Dechmont Law 10km Trail Run

Random extra race = extra blog post!

Last Thursday at the club running session, the coach did his usual round up of what was happening at the weekend. He mentioned a 10km race not too far away. I thought this sounded like quite a good idea, and suddenly I was hatching a new training plan for the weekend!


The race was the Dechmont Law 10km trail race. It was out in Livingston, West Lothian, about 30km from where I live. I set my alarm early (for a Sunday morning, anyway) and was soon pedalling out past work and beyond. Apart from a minor navigational hiccough as I hit town (nasty large roads and roundabouts) all went well and I was soon ready to race.

Because this was a mini practice for next weekend’s 10km run at the Trident triathlon, I experimented with taking a gel just before the start (my second ever!), then it was time to line up. There were a lot of people in running club vests! The hooter went off and we all jostled for position as the path began to narrow. I was near a girl who is in my training group, which was encouraging. The course was a complicated set of loops along forest and heathland tracks. I had tried to memorise it but didn’t need to, as the marshalling and signage were faultless!

The distance markers were somewhat randomly spaced – first update at 3km and I was going great! Same again at 5km, but then I started to feel a bit rough. I suspect this is what comes from running lots of 5km Parkruns and not much else at speed! We might have been going uphill at that point as well. By this time there were 4 or 5 of us girls quite close together. I was using the ones in front to keep me going. I thought that if I stopped, I might never start again and it was like my body had gone into a trance…

… wait, hang on a minute, this was a 10km race, not some sort of 16 hour epic! Luckily I soon felt a bit better and started vying with one of the girls. A kilometre to go though, and she took off. Part of me thought I should grit my teeth and hang on, the other part just didn’t really mind that much as I was there to have fun and practice what the distance might feel like next week.

I finished 6th girl and 36th overall out of 139 – which I was pretty pleased with, even if my time was a little slow. Results here. The course was undulating and you had to be quite careful with your footing in some places, so it was OK. I’d had over a week of hard training as well. A winter spent chasing Lucy downhill in the Open 5s seems to have had some side benefits – I was overtaking plenty of people on the downs, which is most unusual for me. It’s still not my forte compared to fell runners, but seems I’ve become not too bad compared to club runners!

At the end I sat in the sun, ate the proffered homemade flapjack and chatted to a few people I knew. Then it was time to pedal home again. I had a different route set up, with fantastic views of the Pentland Hills and Edinburgh as I zig-zagged along quiet country lanes. I was almost home when my legs threatened to go on strike, but I made it back safely and felt like I’d had a mini adventure!


As an aside, James Thurlow, who is race director for Open Adventure, is taking on his own challenge this week. He is doing Wainright’s coast to coast trip of 190 miles on his own two feet to raise money for diabetes research. He has been recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes himself. This makes the challenge extra hard as he has to manage his blood sugars as he goes, which is tricky. It certainly hasn’t all been plain sailing so far.

If you want to donate or find out more, you can do so here. And if you do it before midnight on Wednesday, you can put in a guess for how long it will take him and you might win some kit he has got together as a prize.

Posted on 11/06/2013, in Race Reports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Nice – you realise you now have a better 10k PB than me…..road running is not my forte (in fact I have run 10k in a fell race within 30s of my road PB)….maybe I should try a trail one!

    • Ha ha ha!!! I always run with visions of you in front of me these days, so it’s maybe like you’ve got some virtual times all a little bit quicker than mine? 😀 I think you would have liked this one. Hopefully I’ll get a new pb Sunday? 🙂

  2. Nice one. It’s funny isn’t it how the body needs to be reminded of the distance that you are actually running instead of slipping into what it’s used to.

    Do you run at a Parkrun? We have three of them here in Brisbane Australia. Two are just 4-5km apart. And they all get big turn outs (I’ve not been because I tend to be otherwise engaged on Saturday mornings but I’ve seen photos)

    • Totally. Fast 5ks – check. Slow, rough 18ks – check. 4 or 5 hours up mountains – check. 10km fast? No way! 🙂

      Yes, I do Parkrun from time to time. We have loads of them in the UK! My local is in Edinburgh, which often gets 300+ runners. I’ve also done one in Manchester, which is much smaller but equally friendly and well organised. They’re good for having a consistent course to measure progress against, with the motivation of chasing other people.

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