Arrochar 10k – Race Review
When we moved up to Scotland in early 2021, Arrochar 10k was the first race we entered and I am so pleased we did. This was a simply stunning course, starting at the head of the tidal Loch Long and then going up through forest tracks, down through woods and by a stream and finally finishing along side the Loch.
The organisers of this race, Loch Long Events, have to be praised in so many ways, but initally for sticking their neck out early in the year when the country was in lockdown and planning to go ahead. There were many nay-sayers who said it wouldn't happen, but I am sure all 113 runners were very pleased it did.
Small Race Field
There is something very appealing about small races; I certainly enjoy the fact that there is no problem with car parking or queues for the loo and you can basically just turn up and run. But, for a slow coach like me, it can also be a bit daunting (will I be last? Will I find my way if I get a long way behind? etc, etc), which is why I do always have a sneaky peak at previous years' results before entering!
I am never going to be a fast runner, which is why I like to run in beautiful places. As we turned up at the car park the mist was lifting over the Loch and I think the entire race field was taking photos as the sea and hills were revealed.
The race started just over the road by the stream and we did a 1km loop around Succoth before heading up forest tracks for 4 km. Although the gradient was generally up, it was quite undulating, so it wasn't a massive climb. It was lovely to get to the brow of one hill and have my name shouted out. Peter had given the heads up to the marshall to cheer me on - the Knavesmire Harriers vest definitely gives you high visibility.
After a bit of run/walk slog for me we reached the 5k mark and were rewarded with a splendid 1 km single track section downhill to the main road, where we were ushered safely across by the marshalls.
Another lovely stretch through woods and beside a stream followed before we came out on the pavement alongside Loch Long for the final 3km to the finish. Whilst I had kept together with a group of three other runners through the woods, my lack of speed and/or fitness tolds as they pulled away from me into the finish. Still, I dug deep and felt I finished better than I had at Crieff 10k earlier in the summer. The soggy grassy final stretch was made easier by some applause by marshalls and runners - the finish banner was very welcome.
I loved this race and need not have worried about getting lost and I wasn't even last (quite). I am not a great one for the race goody bags - we do so many races each year that our house is full of t-shirts and mugs. I was very pleased with the wooden medal in the bag and a selection of sweet treats. A really nice touch was a flyer in the bag thanking all the marshalls and sponsors by name, adding to the feeling that this was a coomunity driven event.
Would I do it again? Suffice to say I have already looked at hotels for next year.