As part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations, Club Secretary Sue Walker came up with the idea to hold a members’ only “Tour of Fife”. Based on the ever-popular Tour organised by Fife AC, the event took place over five memorable days of running, over different types of terrain and varying distances.
After well over a year of restrictions, it was great to be able to meet up with fellow club members as well as introducing them to different places, and possibly different types of running, The weather which was warm and sunny throughout (possibly too warm at times) added to the feel-good atmosphere, and it was lovely to see most people staying on until all the runners had finished each event.
Care was taken to ensure that we complied with Scottish Government and scottishathletics Covid guidance throughout.
A total of 32 Harriers took part in at least one event with 18 completing all five. Day 1 was a trail race around an undulating course at the Battle of Inverkeithing ground just north of Rosyth. Day 2 was an uphill time trial from the bottom of Castlandhill to the top of Lothian View (near Rosyth), the runners setting off in pairs at minute intervals. Day 3 was a 5K time trial comprising 12.5 laps of the running track at Pitreavie Sport Centre, something a bit different for our members.
Day 4 was a beach run at Kinghorn, starting and finishing near the harbour with the runners going out and around the Black Rock, where the water was knee deep. Day 5 and the final race was approximately 6.5 miles around the tracks and trails in Devilla Forest, starting and finishing the in grounds of the Police College at Tulliallan, followed by a short prize giving.
Taking the honours for the men was Barry Davie who, having posted the fastest times all week, was the only person to break 2 hours, finishing with a cumulative time of 1:54:17. Newcomer Jamie Harte ran consistently well all week and, with Jonathan Millar having missed the beach race, finished second overall in 2:01:50. Ever improving 19-year-old Ross Hunter finished third in 2:06:54.
Joy Gudgin was first woman, with a cumulative time of 2:17:27 followed by Gail Murdoch on 2:28:14 and Lesley Reynolds on 2:34:19. However, this Tour was not just about winning, it was all about taking part and congratulations are due to everyone who took part.
Throughout the course of the event, the runners were supported by a team of volunteers, some who undertook the usual duties of time-keeping and marshalling etc. whilst others did a sterling job taking some excellent photographs capturing the essence of the different races.
Judging by the smiles on their faces and positive comments received everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, not necessarily at the time, but certainly on reflection afterwards. This is borne out by two of our newer members who have kindly told us of their experiences during the event.
Marshalling the Harriers Tour of Fife (by Nicole Jackson)
My first experience of volunteering as a marshal and I absolutely loved it! Those who know me in Bubble C (big up Bubble C!) will know that I am just a little competitive and must admit that watching Jamie running and doing well was somewhat infuriating. However, once I got over this, I found myself loving being on the other side of the racing events.
As I joined the club during lockdown, it has been difficult getting to know members outside of my training bubble. There was the odd Strava comment here and there, but aside from that, I hadn’t really met the other members properly. The CH Tour of Fife has been the perfect way to remedy this. I was lucky enough to be able to support at 4 out of the 5 events and was so impressed by the organisation and what actually goes on behind the scenes. I have done a few Winter/Summer GP races now and due to restrictions, have only really been able to turn up, race, a quick hello/thank you, and then head off again. Being able to mingle a bit more this past week with the other marshals and runners has been really lovely.
A highlight for me as a marshal was definitely the CH Black Rock Race. It was a glorious day, and I was partnered with Claire Cuddihy. We haven’t really chatted properly before, so it was great to get to know each other (maybe a little too well as we searched for a toilet spot). Watching the line of runners’ head towards us across the beach was amazing! Initially just little orange and green dots in the distance, and then suddenly, there was Barry, splashing into the sea and disappearing off around the rock. Everyone else followed suit and I loved watching as some jumped straight in, whilst others showed a little hesitation. As far as I can remember, everyone was grinning and enjoying the novelty of the beach race!
The other events were all fantastic to be a part of too, and I must admit, it was quite nice watching for once, rather than struggling through and trying to catch a breath and/or avoid being sick.
It has been a great way for me to feel like I am part of the club. Cheering everyone on was fantastic and I was so impressed by everyone’s determination and spirit.
Fingers crossed I will be back to racing soon but will definitely volunteer to marshal again. A brilliant experience!
Running the Harriers Tour of Fife (by Jamie Harte)
The Carnegie Harriers Tour of Fife was a really enjoyable five, consecutive, days of running. As a newish member of the club, it was great to be involved and be able to participate in all of the races. It was my first time meeting a lot of members properly and getting a sense of the community within the club. Being able to hang around and cheer on the other race bubbles was nice as we hadn’t previously been able to do so. I certainly appreciated the encouragement (even if my grimace as I ran past you suggested otherwise!)
The only race I had run before was the Battle of Inverkeithing. This time around it was much drier and firmer underfoot which was preferable.
Beforehand, I thought the 5k track race was going to be my favourite. It was “only” 12.5 laps of a flat track after all. I was wrong. It felt like it went on for ages and I just about managed to keep it together.
I actually enjoyed the Black Rock run the most. Well, the second half of it anyway. It was a battle through the wind to the rock. As soon as we had splashed our way round and headed to the first marker the wind was on our side and I really enjoyed the long straight along the beach back to the start.
I was really impressed by the different locations. A lot of thought had obviously gone into picking the best routes to give plenty of variety across the events. I would like to thank all the organisers, marshals, and photographers again for a great Tour.