After entering the event back in October, and thinking I would have plenty of time to train, the months rolled by, I went on holiday for 3 weeks, before I knew it, I was only a month away from the event having done very minimal training. A 20 mile obstacle course and a couple of minor back injuries added to the ‘less than perfect’ race prep.
Having left it far too late to book reasonably priced flights I found myself on a train to Edinburgh with an essay to write and not much time to think about the actual event, thankfully Alison had booked me a bus ticket, as I had only briefly glanced at the race info about 3 days previously.
I was staying with a friend who lived about 40 mins away from the city by train, so on the cool misty Sunday morning, I found myself arriving at Edinburgh Waverley without a clear idea where I was going, where I needed to drop my bag… you get the picture.
Thankfully meeting up with the other lovely SJs took my mind off these minor details, and then after wandering round finding the bag drop and a loo, it was only 10 mins until the start! I found myself in the Orange start zone with Karen and we spent a good 15 mins chatting and walking towards the actual start line, accompanied by some very annoying ‘motivating’ music which seemed to be on a 15 second loop, then we were off!
I knew my lack of training would be a major factor, so I’d made a deal with myself that I would run the first half and then switch to run/walk to save my legs for other events happening within the next few weeks.
The first half of the race was an absolute delight, chatting with Karen, ticking the miles off at a nice steady pace but I knew it couldn’t last and by mile 13 I was struggling to keep up so I wished Karen luck and went to my run/walk strategy. 15/5 for an hour and then 10/5 and back to 15/5 for the last 40 mins or so. I had a vague goal in my head to hit sub-5hrs, a fairly long way off my 4:20 PB at London last year, and as the mile markers came and went, it became clear this was definitely achievable.
I was getting some frantic texts from Sharon at around mile 25 so I replied that I would be finished shortly and chugged through the finish line in 4hrs 49 – that would do nicely!
Looking at my phone as I found my way out of the finish area, I couldn’t understand why it only had 20% battery left, it turned out my phone had been calling my husband throughout the whole race and had attempted no less than 66 phone calls! Thankfully he realised early on what was happening and switched off his phone!
I found the other SJs (except Alison, but Sharon has covered that!) and we sat in the sun for a bit before making the journey back into town for some well deserved R&R.
Overall, Edinburgh is a great event – big enough to have some atmosphere but small enough that it’s not a massive hassle for logistics. Top tip though, do some training and it’ll be a lot more enjoyable!