I had my own wee Festival of Fife this weekend. Some of the fast times posted in the past at the Cupar 5 hadn’t gone unnoticed and I thought it would be good to do to see where my form is at present (as if I didn’t know). The previous speedy times weren’t, however, down to the fast flat course, which is an out and back from Cupar along a 'B' Class road. Instead it is, as the organisers from Fife AC advised, because the course has been 180yds short until this year. I’m pleased however that nobody had told me this before the start as I lined up with 300 runners for two and a half miles into a stiff breeze. There were some top lads at the front but my target was a more modest sub-30m. A tall order given my poor start to the season.
There’s not much I can say other than that after the starter started the race I got my head down and grafted. I tried to find a bit of shelter in places where I could behind the 2nd lady and others for a little while and then a tall fife athlete near to the turn. The course is a little undulating and of course when you’re running close to your aerobic capacity you can’t feel the benefit of a tailwind, but turning in 15:22, I told myself it was mostly downhill and that I had a huge big wind behind and I collapsed in a heap to finish 29:53. The young Jarvie came cruising past at Mile 4 but I knew I had to peg things back to avoid any unpleasantness in the ‘wheels coming off’ department later on. It was mission accomplished. I celebrated my 42nd place by running back up the course for a couple of km then back to the hall in Cupar for cake and tea.
The next day after an ‘interesting’ evening in deepest Falkland I sat with the Hotel chef and a pot of tea pouring over a map. The 15km trail race I entered said Kincardine, but I was under the impression it was Glenrothes. After a google check it was evident that the Carnegie event was almost an hour away so I scoffed my scrambled eggs and made off to make sure I got there in good time. As it was I had an hour to spare when I arrived and scrutinised the town for a cafe but to no avail. By the time I realised the race HQ had one, it was too near race time and I was having a slight bout of controlled anxiety trying to figure out how to attach my chip to my rapidly disintegrating Salomons (They’re our kids actually, but don’t tell her). These fiendish shoes have a wire loop and I ended up tying a bit of string through the wire to hang the chip on.
The setting at Tulieallan was excellent and the course which weaved its way over ‘uppy and downy’ track, a little road and past one or two small, scenic lochans was well marshalled and fairly flat with only one long drag halfway through.
I stopped once or twice to take some photos but at 3 miles started to feel tired and at 7m faded badly and was slowing sufficiently for 3 whom I passed earlier to come past. However I knew it was going to be a tall order given yesterdays efforts and I was happy to plough a long and lone furrow to the end. Coffee, a bottle of bear and then 2 more bottles in the spot prize. Result. Again, a top event and one not to miss next year.
(Photos all from Sunday's race)