With the knowledge that Kirkintilloch Olympians were using Springburn parkrun as part of their club championship, I had planned to head north of the city, this weekend, to do my 162nd parkrun.
However, due to a number of factors, I decided to plump for Pollok Park for the 117th time. It was good to see so many friends there from near and far, almost all of them enquiring about my recent head gash. I fell in the night of 2nd April and hurt my head, as well as my arm and hand. Since then I’ve been posing in various head gear to cover the cut. For the record it’s getting better.
I had a bit of an upset stomach, so I wasn’t intending to race flat out, and therefore didn’t wear my club vest.
I lined up with some other 440 runners for the 9:30 start and spoke to a number of running buddies including Claire Wharton and Julie Beveridge. If I can keep these two in sight, I’ll be doing OK, I thought to myself.
Although I started more conservative than usual, I still felt bad even before the end of the first kilometre and had to overcome the demons telling me to pull out. I could see Claire and Julie ahead and thought, that although I wouldn’t see it, the two of them would have a good race against each other. However as we turned into the woods, I noticed Julie had stopped to tie her lace. I focussed on Claire but the gap widened, it wasn’t too long before Julie overtook me and I managed to hang onto her tail until about the 3k mark. I was surprised to see that Claire was back in sight and watched Julie as she set off and caught her.
I worked hard during the 4th k to keep Claire in view and with 1k to go I was about four places behind here. I increased the pace, worked hard up the hills and sprinted as fast as I could down the final strait, crossing the line in 61st place, with a time 21:31.
After sharing congratulations with those around me, including Claire, who had placed 58th in 21:22, I cheered some of the others towards the finish line, it was maybe just as well, as I spied, first timer, Sandra Hunter approaching the line and thought that she had decided just to run one lap. “Don’t cross the line, Sandra” I shouted and she veered left. Not to stop but to begin her, somewhat extended second lap!
Although it had been a bit cold and windy morning, the sun was shining and, up front, the first seven runners had been on fire, all achieving PBs. Including Bellahouston Harrier club mates Jack Arnold who won with a time of 16:25 and Brian Douglas, 7th with a course PB of 17:34. With the non barcode winner being listed as ‘unknown’ the plaudits went to Graeme Paterson 2nd, in 16:52 and Stuart Livingstone 3rd in 16:59.
In the women’s race, despite her mishap, Julie Beveridge had went on to place 1st, 53rd overall, with a time of 21:03. Claire Wharton 2nd with her 21:22 and Claire McCormick 3rd (68th overall) in 21:50.
In the VM55-59 category, I placed third, well behind Des Dickson, 24th overall, in 19:00 and Al Maclachlan, 30th overall, with a time of 19:31. Whilst in the VW55-59 category, Bellahouston Harriers placed 1st and 3rd, President Erica Christie taken gold (76th overall) in 22:05, ahead of Morag McArthur (128th overall) in 24:15 and Carol Keenan (184th overall) in 26:19.
It was good to see so many friends enjoying coffee, cake and conversation in the Burrell Cafe after the race.
Once again many thanks to all the volunteers who make parkrun happen and to all the friendly staff in the Burrell.