not a happy bunny from about mile 19 onwards, it was a massive effort to keep going and the miles just dragged by. It was perfect conditions for running and the course was very scenic. I was looking forward to the race after so long building up to it, but I was concerned about my knee which has been giving me trouble over the last few weeks. It gave out some sharp pains while I was in Croatia and a week before the race, all signs pointing towards Patella (or kneecap) problems. I rested it during last week, and for most of the race it didn't feel right but thankfully didn't give out any sharp pains which would have stopped me in my tracks. My mile splits were rather erratic, partly due to the undulating course, but mostly my own fault. Even though I tried to control my early pace, followed by trying to keep a sub-7min mile pace, I felt like I was being overtaken by people the whole race! Here are my splits, showing in all's its glory how to hit "the wall" and blow up in the final third of a marathon!! 1. 5:34 10. 6:59 19. 8:03 2. 6:10 11. 7:06 20. 7:48 3. 6:18 12. 7:08 21. 9:26 4. 7:02 13. 6:36 22. 9:31 5. 6:14 14. 6:46 23. 9:09 6. 7:00 15. 7:10 24+25. 19.32 (9:46 each) 7. 6:40 16. 7:35 26.2. 11:01 (9:10 mile) 8. 6:30 17. 7:29 9. 7:22 18. 7:20 First 9 miles: 58m 50s First 18 miles: 2h 2m 59s Half way: 1h 27m 35s Overall time: 3h 17m 24s Lessons learned/things not to do next time: I won't be going on holiday during the month prior to race day; it's tough to keep the miles up and stay well rested during a hectic fortnight of backpacking! Ease off on the hills; I'm a big fan of the hills but I think I may have overdone it this time, especially on my Croatia mountain road 20 miler! This may have caused my knee trouble. Train harder; to get under the 3 hours next time!! :) I now have a real appreciation and respect for how it feels to run a marathon, it is not in the slightest bit easy. It&;s great to get the first out of the way, and the experience will be valuable for future racing (and maybe another marathon one day ;) ). Well done all the CAACers competing in Inverness, great effort all round!
Tommo's picture

Well at least you're already looking forward to your next one! I'd say that was sensible pacing to halfway but the marathon can undo the best of runners in the latter stages. Don't be too downbeat, I'm sure you were fitter than 3:17. As for the next one, stick with the big long runs, they're invaluable, but maybe look to increase your overall weekly mileage and reap the benefits. Finally, the most important lesson you've learned is undoubtedly what it takes/feels like to race the marathon distance. This will give you a huge psychological boost when you next tackle one. I always think of it like this: If you've done the training then you know for sure that getting to 20miles on target pace is going to be ok (you were well on for sub 3 at 18). Forget about those miles, it comes down to the final 10km when the knowledge of what pain you're going to go through will see you through. Well done to all of you, great to see a big contingent of CAAC athletes taking on the marathon!
ken's picture

I've never enjoyed running a marathon as much as this one. After the disappointment of having to walk / hobble the last 9 miles at Edinburgh this year and an enforced 10 weeks of not running as a consequence, my preparations for New York in 4 weeks were well off target. I hadn't got back to running more than 15 miles on my longest outing to date, so I went just to have a long, relaxed jog. I started towards the back of the 3:30-4:00 group and ran 8:30/mile to start, with 9:30's towards the end. Weather and scenery were fantastic, I ran from start to finish, didn't notice the hills and ended with a smile:) As a work colleague said, "Welcome to the world of fun running." And so I return to some hard graft in preparation for New York, where no doubt I'll once more experience the usual disappointment of not quite achieving my potential. At least there I'll be able to claim 54,000 others were impeding my progress!