Lightening McQueenNo 95Spot the difference <------------>

I checked in early for the inaugural Livingston 10K fun run and was presented with my number – 95. That looks familiar, I thought. A quick iPhone google later confirmed it. I was to be Lightening McJogger for the day. How could I fail to record a PB now?!

Clutching my celebrity number, I had a lunch picnic basking in the sunshine on a grassy bank watching a bunch of fit looking folks arrive to register. Around 300 of them – it seemed that the race and its companion 5K had maxed out. I loaded a lot of liquid, in an attempt to defy, in the hydration stakes, the combined forces of the sun and about 24 hours of flying, then waddled on down to the start area.

The line up at the front. I'm not there, I'm hiding mid pack.

The line up at the front. I’m not there, I’m hiding mid pack.

Five minutes to go and the really fit folks were lining up at the front. I decided to stay mid-pack and to the right so that I could wave at my family who had come to see me off. Three minutes to go I hit play on the newly randomised playlist and up popped Porcupine Tree – The Start of Something Beautiful. It looked like all the good omens were lining up for me.

And then we were off. I started a little trepeduously (new word, I just made that up, eat your heart out Stephen Fry) hoping that my body would be able to cope with the effects of jetlag and an extended barbecue. Knees? -check. Calfs? -check. Ankles? -check. All present and correct. To my surprise, I actually felt good.

The course was a gently undulating route mainly along parkland pathways. I eased into a comfortable pattern and enjoyed the sun. I felt a bit heavy with my pre-race fluid load, but that wore off quickly.

Mile 1 Split: 8:33
Mile 2 Split: 8:39

Around mid-way we hit an obstacle in the form of a wheeled access path to the railway station. This involved constantly traversing and changing direction while climbing. By now the heat was starting to become a factor and like many others I kept to the shaded side of the track as much as possible. The one water stop appeared at just over half way and was efficiently run by local cadet volunteers. For once I decided to take some water on-board and threw the rest over my head to cool down. Despite the heat I was still feeling good and decided to push it a bit harder.

Mile 3 Split: 8:14
Mile 4 Split: 8.02

I found myself keeping time with another runner who had a completely different running pattern. He would run fast into the distance, then slow for a while. Just as I was about to catch up he sprinted off again. This happened about three times. I now know that he was running a fartlek pattern and I must try that sometime if only to wind up constant-pace runners. With about two miles to go I lost contact with the folks in front, rounded a corner and was presented with a fork in the path with no sign or marshall! (the only blemish on an otherwise excellently organised race). I chose right only to catch sight, of course, about 10m later, of the others ahead of me on the left path. Typical. A quick dive through a tough bush brought me back on track at the cost of a scratched hand.

Mile 5 Split: 8:27

I wanted to keep something in the tank for the run in as my family were there. The last 100m was uphill and I just tried to keep the pace up as much as possible. Then I was home and clicked the Garmin to see 51:57. My official (gun) time was 52:20 which puts it just outside a PB. Darn, if the race had been chip timed I’d probably have got one!

Mile 6 Split: 8:09
Extra Bit: 8:17

Medals galore

Medals galore

Urgent post-race re-hydration

Urgent post-race re-hydration

I received a medal, two oranges and a bottle of water, and was happy to bump into twitter-friend Owain Williams @Scottishrunner whose blog Running Beside Me is a great read. It turned out that Owain (No.5 – you can see him in the start line up at the front) came in 4th overall – well done that man – well ahead of Lightening!

Official Result

Position: 54th / 161
Time: 52:20

  1. dawn watson says:

    well done you, it was a tough run so you did fab, just saw your name on the list from the Round Table,,,,

    • mockjogger says:

      Thanks Dawn. You’re right it was a tough race in that heat. But he sun seems to bring out the best in me. Just caught your name on the list too – nice one!