Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Action In Alness

by Russell Turner - 11:55 on 01 July 2019

At the end of this week – all being well – I’ll collect my first half marathon medal, in Royal Leamington Spa. How posh. Yesterday, in much more humble Alness, I earned my first 5k medal.

I’d entered this simply because it was a new local venture but it turned out to be a decent, well supported event with 225 runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. The High Street was closed for a few hours for the throng to assemble and finish, stalls were set up selling local goods and there were displays by Highland dancers and kickboxers. Not at the same time; those dancers can be ruthless.

Even the Co-op got in on the act, with a stall outside its supermarket filled with free paper cups of water and free fruit – the after-race banana was very welcome. Free cup cakes appeared for the finish, which was a bonus.

And it stayed dry, after the day before’s post-heatwave thunderstorm, although the humidity remained high.

At the start – that’s me at the back.

I started close to the back but finished in the middle (108th) and had the pleasure of passing many runners while few went past me, which made a change. There were a handful of racing snakes at the front, the winner returning to the High Street in 16:20 and the first 10 runners all under 20 minutes, but the majority of entrants had more modest ambitions.

The last finisher was home in 52 minutes, although as she may have been one of the mums with a pushchair in front or a small child at her side that’s not too bad. I made it in 30:13. I wasn’t aiming to break any records, which was just as well: Mo didn’t have to contend with a one-person-at-a-time pinch point between the main road and the riverside path that made up much of the route, nor a path beneath the A9 bridge with a mere 6ft head clearance, meaning I had to stoop and walk for a few yards, twice.

Matchgirl, I’m allowed to report, took part and finished happy, her heel having survived her first serious run on the road to full recovery. How long she took is classified (but it was a decent time).

Intervals tomorrow then two tiddly runs before Leamington. The current weather forecast is a mild temperature for an 8am start and a slight breeze. Perfect. So I’ll have no excuses.

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