I’m rapidly ruining my original plan to visit one new parkrun a month with my recent binge, but happily the calendar keeps on moving and we find ourselves in June; so here’s the new event as originally intended!

And ‘new event’ is right; it only started two weeks ago.  It’s the fourth event to pop up in Fife after St Andrews, Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline.

Route description
A one-lap loop around the loch, with only the smallest deviation away from it near the Kelty (West) end to add on a bit of distance.

Course profile
Mostly flat for the first half.  A gradual and persistent slope up is quickly followed by a couple of harsher – but mercifully short – climbs towards the end, before a flat finish under tree cover.

Underfoot
Mostly gravel with a short tarmac section early on.

Shoes
Road shoes are fine when dry, maybe a light trail shoe if wet.  A few sections look like they’d get ‘splashy’ if the weather gets creative.

Difficulty
2/6.  It’s pretty close to a ‘1’, but what little climbing there is is late in the day, where you least want it.  A simple course to follow, so not mentally taxing!

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Starts next to the cafe, and a nice walk/cool down back from the finish

I can also highly recommend taking a look over Doug Mason and Craig Walker‘s YouTube videos from the inaugural event.

And now onto my morning.

There’d be no fun without a mishap of some sort – today, I got on the wrong train.  How? Over-eagerness!  Fortunately, Haymarket works in such a way that trains going a certain way use the same platform, so I simply changed at Inverkeithing to get on the train I was meant to be on in the first place, and arrived a Lochgelly as intended.  I cycled the mile and a half downhill to Lochore Meadows Country Park with time to spare.

Hats off to the Scotrail conductors on the 8:12 and 8:18 (Haymarket times) to Glenrothes for again kindly letting an extra bike on board.  Both were stars.

It was a first first-timers’ brief for our core volunteer for the day and went without a hitch, then there was a bit of time for a tourist snap before hitting the start line:

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Thanks to Heather for the photo! Courtesy of whoever actually took the picture…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by now it’s that I go off too fast, only to crash and burn later.  Not to be put off by my Plean misadventure, I burst away having started in the second row.  It felt quick but manageable, though we were only a few hundred metres in…so it probably should feel that way.  I’d counted the guys in front of me and came to the conclusion I’d settled into tenth.  That’ll do.

I steadily move past a guy with an awkward gait I can’t bear to look at into ninth, then a guy who appears to have sprinted the start and now struggling for eighth.  Settling into a rhythm now.  Watch says 3:55 pace, and consistently reads that as I look at it over the next km.

The course in this section is mainly lined with trees on both sides but it’s no escape from the unexpected heat and muggy air.   I’m up to seventh after tracking closely behind someone for a while, and then we’re out onto the back end of the course, into the open.

This was simultaneously my favourite and least favourite part of the day!  Between the cows chilling out right next to the path and the views across Loch Ore, it really is quite the setting.

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Taken after the run, for the avoidance of doubt!

It’s also the ‘lumpy’ bit, and my legs were gradually failing me even before then.  I fell back to eighth, then ninth and although it means absolutely nothing – it’s a run, not a race – all I wanted to do was hold onto top ten!

Tenth was where I found myself with 4k gone.

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Courtesy of Fishygordon’s Run Pix.  Looking happier than I felt!

By now I felt like I was running through treacle.  Slower than a slow thing going slowly.  The ups were terrible, and I wasn’t even really using the downs as much as I should.  Get me to the finish, please!

No one coming behind me – all is well.

As I went through the final gate, the finish line now in sight, the final volunteer urges me on for a strong finish…and I just can’t go any quicker!  A quick glance back; no big finishers approaching.  And it’s done.

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Pointing the way to the finish under the trees

Splits

My official time was 19:49, my quickest time since Alness six weeks ago.

I’m happy with that; it certainly didn’t feel that quick.

My habit of going out too fast contributes to the latter half of the run being a bit ‘meh’.  The other factor being a lack of solid training, which I’m hoping to rectify over the next couple of months.
After the run we gathered back at the cafe, sitting outside with the ducks and traded stories on events past and shared future plans.  The debrief lasted significantly longer than the run itself, but I don’t see these guys every week!

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Overall, a fun event.  I haven’t come across any one lap courses in Scotland, so for fellow tourists it also provides something a little different.  It’s not too challenging, so if you’re just after a potter around then fill your boots.  Could be a quick one, too.

That’s your lot for now.  No plans to head anywhere new next weekend, but I’m sure I’ll be back with something sooner than later.