Tarbert 10k 2017 Race Report

posted 19 Sep 2017, 14:38 by Enquiries campbeltownrunningclub   [ updated 19 Sep 2017, 14:39 ]

By Iain McGougan

After checking that all my vaccination's and inoculations were up to date it was time to jump in the car and venture into the bandit country of Mid Argyll. I've always been aware of the intense rivalry between Lochgilphead/Ardrishaig & Tarbert so was a bit nervous about the reception the Toonies would receive on "the mean streets of Tarbert". On arriving I was relieved to see a good number of friendly faces from CRC, strength in numbers is always a comfort. All the talk on the start line was of the horrendous final climb up to "The Castle", fortunately I bumped into Sandra Black who quickly took my mind off the impending doom with her banter of previous Tarbert 10k's.

So before I know it we are off, (no warm up, thanks Sandra) and I have no idea of where we are going. No need to worry as almost immediately Ewan Smith glides past me and I think great a local to follow. Aware that Ewan has just completed the 5k I attempt to engage him in some friendly chat in an attempt to tire him out further but it doesn't seem to have any effect as he runs away from me, rotten banter or embarrassed to be seen with a Toonie? My pride hurt I step up the pace and gallop past him as we enter the equestrian centre and begin the off-road section up the hill to Maggie's Croft. Unfortunately, the incessant rainfall had made this section treacherous with lots of slipping and sliding going on. Then on to a very pleasant section through the houses, past the school and down onto the harbour where there was terrific support from the local spectators. On reaching the turning point at the end of the harbour road I realised that we must be close to the assault on the Castle Hill judging by the worried look on Ewan's face or was the thought of not winning the bottle of hooch for the first auld fla to a toonie. As we started up the hill I quickly found out that there was a fair degree of truth in the naysaying at the start line, it's a tough one!! Halfway up I could hear the despairing huffing and puffing of Ewan behind me and remembering that I wasn't on home territory and may get lynched on the finish line decided to allow him past. This also allowed me to maintain my credibility as nobody would believe that I was an auld fla anyway. On reaching the top of the hill it was a relief to know that the only way was down from here on to the finish line. Again, on reaching the harbour side it was fantastic to receive support from the gathered crowd all the way to the finish line and the goodies that awaited. On recovering my breath, it was off to the tables groaning under the weight of the pastries as fast as my legs would carry me.

Seriously now if you have never ventured to the "jewel of the West" to take part in any of the three races on offer you are missing out on a cracking day out. Yes, it not a "PB" course but it is a great challenge with trail and tarmac sections and of course that hill. In addition, despite the rumours the locals are very friendly and put on a great spread.