Alloa Half Marathon – 16th March 2014

I thought Alloa is what folk in Hawaii say instead of hello. Allo was my second half marathon in a week and I I thought it would be a flat fast course. Instead it was hilly and very windy!

I arrived a little late but there was plenty of parking available as the course started next to a massive ASDA supermarket. Which is convenient as whilst I ran round I was thinking what I would buy from there for my lunch!

On the starting line. The man next to me turned to his friend and said

“I’m very nervous. I don’t do much running”

He was wearing expensive trainers, a GPS watch and professional looking t shirt/shorts etc. He had legs that looked like they had run 10’s of miles. Why can’t people just be honest and say “You know what! I’ve trained hard for this and I’ll probably do well” Unsurprisingly he ran off quickly at the start and at the end I checked his number and he’d run a sub 1hr 30. “I don’t do much running” – my arse!

As it was cold I wore my Glasgow Triathlon t shirt, a running t shirt and a water proof jacket. Unsurprisingly, I felt  too hot after the 1st mile and spent the rest of the race regretting my extra layers! I also ended up with bad nipple chaffing. Just the one. Which means I must have one nipple which is better than the other!

The course was nice. It went through a number of small towns and in most of them people came out to cheer. When the course reached tillicoutry I tried to spot Dougie Donnelly and his furniture shop from the 80’s. The stretch after that was 5 miles into the wind and when I turned at the end to head back to Alloa there was a long stretch up a hill!

Thankfully the last mile was all downhill but I didn;t have any sprint in my legs so took it steady.

My time was 01:40:58

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Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon: Sunday 9th March 2014

This is one of the few races were I spend longer on the logistics of getting there (and hanging around waiting) than I spend running it.

The race is from Balloch to Clydebank. In my mind it feels downhill, even though its practically flat, as it starts up at Loch Lomond and finishes down by the Clyde. As its not a loop then you leave your car in Clydebank and get a bus to the start. This meant an early start to get to the bus and by the time it gets to Balloch I had 45 min to hang around before it starts. Luckily there is always a massive queue for the toilets so that helps pass the time.

This year the organisers sent out reusable timing chips. Unfortunately they didn’t work so before the start of the race I had to swap the chip for an another one. This resulted in a 30min delay to the start. 

The rain and cold meant I regretted my choice of just wearing a t-shirt. I blame the BBC weather who promised a dry morning.

Once the race started I got off to a good start and felt fine. After a couple of miles my brother complained of shin splints and stopped to stretch. That was the last I saw of him until the end when he appeared fully clothed having got a taxi to the finish.

The rest of the race was straightforward but I didn’t have head phones on so it was a bit dull. I like to listen to a podcast on a long run to keep my mind distracted from how monotonous running is!

Time: 1hr 38min 10s