For the first time this now well established race from Ocean Terminal to Murrayfield Stadium was included in the Club Grand Prix series, resulting in 16 members entering and running on the day, out of a field of more than 1100.
An 830am start was unusually early, however, the sun was shining and whilst it was a little chilly, there was little wind, ensuring ideal running conditions for those taking part. Some club members took the opportunity to include the race as part of forthcoming marathon preparations in London, Stirling and Edinburgh.
A 13.1km event though does produce the interesting conundrum of pacing – should you pace it as a 10k and hold on for dear life in the last couple of miles or take it more conservatively as a 10 miler or half marathon and then push harder in the closing stages? A challenging distance to run therefore.
The event was very well organised with many marshals and the route avoided roads for the most part with a quick dash from Ocean Terminal to a circuit of Victoria Park, then following the north Edinburgh cycle path to where it terminates shortly before Murrayfield.
At the start the subsequent male and female winners eased away from their competition to win by over 3 minutes and 5 minutes respectively from their nearest challengers. In hot pursuit for the placings followed Darren Cavaroli and Ross Millar who joined a small group of runners vying for 3rd place, with the 2nd placed runner from Fife Ac ahead. In the Ladies Race, Kirsty McBirnie was equally as competitive holding a podium spot.
Except for the tight turns in Victoria Park, it was a fast course with long flat sections. At the end of the cycle path and walkway, runners faced a tight turn before entering Rose burn Terrace and then followed the Water of Leith pathway behind Murrayfield stadium, before an agonising last kilometre loop of the walkway behind the north stand. There was an impressive finish on the running track at the front of the main stand, with a small crowd in the stadium to welcome the runners home.
Darren Cavaroli pushed hard and despite catching the second placed runner at the end of the cycle path, eventually settled for 3rd male finisher to cross the line, with Ross Millar finishing 11th. Kirsty McBirnie finished 3rd female, nearly a full minute ahead of 4th. Kirsty was 2nd female over 40, with Darren the first male over 40 to finish with Ross 3rd. Also in age and gender categories, Pat Hampton was first in the over 65’s, indeed there was only one other athlete who was faster than her in the over 60 category. Moira Nicol was first athlete in the over 55’s. Adrian White was 2nd in the over 45s and Jon Waters 5th in the over 50s. It was many happy returns for Colin Davidson who celebrated his birthday by running the event. Gillian Page took 2 minutes off her previous best 10k time during the race.
Jonathan Page and Mark Jones also ran strongly finishing high up in the field, with Norman Dixon finishing a short distance behind Moira, also in the top third of the field. Christina Moorhouse and Sharon Parkin ran the event for the second time in the past 3 years, Barry Messenger for the second year in succession. John Smith also finished well inside the top half. Fortunately for Darren, prizes were awarded as per usual race rules to the first 3 finishers to cross the line, as otherwise he would have dropped to 4th on the chip times by 1 second!
Stories were shared enthusiastically at the end and indeed some ran back to the start to collect their cars from Ocean Terminal. An enjoyable day in fine weather, impressive performances all round and a big thumbs up from the club members who entered. I am sure many will be back in the future to run the event once more.