This time last week I was sitting on the train home flushed with the warm glow you get after a good weekend spent with old friends and feeling nicely tired, as you do after exercise.
Earlier that day, along with 3 good friends and around 600 others I had taken part in the Balfron 10k – a really nice race with a great community feel set in the beautiful Stirlingshire countryside.
I have not done a 10k for a while and was perhaps lulled into a false sense of it being ‘easier’ than a half marathon – which of course in some ways its is – being half the distance, but although shorter in length it’s a tough test and it was a reminder that my training had maybe been on the light side.
The route is an out and back along quiet country roads – effectively closed for the race. It is quite undulating, with a few nippy inclines and on Sunday the weather conditions might best be described as variable – or to be more specific – featuring the regular Scottish combo of rain, hailstones, sunshine and wind !
The backdrop to the race are the lower hills of the Trossachs and on a day of sunshine and showers it was pretty uplifting to be surrounded by such beautiful countryside.
Clouds raced along the hill tops and the fresh spring farmlands looked green and zesty.
Having failed to train properly for this race, I was not feeling as ‘match fit’ as I would have liked, but it was great to try out a race I had not done before, and with one of my oldest friends from Glasgow student days – who like me is a recent convert to running.
My pacing was a bit rubbish and not knowing the route I did not manage to get myself into a steady rhythm. My previous PB for a 10k is 58 minutes and I would have liked to keep under the hour, but it was not to be. To be fair I did not help my time by getting distracted by the scenic backdrop and stopping to take a few pictures.
The race atmosphere is very friendly with folk lining the route to cheer you on from the end of farm tracks, and water stations manned by a very encouraging team of volunteers. This added to the scenery and overall race organisation and size makes it an enjoyable event.
There has been a problem with the official race timing, but according to my Nike+ my time was 1hr 1 minute 56 secs – so no PB but not so bad.
I am not too fussed about my time as I really enjoyed the experience of running somewhere different. It was a grand day out with good company and with nice touches like ‘old school’ cut up oranges to welcome you at the finish and a Tunnock’s Caramel wafer in the goody bag, it’s a race I would repeat.