Saturday, 4 June 2016

Black Rock 5 2016

by michael booth via black rock twitter site
For me, its probably the highlight of the running year.
Any sedimentologist couldn't fail to love the Black Rock 5, oddly actually a 4.3mile race that takes you from the village of Kinghorn in Fife, jumping and swollen with 1000 barmy runners on a balmy Friday night in June. The course takes you down the road to the beach, then acoss a mile and a half of sand, round a rock surrounded by water and then back. Coarse brown sand, fine brown sand and silt, all arranged in ripples that are a test to anyone's resolve. The tide retreated an hour earlier, but the route is a myriad of criss-crossed sinuous and oblique ridges, shallow ponds of stranded sea water and the occasional black rock and cowering jelly-fish.
The race filled up in an hour on-line earlier this year.
Race day arrived and I had a half day booked, so me and the missus arrived in good time and pitched tent at nearby Pettycur in the late afternoon.
As the sun tried to get out we had time to nip down to Burntisland for a coffee and a copy of the Courier. What excitement.

Getting back and getting the gear together, we walked up to Kinghorn with a couple of other runners and met the youngster at registration. Such was the excitement and anticipation the ladies immedately purchased 2 race T-shirts and disappeared then to get changed.  I have had knee problems this week and, having done no training, was having second thoughts about running. However two brufen put paid to those thoughts and as the crowd swelled, we met up, warmed up and made our way down the hill underneath the viaduct to the start.

The organisers patience grew short as the runners took ages to push and squeeze into the pen. It was chip timing so we all had to be behind the timing mats. I reminded him to remind the crowd that we were all chipped and eventually his barking dissipated and we were off with the shortest of pre-race preamble. I fairly minced down the tarmac toward the beach, a huge and noisy crowd lining the road, and wondered if my knee was going to hold out. In the event it was fine and we were soon on the sand where I caught Cat and I plugged on across the irregular rutted surface trying to find purchase on the corrugations underfoot.  Not good for the ankles, this one. We were making good progress and as the runners ahead strung out in a long line we were all working hard. I was caught by a Dunbar vest at the rock where I was blowing too hard to enjoy the strains of the pipers jaunty tune, and we hit the crisp headwind immediately after the turn, which was a surprise.

It didn't take me long to look for an easy time and I was soon tucked in behind a passing Military Training runner and I drafted all the way back to the tarmac. I was passed by a few more and couldn't find anything to give me speed on the last half mile, other than to tell myself to keep the remnants of technique that had largely been abandoned along the way.

It was down the hill, underneath the tarmac where an HBT and Perth runner came past, and then we were faced with the final lung shredding climb to the line. I was cream crackered at the end and felt the need to have a wee lie down to properly catch my breath. The aerobic effort required for that last climb as the clock ticked 28:55 took my mind right off my sore knee. 6th V50, so it could have been worse.
Cat finished a minute later for a terrific 2nd place behind the big striding Central Girl. It was a fair wait for the lady wife and as we stood we chatted to Jared Deacon who had had a run out and barely had a sweat on. We then made our way back to the changing, then the Carousel pub for the presentation and a couple of drinks. The place was bouncing. A fish supper and back to the tent after a good chinwag with a few locals.
Its a right good night, is Kinghorn. 

No comments: