The Force is Strong In Perth – and it wears Tartan!

Today’s race – the first of the weekend – 13.4 miles (that’s right, not 13.1, but 13.4). 

It started well.  As in I got out of bed.  First task complete ‘good job’.  2 out of 3 kids were up in time – that in itself is an accomplishment – 2nd star of the day awarded.  Eldest child had other plans which apparently didn’t involve grown ups (a gaming day was mentioned) so he was left to his own devices.  He’s almost 17 before anyone calls child services.

I was meant to pick my mum up at 9.15am and by 9.38am I was at her house.  Still going strong here.  All runners were asked to wear a touch of tartan and my mum had made me a fake little kilt from some material I had got my hands on.  Unfortunately I didn’t try it on until that morning and it needed adjusting so I looked like I only had one rear end and not 2 with hips that could challenge a hippo.  

Kilt fixed and we headed to the start line which was only a mile or so from their house.  This meant I got there not only on time but early!  Great big, shiny star for me!!  I had no idea where the start line was so my mum ended up asking a marshall – somethings never change.  I didn’t have my usual level of anxiety so it was actually going quite well.  I even saw Fiona from the roadrunners just before and we gave each other a ‘good luck’.

Count down from 10 and we were off.  It was country track from the get go but I found my footing quite well.  The first muddy splash up the inside of my leg did have me worrying about looking like I had a dose of the infamous ‘runners tummy’ but everyone around me was the same so I just ignored it.  It was hot.  Very hot.  And really quite windy.   I took the water at the first station and decided I should take a gel about 8 miles.  I had had a banana for breakfast – obviously one solo banana is the best breakfast before a half marathon….

The views were immense, it was so nice running through the fields and no where near cars and traffic for a change.  When we headed along the river it was just beautiful – and no midges!  There was a muddy section but it wasn’t that bad really, not compared to the mud mile at tough mudder ha ha.

The track went to single file and as I fell behind the man in front, who was wearing a rather fetching tartan head band, I couldn’t help but notice his trainers.  They were blue and white and JUST like R2-D2! They were awesome!  I watched them for a good 10 minutes before realising they were alas not R2-D2 but a mizuno design.   

I feel the Star Wars copyright was infringed.

As I began to take the path leading away from the river there was a brief shower.  It was very welcomed given the heat and only lasted a few minutes.  It helped with the short incline.  However at about mile 9 the heavens opened and I got drenched.   It didn’t really bother me but my top decided to ride up and a blast of rain on my back was a bit of a ‘squealing’ moment ha ha.

Onto the bridge and I could hear the finish line.  ‘And that’s another runner coming in at 1hour and 26 minutes’.


I still had 3 miles to go and my mum and 2 out of 3 kids were a welcome sight at that point!  So much so that I almost stopped but then realised that’s not really what your meant to do. Ah well, onwards it was then.  Truth be told I was perfectly fine.  I was running well and feeling good, I just almost forgot I was aiming for a good time ha ha.

A little further on and I was coming up to the part of the route that goes past my friends house.  I briefly thought about texting her to see if she was in, fancied a cup of tea maybe, but thought against it as she would most likely be out.  Sure enough though I spotted her at her living room window and yes, I waved frantically, looking like I was trying to flag down the Scottish Air Ambulance over head (maybe I was, you’ll never know!).  She waved and danced back and I’m sure she had a chip butty in her hand! Jealous.  I do love it when I have a race that goes past hers though.  Nothing quite like the encouragement from a friend (even if she is all cosied up in her house with delicious food you would kill for at that moment).

Back on to the park and it’s the final stretch.  I have no idea where the actual finish is so I don’t go for the sprint finish, you know, just in case I go for it too early.  Wouldn’t want to burn out.  (And the award for best excuse goes to…). Across the finish line and I’m done!

I take advantage of the free massage after thinking its a great idea seeing as I have another race tomorrow.  By the time we leave the park the 5k race starts so we wait at the side and watch them go past.  I see Steve from my first running group coming up and I can’t resist the urge…

‘Get those knees up! Higher!’

He goes on to finish his 2nd 5k of the day in under 20mins.  I like to think I helped with that.

Just a few seconds behind him his wife comes past and we cheer her on as well, albeit much more politely! It’s also her 2nd 5k of the day.  They both did Parkrun in the morning.  I’m not the only one who does 2 runs close together.

Then, just a short time later, I hear the tune. ‘Dum dum de dum dum’.  It’s Darth Vader himself! Complete with light saber!  I had to get a photo! How he ran in that costume in that heat I will never know but it was impressive!

Onwards to tomorrow and I’m looking forward to the run.  I don’t see it as a competitive run but more one of yet again stunning views, only this time different.  No doubt the wind will be quite bad but I know I have 10k in my legs to get to the finish.  It’s just my mum coming with me so it’s going to be a bit of mother/daughter time and I’m quite looking forward to that as well.  A flask of tea will be at the ready!

The run tomorrow! Photo courtesy of Jamie Howden

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