The Hawick 10k, organised by Teviotdale, is a two lapper centred around the banks of the River Teviot. It's not too far up the road from me but as I arrived I was scratching my head as to whether I had been in the town before. Maybe it was a long time ago.
This race came to my attention last year when Neil Renault beat Nick Swinburn by a second or so. and...? The time was a shade over 30 minutes. Now, I thought, given the right conditions that could be the course for me in the same way as the Kelso Two Bridges is an unlikely 5K that still turns out good times (as long as you follow the course...long story).
Steve Cairns won Hawick in 2008 and he was on the start line again today with the rest of us and the wind blowing through the trees. There was plenty of green and white Gala vests and a handful of others taking the field to around 70. It didn't seem to be a day for a fast time but that didn't put me off.
We started through the park and perhaps after a mile moved up off the flat and a steep little incline of 50 metres or so into a headwind along the side of a backroad. We turned soon after over the bridge when we got the benefit of a long gentle downhill and tailwind along the wide path on the A7 back into the town.
I was sitting around 15th in the first mile and moved past a few including Diane Lauder (Gala) who was first lady at the time. There was a Moorfoot coming back and two Galas just ahead and there looked like there could be a wee group forming. I felt reasonable coming back through the park but couldn't latch onto the little group which now included a Teviotdale and Lauder who had come past. She won the event last year in 35mins. I had gone through 4 miles in 24mins but couldn't find the extra horsepower to tuck in out of the wind and it was the little incline for the second time that did for me. I still worked hard on the way back but watched the group push on.
I was still hoping for a decent time as I came around the second and final time into the park and stopped the garmin on 38:02 for the run and 11th place. No tea and medals today then (actually there were medals for finishers). The times were down on last year so I can't be disapointed and its progress of sorts.
Cairns (HBT) won in 33mins from Hynd and Green with Lauder (37mins) winning the women's race from Scott and Knox. Excellent little course and on the right day, a real fast one: