22 Jan

Great Winter Run - My Last Race in Scotland

Ann and Megan

In her last race before leaving Scotland to return home to New Zealand, jogscotland's Megan Hubbard shares her experience of the Great Winter Run with www.scottish runningguide.com.

Over 1500 runners braved snow, ice and freezing temperatures to have some real fun at the 2010 Bupa Great Winter Run, held in Edinburgh on January 9. The annual mass participation race, now in its sixth year, was run on a 4km route instead of the usual 5km circuit around the Scottish capital's Holyrood Park because of the icy conditions. When the race got underway the temperature was a testing minus three degrees.

First across the finish line in the men's Bupa Great Winter Run was Neil Renault from Edinburgh, it took Neil just 12 minutes and 41 seconds to complete the shortened 4km course.

The women's Bupa Great Winter Run title was taken by Helen Thomson from Biggar in Lanarkshire in a time of 16 minutes and 41 seconds.

Megan's Race

In her last race before leaving Scotland for New Zealand, jogscotland's Megan Hubbard placed 192nd in her age/gender category and 1117th overall with her time of 26:23. www.scottishrunningguide asked Megan to share her experience of the event with our readers:

"As I read the text from my friend and running partner Ann Davidson saying that her train had been delayed I was filled with despair, nooooo don't make me run my last Scottish run alone! I would be the lone lady in purple!

"Suck it up and do Ann proud I thought, I was fluffing around a bit at the start and heard Bryan Burnett starting to introduce the warm up man (crazy he was, standing there surrounded by snow in a vest top) so I hurried to get to my allotted Green Start area and ended up towards the back, which wasn't ideal as I wanted to get a good time for my last Scottish run.

"The hooter sounded and we were off, I soon realised how bad a position I was in when walkers spread out in front of me, I tried ducking and diving ( I even had a few elbow wars oops!) but got really stuck when the course started going uphill and we got tapered in. Hmmm I thought, I am not walking on my last run, so I ducked to the outer field which made it tough going as the snow was deeper and softer and soon my calves started to scream.

"I realised that this day was not going to be about PB's, but rather an experience, and as I trudged on I started to wonder if this is the one and only time I will run in snow.

"I spotted The Edinburgh University jogscotland crew marshalling (what a feat in that weather, I applaud you!) and pretended to tackle Moira as I went past. Coming back down the hill, I nearly missed my fellow lady in purple as I was so relieved to be hitting tarmac again!

"We had a quick gossip about her train disaster and the man running ahead of us... cheeky man had his bottom out! But we both agreed we had seen worse! And then there it was, the finish line, I linked hands with Ann to cross as I was thinking about how much fun we have had over my two years at jogscotland running together. From my humble 3K beginning at Peterhead, to our 10K adventures last year at Perth and Moray to now running in the snow, so many good memories to take away! So thanks Ann for taking each step with me, sometimes painful, sometimes funny and at all times great!"

Ann's Race

Ann Davidson, who finished in 22nd in her age/gender category, overall 1197th, with a time of 27:18 takes up the story:
"In the worst winter weather for about 30 years, it was no wonder that trains were disrupted which meant I arrived at Holyrood Park just in time for the start of the warm up. There was only enough time for me to get my coat off, switch from boots to trainers and join the rest of the runners before we set off. Even as we moved forward I was frantically phoning and texting Megan to let her know I'd arrived. I couldn't let her run this, her last race in Scotland, on her own! I couldn't see her at the start and just hoped I could catch up with her.

"With the road around Holyrood Park closed due to snow and ice, we had to run - or in some cases walk - up (and I do mean UP!) over the snow covered hill. It was a relief when we got to the top of the climb and headed downhill.

"That was when I realised that I had started ahead of Megan and she was chasing me! I saw her bright red hat and purple top and turned back to meet her (I wouldn't normally do this in a race but this was no ordinary race).

"We ran together down the hill and as the cold air started to affect my breathing. Megan encouraged me with "Come on Ann, keep up!" (My, how times have changed!) As we approached the finish line we joined hands and Alistair was there to get a final photo of the 'ladies in purple'.

"Get ready New Zealand - Megan is on her way home and she's going to get everyone out jogging!"

Check out 'The Ladies in Purple' and Alistair's thoughts on the day on YouTube

Full Results