Preparations for this one were far from ideal. After a great month of running in August, expectations of achieving a good time in my first half marathon for a year were soaring, but that all dissipated when I came to a grinding halt in September. That, and a jet-lag inducing trip to Boston for the week before the race caused me to re-categorise my ambitions from “fast” to “finish”.

I got back from Boston about 45 hours before the race, after a week of absolutely no running, and decided to test out calf muscle with a nervous 3 mile jaunt around The Meadows. That went OK and I passed myself good to go “carefully”.

The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm

So after an uneventful train ride across Scotland, in pleasant comparison with the shenanigans two years ago, I arrived in Glasgow ready to rock and roll. First priority was to find a toilet, and the Subway fast food stop on St Vincent Place duly obliged, with no queue at all. I found the baggage busses easily near the start zone, changed into my Mizunos, dropped my bag and headed over to the green starting zone. The toilet queues were predictably vast and I thanked my earlier foresight as I took up a position near the back.

Photo @RunnerSecret

Photo @RunnerSecret

Like the sensible runner I aspire to be, I set off slowly and carefully. I did not want to suffer the ignominy of having to stop after a few hundred meters. A nice and steady first mile at just over 9 mins proved to be my slowest of the race. Going over the Kingston Bridge and feeling no pain I felt my confidence growing, but still kept things steady.

Past 4 miles we left the streets of Glasgow, and entered Pollok Park. This was my favourite part of the race. Running along tree-lined paths I could almost have been out in a country race, except for the other 8,000 people, most of whom seemed to be right where I was. I found myself going off piste regularly just to keep the tempo.

Mile 1 – Mile 6: 9:12 8:58 8:33 8:48 8:39 8:40

Mid way through the park I hit the half way mark. With the knowledge that if things went badly I would be walking forwards to the finish rather than back to the start I felt like I had shed a heavy backpack. In what was to become a race of three thirds, the 2nd third began and I stepped on the pedal a bit.

Through Pollock, a brief review of Glasgow architecture later and we were in Bellahouston Park. The mile markers were coming quickly and I was enjoying myself.

Mile 7 – Mile 10: 8:24 8:18 8:22 8:20

Through Bellahouston Park, around the 10 mile marker I began to to pay less attention to the architecture. I could feel myself starting to get tired. I was not too surprised given the lack of training in the lead up and just tried to keep the pace going. The 3rd third of the race was starting. I had not been looking at my Garmin at all, except for the buzzes that woke me each mile, but I started looking at it now and working out how much further I had to go.

Over the impressive Clyde Arc the route turned right into the final couple of miles to the finish at Glasgow Green. I could feel my legs starting to wobble but tried to keep the pace going. The last 400m was a blast. The crowds were loud and enthusiastic and it really spurred me on. I managed a pseudo-sprint, but was very happy to cross the line and drop to a walk. I collected my swag bag, complete with t-shirt, medal and some food and drink samples and headed off to meet the family.

Mile 11 – Mile 13: 8:31 8:49 8:54

Run in (pace) 8:18

imageAll in all I enjoyed this one better then my previous foray West in 2013, even though I was 30 seconds slower. The organisers made some alterations to the course and reversed it, all of which improved the vibe. The organisation had improved too, with bag drop busses replacing the trek to the finish zone and back. I’m likely in for next year.

Official Result

Time: 1:53:53

Position: 3787 / TBD

Gender-Age: 222 / 443

  1. JuliaL49 says:

    Congratulations! Welcome back to the race circuit – hopefully for a long while.
    Also well done on the restraint to start slow!

  2. […] Great Scottish Run, 4 Oct 2015 – Race Report […]