Race Report: The Inaugural Carradale Canter 10K

Race Report: The Inaugural Carradale Canter 10K

Date: 12th July 2015

Profile: Undulating

Terrain: Mixed: road, sand and trail

Weather: Warm and sunny

Website: https://www.facebook.com/greatcarradalecanter

Positives: brilliant course, with a mix of hills, flat, beach, road and trail. Excellent support, awesome views

Negatives: not a negative, but a quick field on a difficult course left me fourth from last 😮

Carradale is a picturesque village nestled on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula, some 25 miles south of Tarbert. It’s blessed with a lovely harbour (with a working fishing fleet) as well as a golden sandy beach and a great network of forestry trails. If you read my post about crewing for Julia at the Kintyre Way ultra, you’ll perhaps remember that Carradale is also located on the Kintyre Way.

As ever, I had my race gear ready to go the night before:  Fortunately, the race wasn’t an early one as it was scheduled for an 11.30 am start (I’m assuming this might be to do with the tide, making the beach section easier to run), and so this morning we had plenty of time to get ready, have breakfast and the drive the long and winding road to Carradale (yes, THE ‘long and winding road’ that Paul McCartney wrote about 😉 )

The sun was shining as we arrived in Carradale. We parked in the primary school car park, and as we were doing so, waved to the marshals we knew, who were having their briefing. We walked to the harbour for registration, and as we walked, saw that the village was a little hillier than we had remembered!

The registration area was pretty busy when we got there, and when we checked in, I realised that I’d been given bib number one! Wowee! I realised, looking around at the other runners, that I might actually be the first runner with bib #1 to finish last 😮 

  
We checked our bags, then chatted to other runners as we waited for the race briefing, and everyone was relaxed and having fun. Then we had a short walk to the start of the 10K, where we had our race briefing. Instructions today included things like ‘watch out for adders’ and ‘beware of the mud’…. I knew this was going to be an interesting race!

Here’s a map of the race:

 The race was started by a countdown and a starter’s pistol, and we were straight onto the road leading back into the village – and it was a tough hill! It got the legs working from the start. TheWelshWookie and I knew we’d be slow, and so we kept to the back of the pack. The support was great from the start, with villagers out in their gardens to support us all.

We soon turned off to the left, and headed down a country lane to the beach – my first ever race section on the beach! Although it was tough, I surprised myself, because I really enjoyed it – I had a smile plastered on my face. A lady asked to take our picture (I think she liked the skort). She had camera problems, but we stopped and waited, to let her take a snap – I think we were happy for the break, but it did cost us a couple of minutes (not that time was a concern for us). I loved dodging the jelly fish and the flotsam and jetsam, and before we knew it we were back onto a track road, and heading for the forestry section.

The forestry part was great – lovely and cool, shaded, soft underfoot. We were soon way behind the pack, and had the run to ourselves. We didn’t see any adders, but were treated to an awesome aerial display by a golden eagle – lucky us 😀

Next was a short section back on the road before heading onto the kintyre way at the Network Centre (you’ll see pictures in my blog post here), and then we were at the hilly part – a steep climb up a forestry track to the highest point of the race. Well, that got the heart going! We walked it, unsurprisingly! Next was a great downhill section for about a kilometre along forestry roads.

Finally, we had the last section: into the village along the main road, back along a side road, up a short grassy hill, down a track, through a field, over a style and then onto the harbour road, where we could see the finish line 🙂

We reached the finish line to a somewhat subdued welcome – but we were not far from last, and people had been waiting to see the finishers for a looooong time by then, so I’m thankful they stayed!

I was handed a goody bag which contained the medal, and grabbed a bottle of water. Other runners were really chatty, and we had a great catch up with quite a few people about how we’d found the run, and how amazingly scenic it was.

TheWelshWookie and I then headed to the barbecue, and joined the burger queue. As we were waiting, the prize giving was taking place. So while we cheered and clapped for the winners, I didn’t manage to take any pictures. Sorry! We were in the queue with Karen, one of our fellow SUPercisers, which was fab. We enjoyed our burgers in glorious sunshine, watching a seal play in the harbour, before heading home to Tarbert. On the walk back to the car we chatted with Gail from Campbeltown about running adventures, and I was struck once again as to how friendly and supportive runners are of each other. 

 Our stats: 1:17:17. My, my – slow, even by my slow standards! No matter, it was worth it.

 The Medal: Engraved, and it came with stickers to add your time to it. No, don’t think I’ll do that!

 Goody Bag: banana, bottle of water and an ace buff style scarf!

 T-shirt: None, but no problem with that

When I got home, I uploaded my run and was greeted with this milestone:

  
And right away, I reset my Nike Coach for the Great North Run training – nine weeks today! :O

I’d definitely do this run again. You’d never know it was an inaugural event as it was so well organised and supported. Roll on next year’s event!

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The Vikings Were Here!

The Vikings Were Here!

The week before we went to Tenerife was a very special one in Tarbert.
For months, villagers had been working on building a proper Viking longoat. It was made by hand, using traditional techniques. And, it was ready to celebrate the inaugural Tarbert Viking Festival, and the traditional boat festival.
So, during the week leading up to the festival, the village was overrun with Vikings, who sailed the boat to ‘raid’ local villages. It seemed like lots of fun!

