My first proper trail race.
And it had to be a real muddy one!
In truth it’s probably had worse years. The weather turned out not bad at all, even a little hot at times, which is more than can be said about today and the snow outside.
Carnegie Harriers host the Devilla Forest 15km in a place called Tulliallan which is also where the police training is carried out. No significant relevance – just saying.
In true Webley style we left late so missed the car share but did manage to get there in good time. Registration was easy but I found that many people in one room too much and quickly escaped back to the car – I guess I still need to work on some things. I did manage to pick up my complimentary beer though. So that’s progress! I saw a few from the roadrunners so headed over to say hi and for the team photo. (I’m not going to lie, I love a team photo! I’m sure that doesn’t shock anyone though ha ha).
Standard announcements were done – this is a trail race, it’s on some rough ground, don’t expect tar mac, this is the 15km race so if you’re signed up for the 5km you’re in the wrong place (which one poor lady was and went scurrying away, hey. we’ve all done it). Then we were off. A bit of an uphill to start and a zig zag and I quickly saw I had started a lot further back than intended. Not to worry though. I knew I wasn’t going to be making fabulous time. Another roadrunner went past me and I decided to keep her in my sights at least. She had gone past me last minute at Path Of Condie so I wondered if I could ‘repay the favour’.
Very quickly we hit the first mud bit and I was transported back to Tough Mudder. Hmm, not really what I look for in a run, but I will give it a go. My neon pink trainers turned a dashing shade of em, well, brown. Second mud section and to my surprise the people in front of me just stopped. Hadn’t expected this. I wasn’t exactly amongst the elite of the race but I didn’t expect people to actually try and dodge the mud. A runner over took us shouting ‘it’s only mud’. It soon became quite congested and elbows were needed. I may be small and not incredibly fast but I can hold my own and won’t be pushed to the side thank you. Especially when the side means falling on your rear and ending up with a mud mask ha ha.
By now the mud was layered half way up my legs (it was only ankle deep on normal sized people) and it felt like I was carrying an extra person. My target was out of view but I was concentrating on trying to stay upright and not slide backwards with every step forward. Running round the Loch side was difficult as it was all twists and turns and slippy tree roots but I didn’t come a cropper. That wasn’t until just before the plank bridge when somehow I managed to run right off the path and straight in to the bush. Picture a drunk person walking home and that was me. I had no fear going over the single plank after my intimate moment with the bush as all I wanted to do was get away. At least I gave the marshalls a good comedy moment! ‘I like to be at one with nature’ I believe was my passing comment.
Not far after the incident with the bush was the 10km sign. Now, I was running along seriously debating to myself whether or not you can get pregnant by a bush and if you could what the baby would look like when I heard to my left, in the strongest of Scottish accents, ‘You’re f@cking @rse that’s 10km!’.
Dad??? Is that you running beside me?? Took me all levels of self control not to burst out in laughter.
Of course it wasn’t my dad, and it wasn’t only 10km, but that was definitely another comedy gold moment for me! I love that about running races. The random out bursts that never fail to keep me going. Love it.
Just in the distance I could see my ‘target’ again. She wasn’t too far away! I could possibly catch up with her. So I tried to kick it up a little. Pushed up the hill then let gravity pull me down it (I love a good down hill!). The track folded back on itself and by this point she was only about 100m in front. Round the corner I went and….
It was up hill again.
I will just ‘let’ her go I said to myself. Nothing at all to do with the fact she’s actually faster than me. Nope. Nothing at all.
Near the finish and I’m thinking all is good. I’m not in the mood to push the last bit knowing I have a cycle session later that day so I stay steady. But, naturally, someone behind me speeds up, and goes past me.
No, I’m not interested.
My legs are sore as it is.
I’ve got 30 miles on a bike to do later.
A shake of the head and I push in to a sprint, catching her right on the finish line. The race is chip timed so instantly I’m wondering if she started before or after me. (When did I get so competitive?!?).
My youngest joins me at the line and comes through the tent with me to get my chip timer cut off. Those poor people having to touch the mess I’ve brought back with me! Luckily they had gloves but getting that close to some people’s feet after a race? I would want a nose peg – and that’s just for my own feet ha ha.
As it’s at the police training place there were showers (ah, appears my earlier comment WAS relevant) so I headed over after a couple of ‘check the mess I’m in’ pictures. I saw another roadrunner who had finished quite a bit before me in the bathroom.
‘There’s no toilet roll I’m afraid’ she tells me.
Not to fear – ‘I’ve got tissues!’ I yell over my shoulder as I swiftly do an about turn and make my way back across the floor dodging all the ‘brown’ stains.
Now I know that in all likely hood it was just mud we had brought in ourselves from the run but you really can’t get away from the fact it’s brown stuff, and it’s brown stuff on a toilet floor. Sorry.
Tissues grabbed and it was straight back to the bathroom, I had been needing since the start of the race. Note to self, this is not the way to build up your pelvic floor.
I’m actually beginning to wonder if it’s more ‘see a bush need to pee’ mentality going on – you know, like a dog marks its territory or a child has to use the toilet everywhere you go.
Wait, did I just call myself a dog?
All in all it was a great race. Something different, good weather, nice distance, great marshalls. What more could you want?
Back home it was scrubbing brushes at the ready to get the mud off. I’m not talking the fairy soft kind. I had to go full iron wool bad boy to get the clumps off my legs! There was no mud dodging from me! But would I do it again? Definitely. (If only to see that bush again ha ha).
PHOTOS: Thanks to Carnegie Harriers, Steph Reid, Fiona Rennie and Ethan Lee for the fab photos, you guys did a great job!