After a welcome rest day on the Wednesday, it was of to St.Andrews tonight for a short run along the West Sands, the beach made famous by the movie ‘Chariots of Fife’. I’d borrowed my maw’s car again tonight as I new Alexa wouldn’t be home in time, and that in itself was going to prove fun getting it home for her finishing work at 10….
Kevin again turned up at the house after his work and we headed of sharp as it would take the best part of an hour to get up their. We arrived in plenty time to allow us to check out how hard/soft the sand was this year as the tide was further in than normal. I managed a few strides on harder sand just to see what the legs were like, the thighs were a bit tender and I reckon the rest day didn’t help here. I was thinking this race was going to be tactical tonight too as their were 4 of us quite close at this point.
Anyway 7:25 we got the customary race briefing from Ron Morrison, who advised us we’d be running a ‘wee bit’ further than normal, why? That’ll be because the course was short last year! Oh yee…. so it was. No fancy start countdown tonight, it was just a GO, and of set 140+ runners across the beach, heading for hard sand.
The usual lead group started heading of into the distance and as I went through the 1st mile in 5:35 it looked like it was going to be Pete B, Iain T and myself again tonight with Stevie K and Bryce Aitken following us. As we approached the left turn up the estuary we noticed Fife’s Chris Russell head up the beach onto the soft sand taking the direct approach to the corner. I followed him this time with Iain coming too, Pete opted to stay on the harder stuff a bit longer, the longer route but easier running.
Heading along the estuary was fun as it was really soft and it meant the next couple of miles slowed to a 6:31 and 6:48 respectively as we went out & back. Iain took the lead and started running along the sea weed that was partially wet but it was better than the soft sand. Round the marshal we went and this time we headed a bit further down the beach to the harder sand, it meant running further but it was easier and Pete caught us up at this point.
Again I opted for the quick route around the corner back onto the main beach but this time I went straight for the hard stuff, Pete started pulling away and Iain followed at which point I was hanging on, I reckon though with a mile to go I was getting a 2nd wind and managed to peg back Iain, 800 to go and I was level with Pete and gradually got in front going through mile 4 in 6:15. Watching the shadows on the sand was interesting as Iain’s had disappeared but Pete was hanging on, the problem with this race is the finish never seems to get any closer, anyway managed to hold on to finish in 26:31, not bad over 4.2 miles of sand…..
The traditional dip in the Sea followed and it also helped ease of the calf’s a bit which was a bonus. The trip back down the road was fun, we drove past the chippy in Guardbridge to the site of a dozen fluorescent jackets waiting to be served, guess what the ‘Harriers’ had for tea then!! Made good time till we got to Kelty and found the motorway blocked by an accident and we all got diverted off. Good think I know the back roads then! Managed to get the car back for my maw only 15 minutes late – Oops!