We had a wonderful night on New Year’s Eve at the Carlton Hotel in Prestwick.
There was much eating, drinking and dancing and it all culminated in a jolly late night. This was all well and good at the time but I was firmly committed to run the Eglinton parkrun in the morning. Carrie had also promised to come along to watch and so we both staggered out into a freezing cold morning to join the running fun.
We arrived just in time to hear the pre run briefing. Unfortunately the accent was a little too broad for my untrained English ears (or I hadn’t yet managed to get the ears to wake up) and I couldn’t make out a single word he was saying. I figured though that if I followed everyone else then I wouldn’t go far wrong.
Eglinton is a truly beautiful course. It seems to do a lot of winding around and about but it is all among the trees, over wooden bridges and around a very picturesque tower thing. There are marshalls everywhere, keeping a careful eye on the runners (very much needed today on an extremely icy course) and advising us to be careful over the many and varied obstacles. It was a pretty tough course with a fine combination of mud, tree roots and slippery paths. This made it a great test and I very much enjoyed the challenge.
The route has been cunningly arranged so that it is unlikely that the fast runners and the slower ones will become entangled with each other. However it is possible to see the leaders on their last section as you’re still doing the larger loop. It looked quite an exciting battle and looking at the results later I see the first two, Scott Martin and Paul Lafferty finished within a second of each other.
Last time I was at Eglinton was a year ago when I ran the Christmas parkrun in a rhino suit. I finished quicker this time around but not by a great deal. I reckon I was a good deal fitter last year as I was training for the London Marathon. That was before all my various injuries began to gang up on me.