‘Character building’ was what one runner called the conditions at yesterday’s Dundee Running Adventure Marathon (DRAM)/Half-Marathon.
Another was even more frank, with ‘brutal’ being the only word he could use to describe the effects of the very un-Scottish heat and humidity on the 700-odd runners who took part across both events.
Starting at Camperdown Park, the combined marathon/half marathon route makes use of the 26-mile green circular surrounding the city of Dundee. A mixture of path, trail, road and pavement, both the DRAM and Half-DRAM were designed to be alternatives to traditional road races, with a focus on adventure rather than fast times. Thus yesterday’s heat and humidity only added to the challenge of a course not to be underestimated.
Some runners were disappointed they didn’t achieve the times they’d trained for, while others were more philosophical – accepting that just finishing was ‘an achievement in itself’.
But tough conditions also bring out the best in runners, and there were plenty of post-race stories shared about competitors helping out others who struggled in the ‘oppressive’ weather. Bottles were shared, water was thrown, and medics acted quickly to deal with dehydration and cramp. In the words of one runner who lent a hand, ‘there’ll be another time for PB’.
Nicholas Kydd from race organisers Eventfull acknowledged how tough things were for his runners on social media, congratulating everyone who took part in both DRAM and Half DRAM. “Conditions were tough out there,” he said.
Tom Roche (Insch Trail Running Club), who has made a name for himself in the North-East in the past few years with some significant podium finishes, clinched the men’s title with a time of 1.15.04. Christopher Hill, of rival Aberdeenshire hill-running club Cosmic Hillbashers followed with a time of 1.19.39.
The winning women’s time was 1.28.18, set by Dundee-based Aga Kuffel. Bellahouston Road Runner Jane McNeilly followed in 1.30.44.
Strong performances by female runners were a feature of the 2018 full DRAM. Pamela Morris won not only the ladies’ division (3.18.09), but also took third place overall, trailing two Dundee runners – Billy Gibson (Hawkill Harriers: 2.55.14) and Chris Earl (Dundee Roadrunners: 2:59:02). Dundee Roadrunner Morgan Windram-Geddes (3.22.50) finished fourth overall as well as women’s runner-up.