Scottish half marathon race report
I entered the race a few weeks before when my left calf and ankle felt fine. The 5 days before my race my calf was really tight, the foam rolled it out and stretched but it didn’t budge! It didn’t help that I worked three 12 and half hour shifts on the run up to the race.
I woke up on the day, fully aware of my tight calf but I decided to race. I stretched, used the foam roller and was quite optimistic about the race. I was willing to see how my leg would hold up and if at the start line or during race it felt bad, really sore or I was concerned I wouldn’t start or stop running. I met up with some friends at the train station to travel to Prestonpans.
We walked to the start and my leg didn’t feel too bad. My aim for the race was to complete it and not push for a personal best (PB). I had a time /pace I wanted to complete it in but also didn’t want to injure myself anymore. I warmed up and felt quite positive, not too sore. The race has a split start/finish. The race commenced at Meadowmill sport centre in Prestonpans. I entered my pen for the start and a few minutes later the gun went off and we started, I eased into the race.
The Scottish half marathon is a fairly new race; this was its third year. I read in advance this was quite a flat and fast race, great for PB’s. Last year I supported my husband and wished I had completed the race myself.
For the first few miles the course felt like we were just descending through East Lothian. I was running way too quickly, I had to slow myself down a couple of times as I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep this pace up. Once I got to the coastal road the course flattened with a few undulating sections. I was able to keep my pace much better at this point.
The course had a short out and back section on the coastal road, then it was a long run to the finish at Musselburgh. At this point around the 5 mile point I saw Gemma Hockett in her trade mark running briefs. I follow Gemma on Instagram, I plucked up the courage to say Hello (I’m such an instastalker). Gemma and I got chatting, Gemma had recently returned to running after an injury so pacing her race rather than racing. We ended up running the rest of the race together.
The race takes you through Port Seton, Cockenzie, Seton Sands and ending up at the finish at Musselburgh race course. The eight miles along the coastal road had a strong head wind and I really felt it during the last two to three miles. I was really struggling at this point due to my lack of run training over the last six months. My calf was also really sore from mile eleven but manageable, I was nearly at the finish so I wasn’t going to stop (I do not advocate this). I have to thank Gemma for keeping me going!
I was pretty pleased with my time overall 1hr 41mins 21secs. I was aiming for 1hr 45mins so better than I thought, but that was likely due to the quick start. I would definitely say if you wanted a PB this was the course to do it in as long as the head wind isn’t too strong.
Overall it was well organised, marshalled and the race didn’t feel over crowded. I would compete in this race again. Cons would be that the coastal route was lovely in some places, but quite a boring course with long periods of no support because there are no footpaths. This year the medals were not ready, even now two weeks later we still haven’t received our medals. I run regularly and not too fussed about this but for some runners this may be their big event of the year! This is pretty poor organisation by the event team.
Now race season is over my giving my calf a rest. I’m not running for 6-8weeks and focusing on cycling and swimming. I have also started back at the gym regularly aiming to do 2-3 sessions a week. Hopefully my calf will get sorted after some rest!