Sunday, 7 November 2010

Tin Farm 5 : 7th Nov 2010

A great day fantastically organized by Dinah and Kirsty. Thanks to you both. Yes, my time slipped by 45 secs or so from last year. But who cares (**)  - I really enjoyed this race and seeing so many happy faces crossing the line shows the value of this local event to so many people. There's a real no-fuss attitude here. £10 entry fee, pop down, get briefed & get out there. The free soup and sandwich were most welcome on a beautiful but cold early November day.

So to the stars : well Eamonn did so well to steal the show for the males but as we've said before he's too young to count (although he warms up for a short run race by cycling - which is interesting). For me Tim was a revelation, hugely improved & quietly confident.  Every year he takes part he strips 2min + off his previous time so there's more to come from him. He's working hard and clearly ambitious for 2011. Peter reborrowed his Zone from the Mid-Argyll triathlon, dusted it off & it sure still fits. The 2010 Inverness marathon gang : Jamie, Garret & Richard all did very well and Richard's smile simply lights up Argyll. Liz made it to the podium with a breakthrough performance and Matt ? Well Matt held off super-Tim to take the 1st local male home.

This race highlights so many positives it's hard to know where to begin. Firstly it shows that people who care about other people having the opportunity to compete safely, socially & informally can make it happen. So why not think about an interesting route near you and make it happen - search out "how to organize a running event" on the web and get some clues, talk it over with members of clubs you are involved with & see if there's interest. Contact your local sporting association for advice (eg. Scottish Athletics) and get friends to volunteer as marshalls. It's not impossible and there are 80+ people in Argyll right now who totally appreciate the opportunity.

Dinah & Kirsty are as easy going & unpretentious a pair as you could hope to meet. They are very understated and that makes this an ideal event for people of all levels and experiences. Your 1st race since school ? Who cares ? - you will be clapped & cheered home just the same if you are 2nd in 32mins or last at 1h.20m - it just doesn't matter. But they've been clever too. Latching onto the Scottish windfarm boom the organizers have benefited from a financial windfall courtesy of the Allt Dearg Community Wind Farm. That helps pay for the race, the goody bags and support charities. In this case 2 charities were supported : rsabi and choose life. This dimension rounds off a great day and makes a lasting social contribution on a wider scale.

The race takes place on the Argyll shoreline opposite the Hebridean island of Jura. The island looked simply beautiful as we travelled down this morning. Today started with flat seas and blue sky & there's almost no-where else you'd choose to be (other than flat seas, blue sky's and 10C warmer). The route is flat & fast to start and climbs over estate trails with puddle jumps and stream leaps to contend with. It ends with a run over the beach and a sprint back into the Estate. Checkout the profiles.

The race had it's own dedicated photographer this year - pity about his limp - and you can check his handiwork out on the Mid Argyll Tri & Cycle club gallery pages.

Finally, I follow Kelownagurl and her podcast Kelownagurl Tris. Barb recently finished the Victoria half marathon in British Columbia. In her goody bag was a bottle of Senior Citizen Vitamin Supplements ! She was hilarious when she told this and I recommend you listen. Anyway Kelownagurl eat your heart out. If you want to show the Victoria half what they're missing just look at this

  • A banana
  • Water
  • Medal
  • Oatcake
  • Pen
  • Balloon - yes that is a balloon !
  • Key Fob
  • Groovy winter hat
  • Mars Bar
  • and probably the best thing was the recycled paper bag it all came in.

Many thanks to all that made today a great day. Great event, great atmosphere, well worthwhile and congrats to all involved. Totally inspiring organization, location, performances & atmosphere.

** ok, ok I do care - it's a 1.88% decrease in performance when my heart-rate was at least as high as last year. In better conditions and no headwind. So my VO2 Max (see : You and Your Spleen 01 - previous post) must have dropped compared to last year. Which means my aerobic engine is smaller, which means I've lost fitness and I'll have to work harder with more intensity, meanwhile Peter, Matt and Tim are out there already better and getting stronger. And that photographer looked familiar ... 


  1. Thanks Johnn for a lovely write up of the race. You are very generous with your complements, it really means a lot to both Dinah and I to have such lovely people like you who support us.

  2. Seconding the thanks and congratulations above. A fantastic local event all round which goes from strength to strength. The Corners all enjoyed it (even the spectator and the first timer!) Great write up John.

  3. Wish i had half your writing style and ability John, fantastic reflection on this top notch race put otgether so well by Dinah and Kirsty....It was great to capture everyone in action, sorry if i missed anyone.

    Knew that steely eyed athlete psych was still there with you MR R- V02 max benchmarking...already i am standing on one leg, trying to accelerate my rehabilitation.