Who doesn’t want to start of the New Year with a brisk 10K race? Especially one that starts with a solid 2K uphill? Right…
Our friend sent out the info on the Detox 10K, as he was doing it, and invited E & I to come along. Pretty sure we wouldn’t have done it if not for being invited by friends. To be far, it was January 2nd…not the 1st. Which I liked because who wants to wake up early on the 1st day of 2015? Not me. Also, it was on a Friday. Which is a holiday in Scotland as part of Hogmanay. Technically, E was supposed to work as they observe UK holidays, not Scotland’s but he sorted it out with work. And this got me out on an extra run before my long run of the week (9 miler) on Sunday.
Cost – fine
The race cost was £17, which is alright without converting. Just alright because of coming up short in the goodie bag and t-shirt (see below).
Parking – fine
We pulled into the first parking we saw- a small lot about 1.5K away from the start. While we had an easy out and all that…we had to walk to the start. 1.5k isn’t far by any means, but when you’re freezing cold and trying not to slip and face-plant before a race- it sucks. So don’t park at that first place in the future. Apparently there was parking much closer. Also, since there was no bag check- we were faced with walk in our sweats and stuff all the way back to the car, then coming back to the start freezing (I guess it could have been a warm up) and having to walk freezing all the way back to get warm clothes post race…. But what we did was just throw our bag under a table in the town hall building and hope the honest Scots wouldn’t steal our wallet or sweats. Spoiler alert: they didn’t. Honest Scots prevail!
Bathrooms – doable
The town hall building where you got checked in and your bib etc had a 2-person stall. Otherwise, there were 2-3 Porto potties outside. E opted for the latter and was the first person to use them and beat the rush. So he said that was good. I stood in a bit of a queue to use the indoor bathroom (because I was cold and knew I’d have the longest pee ever), which wasn’t too bad. And I like to be warm when I’m peeing so, whatever.
Registration – fine
I was in the bathroom when E went to get our bibs and t-shirts. Check in was quick he said, they had our numbers and safety pins (although the bibs were strangely large). The t-shirts were very cheap white cotton T’s and they only had large and XL left. Not that I need another crappy t-shirt, but it was kind of annoying to not have my size despite that we were there early and had pre-registered. I never understand how some races miscalculate that so severely. But the registration was inside- so that was nice.
Timing – good
It was a device I had never used before. It was a bracelet that went around your ankle and had an adhesive strip to fasten it. Kind of like a festival bracelet. It worked just fine but in general I prefer a device that doesn’t have to be removed (specifically cut off me) right after crossing the finish line. Kinda makes things messy.
Course – blergh
Every review you read about this course is true. It’s a solid 2k uphill to start. It’s hard. And I like hills, but I could have used some flat ground somewhere in there and there’s none. But worse, is that much of the rest of the course is downhill. I am not a downhill runner. It hurts my knees tremendously. (And for the next I from being sore to excruciating IT band pain from said downhill).
For the most part, you’re on country roads…so it’s not like there was tons of traffic to battle…but the roads were open and so you did have to deal with cars. I forget the measurement but I think about 7-8k you’re on a farmer’s path. Which means frozen mud and poop and super uneven ground from tractors and carts and things going through the mud/poo pre-freeze. It’s also a very narrow frozen mud/poo path so at times you’re forced to stop or walk to get around someone or to use the only trekable part of the path. Lot of stop and go.
Then right when you got off the farmer’s path, you were on a small paved road, that was downhill (who would’ve guessed) and a solid sheet of ice. So I had to walk that part because I wasn’t about to risk slipping and getting injured for marathon training.
Then you’re on a bigger country road through the small downtown for the rest. Most of the ice was gone, so that was okay. But then you had to run past the offshoot where the finish line is and do an additional loop past it. I hate having to run past finish lines on race courses. It’s such a mind trip. Here I was hauling ass to beat pink shorts in front of me because I thought I was turning into the finish line- and I still had the big loop to do. Needless to say I blew my energy too early and pink shorts won this round.
But the sun was shining, you’re in the country. If I wasn’t half trying to push it/concentrate on my knees I would have taken pictures. Everyone knows how much I appreciate herds of sheep and cows as my spectators during a race. But really, it was pretty.
Still, the course left room for lots of complaining. But for most of it – it is what it is. They’re not going to go through the trouble of shutting down roads for all 10 cars that pass through in few hours of the race. It is an uphill start and downhill the rest of the time. And ya never know what’s going to happen with the weather and the farmer traffic on the weeks leading up to the race- and hey, the farmer let’s us run on his path so we can’t complain. I do think they have the power to change the end of the route so you don’t have to do that loop past the finish line. Or maybe after doing it once, it’s not so bad knowing about it in advance for the next time. But because of the fierce downhills and the pain that followed- it’s really just a blergh. I totally understand a lot of runners love downhill and will totally disagree with me on this.
Goodie Bag – Needs improvement
You got a plastic bag at the end. It had a juice box, bottle of water, stale granola bar, and a pack of gum. Enough said.
I should say that they also had soup afterward- but I didn’t have any. Maybe if I had some I’d let the crappy goodie bag go…because amazing soup is better than more goodie bag items.
More serious competitors than my last (and first) Scotland Race. But you’re looking at a rough 10k course in freezing temps…something that the faint of heart runners are more likely to pass on. That being said, everyone’s super nice per usual.
No medal. I’m perfectly fine with that.
59:15, a 9:32 pace. With the walking on the ice, my slow down-hilling, and the stop and go of the farmer’s path- I was pretty happy with that.
Leaving the race I thought I’d for sure do it again. But the knee pain I dealt with the next week really made me rethink that. I’m not really sure. I guess I would consider it. But not if marathon training. Or not if my knees grow worse with age. But maybe if my knees rebound to be the knees of 12-year-old Lauren…then I’d be all in. The course while having it’s challenges, was pretty and diverse. And who doesn’t want to start off a new year with a race?