Alloa Half Marathon

The 2018 Alloa Half Marathon was originally scheduled to be run on 18th March, but bad weather caused the organisers to postpone the event – and today was the new date.

The difference in the weather was marked.  Back in March, there was snow and mist, and a vicious easterly wind that brought the windchill-equivalent temperature down to about -7C.  But in March, it was warm and humid, and to make matters worse I haven’t really been running much since the marathon.  But I ran a marathon – 26.2 miles.  Surely it can’t be hard to run 13.1?  

Oh, foolish fay!

The organisers had done a great job of resetting the race to be held in June, and full credit to them for that.  Not only that, but they kept the communication going throughout – an perfect example of how to respond to unforeseen circumstances.

The start was a civilised 10:00, and I was able to find a parking place and collect my race number without difficulty.  An improvement for this year was the provision of a bank of urinals behind the portaloos, which meant that the queues were much shorter – well done to the organisers for this.

It’s quite a big race – there were around 1,600 finishers – and the start is a fairly narrow funnel.  We started off walking until we reached the final few yards before the start line, then picked up the pace to cross the line at a run.  It wasn’t sunny, but it was warm, clammy and airless – not great weather for a long distance run!

Tillicoultry – picture by Colin Anderson

I’ve written about this race several times before.  It goes through beautiful scenery; it’s quite hilly.  The route was mostly unchanged, but this time we were running it on a warm day.  I managed to make my way up the Menstrie Brae without stopping, but to turn left and see a further rise… wow.  I have run this route before, but this second part of the hill has never had that effect on me.

Somehow I struggled to the top of the hill, comforted by the knowledge that it was downhill pretty much all the way from there to the finish.  My marathon training frequently took me along this route, but it was never so tough as it was today.

Eventually I reached the end.  I’d love to say I had enjoyed the race, but honestly… that would be pushing it.  It was just too warm.  Give me cold or rain any time.

I look forward to doing the race again next year.

In March.

Finishers – picture by Gemma Connell