31st March, 2013 saw the 100-km and 50-km races at Perth, which were the Scottish Athletics Championships, with the 100-km race also being the 100-Km Home Nations Championships.
My usual preference is to concentrate on expeditions, and races in parts of the world that I have always wanted to see, but this year I am thinking about doing a couple of “Championships” races, with this being the Scottish one.
Essentially due to laziness on my part, and working fairly long hours I’d neglected to get much in the way of training in so set off fairly conservatively in the 50km. I let Paul Fernandez, of England and GB out of sight as he went off at a rate of knots. While being a medic at a high altitude camp earlier this year, Paul was an athlete with British Athletics, and the training had obviously agreed with him.
I ran with a couple of guys from the GB long distance team, looking forward to the world Championships in May and settled into just knocking out laps on the 2.3km course at a regular rate. With 11 kms to go I moved into second overall, and first Scot. Grant Jeans had dropped out with injury, and I’d passed a couple of others. Grant is one of the quickest in Britain but he has been unlucky with injury recently – he may have raced Paul if injury free. There was no point in chasing Paul Fernandez (3 hrs 4 mins), who was miles clear, and I had a few minutes gap on third place so ran steady until the finish in 3 hrs 21. GB/English athlete, Robbie Britton was 3rd, with Gerry Craig and Craig Reid 2nd and 3rd Scots.
I was happy enough with second, and first Scot- at the Scottish Athletics 50-km National Championships. There were some good runners behind me, and I’m looking forward to picking up the training for a run across Kenya in the summer.
You may ask if being first Scot at the National Championships makes me the Scottish Champion for that distance. The answer is technically not – as I had not got round to joining Scottish Athletics, so Gerry Craig gets the prize – and had a great race.
Below is what I used, and will be using this year, having found them all to be excellent:
Shoes – Merrell MixMaster
Clothes – UVU
Nutition- Clif gels, bars and shot blocks
The 100-km National Championships, also had the Home Nations Championships as a part of them. The overall team prize was won by Scotland, although the individual prize was won by Irishman Daniel Docherty, with Englishman Craig Holgate 2nd. My good mate Donnie Campbell was first Scot, and 3rd overall, with Marco Consani 5th, and Paul Giblin 7th. It was a fantastic achievement by the team who all looked simultaneously wrecked, and delighted as they finished. All these guys will have brilliant seasons no doubt.
A huge part of the event were the marshalls, and the crowd, with many friendly faces offering encouragement, and goodies. Special mention to the as always race organiser Adrian Stott of Run and Become, and Scottish Athletics – the organisation was impeccable!
Next longish race I’ll do is over in Northern Ireland, at the Giants Causeway, with 50-kms of epic cliffs, wing bridges and funny shaped rocks to run over, before teaming up with Donnie for a 20-day beast of an expedition through East Africa.