Monday, November 26, 2018

Day 3 - Glentress Trail Winter Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, November 17
Peebles, Scotland
Half Marathon #184
Weather - Mostly sunny & mild

Thankfully, I had slept VERY well. Breakfast was out early enough that we had time to eat - although I was pretty sure I ate too much. We headed out the door, assuming that an hour and fifteen minutes would be plenty of time to get to the race. Initially, I had picked our hotel for it's proximity to the race. When I had checked the night before, it seemed were only 10-15 minutes away. 

As we drove to the cafe where we needed to pick up our bibs, it kept telling us we were at our destination - literally in the middle of a bridge. We kept driving around, but could not see anything that resembled where we needed to be. After 15-20 minutes of this, A and I finally got out of the car and wandered around looking for where we needed to be. We finally asked someone at the rec center we found and he told us we were a few miles from where we needed to be. WHAT.
NOT where the race started
Thankfully, we ran back in time to catch Lisa & Alyssa before they headed out. We had driven past where we needed to go, and by the time we were dropped off it was only 20 minutes until the start. Barely enough time to use the bathroom!!

The race started just after 10 (so late!). A and I planned on starting in the back, as neither one of us really knew what to expect out of this race. The website claimed there was 600 meters of gain, which I translated to about 1800' of climbing - similar to the newer Snow Mountain Ranch course, although at sea level.




The first part of the race started on a wider dirt road - this was nice, as it helped to ease congestion. We definitely were in the far back at this point. Probably didn't help that we spent so much time traveling, as both of us were tired.

Immediately I noticed how beautiful this course was going to be. The pictures on the website truly did not do it justice!

Soon, we moved off the wider road and onto some single track. I was already feeling the gain. At this point, the trail was not very technical, and we ran quite a bit.

Everything was SO GREEN - really enjoyed looking at the moss-covered trees. So pretty!!
We began to move out of the trees and up to the more exposed section of the course - lots of climbing here. We actually began to pass some people, that was a pleasant surprise!


Some of these sections were a bit muddy. It was also a bit of a bummer that it was foggy, as I bet some of the views of the valley were amazing - we just couldn't really see them.









Another "surprise" during the pre-race briefing was the fact that there was only one aid station, approximately halfway through the course. Due to all the required gear we had to have, neither of us had room to carry a bladder in our pack and we each just had one bottle in the front. We didn't stop long at the aid station, just long enough to grab a cup of Pepsi and drink some water.

The next section of the course was by far my favorite. We were finally on a downhill section and the trees were SO COOL looking. The trail was not super technical at this point, and we were not as cautious as some other runners, able to make up some time here.


I didn't take as many pictures in the back half, because we were running a lot more. There was a lot more climbing in the back part than we thought (and we were not the only ones who thought that!). I ended up buying just one of the official race pictures (guh, this is why I wear sunglasses!)
Photo: Grand Day Out Photography / Stephen Wilson
A was struggling a bit the last few miles, and it was a pleasant surprise that we arrived at the finish line when we did. We both had a great time and enjoyed ourselves!

Garmin Time - 2:52:03
Garmin Distance - 12.24 miles
Elevation Gain - 2,497'
Mile 1 - 14:06
Mile 2 - 14:52
Mile 3 - 12:13
Mile 4 - 19:10
Mile 5 - 16:11
Mile 6 - 19:14
Mile 7 - 14:26
Mile 8 - 12:36
Mile 9 - 12:21
Mile 10 - 12:5
Mile 11 - 10:07
Mile 12 - 11:52
Mile 12.24 - 10:32

Thoughts

  • This was so much better than I expected. It was a "small" race, in the sense that there were about 500 runners total. It never seemed that crowded on the course, however. We always had people in our sight.
  • The course was very well-marked, I never felt like I had to search for markings.
  • The one aid station was bare bones - I think there was some candy, just water and soda. Definitely need to bring your own food/fluids if possible.
  • We both started out the race in long sleeves, but I was happy to have worn a lighter layer under as I got pretty warm. We were certainly in the minority, most people wore tights and jackets.
  • Views were unbelievable - such a pretty course!!
  • Shirt is plain (no pic) and the medal also not super exciting. But a fun experience, and I'm glad we took a half day to do this!

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