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The Black Rock 5

13/06/2014

On Friday 13th, Sue Jeffrey and Mo Khan travelled to Kinghorn in Fife to take part in the classic Black Rock 5 race, Sue reports as follows...

 

"When the Black Rock 5 race was described to me as multi-terrain, short, fast and with a possibility of wading through the sea I was immediately interested. When I was told it is also thought of by some as one of the World’s Ultimate Running Races that attracts approximately 900 runners I didn’t hesitate to sign up. For Mo Khan this would be his 3rd appearance at this race, but despite his enthusiasm at promoting the event, there were no further takers from DRC. We travelled up to Fife on a warm Friday evening with the hope the weather forecast for showers would be wrong. 

The town of Kinghorn plays host to this race, which sees the streets taken over by runners and clubs from all over the region and further afield.  With 892 runners packed behind the start line it was certainly a chaotic start. Runners are faced with an immediate climb on tarmac, followed by a generous decent through the town for the first mile before hitting Pettycur beach. Experienced Mo negotiated his way through the crowds well in the early stages of the race, putting him in a great position for a race pb.  

The second section of the race sees runners tackling the sand and water. After leaving the tarmac behind, the first challenge involves staggering through ankle deep soft sand which make you feel as though you are moving in every direction except forward. After that is more than 2 miles of wet sand, out to the Black Rock and back. With almost 400 runners in front of me, it was a spectacular sight to see such a huge volume of people making their way further from the shore towards the rock. Runners were greeted there by a piper and some fantastic encouragement from marshals and local supporters. On arrival at the rock I was relieved to find I only had ankle deep water to contend with rather than knee deep or higher. 

The relief of hitting tarmac after the tough run back towards the town was short lived, as once again runners were faced with another steady climb back through the town. To say the last section is the ‘sting in the tail’ is an understatement. The finale involves getting very tired legs up a very steep climb; but with the continuous cheering from crowds lining the street and thoughts of post-race refreshment (free beer) it is soon over. 

The race was won in a time of 22.20mins by Ross Houston on Central AC. First female was Nicola Duncan in 26:10mins, who also finished first female in the Dumfries Half Marathon 2013. Mo was relieved to finish without the need to stop and tie his shoes laces, and was very happy to finish in a time of 33:32, a race pb. On my debut, I was very happy to finish in 35:26mins, well within the top half of all finishers. 

I would certainly recommend this race to Dumfries runners, and those who like off-road events should not be put off by the travelling. The pre and post race atmosphere was fantastic, due to the number of runners, the clubs participating and the fantastic local support. I hope to have the opportunity to sign up again next year, and would like to encourage more DRC members to do so too."

 

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