Our long day started early. We left home at 6.30am with the car packed with clothes, gear, dog food etc etc (faffing about gear all done the evening before!). The ferry trip across to the mainland was lovely although a bit chilly on the top deck. I collected my number from the community centre (the finish) - there was a hive of activity in the hall and outside with officials setting up barriers, banners and signs.........excitement rising! We drove down the route to the start - oh my, it was rather undulating, in fact I would describe it hilly in places.....nerves and gremlins whispering! We had time to stroll on the beautiful white beaches before the start at 1pm. The start must be one of the most picturesque in the country (see photo). We gathered in a field - the sheep and lambs had been shooed to the other end, and it was rather chilly in the sea breeze so I was wearing my jacket, thin gloves, buff and long tights. After some star jumps and stretching exercises to loud music, which didn't seem to fit with the surroundings, we were off. I started at the back of the runners and went a slow jog initially. I passed a few people and rather quickly, after about five minutes I began to regret wearing all those clothes - gloves off, buff off, jacket tied round my waist! The undulating route made it really difficult to settle into a rhythm, I was trying hard to breath out for two and in for three but it was difficult. However, I surprised myself because I did manage a little chat with a lady as I ran along, she was doing a nice steady pace and I tried to keep up with her (although not for very long!). The gremlins were out to get me saying things like, 'you are too hot', 'you need a drink', 'you can't keep running up this hill' but despite finding it quite hard I kept plodding along. There was plenty of water available , but why in bottles? I only wanted a little sip - what a waste (reminder to myself to look up waist belts for carrying a bottle). Oh, for those who read my other post about chasing the train, I have to inform you that I didn't beat the train....too hilly and hot (well that is my excuse!). The last part of the race was on a pavement along the main road and it was very gradually going up hill - phew, what a slog! At one point I was running with a dad who was running and carrying his young daughter on his back - they were doing the 5k. I was determined not to let him go past me so tried to go a little faster... Eventually the road levelled out and the community hall was in sight. I 'sprinted' to the finish - well it felt like it anyway Really pleased with the lovely medal and t-shirt and very pleased with myself for coming 54 out of 77 in 1 hour 12 minutes. We had a celebratory fish and chips before travelling back on the ferry and home. What a great day out.