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We missed the main event on the Saturday, which was a reenactment of Magnus Barefoot’s historic claiming of Kintyre as part of his kingdom. In 1093, Magnus and his Viking hoard laid claim to all of Scotland’s islands. An island was described as any body of land that his boat could circumnavigate. When he arrived in Tarbert, he and his men carried the longboat from the East Loch to the harbour, thereby circumnavigating Kintyre. Hence, Kintyre is known as the Mainland Island 🙂
On the Friday, the Vikings made a victorious return to Tarbert from their marauding and we celebrated with a big barbeque, music and a ceilidh.
The weather was great, and it was lovely to see the village busy.

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The music was provided by villagers, and was brilliant. There were folk groups:

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And choirs:

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A barber shop group:

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And even this guy did a few songs…… do you recognise him?

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We had a famous attendee: Rory McCann, who plays The Hound, Sandor Clegane in Game of Thrones. To be honest, he didn’t seem very pleased to have been spotted. I asked if he’d allow me to have a photo taken with him, and he said ‘no’, and walked off 😦 Good casting, maybe?
Anyway, we had a lovely evening, and it set us up very well for our holiday!

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Have you ever been refused a photo or autograph before?

A Terrific TT10K

A Terrific TT10K

I did it! I ran the TT10K, and I loved it!

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I survived my third run in 12 days!

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The weather was very kind to us: it did, unexpectedly, involve some sunshine.

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Yes, I found both off-road sections pretty tough, as they were both uphill, but what an amazing sense of achievement!

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I’m pretty pleased with my time, considering the course, and I was definitely helped along by the really positive marshals and fantastic support.

We’ve been to the Village Hall, to take part in the Tarbert Harbour Authority Centenary Celebrations, and partied with free beer and BBQ! I wish all races ended like this!

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I’ll post a full race report soon, but for now, the hot tub is calling; and I actually have a mud-related blister to tend to (there’s a new experience for me!).

Who’s up for next year? You’d be crazy to miss this one from your calendar!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 10K race: hilly, part road and part trail

Time: 1:06:00 or so. Forgot to end my run on my Nike+ SportWatch GPS at the finish line!

Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells, warm and humid

Trainers: LunarFly +3 GTX

Motivating running track today: This track played just as I got onto the Castle Loop- it’s one of my Power Songs. I LOVE it. And I needed it!

Today’s Life Lesson: Even older trainers and socks can still cause blisters, especially when caked in mud!

What was your first off-road run?

TT10K Tomorrow!

TT10K Tomorrow!

It’s the night before is the inaugural Tarbert 10k run, the TT10k.

It’s also Friday.

It’s also sunny, which wasn’t forecast.

Woop Woop!

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@TheWelshWookie and I went for a short run, mainly to look like runners when we visited the registration marquee because it was such a lovely evening, and I wanted to have a wee stretch/limber before tomorrow.

I took some pictures, just to show how gorgeous it is tonight. The forecast for tomorrow is torrential rain and high winds, so I wanted something to compare with my photos tomorrow!

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We then went to the registration marquee, and I collected my bib for tomorrow:

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It was lovely, being greeted by the ‘caution, runners’ signs on my way home!

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I’m now organised, and ready for tomorrow.

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Bring it on!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 2.5 miles, slow and steady

Time: 27:32

Weather: Glorious sunshine

Trainers: Lunarglides

First running track today: this will get stuck in your brain!

Today’s Life Lesson: if you see me standing in a queue at the supermarket, join a different queue. I’m likely to be in the slow moving one.

What’s the weather forecast for you tomorrow?

Getting Ready for TT10K

Getting Ready for TT10K

This Saturday is the inaugural Tarbert 10k run, the TT10k.

I can’t wait!

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There are two runs: the 5k kicks off the day at 10am, followed by the 10k at 11am.

One thing that I’m really, really looking forward to is that I know the route well.  Pretty much every step of it.

But I know it will be challenging: two parts of the run are off road, on trails, which is totally new for me. I’ve never done an official run on a trail before! Also, it has hills. Pretty sizeable hills.

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OK, so maybe not quite a mountain, but still:

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The view from Tarbert Castle
The view from the High Road
The view from the High Road

It’s definitely high enough for me!

Saturday also marks the 100th anniversary of Tarbert Harbour Authority! So, we have another fun filled weekend ahead, including a village barbeque after both runs. The organisation that has gone into setting up this event has been brilliant, and I’m sure it’ll all go very well, as the people behind the run really have put in loads of work, and obviously care about making this a great event for participants, marshals, volunteers, locals and visitors.

Here’s an idea of the route:

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It’ll be worth it, for views like this:

Here's my usual running route.
Here’s my usual running route.

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Today’s Stats:

Run: Not today, planning on some strength training

Favourite track from today: on of my most favourite songs ever!

With all of this running talk, I forgot my important news: I’m an Auntie again! 😀

My sis had a gorgeous baby boy yesterday, he arrived weighing 7lb 14oz, and looks just like his brothers! My family now has a rugby sevens team: seven boys, no girls!

Can’t wait to meet him!

Today’s Life Lesson: as soon as you walk away from your desk, you can guarantee that an important call will come through, and you’ll miss it….

Does your village/town/city have any running events?