Couch to 5K
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Great Winter Run done!

I signed up for this 5k as it looked like a good way to finish off the Christmas holidays and a way to make sure I kept up with running. I'd run the course before round Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh but only as a fun runner for the Race for Life, walking bits of it, so I knew it was a pretty challenging course. Yesterday I walked the course and that brought home just how steep it was over most of the first 2k. It's actually less then 100m ascent and my local run is about 70m but it seems much harder. It took me almost an hour to walk so I was reckoning for a time of about 35minutes.

I got there in good time and to my surprise got parked close by. We had time to watch the kids races. Some of them were just amazing - like little wind up toys! Then it was my turn. I was in the pink group i.e. right at the back away from the serious runners. But as it was tag timed (a first for me) there was no need to worry about loosing time getting across the line. The uphill stretch was just as tough as I had anticipated and I had to walk bits of it. However, by 2k I had got back into my rhythm. Although the next k is slightly uphill it was fine and I was passing folk and weaving in between those who were slowing down a bit. Then came the down hill run. The race blurb talks about the great views of the city but can't say I was looking for them at that stage. I had been looking at how to run downhill on Youtube and practising and felt a lot more comfortable taking shorter steps and trying to land flat on my foot with some bounce rather than hard on my heels. The final k was more or less flat and by that time I was just looking to finish without any illusion of sprinting for the finish! I felt I had done OK. Got my goody bag - with an odd mix of food, drinks, toiletries and sport medicines - and the 'been there, done that' T-shirt.

With the tag timing the results came through this afternoon. I was 1016th out of about 1800 in a time on 30.05min and I was 13th out of 32 women in my age class. Much better than I was expecting and now I wonder what I could have done to break the magic 30min, walked a bit less, passed a few more people, sprinted for the finish?.

Compared to the Race for Life this was a much more serious event with less of a sense of being part of something shared. My son who came to watch summed it up nicely by noticing everyone was in proper running gear and no-one in fancy dress. This afternoon there were international cross country events in the park and it was great watching them on TV at home and feeling in a small way to have been part of it.

Not sure if there were any C25kers today. I think 2 others said they were going to do it. Hope they had a good run too.

5 Replies

Wow what a great time...imagine what you could do on the flat! Well done :)


Well done! I finished in 27:35 - 697 overall, 33rd out of about 90 finishers in the 55-59 year old group. Mind you, the top runner in the over 80's had a time well under 20 minutes! I think there were just over 1800 finishers with times from 17mins upwards. For those of you who are worrying whether you'll ever break "5k in 30 mins (a popular thread in the community), the times went all the way to well over an hour. That kind of proves that, for most of us, it's not the time that matters so much as getting out and doing whatever our best might be that day.

My time was 3 secs slower than the Great Edinburgh Run in October. But then, the GER didn't use that very tough hill! It must have been the best part of 3k uphill? I managed to run it all the way though. My plan was to get up the first 2k as fast as my aged legs would carry me, ease off along the top of the hill, then cruise down the last 2. All went according to plan except my legs were pretty well knackered by the top and instead of cruising, I had to dig deep. The final 500 metres were particularly tough for me and I couldn't wait for the count down flags to go from 400m to 200m and then to reach the finish line. But hey ho, we got there and it was well worth the experience. That's now 11 months since I started this running lark and haven't regretted it. There might well be easier ways of passing the time (relaxing on the couch springs to mind ??) but very few are as fulfilling.


Great time - well done!

When I looked at the comments on the GWR Facebook page, they all seem to be talking about that killer hill at the start. I'm glad I had walked it the other day as I had a fell for just how long and steep it was.


Brilliant! I'd like to do this run one day.....


Oh, wow. Well done! What a great time. Well done on being 13 out of 32 in your age class - that means your in the top third! What a result!


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