Inverleith Sundowner 5k

Another race

Last night (Wednesday) was another race for me. This time a 5k race around my local park, Inverleith in Edinburgh. 

The race is organised by Blast Running and I've ran this series of races for the past 3 years. It's a looped course, 2.75 laps of the park and it's all on trails around the perimeter of the park. 

Now, compared to the trail race I ran on Sunday this really is a walk in the park. There is no running over unknown grassy fields, no major climbs, no chance of taking a wrong turn. You literally follow the perimeter hedge all the way around the park. 

What I love about this race is exactly that. It's a simple race. You rock up, you run 2 and a bit laps of the park and you are done. It's a great intro to trail running for people too. 


The Race

I turned up with plenty of time to spare, I ran from my house which is only 2k to the start line so it was perfect as a warm up. I picked up my race number and timing chip and caught up with some friends who were also running. 

After a group warm up, we all headed to the start line and got ready for the race to start. 

I got myself a couple of rows from the start line because I knew I wasnt in the same shape as I was last year, where my toe was right on the line and I ran the course just under 19mins. 

My aim for the race was to enjoy it and to not get a stitch. In previous races on this course, I have had stitches on the final lap which cost me positions and time, I didn't want that to happen. 

The first lap I took comfortably hard. The course is not flat by any stretch of the imagination.

You are either climbing up a slow long incline or your heading down hill running over tree roots. There is never really any chance to find a rhythm. 

I was had passed one or two people on the first lap but I wasn't really thinking about that, I just wanted to start the second lap and see how I was feeling. 

Lap 2

I had noticed I was starting to gain on a couple of guys and I found myself racing them, even if they didn't realise they were now in a race with me. Now in the past I would have put the foot down there and then, caught them and passed them but as I said earlier, I've struggled with stitches and so I decided to try a different technique. Stealth. 

There was still another lap to go so, just catch them slowly. I kept my heart rate controlled, I focussed on the runners and slowly reeled them in. 

Next came a quandary, I was on a climb and I had caught one of the runners. Should I pass them on the hill or do I hold back, wait and then pass when I felt more comfortable?

I decided to pass on the hill but just keep the effort level in a controlled state. Then I didn't think about him any more, I didn't stress that they might pass me again, I just focussed on the next runner ahead of me. 

Lap 3

I was now on the final lap, the runner was still ahead of me and I had to decide, do I let them stay ahead or do I really start to race? 

I decided to race. I put in a couple of surges, even on the uphill. My thinking was if I put in some effort now, in a controlled way, I might make up some distance that I might not be able to do on the downhill section. A couple of surges later and I was right on his heels and I still felt comfortable. No sign of a stitch! Hooray! 

I passed him just as we got to the top of the climb and now I decided to push for 20 metres to open up a gap. 

The ground was nice and solid, my inov-8 x-talon shoes were great, especially over the tree roots, I had confidence to push a bit harder. 

With one final uphill section and then the finish straight, I decided to just open up as much as I could and gun it to the finish line. Job done! 

I finished in 20:40, about 2 minutes slower than last year but I absolutely loved the night.  



When I got home I had a look at my splits as I wasn't paying attention to my watch at all last night. 

  1. 4:06min/km (6:35min/mi)
  2. 4:14min/km (6:48min/mi)
  3. 4:14min/km (6:48min/mi)
  4. 4:13min/km (6:47min/mi)
  5. 4:02min/km (6:29min/mi)

I'm delighted with how consistent the pacing was. Sure, it's not as fast as I'd like but I've another 2 of these races to go and if I can chip away a few seconds per km on each race then it will show progress. 


Published on : 16 May 2024