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Nicola's 500 mile challenge for the Borders

March update: marching on…

It is nearly time for the April update, but in the spirit of keeping things in order (and also getting up to date), let’s start with March. The period from 13th until 31st March saw an additional 27.79 miles added to the total, taking us to 129.30! Yay! The total included 8.17 miles on Sunday 16th March 2014 when I took part Scotland’s Half Kilomathon event (www.kilomathon.com) which is a metric half marathon (13.1 kilometres).

In all honesty, I was dreading it. I had promised myself that the longest distance I would do in a single run this year would be 10K and I had intended to sign up for the 6.55K race on the same day but unfortunately I left it too late and it was full by the time I went to sign up. That left me condemned to run the full race (my Dad had already signed up so just going out into the countryside and doing my own 10K that day wasn’t an option – the power of the support team!) I duly signed up and had about three weeks during which to dread the event. To put this in context, the last time I ran the full kilomathon (26.3K), I came last. Absolutely last. Everyone had pretty much gone home by the time I got back and the final few were waiting to lock gates and turn out the lights. I almost died of embarrassment.

So it was with some trepidation that I contemplated the half kilomathon. It was dark, raining and the wind was blowing a gale when my alarm went off at 5.30am. I really wanted to go back to sleep and forget the whole thing. Dad and I duly set off cross country to reach Edinburgh for the 8.30 am start time. Thankfully when the day dawned, it was bright, dry and less windy than during the night. Things were looking up.

The starting point was at Ocean Terminal, a large shopping centre in Leith, Edinburgh, which kindly provided free car parking for the event which was very convenient and much appreciated! After getting into a bit of pickle trying to work out how to get out of the car park (the exits through the shops not being open at that time and we struggled to find the general centre exit but we got there in the end), we got to the starting line without too much time left to spend worrying about getting going. The starting gun went and we were off!

The route took us along the cycle paths of Edinburgh which was great as we were mostly protected from the horrible wind that was still gusting. It was a scenic route, well set out and pleasant to run. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed the run. I was properly fuelled, hydrated and comfortable, and it was great. I listened to the soundtrack from Les Miserables and just enjoyed myself. It was awesome! I also saw two border terriers along the way which kept me smiling.

The jewel in the half kilomathon’s organisational crown came at the end of the race which finished at Murrayfield Stadium. Being a big fan of rugby, the lure of finishing the race at the home of the Scotland rugby team was what kept me going all the way, from sign up to crossing the finishing line. And cross the finish line at Murrayfield I did: 1 hour 56 minutes and 32 seconds after crossing the start line. My aim was to finish in under 2 hours so I was pleased with that result. And I am pleased to report that I wasn’t last! (Not that there is anything wrong with coming last – someone has to take that place and we all get the same medal. I just didn’t want it to be me this time, given my shuffle of shame to the finish line on the last occasion).

So that was another 8.17 miles in the bag. My next big race outing is next weekend (Sunday 27th April 2014) when I will be teaming up with my friends and work colleagues to run the Balfron 10K (www.balfron10k.org.uk) near Glasgow. As usual, I will be wearing a black t-shirt with a yellow paw on the front and yellow writing on the back, and I will be shuffling and gasping somewhere near the back of the field of runners. Please feel free to give me a wave and shout some words of encouragement if you see me!

Thanks for your support!

Nicola x



 

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