Crathes Half Marathon – Course Record and FINAL RACE AS A MOORE!

I was super excited for this one!

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It was the final race as a single woman, and the last one you’ll see on the entry sheet as Moore. There was zero pressure because I don’t consider myself a true runner (BUT I secretly put a little bit on because a) I wanted a headline saying we were King and Queen of Crathes Castle, much like he and Fiona got in last year’s race!, and b) there were dolla dollas up for grabs and we are VERY poor right now!) and the last goal of my racing season was at the previous week’s Scottish Standard Tri Champs – which I won yippeeee!

The weekend was actually all about wedding, honeymoon and hen stuff ie CLEEEEAAAN the house for people staying, start packing for Bali because we wont have time nearer the big time (and we leave the following day!) and make sure we have everything sorted for the 30th September. BUT we love to do some form of activity every day so a local race fit in perfectly!

We woke up naturally around 7am (I say naturally, but Chewy tends to sit on our face at that time purring like a helicopter), grabbed coffee and started blitzing the place. Around 9am, we had our usual breakfast and another coffee, then at 11am we headed to Crathes.

We parked at the non-visitor side of the estate, on a country road near the race route. We jogged the 1km to registration (we were one of the last people to register – we knew there wasn’t much shelter and it was POURING!) and did a few strides, then changed into race gear.

Luckily, we only had to wait about 5 minutes until the race, so no time to get nervous (although myself AND Fraser got a bit antsy when we noticed Kyle still wasn’t at the front of the starters with the 2 minute to go call) and everyone seemed to be laughing at just how bad the rain was!

When the gun went off, Kyle was asking why I was still with him one minute in.

“Oh yeah, oops. I’ll say bye now. See you soon – have fun!”

…and then I backed off. Within the first kilometre (when we passed our car) I found myself in a group of maybe 5. There was a headwind so I tucked behind some tall guy from Dubai.

On the downhill I took the lead, but then I was left there until about 5km. I turned around to try and get some help in this constant headwind but no one overtook, so I then just chose to run my own race.

At the 1st significant hill, a couple guys pulled away. I reeled one back in but the other went off. Then I noticed 2 guys had fell off the back, so I was running in a group of 3.

We hit the 1st trail section which was SUPER MUDDY!!!!! My trainers got soaked immediately but I tried as best I could to avoid major puddles. When my watched flashed the 1st mile in that trail as a 6.11 I was a bit concerned I was trying too hard to avoid mud and that might catch up with me. It was a flat mile but so technical and slippy that I should have been about 10seconds slower.

The trail lasted about 2km and hitting solid road again was amazing! There were a few spectators and dog walkers out but I wasn’t expected any given the weather, so was sure to wave at them to say thanks for coming out!

I hit 10km in about 38.30 – 30 seconds faster than my time in the Great Aberdeen Run…oops! That’s an oops to the GAR by the way, because at this point I still felt pretty good!

A couple of miles later, the rain was just turning to spray and the sun was starting to come out, so that cheered me up and kept me on pace.

Then there was a pretty big hill where those 2 guys I was with managed to get a gap on me. Grrr. I tried (and managed) to catch up, but then there was a HUGE downhill where my little legs couldn’t match their long ones and 1 dude got away and finished about a minute ahead of me.

Onto the second trail I began to lag. I think pushing it on that downhill to try and not get dropped, along with that speedy trail mile earlier, made me a bit tired. I was lagging and could have used a gel (I decided against one that morning just because it was a cool day and didn’t think I’d need one…wrong again). I was dropped by the 2nd dude and so was in no man’s land for those final 5kms.

In my head I was thinking what the worst possible pace I could go before finishing would be. Then I realised even if I did 7 minute miles for the next 3 miles I would still get a sub1.25.

So then my mindset changed after my 11th mile was a 6.34. Hmm I could get a decent PB here (I know I should be a bit faster but I haven’t done a proper half in years and my last half was hilly Fraserburgh last year!). Ideally on a course with no trails, or mud, or hills, or wind, and with specific training and a taper, I feel I should be able to break 80 quite comfortably.

Then I realised mile 12 was up a never ending hill, where you could see the full mile in front of you. Pretty demoralising! I managed that one in 6.42 but it felt a lot worse than that. When that mile beeped, I knew the last km w05as downhill (again, back to where I parked!) so a couple more calculations later I though Fiona’s record from last year was on! I just had to run a 4minute km down to the finish.

I saw Kyle with 800m to go. He was on his cool down and did here 1st lady wasn’t too far away.

“What the hell are you doing here? That course was mental!”

“Sorry, can’t talk – think I might break Fi’s record”

“Sprint then!!”

“This is me sprinting!”

…and off I waddled to cross the line in 1.22.27 and a new CR.

Kyle was 6 minutes faster than anyone else, going 1.11 – just a couple seconds shy of Robbie’s record (if only he’d known what it was !) – so he was elated too! It gave him the confidence he needed for the Loch Ness marathon on Sunday!

What was best was at presentation when Fraser announced that the race of the day was not Kyle’s, but mine! *cue evil laugh here!*

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He then announced that it was an even more significant race for us given we were getting married 2 weeks later! The entire crowd just went “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwh” so we laughed a lot at that!

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What made it even better was that Carolyn was there and SMASHED her PB!! She started running in January (only 3kms) and managed a 2.06 on THAT course! She is such an inspiration to working mothers out there who let exercise take a back seat for a while.

