Blast Running organised its second Scottish Mile race at Silverknowes, Edinburgh waterfront, inviting runners from across the UK to enter either an open race for all with no age limit and the British Masters 1 Mile Championship event an hour later for UKA registered athletes aged 35 and over. I have got used to running distances from 5k to 10 miles with very little else so thought it would be good to step out of the comfort zone again and try out a fast and furious 1 mile. OK it’s a long way to travel for seven minutes of anaerobic agony but this was my chance to meet kindred spirits and turn my legs over a wee bit faster than normal.
Son Joel offered to drive so with him registered in the open race and me in the BMAF race we were able to support one another. Joel set a target time of 6 minutes and I went for 7 minutes with a favourable wind. And that’s where this race differs from others.
“We can’t guarantee you a tail wind however we CAN make sure that you don’t have a head wind on our flat, tarmac, no turns coastal route. How can we do this you may ask? We decide the direction of the race on the day depending on the wind direction”. Race Director.
Down on the Forth estuary there certainly was a brisk breeze to add to the dimension of a gloriously sunny and cloudless day. Around 150 Runners in each of the two events ages ranging from 7 to 85 faced West and leapt into action at the signal.
When I run a road 10k I try to start steady and gradually build throughout the race to finish strongly. In a 1 mile race there is no such luxury. You have to go out strong or lose the advantage. Yet it is not a sprint, so getting the balance right between purposeful running and blowing up is key to a successful race. As a novice I had to suck it and see. In the event I started at what is probably 5k pace and soon realised I’d be left well behind if I didnt lift it significantly. I quickly caught old friend and World Champion in many events, Angela Copson, F75 and Linden Nicholson, V70 and by the half way point had built enough of a lead to feel reasonably confident of an age group win. The second 800 metres was a challenge because I knew I had to finish faster than I started. Lots of encouraging shouts and claps from spectators and runners helped spur me on to achieve a 6:47 minute time, first of two F70’s. Joel had had a great race to finish in 5:40 chip, 25th overall, 18th male and 5th in the M40 group. Both he and I had run well within our target times.
The Open race was won by Finlay Murray, East Sutherland AC in 4:12 chip and Margot Wyrwoll, unattached in 5:07 chip.
Full results can be seen on results.perfecttimingscotland.co.uk
5th June 2023.