Round and round the castles

We hear from Robin Clubb who has been out in the cold winter in Aberdeenshiremore than once…

So I’ve run my first three races now as a member of Vegan Runners – I’m going to try and enter as many races as possible in 2010 and so I started off 2010 with a few 10k races to see how unfit I’ve become over the festive period.
The first race was a 6-mile race round Haddo Country Park in Aberdeenshire on the 24th January, part of a ‘Round the Castles’ series organised by the local running shop – 2 laps of a 3-mile cross country circuit with a killer hill and big, muddy, ice-cold puddle to run through (twice).  Thankfully the snow of the previous couple of weeks had stopped and started to thaw so the ground was a combination of mud, bog, compacted snow, and icy patches for good measure.  I managed to stay on my feet though (unlike some) and finished in just under 45-minutes which was just about acceptable for the conditions.  This race was the second in a series of three ’round the castle’ races organised by the local running shop.  I missed the firsat race but will be entering the third in a few weeks time.
The second race was the Lumphanan Detox 10k on the 31st January – this race had been rescheduled twice already due to snow and a further flurry of snow and ice on the Friday looked like stopping it again.  We’re hardy north-east types though and we managed to get round the course regardless.  The course was mostly farm track with hard compacted snow and finished up on the main road which was clear – The state of some of the farm tracks necessitated single file running in parts which did cause a couple of traffic jams and I managed to finish in 51 minutes with the finish line being in the middle of a field ankle deep in snow.
Lastly I competed in another 6-mile cross country race at the House of Dun in Aberdeenshire from the Round the Castles series.  Work has taken over my life recently so I’d done pretty much no running for most of February and was worried that the 4-lap course would see me being lapped by people in banana suits and the like.  The route was basically round the old mansion house up and down a never ending hill and again quite muddy.  46-minutes for this one and only lapped by the front two who were obscenely quick.
Poor planning has seen me lose out on a place in the Balmoral 10k this year which is disappointing so I’ve had to settle for the 5k.  I read about Paul Tonkinson’s embarrassment at being overtaken by someone in a Vegan Runners vest (and a couple of bananas) in his article in the March edition of Runners World so I need to get a vest on order ASAP to get the message out there . . .
Date        Event                                                                 Gun Time  Position Age Category Age Category Position 
24-Jan-10 The Running Shop
               Round the Castles Cross Country Series 2009/10
              – Haddo    – 6m                                                       00:44:38 18/24         Senior Men    18/24 
31-Jan-10 Lumphanan Detox 10k                                           00:51:17 80/170       Under 40       27/62 
28-Feb-10 The Running Shop 
                Round the Castles Cross Country Series 2009/10
              – House of Dun R6m                                               00:46:32  18/22         Senior Men 18/22