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Afterwards, Mum and Keith came over to help us sort the house out (any excuse for an Alford Tandoori 😉 !) and we had a lovely Sunday catching up on life and wedding admin!

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…Then I was headed to Paris the following day for meetings so no rest for the wicked! There were far more croissants and wine consumed so here’s hoping the dress fits ONE WEEK TODAY!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

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Ribble Valley 10k Recap

Kyle’s 2014 main running goal was to break 31 minutes for the 10k (again, not a typo people – he is that fast!)!

For 7 months, until around May time, he was injured. He couldn’t even run for 1 minute. Dollar was his 1st race back in June where he got 2nd in the Scottish hill running champs, qualifying for the Scottish team in the Snowdon International hill race (where he came 9th).

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He then got injured again after slipping down Snowdon in the final mile.

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SO this only gave him a few months to recover, train his butt off and try and achieve this goal.

At the Stirling 10k, he got 31.10 and was pleased it was a PB, but he was still chasing sub 31. He tried again in Paisley and River Ness, but still couldn’t get it.

His last chance was the Ribble Valley 10k, held on 28th December. This meant his bday (19th December) and Christmas (if you don’t know the date of Christmas you have issues) would have to be semi-sensible for him. He was happy to make this commitment and bookings were made. I tagged along as I wanted to play cheerleader and fancied another 10k (I did Paisley too, as my 1st real 10k but was unhappy with my 5th place time of 38.43, got injured, and wanted to redeem myself for my 2nd 10k). I also predicted he would get a PB so knew champers would be involved – it was a no-brainer that I went along!

Anyway, onto the race…

The road trip was so much fun! We brought semi-healthy snacks and stopped off at the Gretna outlets for some shopping in the sales, and did a run in Kendall.

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(Meet Perry – the lucky Platypus. I go cray-cray on long road trips btw…)

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(“Why not run up a hill the day before an important race?”)

Anyway, 5 hours later we arrived our our gorgeous hotel, visited the spa, went for a nice dinner in a cosy Christmassy pub, bought our breakfast for the next day (he had a couple cereal bars sandwiching a banana, and I had 2 crumpets with almond butter and a banana) then had an early night.

Everything went smoothly the following day. Everything ALMOST went smoothly the following day. We woke up early, had our coffee and breakfast, and left in plenty time. The car said -3 degrees and there was ice everywhere. Kyle nearly skidded at a roundabout but his awesome driving meant we didn’t hit anything! We did get a great parking space about a mile from the start line, and we picked up our bibs with no issues.

HOWEVER, the port-a-potty line was MENTAL so I knew I wouldn’t have time for a warmup. We’re talking about a 30 min queue. A question: why do people take so long?!?!! It’s not like they’re nice places to do your business?!?!? And can’t boys go in bushes?!! Anyway, I started doing some mobility exercises, did a couple jumps and BOOM I open my eyes on the ground with my coccyx in AGONY. I had slipped on black ice and hit the ground with a THUD. I refused to cry and was a little angry with myself for not noticing the ice, but I was doing the race no matter what! I found Kyle and told him what happened but I couldn’t get ice or painkillers because they had called us up to the start line. I let him do his thing and we went to different areas at the front of the line. This was slightly difficult considering there were around 1500 starters, but I have good swimmer shoulders to push my way to the front of any line! 😉

The gun went off, my adrenaline kicked in and the pain in my butt (literally) was pretty minimal. It was an undulating course (a couple of painful hills!) but there was no wind and people around at all times which really pushed you on!

One thing I would say is the fact that they closed the roads for the race was great, but they should have checked it better for ice. I slipped a couple of times which did slow me down. Also, after 5k, you go up a hill for a 180 degree turn around some cones. Everyone walked this part as it was so slippery, and the way back down the hill had black ice so I walked for a good 5-10 seconds. Apart from that, I was happy with the course! Oh wait, no I’m not, the final hill with 0.25 to go was a killer!!!

Mile 1: 5.49

Mile 2: 6.05

Mile 3: 5.56

Mile 4: 6.09

Mile 5: 5.58

Mile 6: 6.00

Final 0.24 @ 6.14 (THAT HILL!)

Can you tell it was undulating?! My watch said 37.30 (6.01 average pace) but results said 37.32 – never mind! I was pleased with my 75ish second PB and 9th place!!

AND KYLIE BABEZ GOT HIS SUB31!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was flying in 7th place in 30.46!!! That is an average of 4.57 PER MILE!!! Bear in mind it was the North England champs so a top 10 placing for both of us was great, and our times were good considering the conditions! Kyle even stayed with Derek Hawkins (Commies runner) for 3k! And NO ONE broke 30!! That shows he was right up there and it certainly wasn’t record breaking conditions!

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(I didn’t pose for the camera this time! Coach Kyle was so proud.)

As soon as I finished, my pain in the butt was back and I had to hobble to the car 😦 We went straight back to the hotel, had a shower and checked out before heading to Leeds. We took the country roads instead of the motorway (I’d say on purpose, but that would be a lie…) which ended up being stunning! And as soon as we got to our hotel, the Champagne was popped!

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That went down nicely, as did his the following bottle (his favourite, Asti)

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Our room was ace! It was on the 16th floor so our views were great! We ended up celebrating on our window sill as it was so pretty!

We headed out for dinner and for a few more drinks, before collapsing back in our room at about 9.30pm. Rock ‘n’ Roll! Wow we are getting old….

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Well done KYLIE BABEZ!!!!