I’d done a few decent runs in the last few weeks in a mission to lose my baby bulge, so when Matt found this local race and mentioned it, it seemed like a good idea. I floated the idea with Helen, my local running partner and cake-topper extraordinaire (www.caketops.co.uk), and after a bit of persuading she was up for it too.
The Lochaber Off-Road Half-Marathon is a new race, run at the same time as a 5km fun run, and as we pulled into the car park at the Nevis Range this morning we could see a few runners limbering up preparing themselves. As we gathered at the start I was slightly concerned by the very small field – there were only 90 entrants and fewer than that were lined up waiting to set off. The front runners set a pretty fast pace as we set off from the car park, but Helen and I set off at a cautious pace (so as not to exhaust ourselves too early, obviously). Soon the field was totally spread out, including Helen and me, and it wasn’t long before I could see nobody in front or behind me.
The route was really well chosen – there were some lovely stretches through the forest but also plenty of open stretches, including some great rocky downhill sections and enough hills to keep things interesting without busting the lungs too much. As I clocked up two hours on the stopwatch my body was starting to seriously complain, but a few minutes later I rounded a corner to find a marshall telling me I had only half a mile to go – hurrah! I crossed the finish line after 2 hours 15 minutes, with two very sore feet and a bit of a sweat on. Helen joined me a few minutes later, very pleased with her first half-marathon result, and we were soon congratulating ourselves over some excellent cake at the Lochaber Farm Shop.
Thanks to No Fuss Events for a great race, hopefully I’ll be back next year ready to shave a few minutes off my time!