How much trail is on the Loch Leven Half Marathon?
Before the race, I was asked this by two different people. Both were very disappointed when I said “none, its a road race!”
I think people assume its a trail race because there is a nice walking route around the Loch. But it is actually mostly on roads. There is a sneaky little bit of trail right at the end but not much.
The route is an anti-clockwise loop around Loch Leven. I’ve ran the course clock wise and anti clock wise. I did it anti-clockwise the year Andrew I turned up and realized we’d forgotten to enter! We didn’t want to cheat and run with the official runners so went the opposite way instead.
How difficult is it to run a circle in reverse? It turns out it was very difficult. We took a wrong turn and ran 16 miles instead of 13. At one point we ran across a farmers muddy field whilst it was pouring with rain. Considering its a 100% road race I’m not sure how we ended up in a field!
The race race registration and finish line is the local school campus. It was then a near two mile walk to the start line. Some races start in beautiful locations, this one doesn’t. It was side street next to some industrial units.
A woman walked up and down the road shouting at everyone “keep off the road” but it was too little avail. As soon as she passed everyone moved back onto the road.
I was desperate for the loo so I decided to stand in a long queue and see if I could make it to the front before the race started. To succeed at this, , the key is to hold my nerve. As the race gets closer more and more people abandon the queue. I bet that if I held on long enough most people would have left and I’d get a cubicle.
I was correct. Most people left when there was only a couple of minutes left to the start.
The first part of the race is on a partially closed road. Even though it was cloudy it was very warm. I felt good but I was planning on biking for 5 hours the next day so i didn’t push too hard.
The main hill is half way around. Annoyingly this was also the hottest and windiest bit of the course. The wind was against me. Normally i like running up hills but it felt like hard work.
Andrew kicked and left me with about a mile to go. I didn’t have any power so I didn’t even try to keep up. I ended up finishing about 30 seconds behind him.
My aim was sub 1hr 45 min. I did that…just!