Four Maryhillers made their way across the Kincardine Bridge on a rainy Sunday morning to the Devilla 15k trail race. The third running of this event was well oversubscribed, being a victim of its own success, with around 600 entrants. There was also a family-friendly 5k event. A similar event had been held the previous Sunday, held by the previous race organiser who reportedly had parted ways with the Carnegie Club (organisers of the event we attended).
Chris & Caroline, as Devilla virgins, must have been fed up with Margaret & myself enthusing about the event from our two previous visits, but I didn’t think they’d be disappointed by this fabulous forest trail. The rain eased just before the start, & although windy it was very pleasant running conditions, as the route is mostly well sheltered. Generally level, let’s say undulating, there is only one sustained (but runnable) climb, around halfway. The earlier sections I didn’t remember too well, certainly not a narrow section with jaggy brambles, & the high point with the steep muddy descent to one of the lochs seemed to come sooner than I expected. This slightly technical passage was a great chance to gain places. As before, tree shoots & stumps were well spray painted, as was the whole trail thoroughly marked with signs & painted arrows, as well as first class marshalling.
A 10k marker came as a surprise, I reckoned it must have been meant to be 8k, so I thought 7 to go. When a 1k to finish sign appeared, I realised how unconscious pace judgement can become, on picking it up from slow to not quite so slow at all, & catching maybe a dozen places before the finish, with running left over. How many races have you wished that the finish could come sooner, well strange to experience the opposite!
As described by most midweek papers, we now know that the trail markers were sabotaged, resulting in over 2k being cut, ie 12.5k instead of 15, or 8 miles instead of 9 1/12.
I think we all felt cheated at the end, wanting to run further; but all in all it was still a really enjoyable run, through some scenic forest, on very varied terrain so that mud wasn’t too serious an issue, even after all the rain.
The race memento was a craft ale, good enough reason to return. I’ll be back!
A big thank you to all the race organisers.
1st male Robert Watson Musselburgh 46m 46
1st lady Suzanne Gray Pitreavie 53m 44 (both v40’s!)
280th Chris Hever 1h 09m 24s (chip times)
356th Caroline Hever 1h 13m 43s
386th Margaret Peebles 1h 16m 02s
415th Fletcher Murdoch 1h 19m 44s