Scotland’s 2019 road-running season got off to a bright start on Wednesday (2 January) in Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire at the first 10k of the year.
The Lumphanan Detox 10K
has been held on every second day of the year since 2004. It started life as a fundraiser for the village’s tennis courts with 70 participants, and has grown in both size and reputation each year since.
runABC Scotland online’s Christine was one of the 431 runners who gathered on the start line. She said: “The Detox is a fantastic event, and just so friendly and well organised. With a long drag uphill right at the start, and the infamous farm track around 6.5km to deal with, it isn’t easy, but it’s great to blow the cobwebs away.
“All the pre-race chat is very social, with more talk of parties than PBs. My group of friends didn’t even hear the bagpipes at the start of the race – much less the starter’s pistol – we were all so busy catching up. We turned around to find everyone around us gone, and then realised we had to quit yakking and start running!”
She added: “In terms of my results, I followed the traditional pre-Lumphanan training plan of carb-loading on roast potatoes and prosecco, getting my five-a-day solely in the form of Terry’s Chocolate Orange and candied nuts, and totally ignoring my trainers for the last two weeks … and my finish time reflects my dedication to that plan!”
Not everyone at the race took it quite so easy, especially the north-east’s running power couple, winners Virginie Barrand (37.50) and Robbie Simpson (31.10). Both beat their nearest rivals by over 2.20, with Simpson even taking two seconds off his own course record.
Barrand told runABC Scotland online: “This was my first time running Lumphanan. People tell you about the hill, but only when you’re actually running do you realise how long it goes on for! The farm track slows you down too.”
Fresh from winning last weekend’s inaugural Tilli 10K, Simpson added: “I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after racing a few days ago, but I felt fine. It was pretty much a solo run. Conditions were perfect, too, even the farm track. Sometimes the wind gets you at the 5k mark, but not today.”
After the race Simpson revealed that with London Marathon in his sights he was leaving today’s near freezing weather in Aberdeenshire for his Spanish training grounds tomorrow.
While in Spain, he plans on taking part in early February’s Barcelona Half Marathon – a race he reminded himself he hasn’t actually entered yet. In the relaxed spirit of Lumphanan, he just laughed and said: “Really should sort that out soon!”
Race Organiser Lynn Morrison told runABC Scotland online: “The whole community really pulls together for this event. The village is at a standstill for a few hours, with cars everywhere, but everyone understands how important it is. Not only does our event have standing as the first 10k of the year, it also raises funds for our multi-use sports facilities and local charities.”
“Last year we were able to buy a defibrillator and radio equipment for our very own Lumphanan First Responders to buy new kit – and on a day like today we know how important it is both to have them here and for them to have what they need.”
Image: All smiles on Lumphanan's infamous farm track (with many thanks to Angus Morrison)