The last thing that the world needs is another blogging jogger, so I won't bore anyone with my running tales on a regular basis. However last weekend on Sunday 1st of April I decided to do the Edinburgh "half-kilomathon". Despite the punning title and the date of the event it is a real race. I think the original idea was a race distance for the marathon, but done in kilometres, ie a 26.2km kilomathon, but for whatever reason the event today had only a half-kilomathon, a quarter-kilomathon and a 2.5km race. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea to someone, as did the Union Jack-y flag logo.
I started running a year ago, just to get a bit fitter, lose a bit of weight, but I've done that and managed to keep it going. It can be a bit of a time-consuming chore so I don't think I'm in any danger of becoming crazily addicted to it. Last year I ran a couple of 10K races in Glasgow. Once the application money had been sent off it was a good motivator for me to keep going. So this year I wanted a further target to aim at, so have applied for a half-marathon, the Great North Run in Newcastle and Gateshead in September 2012. Sunday's 13.1km race has proved to be a good way of getting me to up my training distances a bit, and I also fancied running about the scenic streets of Edinburgh for a wee change.
After the starting gun went, we left Ocean Terminal and ran past a couple of ships, then around Leith Links. Sadly most of the rest of the route was along a cycle-path, so I had a lovely view of the dog walkers and trees of Edinburgh. The last part of the route came down Gorgie Road. The last time that I was here I came to see Spurs play Hearts in the Europa League in August. I was supporting Spurs, whilst sitting behind the goal in a Hearts section. (If you missed the goals, you can watch the 5 occasions I had to celebrate silently and pretend to be sad here. It was at that point in the season that I thought Spurs might have got a decent squad together this year, or that Scottish football had fallen further behind the rest of the world than I realised - it turns out that both were true.)
The finish of the race was in Murrayfield Stadium, so it was fun to run in there and cross the line on the track whilst family and friends were cheering from the stands in the last of the winter sunshine before the snow started 48 hours later. I had hung onto the tail of someone who seemed to be going at the 1 hour pace I needed and I achieved my goal of getting around in under an hour (57 mins 58secs officially). I then collected the usual medal and random goodie bag of tat for my 3 children to fight over ("Who wants a sports watch with special ions in the strap to make you run faster? Who wants a wee box of raisins?"). Ahead of me someone had set a new record for this distance, but I was pleased to come in 40th, good encouragement to keep going and do that half marathon.
I've had Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years, so there are plenty of personal benefits for me in keeping on running, and as I've done before, I'll be running the Great North Run to raise money for Diabetes UK. Nearer the time I'll start promoting my Just Giving page, but if you feel inclined to sponsor me it is up and running. Thank you very much, and let me know what you are up to so that I can return the favour.