Babcock Race Series - Helensburgh 10K report

posted 7 May 2017, 07:04 by Enquiries campbeltownrunningclub

By Ewan Smith

The Helensburgh 10K and I have history. It was the first race I ran; selected because it was far enough away from Tarbert that no one would see me if it was a disaster. I made my way round in an old pair of paint splattered trainers from the M&M catalogue in about 44 minutes swearing I would never put another fag to my lips. A couple of years later, it was the first race I ran as a CRC member by that time I was sub40 (on a good day with a fair wind on my erse.) However, I joined just at the height of the Graeme Crawford regime and I remember that 2 days before the race And on my first session at CRC, we were still on one of his warm ups when we picked John McCallum up at his house at 7 o’clock. I could hardly walk on the day of the race; it was in my pre-Garmin days and I remember looking at my watch about half way and working out that if I didn’t pick up the pace I would be over 42 minutes and would be too shamed to go back to the toon again. In the event, I sprachled over the line in 40 minutes something.

This year, it was 6 weeks after the Marathon; the perfect time for a 10k and a great chance to get sub 40 again. My heid, as they used to say in Carradale, is full o’ magic lanterns. It probably is a good time to run a 10k - if you’ve done the training. My efforts since March have been sporadic; the niggles I’d acquired hadn’t gone away and I ‘d lost my mojo. (I think its lying at the side of the road somewhere between the Second Waters and the NATO jetty.)

Conditions on the day were perfect. It was a sunny evening but not too hot and the breeze died away before the start. The first midges of the season were out but Helensburgh is a genteel sort of place and the midges there have had their tea before they come out. I felt in great order doing a warm up; the niggles had pretty much disappeared but then bang on 6 minutes my Garmin, as is its custom, decided to tell me how fit I wasn’t with a wee display of negative numbers. You have to question your life when you reach a stage where you’re running along a street in a strange place loudly instructing a watch to go and perform a physical impossibility on itself.

I was determined not to do my usual and go off to quickly, particularly as the start is quite twisty and partly uphill but I think I carried it too far and should have been a bit quicker. The second K was quicker but the third K slipped back again. I had known before the start that sub40 was highly unlikely and by this stage I knew it wasn’t going to happen but I was passing a more folk than were passing me so it seemed sensible just to put it out my head and enjoy the run. Though the splits don’t really agree, I felt I got a bit of a second wind in the second half and started to overhaul a few other runners. And that, I think, is the difference that the Marathon training has made.

I finished in 40:50 chip time/40:58 gun time; 4th old fla but well shy of sub 40 and slightly slower than the Jack Crawford back in March. So something to aim for at the Vale and at the Brian Goodwin; the timescale is a bit short but as I said, my heid’s full o’ magic lanterns.