I quite fancied a wee mid week blow out, and my idea of this these days is a wee hill race instead of trying to rattle 8 pints down the Dog House. The race that happened to suit was Cort-ma Law which is situated on the Crow Road above Lennoxtown. Now I'm no hill runner but I do like to test myself now and again and this suited my shifts and home life.
I had a quick swatch on the website which read -MANDATORY KIT FULL BODY WATERPROOF COVER, MAP COMPASS AND WHISTLE. Still currently in the hottest Scottish weather known to man, I headed up with my full kit consisting of shorts and vest. And that was it. Sure I wouldn't get lost, and not having used a compass since 1st year, I thought I'd Just go with the 'follow the guy in front' method. But on speaking to the organiser it turns out you actually did need all this kit! Anyway, that's the rules and It'll be the last time I turn up without the mandatory stuff no matter the weather. It's just not fair on the organisers and running about having to borrow kit isn't fun. I ended up using a full sized rucksack and looking like a novice full kit wanker. Aw the gear nae idea type of thing.
After getting over the shame of not having the gear it was almost time to set off. The race started at 1930 instead of the 1900 advertised time which was a bit of a pain but not to worry. Everyone's kit was checked at the start and it was soon start time. Off we went and the pace of the leaders was unbelievable. I settled into a good wee rhythm and power hiked the really steep bits. To give you an idea I ran the first mile in 13:13 minutes, climbing 743ft according to strava. The route kind of flattens out a wee bit here with some minor up and downs and I managed to gain a few places by opening the legs up. I was keeping an eye on my HR which was comfy at around 155 bpm or so. Norry McNeill soon passed me, I've had some good races with Norry of the recent years and he powered past me. Good to see him racing well. There was now a good few tussocky bits to leap along which brilliant. There were numerous bogs which I tried to sight, and failed most of the time, going in way deeper than knee deep most times, great fun. I then slowed a wee bit and got passed by a couple of runners, so I picked up up before the descent.
Now as I say I'm no hill runner, but I was flinging myself down the steep descent as fast as I could, windmilling my way down. I was then passed by a proper runner who flew past me like I wasn't even moving. It's impressive to watch. I was going as fast as I could at this point as well! There was then a burn crossing which is always enjoyable before another tough climb up. At this point I was overtaken by Norrie again, who happened to go the wrong way earlier in the race. I don't ever remember getting overtaken twice in such a short race, so great running!! I did try keep him in sight but there was then the massive descent back to the start. Again I went as quick as my wee legs would take me. It's probably the steepest I've raced down. I was wearing the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 again which really kept the grip great down here. They have still never let me down in any conditions.
I finished in 58:21 (watch time). Pretty happy with that having had tired legs for the last 5 weeks or so because of the miles I've been putting in. Next up is the Great Glen way, really looking forward to returning to this and seeing what I can do. It'll be my first long one for a while so I'll see how the legs cope!