Lasswade 10 Mile Road Race 07/03/10
If races were to be rated by the quality of their post race buffets, the Lasswade 10 would definitely be up there in my top three. A couple of races in Fife (and the Musselburgh 10k apparently according to EAC’s race foodie experts) might give the Lasswade bakers a good run for their money but the fact that the cakes appear after 10 miles of really hilly roads, make them taste pretty fantasic.
Due to injuries, we were only able to muster two-thirds of a women’s team for this year’s Lasswade 10 so we weren’t able to fight to retain the team prize. So it was left to the guys to fight for the honours which left the pressure was off for Marietta and I.
After Richard had had enough time to ensure his Adam Ant style nose-ware was perfectly symmetrical on his hooch, there was just time for a gentle warm up on the first section of the course before we lined up with around 400 others.
At midday we were off and I decided to try and stick with Marietta as long as I could while the rest of the EAC shirts blasted into the distance. The race starts on a gentle uphill but the first few miles are essentially downhill and the hills are so steep that it takes every bit of temptation not to go at the hills full pelt, leaving nothing for the uphills on the other side.
Even trying to hold a bit back on the downhills, I was still running six minute miles by the second mile marker. Although scarily, I found out at the end of the race that the leaders passed the same mark well under nine minutes: a pretty fast start to any race!
Inevitably what goes down must come up and there was a real kicker of a hill at the bottom, after mile 3. It was slow and painful but I was quite pleased to have passed a girl who had bombed straight past me down the hill.
For the next couple of miles, I seemed to playing a game of tag with the same girl (her whizzing past me on every downhill and me catching her on every uphill). Together with the fact that the next few miles past the Pentlands which looked pretty amazing in the snow, my mind was nicely distracted from the hills and mileage and the first half of the race ticked away quite nicely. In fact I must have switched off pretty well as much of the middle part of the race is a blur.
It was starting to get mentally harder in miles 6 and 7 and my mind was clearly starting to play tricks on me. After successfully reeling in a girl ahead of me thinking I’d be making up another place in the women’s rankings, it was only after I’d passed them that I realised it was actually a guy.
It’s probably just as well for my mental state that Marietta appeared at this time. She was fortunately feeling better after suffering a few leg problems earlier in the race and made a great pacer for the latter stages of the race and really kept me focused. Together we seemed to pick up the pace and, by mile 8 I was back on track for a sub 70 minute time.
I’d slowed down into the last mile and a half which takes you off road and onto wood tracks to the finish line. My stomach was playing havoc and I’d noticed Marietta slowing to keep me with her and was hoping I wasn’t keeping her back too much. In the last mile I couldn’t hang on and started falling back as Marietta went on.
I was wondering as Marietta headed off ahead, how bad it would be to sprint past her in the last few metres after she’d paced me in and held back with me in the penultimate mile as I do like a good sprint finish. But, when it came to it, I just hadn’t anything left in the tank to even think about a sprint or even keeping up with Marietta and was just chuffed to bits to get in under the 70 minute marker and knock six and a half minutes off my last attempt at the course.
I was bringing up the rear of EAC finishers and Richard had a great result to knock a good three minutes off his pb for the course with a time that would have put him comfortably into the top five on most previous races. Unfortunately, he picked his pb race at the same time as some seriously fast guys which somehow doesn’t seem fair! He did seem to forget any disappointment as soon as he got to the food tent though.
I think I might try and run the top foodie races in Scotland next year so if there any others that should be on the must-try list, please let me know!!