Great Winter Run – Edinburgh 5k – Sunday 11th January, 2015

winter run 2

Report submitted by Fiona Carvell

The Race Great Winter Run – Edinburgh 5k
Overall Score 4
Please score the following categories out of 5  
PB Potential 3
Atmosphere 4
Organisation 5
Scenery 5
Value for Money 5
Beginner Friendliness 5
Club Support & Social 3 – only us two Bounders, but we made the best of it!
Tell us more… A big hill, 40mph wind, hailstones and slush. Great!
In Short Fiona B & Fiona C take on Arthurs Seat
In FullThe sky was clear at 9am in Edinburgh on the morning of the run, but winds continued to whip through the city and it was very, very cold. I had persuaded hubby James to accompany me and make the run the start to a Edinburgh weekender minus kids, so we’d be looking forward to it!

This was the first time I had done this run and so didn’t quite know what to expect, but with recent improvements on my 5k times, I was feeling confident and looking forward to the views from the top.

James and I met Fiona Bell by the loos (as you do) near the start with her parents, who already looked half frozen. Much debate, changing of layers and clothing and taking of obligatory pre-race photos and we were set to start.

The ‘warm-up’ session ensured our limbs did not freeze and were still semi-moveable before heading off to make the climb. The atmosphere was good, if a little muted by the temperature; runners shivering and shifting with grim smiles. This was the first time I actually wanted to be wearing the fancy dress rabbit outfit in front of me. Did he know something I didn’t?

The first section is a gradual climb up around Arthurs Seat of around 1.5 miles, before levelling off and then going back down. Fiona B and I decided we’d take it easy for the climb up, see how we felt at the top and then kick. Going up, the 40mph wind was behind us and we kept each other going with pace checks and were doing well. Just before we reached the highest point, we were greeted by the sound of tambourines, played by a small, blue-lipped boy and his father.

They smiled and rattled as we passed.

“Hard bit done now Fi,” I said. Fiona B grunted a positive response as we shifted gear and headed into the flat.

I was wrong.

With the change of direction, the wind now blew towards us, which grew in strength as we headed towards our final decent. The sky darkened and snow , which had been gradually building since the start of the race, now took a nasty turn. “There’s the finish”, said Fiona B as she pushed on ahead of me. I felt ice pummel my face – tiny, sharp hailstones, “Go on Fiona!”, I yelled, but it was lost in the roar of wind as Edinburgh disappeared in a swirl of grey and white.

Through one eye I could see other runners adopting the same running position as me; slightly bent over, head down, hands on either side of the face and for a moment I forgot about running and just felt very pissed off with the Scottish weather. I had not been able to feel my legs for some time but now my feet experienced a new sensation as icy water seeped into my trainers. Looking down, the path was covered in slush and the hailstones softened to fat, wet, globs.

Being a Consett lass, with anti-freeze in her veins, Fiona B had the good sense to kick like hell and get out of it as quickly as possible. I could see her ahead of me and tried to push on, looking for James amongst the spectators, as I figured he must be finished by now.

“Go on Fi!”, I heard him yell, and just caught sight of the Bell family, now apparently completely frozen and motionless next to him. The end was in sight and the ordeal almost over. My Garmin said 35:18, which I was delighted about, but the official chip time later read 39 mins, which I was disappointed with to be honest. Fiona B finished in an excellent 35:01 and James managed just over 27 minutes.

This was the first of the Great Run series to be presented by the new sponsors – Morrisons, which may have been why the goody bag at the end was as full as a weekly shop. Copious amounts of chocolate, cereal bars, drinks, energy packs, massage gels as well as long sleeved t-shirt and medal.

It was an experience- the course is great and it would have been better if the weather had not been so rotten and yes, I will do it next year – not just to settle the time difference, but to see if wearing a rabbit suit for a 5k race would actually be beneficial.


winter run 3

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