Forfar Guide Dogs 5k fun run. I only went and won it – by Stuart McConnachie

I only went and won it.

I’ve never placed in a run before. When I do a parkrun there always seems to be some really rapid folks ahead of me. This was a great experience. I could talk about the relatively small field and the fact it was listed as a fun run rather than a race… but let’s move on.

First what a fabulous location for a run.

 

Forfar Loch on a different day. Beautiful setting for a run

 

The guide dog facility in Forfar is amazing and has the advantage of plenty of parking, proper toilets and loads of cute dogs. What’s not to like?

I missed the race brief and nearly the start with my usual pre-race tummy issues. Luckily made it with a few seconds to spare. I ambitiously slipped into 3rd place early but after a recent 5k where I went out really fast then had to walk the last mile I was trying to be wary and not go out too fast. I was following the leaders who both had Canine-Cross vests on and I got to hoping they might be missing their dogs and that I might have a chance of passing them.

Over the first couple of kilometres I did manage to sneak into the lead and couldn’t believe it. Virgin territory for me now. I had a word with myself about just keeping it steady. Pace felt comfortable but hard. The route was lovely round the loch. Great underfoot, and nice sweeping bends. There were a few dog walkers who were all in good control of their animals. I did once crash into a big dog at a parkrun aberdeen, where it just darted across me, luckily we were both just bruised, no lasting damage.

 

 

As we got into the last couple of kilometres I had a look behind me, I’d been resisting up to this point trying to just run my own race, and there was a young fella around 20 meters back. I wish I hadn’t looked. I managed not to look again but I was sure he would show up on my shoulder any second.

Seeing the centre and the finish line was a welcome sight. I tried to dig deep for a big finish but it was all I could do to hold my pace.

There was a great welcome and cheer at the finish line, and now I know how it feels to finish first (great if your wondering).

I got presented with a lovely big shield and a wee memento trophy. Both will be on prominent display. Then the food after was outstanding, local berries and cream, pasta salads, ice cream (it was a hot day) and loads of Home made treats. All for the bargain price of a £5 entry and a suitable donation for the food.

 

Stuart getting presented with his trophy.

 

Great event, lovely location, and you even get a chance to pet the dogs after.

Highly recommend watching out for this one next year.