ATRX 2017 – race report

rockATRX

So much about running is gradual.  For me, just starting to actually enjoy it took a while. But on that journey runners take, there are usually some memorable moments that we look back on to mark our progress.  It might be a parkrun PB, meeting up with a club for the first time, or something like that.

For me, The Antonine Trial Race 10k (ATRX) was my first trail race and the event inspired me to get into running on the trails and hills.  So it was fun to return to the race, everything familiar and different at the same time.  In 2016 I didn’t know anybody, standing around like Nigel-no-mates, but still enjoying the craic.  On Wednesday, I knew so many people, a bunch from the Carron Valley Trail Runners crew as well as a handful Springburn parkrunners.  Oddly, the weather was almost the same as it was last year — that’s to say, perfect.  I don’t know how James and the race crew have managed this two years in a row — spooky.

Last year, the hills near killed me.  This year, they were tough but felt more runnable.  Last year, I was timid on the decent.  This year, I confidently stormed down the hills with my arms flailing like a total eejit.  I passed people on the downs, they passed me on the ups.  All in all, my strategy of recognising that I’m a slow climber but quick controlled-faller worked.  I leapfrogged competitors for the first 8k, but only got passed once on the final 2k.  Last year, I ran the course in 59:18, this year 53:06.  A course PB by over 6 minutes!

eleprofile
A profile of the elevation gain.  Hilly wee route!

The race itself has a great vibe, the marshals were all so encouraging (especially the team on the final hill!) and it’s a beautiful place to run with fascinating Roman ruins all over the place.  I’d say it’s an underappreciated bit of central Scotland and I’m pleased this race gives it the attention it deserves. There are so many great views — there’s a class panorama over the Campsies from the top of Croy Hill, but I really love the old gnarled trees and almost terraced grassy descent at the 7.5km point.

croysunset
Sunset over Croy.

The race links up with local charities (this year, PALS) and everybody arrives with tins for the local foodbank.  In the goody bag there’s a garish pink buff. The medal is a rock with the ATRX logo.  Seriously, what’s not to love about this race?  It’s no surprise it sells out so quickly.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the (honestly) unexpected PB was a bonus.  Looking forward to the full Antonine Trail Race half marathon+ come autumn.

Now, off to run 50k tomorrow morning!

PJ.

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4 thoughts on “ATRX 2017 – race report

  1. Tony O'Donnell

    I ran this year for first time after starting running in January. Spookily i ran 59:18 so now wondering what i will do next year. Luck to live within a mile of atrx those hills will be my training for next year. Not quite a loving stage of running but trails beat roads hands down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool! I can’t guarantee a 6min PB next year, but running up hills all the time definitely helped. I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m slow going uphill, but able to push on downhill because I feel (probably unwisely) no sense of fear going down and luckily have no knee niggles.

      Knowing the course definitely helped. Last year I gave a bit too much on the first big hill and then felt snookered. Willing mind, weak legs.

      Like

  2. robsanderson1

    So Glad you enjoyed the ATRX this was the third year of the race with perfect every year . And I’m Sure you will love the Antonine Trail Race the route has been changed slightly this but for the better your will love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really looking forward to the longer race. I did do the last ATR half marathon in October — loved it. At that point, it was my longest ever run. Now that I’m recovering from an ultra distance run (this past Saturday) I’m looking forward to seeing how those extra miles will translate into stepping down in distance.

      I love the Antonine events — my only regret is not discovering it all sooner.

      Liked by 1 person

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