Updated: Sep 30, 2019
It was one of those days. You know what I mean, those days where you wake up before a race and suddenly get nervous. For whatever reason, last Saturday was one of those days. Consequently, I could not get off the toilet for about an hour and a half. My boyfriend came to check up on me and I said: ‘I am not running today, go do this without me.’ I had made peace with the fact that I was glued to this toilet seat. Because of this, we missed our bus to Crathes from Aberdeen. Of course, I had time to reconsider and decided I have to do this race, this is silly. Long story short, we had to take a £40 cab to make it in time, all because the runners bowel is a pit of darkness and unpredictability!
The race takes place in a picturesque place called Crathes Castle, located in the heart of Aberdeenshire right next to the famous GoApe! After a beautiful walk up to the sign-up square, we explored the area a little bit. The festival wasn’t too crowded which made it feel lovely and familiar. As the first 10k finishers strolled in, we got ready to drop off our bags and set off on the route.
The route starts at the castle grounds and takes you onto very quiet B- roads through the country side. There were three water checkpoints on the route, which supplied waste-free water for everyone. As it was very windy and chilly, I didn’t need to make use of them as much as I normally would. After water station 3 the final 5km take you up quite a steady incline until you reach the castle grounds again. All in all, the route is very flat (150m elevation gain in total), but can be quite monotonous due to the straight roads all the way through. The last 5km were quite strenuous as I was tired and didn’t feel too well after my morning problem.
After crossing the finish line in 01:58:32, which isn’t a personal best by far but good enough for the conditions of the day, the lovely volunteers welcome you back with some Tunnock‘s bars and bananas. The atmosphere was so intimate and really nice to come back to!
The goodie bag is quite amazing with a high-quality T-shirt, a custom buff and the amazing finishers medal. Of course I was hoping for some free snacks but all the clothing was very nicely made, so no complaints there!
I would recommend this race for anyone who’s new to the sport or wants to do their first halfmarathon because there are no waves and no over-crowded line-ups. People from all ages come and it’s a very small race compared to the big city races. Also, the course is very flat, so elevation will not be a problem for any participant.
I give this race 9/10 and cannot wait to be back next year!