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
Brodie Castle 10k 2022
by Russell Turner - 11:32 on 07 November 2022
Marathons are in the past. It’s only three weeks and five weeks since Yorkshire and London but they feel like they happened months ago. Since then I’d done a few half-hour walks and a few short runs of varying intensity leading up to a new challenge: the Brodie Castle 10k.
This is the first year since I began running that I’ve not set a PB – I blame the injury earlier this year – so this would be my last chance in a real race. I knew the odds were against me, but a severe lack of sleep the night before (around three hours) confirmed that I’d not be setting any new records so I turned to my default 10k Plan B: get round in under an hour.
The ropey weather had cleared by the time I arrived outside the castle (closed for the winter), which National Trust Scotland had decently allowed Forres Harriers to use as its start and finish. Around 400 people had signed up for the event, although 60-70 failed to turn up. This was their loss because the cool, still conditions were perfect and the mostly-flat route scenic. I’d opted for just shorts and T-shirt and been proved wise.
I modestly placed myself at the back when the athletes assembled at the start line to hear (almost) shouted last minute instructions which boiled down to keep left (it wasn’t a closed course), don’t use headphones and beware of slippery leaves.
The first kilometre, run on the rough track from the castle to the main road, was a bit of a scrum but kept me from setting off too fast, if I’d been capable of that. Once out on the road, running through rural Morayshire, I found a pace and stuck to it, more or less, all the way round despite occasional undulations and some chat with fellow runners.
For a change, I’d set the Garmin to show kilometres rather than miles, knowing that if I kept the pace below 6min/km I’d hit my Plan B target. The slow first km took 6:16 but, with two exceptions in the 5:40s, the rest ranged from 5:51-5:56. Whether the watch helped pace me, or that was the best I could do on the day, I don’t know. The bottom line was that I hit 10k at 58:54 (Garmin time) and crossed the finish line at 59:18 (chip time). Fine by me. This was only 21secs slower than the York 10k, so at least I’m consistent, although the Brodie heart rate was much higher. The marathons may feel a long time ago to the head but the body knows differently.
After collecting a modest but worthwhile medal, water, biscuits and fruit from finish line volunteers, I walked to Grandson of Seat, a mere three minutes away in the extensive castle car park, to towel down, put on a dry shirt and jacket, then return to the throng for a post-race review with some of the other Black Isle Runners who’d made the 40-mile trip.
Then it was home to watch the New York Marathon and keep an eye on Ex-Triathlon Cathy and Ultra Paul on the tracking app. He was under four hours; she was 4:44 with a suspect hip. That’s proper running.
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