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Cupar 5 2015 - John Mill

Cupar 5 Mile Race 2015 - John Mill

At last I get to run this race again. It was one of my first races as a Roadrunner back in 2010, when I finished 183rd in a time of 37min59sec. I’ve improved a lot since then, this would show just how much! I haven’t ran it since, due to injuries and cancellation of the race last year. I took my bike again, as my preferred warm-up before such races these days is a 3-4 mile cycle, it gets the legs and heart going without too much pressure on the legs. The organisers had warned about erosion on the road, and that was evident as I cycled the route as a warm-up, but nothing too dangerous.

It’s a fast out-and-back route, all on road and normally attracts some big names as it is one of the first fixed-distance races in the road running calendar.


On the start line, I was searching the field for the familiar faces, who could I use as a pacer? I always go off far too fast then just hang-on-in-there, but I wanted to try and control today’s run a bit more, and see how close I could get to 30minutes….could I even beat it? Brig Bash 5 last year in 30min30sec has been my fastest 5 miler so far.

The last words I heard as we started were from Louise Beveridge who said “Mind and pace yourself John!” – she knows me too well!

Off we went, and it was Robbie Simpson who led the way, in a blistering fashion. I noted a few Hawks there: Billy Gibson, Johnny McBain and Steve Matthews, but it would be silly to try and stay with them, they are too quick for me. A few Fifers were just behind me, rivals Dan Newman and Kenny Anthony, so I was determined to stay in front of them. Where were the ladies? I’d seen Amie McKimmie, Fiona Bracegirdle, Angela Irving and Louise Beveridge, so I had to try and stay in front of them as well.

The first mile was slightly uphill, but the 5m54s pace was good, not too fast. I felt reasonably good, and for once I was actually overtaking other runners than the other way round, as is the usual. There was a group in front of me, a woman I didn’t know, a couple of young fifers, Sam and Ronan, and one of the veteran Hawks, Matt Strachan. Between miles 1 and 2 I passed three of them, and was shoulder to shoulder with Matt. We went through the 2 mile point in just under 12 mins, so far so good, could the sub 30 be on, I didn’t think so! The next notable point was the halfway, with Tony Martin marshalling us around the cone in the middle of the road. Matt beat me to the cone, but that was it halfway round, and I felt good, so I decided to try and take him on, we then yo-yo’d for the next mile or so. We reached the 3 mile point in 18mins dead, it was getting touch and go, but a pb was on the cards, and the last mile or so was downhill slightly. At this point there was no woman ahead of me, but I could hear someone behind me, but I didn’t look back, who was it, Amie? Louise? The one I didn’t know?

Matt began to pull away from me a bit, but I was still running strong, then as we neared the mile-to-go marker I was joined by Fiona Bracegirdle who was having a storming run. I was determined to try and stay in front of her. We went passed the 4 mile marker together in virtually 24mins dead, so a PB was definitely on, and it was downhill a bit, so even a sub 30min was on! We both put in a lot of effort over the last mile, but Fiona pulled away from me and ended up 5 seconds in front, but I crossed the line in 29min31sec, I was elated, virtually a minute off my PB. The Garmin read 4.95 miles, but I’d taken the racing line, so it was there or thereabouts, and others had 5 miles on theirs.


I ended up in 28th position, and I was well happy with that too, what a difference from 2010! There were only two other Roadrunners there, Garry Timmons (a new pb of 34.05) and Sean Kenyon (35.15) in a field of 185. Robbie Simpson set a new course record in 24min02sec in winning the race.

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