The Edinburgh University KB 5 mile road race starts and finishes at the Kings Buildings Campus on West Mains Road. The course consists of a 5 mile road loop with what the brochure says are 'quite a few hills though none of them steep'...mmm. Not sure I agree with that one.
A loop that takes in Blackford, up and up again past Hermitage golf course, then down, down to Liberton and the last mile back along a slow uphill drag to West Mains.
Driven by Mr G, Dundee Hawkhills most recent recruit (with me supposedly navigating) we arrived with half an hour to spare and we passed over our £5 entry fee.
The field began to gather at the start. Being a University affair it was full of young folk, which was a nice change and after a short talk and the usual initial jostle for space along the pavement, there were a good 30 in front of me as I hit the first mile at 5:58. I couldn't summon the will-power to look at the watch at the 2 mile mark partly as a result of battling up the non-steep hills, but by 3 miles at 17:54 I was 5 seconds behind a Portobello runner who I recognised as the one I tracked last year for several miles at the hill race at Yetholm. Try as I might, I couldn't find the speed to get up close and passing the 4 mile mark at 23:58 I knew there was still a mile of uphill anguish with no other strategy but to dig in. I tried to shorten my stride but it didn't seem to make any difference. Portobello got another 3 or 4 seconds on me at the finish, but I was relieved to have cracked 30 minutes for this course so early in the season, albeit that there was no wind.
Final time 29:40(31st); Scott Fraser (Edinburgh Uni) won in 24:40 (and a new record) from James McMullen and Murray Strain (both HBT). Rosie Smith (HBT) won the women's race in 27:35 from Jenny McLean (Edinburgh AC) and Fiona Thompson (Edinburgh Uni). Results at http://haries.eusu.ed.ac.uk/?q=node/294: Encouraging.