Cowal Highland Gathering 5k
I have just had a very busy week with the annual Cowal Highland Gathering where I am chairman and have just celebrated my 25th year of being involved in an official capacity with the Gathering. My involvement with the gathering was long before this as I had many happy years as a competitor in both the solo piping events and with the pipe band but now my piping days are long gone and last year I did take part as a competitor again, this time in the 5k road race and this year I was back again to try and better last years effort.
I spent all day on the games field and then rushed down after we finished to take part in the race. After wearing kilt brogues all day it was a relief to get into my running shoes to get going.
Arriving just in time to get registered and get a warm-up and jog, it was down to the start line. There were good number of runners taking part with a good quality field of club runners present and some of our friends here from Canada and the USA who were visiting the games. (Pictured below, our Canadian & American friends)
(Above pictures by Ken Clark)
The direction of the race was changes this year and started at the Coal Pier out to Hunters Quay and back. A nice flat course so we new we were in for some good times.
For me, well all I was looking for was a personal best and pushed out trying to maintain a pace of 8.50 min miles. On the last half mile I really had to keep my concentration, which was hard as I passed people I knew and acknowledged their support. I dug deep and came over the finish line in a respectable 27mins 32 seconds which beat my PB by over a minute and seven minutes off my time from last year, so a job well done and all the training with Hawkins Running paid off.
This is now my tenth race with one more to go raising money for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity. My next race is the Great Scottish Run, which will be held in Glasgow in October.