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The Troon Tortoise 2013

As you are probably aware I have been training for, notwithstanding my recent brush with Strathclyde police and a speed camera (facebook 08 April), the Troon Tortoise 2013 10k road race.
This year I turned 54 and did not have the best lead into the race, I had contracted that awful virus that has been going around and it impacted severely on my pre- race training. Can you hear the excuses already!
My daughter recently completed a 10k road race in Oxfordshire in 52 minutes 24 seconds and this was my target plus I have tried to run my previous road races in fewer minutes than I am years in age (49 min just after my 50th birthday etc.).
The banter all week had been that her time was on a hilly course and mine would be  at Troon a flat course. She said “that as far as she was concerned there was no comparison” to which I replied “I am 26 years older than you daughter”.
It was with some trepidation that I lined up for the start three years since my last 10 K and for the first time in many years I actually felt nervous, I  tied and retied my laces and actually tied them too tight, I should have left them how they were as I could feel them cutting off the circulation to my toes all the whole way round.
In true Troon Tortoise tradition, we were treated to a glorious Scottish late spring evening – rain, wind and the sand from the beach being whipped up into our faces!
The horn sounded and we were off, at the start line I had been chatting to the lady next to me and asked her what time she was hoping to achieve,  she told me that she was confident in a 50 minute result so I made sure I stuck as close to her as I could. She did not know it but she was to be my pace maker as I cannot see my running watch without my glasses!
My husband at the 1k and 9.5 k mark; my Mum at the 2k and 8k mark and a couple of friends at different points on the course, all cheered me on.
There were three things clear in my mind as I raced around the course:

  • Keep the 50 min lady in sight if possible,
  • complete the course in less minutes than my age and;
  • Complete the course as near to my daughter’s time as possible.

At the 8k point 50 minute lady disappeared and one other thought came to mind “If I had the time to wave to my Mum, which I had, then I can run faster”…..
I was on my own now and started to up my pace, back onto the long sea front fortunately the wind was behind me, the sand was now whipping into my legs and not my face and even better the finish line was in sight…….
I could see the clock at the finish line with 300 metres to go 52 min 45, I was going to do it, get in under my age and be near my daughter’s time
I crossed the line  at 53.37, elated, not and too sure if my lungs were still part of my body….  the official time was 53 minutes 29 seconds and I am now looking for my next race and a reduction in time to 52.00.
Warmest Regards
Trisha Harvey Thorntonhall Therapies


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

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