When is a dram not a dram??? When it’s a half marathon in Dundee. I’ve been looking to do a half marathon in ages and was kinda attracted to the small size of this one and the setting….Dundee….I’ve visited Dundee many times but never fallen in love with it somehow. It seems somehow back-to-front – a bit like Fort William where the road feels in the wrong place. Couldn’t they move the road back and the nice buildings to the front to over look the water?
Anyway back to the run. As usual I was last minute to decide. Story of my life. Set the alarm for 6.15 am (in Edinburgh). It didn’t go off so only left the burgh at 7.30 for the trip there. Made it to Camperdown Park just after 9 and set myself into one of the many queues to see if could enter on the day. Managed to persuade the nice, friendly organisers to let me do so, taped on my number 875…and looked at the huge queue for the portacabins. Wow! Decided against the huge queue and entered another queue to start the run. Then suddenly the queue all moved in the other direction so then I worked out what direction the run was going in! Phew! As my phone was playing up (hence the alarm issue) had to ration the music. Thought would need it for the start so as the gun went (I couldn’t really work out whether I was in the right place or not) I put it on.
The start of the run seemed more like Tough Mudder than a half marathon. Mud, mud, mud…and the nettles which I’d seen mentioned on one of the sites I read were in abundance. The first miles seemed up, up and up and I was slow, slow and slower. We eventually got out of the park and onto some routes through housing estates. It was quite nice actually. Local folks lined the roads and the police people at the junctions did a great job of keeping traffic at bay. Hadn’t really realised how much park land there was in Dundee but most of the 13.1 miles seemed to be through these little trails through parks…one was particularly nice with a wetlands area and houses overlooking it. There was a long loop back at one point (obviously to get the mileage in) and then a bit of an uphill. I think this was about the 10 mile mark. On the approach to 11 miles, which was an upwards one, in the by then excessive heat, some peeps looked to have run out of gas. It was a lot hotter than I’d expected and promised myself shorts for the next time.
After 11 miles (or round about) it was a nice downhill with highlights being some folks with jelly babies standing in the street (or was this a mirage) and sprinklers directed to hit runners with some cool water. I wondered also whether it was a mirage during the run that I only saw peeps with “FULL DRAM” numbers next to me. At various times, I chastised myself for not checking the route in more detail but resisted the temptation to disclose my silliness by asking anyone. I’d just stop at 13.1 miles on the dot I’d decided….no matter where that was! No one would see me…I could disguise by pretending my lace was out. That’s what I’d do. Then I’d find out where I was and make my way back!
The final road crossing seemed a little haphazard as it was at the bottom of a downhill and runners and cars weren’t sure what to do. I got across ok and then there was a nice bridge and a view of the water. This part of the run was glorious. On one side the Firth of Tay, on the other a wildflower meadow complete with poppies. We crossed a funny bridge at about 12 miles (or maybe a bit after). It seemed fine at first then wobbled gently underfoot – kind of a nice sensation really. A few cyclists seemed awkstruck by the number of runners.
And then it was along a bit of road, a pavement and to the end. The end was lovely.
Take a right for the HALF DRAM, take a left for the FULL DRAM.
I took the right, with relief. The sun was high, it was super hot and it was kinda nice to cross the line! It truly was time for a dram to celebrate my first half marathon!
CONSUMED 4 plastic cups of water, one gel.
BEST VIEW coming along the First of Tay (with the breeze in the face)
TOENAILS LOST- only one – result!