While the 2012 Coll Half-Marathon always promised to be special in ‘moving’ from the old village hall to the new centre at An Cridhe, it was doubly so for us with the whole ‘Glover’ family (Duffs, Duggans and McBrydes) having contributed to the fundraising and an inscription in memory of my grandparents within this wonderful building. So it was with extra excitement that Eileen, Donald and I travelled to Coll last weekend, and here’s what we wanted to see most:
Now, I do have to admit to everyone that a requested last-minute change (for which we never saw a proof) to the date format hasn’t been implemented exactly as expected. But, since the inscription’s still complete in both sense and spirit, looks great up there and most folk will never spot the difference between 1953–67 (with en dash) and 1953 – 67 (with hyphen), that’s enough (maybe already too much?) said about that. And what a fantastic building this is, with stunning use of space, orientation and light, and how good it feels to have helped (in however small a way) to make it all possible!
So (with more interior pictures to come below) how did the race go? Well, to cut a long story short, that’s three times now I’ve run Coll, three times (the only three in my half-marathon career) I’ve been over 1:40, and a new 2012 PW of 1:42:43 when (intentionally running without a watch) I was hoping/expecting to be told I’d done about 1:37 or 1:38. Or, to put it another way, I was 29 seconds slower than last year when Donald improved by 26 seconds to record 1:45:58 and should therefore be beating me a couple of years hence! So maybe time to put a more positive spin on things (for me anyway because Donald’s rightfully quite pleased) by noting that we came 25th and 35th respectively from 156, with only four runners sub-1:30…
No time/space here to talk about the ceilidh except to note that Eileen’s injured foot (so did Keith stand on it or not during the Canadian Barn Dance?) prevented her from accompanying Donald and me to Torastan to see Grandpa’s grave on Sunday, so hope she’s OK again now!
And, with the Coll Half-Marathon already a week ago and me also wanting to get in a quick word about this weekend’s Polldubh Club Ballater Meet, I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got to say about Coll right now although I hope the photos of the lovely An Cridhe largely speak for themselves.
Now, the Ballater weather was no match for Coll, but Geoff, Bob M, Mark and myself all enjoyed contrasting hill days yesterday with me taking on the meatiest challenge in running the three Munros, seven Tops and one deleted Top of the White Mounth to ‘mop up’ this mini-range of which I’d only done the Lochnagar summit (Cac Carn Beag) before and that way back in January 1983 (so, yes, it’s time I got back and climbed some routes there!). And here I rather messed up by letting myself get dysfunctionally cold in wind, rain and poor visibility before digging out my jacket, gloves and compass after a second, unintentional visit to Cuidhe Crom on the way back from Meikle Pap (never told the kind people who tried teaching me how to use the map and compass that I’m a Winter ML!) and making a much better job of the rest as I warmed up again. And you can see how much better my track looks after that (pretty clean over the rest of the White Mounth considering the cloud cover and gently rolling terrain) although I did miss the quickest way back to the Glen Muick car park (dashed blue ‘track’) with the map now packed away and the potential extra distance not enough to persuade me to stop and get it out again with my goal in sight.