Dunoon Half Marathon - Race Report

posted 14 Aug 2017, 05:37 by Enquiries campbeltownrunningclub   [ updated 14 Aug 2017, 05:37 ]
By Ewan Smith

Dunoon Half Marathon has been in my sights for a year or two but being a 
slow learner it took me a couple of years to realise that I don't really 
like going up and down getting in other swimmers' way at the MOK Tri.  It's also the same weekend as the aptly named Islay Half Marathon which 
has its own unique attractions.

Dunoon, was advertised as "flat and fast" so seemed the perfect place to get back below sub 90 - something I haven't achieved for a couple of 
years. Flat and fast courses though are not a substitute for proper training and  despite my best intentions the long runs and the tempo 
runs didn't really happen.  And so it was I found myself at the starting line knowing I hadn't done enough but still hoping that the "less is 
more" training method would come into its own.

I usually go off way too fast, so having spotted a group of Dumbarton runners whom I knew from past experience would probably be running at my 
aspirational pace I decided to stick in behind them and see what happened. This strategy worked to an extent. The first K was very 
comfortable to the point where I even contemplated passing the Dumbarton knot. A quick sum however said that 21x4 would be an 88 minute finish and unless the Speed Fairy had waved her wand in the night I wasn't going to be faster than that. I waited where I was.

Then slowly but surely my pace began to drop.  Not by much, but slowly and surely the Dumbarton group I had been sitting behind moved ahead of me.  I thought about pushing a bit harder but my pace which had dropped to about 4:15 seemed comfortable and I decided to wait and see what happened on the return leg when the breeze such as it was would be on my back.

A change of direction, however, made no difference and for most of the remainder I was averaging  between 4:20 and 4:25.  All of which meant a 
finish time of 1:30:46. So near and yet so far.  Dunoon is very reasonably priced and anyone looking for a pb in either 10k or half 
marathon should give it serious consideration. On the other hand I got my Half Marathon pb not in flat and fast Dunoon but amongst the green 
hills of Islay. And that was not just because I was in a hurry to get to the generously sponsored prize giving!