This was the 14th running of this popular race organised by Kirkintilloch Olympians around the back roads of Kirkintilloch encompassing 12 strength sapping hills. The conditions were perfect as we made our way to the start at Gartconner Primary School. Linda had called off due to a lingering cold, leaving 8 Harriers to toe the line this year.
Kevin was the favourite to finish as first Harrier home and didn’t disappoint the bookies. Although he beat last year’s time, it was a couple of minutes off his best due to returning from a recent cold, but he managed to remain unchicked for the day by beating the first female by one second. Next home was Craig P, a few seconds slower than last year but still a great effort to come second. Scott, after having a wee celebration to himself the night before, came in an expected third but a few minutes off his best time.
Top performance of the day must go to James taking two and a half minutes off last year’s time and pushing himself to within a minute of causing a big upset with Scott, all his hard work and long miles in training paying off.
Now, I’ve had a few epic battles over the years and this was no exception, though contrary to popular belief I’m only interested in my time and not beating individuals. I had beaten Cat by 1 second the previous week so I felt it would be pretty close and after 7 or 8 km I was still sitting 40 metres behind so I knew I was going at the right pace. At 10k I found myself passing Cat and making my run for home down one of the hills, then at 11k and on an uphill I glanced back to see Cat coming up to go past. On both occasions we passed the time of day and asked how our respective families were getting on and other such pleasantries, though I did mention if I got to the top of the hill I was going for it. On the last downhill the force of gravity took over once again and I passed Cat thinking she was dead and done. I now felt comfortable to offer fallacious encouragement and ran on.
200 metres to go I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet (but no breathing) and glanced to see the cunning Cat making her final move sneaking up behind me holding her breath. Being a couple of metres to the good I picked up, Cat picked up, I picked up, Cat picked up… all the way to the line. The crowd was going wild as I defied gravity to keep going under this onslaught. We hit the finish with Cat about 2mm ahead and I like a plonker dipped on the line.
Luckily the little old lady taking the times noticed the dip and placed me ahead of Cat on the sheet but with the exact same time. Really enjoyed the wee battle but more delighted to get under 64mins which was my target.
Lynsey, making her debut on the course and still struggling with injury, ran well to come in next ahead of Caroline, who’s had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra, doing it her way and running well.
The race was won by Neil Renault, Edinburgh AC, 42: 09
First female was Alison MacKenzie, Unattached, 50:10
- Kevin Campbell 33 – 50:09
- Craig Perrie 44 – 51:58
- Scott Coulter 128 – 59:15
- James Prior 136 – 60:28 PB
- Chris Hever 169 – 63:53
- Cat Nisbet 170 – 63:53
- Lynsey Mclaughlin 211 – 68:11
- Caroline Hever 237 – 71:20