Finishing 5th over-all and 1st in her age category (W50) at the recent Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships, Fiona Matheson – Elivar Featured Athlete – sent back this report of the day
Venue: Grant Park 30th January 2016.
Host: Forres Harriers – fourth time to stage the event.
Course: The course is multi-terrain with grass, woodland path and a very short piece of Tarmac Road to be negotiated
Two Races:- 1) Women and over-65 Men and 2) Men 40-60
We traveled the day before the race by car with my husband and two other runner friends in the midst of Storm Geraldine. Thankfully we were driving in daylight but with heavy rain, sleet and wind it was quite a challenge just travelling to the event so our driver deserved all our grateful thanks.
We were staying in Nairn which is approximately 10 miles from the Event and woke up on the day of the Event to a covering of snow. When we arrived in Forres, although windy, the snow covering was sparse. A rece around the course before the start of the combined Women and Over-65 Mens race the snow was light on the grass area and non-existent in the woodland path/trail section of the course.
I was dealing with a bit of left hamstring problem over the last few weeks so wasn’t quite sure how the race might go. However as I looked around on the start line at all the other runner of all ages, female and males – especially the mature age categories 70+ and 80+, it was was quite awesome to think that you can be as fit and game at that age at the start of a cross country event never mind a championship race!
This has to be one of the many reasons I run – that once you set your mind to something no matter what age you are if you are determined enough you will achieve your goals. That no matter what that goal might be, you are going to do your best and that is what matters in life.
The course for the women/over 65 men was 6k in distance and took you around the grass area at the start a couple of times which was slightly undulating in parts. I had to decide what shoes to wear at the start due to the different terrain over the course. It had been suggested that if wearing spikes you use very short ones. However I went for my trail shoes which were great on the woodland area which was rocky/tree stumpy in parts but not so great on the grassy area at the start as they were probably a tad heavy on my feet. Maybe I should should have worn one of each shoe!
The race I felt went well especially as I didn’t have a reaction from my left hamstring during the race which was a huge bonus. I felt I worked hard in the woodland area which was testing in sections, with a climb that when you reached the top or so you though there was another turn into another climb.
On coming out of the woodland area which was down a sharp hill back into the grass section there was practically a jump for some back into the grassy area. On watching the Men’s 40-60 race after our race there was some spectacular jumps back into this section of the race.
Once back on the grassy section it was a matter of focusing and keep digging/pushing for the finish. I finished 5th overall and 1st in my W50 age category. As I’m at the wrong end of this age category I felt extremely happy with this result.
After the race it’s always nice to catch up with other runners & friends – which is another one of the many reasons I run – the social aspect and fun in meeting other like-minded people along the way.
My focus/goals over the next few months is to keep training, enjoying my running and doing my best. By incorporating Elivar into my training routine, I’m also looking to my nutrition to hopefully give me that energy or endurance boost to keep doing this for a long time to come.
Read Fiona’s Featured Athlete Profile here
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