Saturday, 21 June 2014

An Creagan - A Run in the Sperrins.

I don't race over 5k very often. The distance is no problem I just find it hard to keep competitive concentration in place for what for me is a prolonged race. Despite my antipathy to the distance I succumbed to club pressure, real or imagined, and lined up for a 5k trail run during the past week.

The venue was at a very rural location called An Creagan which is situated close to the hamlet of Greencastle in the foothills of the Sperrins. Not an easy or quick place to get to, but the surrounding countryside is very picturesque albeit a mite wild. Race HQ was a visitor centre. The entry fee for what was to be a chipped race was a very modest £3.

Weather conditions were fine. The voracious midges were less to my taste. Hordes of the little blighters honed in on the start area doubtlessly attracted by the gently sweating and glowing competitors. Even thinking of them makes me want to scratch, - the midges that is, not the competitors.

A total of one hundred and sixty participants lined up for the off. The start line was on quite a narrow forest track but the organisers had set up anticipated time flags so that the faster runners would not mow down their less fleet of foot brethren. Thankfully it was a one lap course. I do find that easier than a multiple lap event. Knowing that you have only one circuit to complete does I think foreshorten the race in one's mind. The first kilometre was downhill and not unsurprisingly that would be my quickest kilometre. Thereafter the route was for the most part flat or gently uphill with a couple of very tight turns and areas of loose gravel. Anyhows I managed to get myself back to the finish line in a reasonably respectable time and just outside the top ten percent.

I was glad that it had not been a 10k race!



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