I was feeling confident, after Saturday’s parkrun performance, of getting a PB at the Polaroid Clydebank 10k on Thursday 28 May 2015. I checked my PB time, not something that I do very often, and noticed that there had been an error in the official results when I ran my fastest 10k at the Irvine Marymass in 2010. Whilst UK Athletics had my time recorded as 42:20, my actual time had been 42:30. I realised then that to get a new official PB, I would need to run at least 11 seconds faster than ever before.
The weather wasn’t great as I left the house and the forecast was even worse. Wind and rain are not always conducive to fast running. For a moment, I questioned if I was up to racing and then I recalled all the hard training that I had done over the winter, this was the opportunity to get the fruits of that work.
I arrived at the Playdrome in plenty of time to catch up with friends and do my usual warm up, before joining in with another 684 runners for the 7:30pm Start. I lined up beside Louise Couper and, once again, she warned me of the speed bumps and bollards on the course. I had thought about not wearing a watch but decided that, even if I didn’t look at it during the race, it would be good to analyse my performance post run.
The race starts behind the local Shopping Centre, there’s a slight uphill part before going downhill, on to Seaforth Road, where it turns left under the bridge (at 0.5k) towards the Business Park. I was surprised to see myself overtaking Louise at this point but I knew that I would need to run my fastest if I was to get that PB. The path took us onto North Avenue where a left turn took us onto Whitworh Drive. The 1k sign appeared earlier than I expected, confirming that I was running faster than usual. We took a right at the end of the drive and ran along South Ave, where a left took us along Singer Road. I found myself running along with club mate Bernie O’Neil until we reached the 2k point. Garmin later revealed that I had run the first 2k in 8:01. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t keep up with her but I knew that my pace was still faster than usual. A sharp left took us onto Duntocher Road and another one onto the canal side.
We ran along the canal back towards the shopping centre. I ignored the drinks station and ran up the small hill and onto the pavement, along past the cheering supporters and back into the Business Park at the 4k point. My fast start was beginning to tire me and I was relieved to get to the point of no return (5k). I resisted the temptation to look at my watch and kept on running as fast as I could.
I had overtaken a few runners that usually beat me and was concentrating hard on those in front. I was finding it increasingly hard to hold onto my pace but the cries of support from the marshals and the few supporters, braving the cold and wind, out on the course, kept me plugging away. A few friends overtook me during the eighth and ninth kilometres, including in form Derek Shand, but rather than feeling negative, I kept positive, using them to help pull me round the latter stages of the course.
We were soon running back along the initial part of the race but in the opposite direction. We ran under the bridge and turned right. We could see the Finish away in the distance but I had forgotten about the wee climb up along the pavement. The crowds were cheering us on and someone shouted that I was on for a PB, which confirmed my thoughts. I remained focussed on crossing the line as quick as possible. I was into the final strait when Garscube’s Aileen Wilson overtook me. “Oh no you don’t” I thought, pulling some extra speed from who knows where just catching her as we crossed the Finish mat.
I congratulated her and a few other runners before finding a wall to rest on until I got my breath back. My previous fastest ever time on this course had been 45:41, I smashed that, recording a time of 41:35! Any confusion around my PB being 42:30 or 42:20 was now confined to history, as was my 77% wava that I proudly earned at the weekend as I had a new one of 78+%.
I collected my goody bag, including a spot prize of another pair of Polaroid sunglasses, and then the skies opened up drenching everyone. I collected my top and sheltered in the Race HQ tent, which nearly blew away in the strong winds. I had a chat with a few more friends and running buddies, before personally thanking Lachie Stewart for his race tips and running back to the car to dry off and make my way south side. A great night’s work, in less than great conditions.
Last week’s winner Shettleston’s Tewoldebeberhen Mengistgab fought off a strong challenge from Poland’s Kamil Sieracki to place first in 30:24, beating the runner up by five seconds. Cambuslang’s Robert Gilroy, running his second race in two nights, had to settle for third, with a time of 30:37.
Irvine’s David Millar, once again, was the first MV40 (sixth overall) with a time of 32:23 whilst Falkirk’s Michael McQuaid won the 50+ race in 35:48 and Greenock Glenpark’s Robert Wilson was the first MV60 in 38:02
In the women’s race it was three out of three for Central’s Lyndsay Morrison who won gold in 35:33. In the race of her life, Springburn’s Michelle Sandison, not only ran a PB but took 20 seconds off of her Shetland Record set in 2002, crossing the line in 35:47. Garscube’s V40 Lesley Chisholm placed third in 36: 21. Dumbarton’s Melissa Wylie picked up the V40 prize, with her time of 39:17; Clydesdale’s Pamela Mccrossan continued her series success, winning the V50 competition in 41:13 and Beth McLafferty the V60 race in 48:21.
Louise Couper ended up kicking my butt big time, by crossing the line in 40:40. Fellow Bellahouston Harrier, Bernie O’Neil, who had been so happy with her time of 40:59 at Troon a few weeks ago, crushed that, crossing the line in 40:18! Derek Shand’s strong finish saw him record a time of 41:05. Kilbarchan AAC’s Norman Groves clocked 41:08 and Mary Senior 42:04. Good times for all of them but I doubt if anyone was as delighted as me, well maybe Michelle Sandison was…….
Thanks to Clydesdale Harriers for organising the event and for their marshals and the other supporters for encouraging me around the course, especially when the going got tough. Thanks also to my fellow runners from various clubs, including Motherwell AC and their blogger Mark Gallacher, on a big night for the town’s football club. Last but not least the photographers, including Steven Hill, for capturing some of my race emotions.
Bellahouston Harrier Results
|11||447||Jack ARNOLD||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:33:43||00:33:43|
|18||532||STEVEN PRENTICE||M||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:34:32||00:34:33|
|22||147||Darren MCQUADE||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:34:45||00:34:47||+00:01:04|
|26||792||Stuart MACDOUGALL||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:35:11||00:35:11||+00:01:28|
|28||237||BRIAN DOUGLAS||M||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:35:16||00:35:18||+00:01:35|
|31||284||STUART MILLER||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:35:23||00:35:24||+00:01:41|
|33||165||Jack Heathwood||M||JUN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:35:30||00:35:31||+00:01:48|
|35||787||DAVID MACKINTOSH||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:35:32||00:35:34||+00:01:51|
|45||499||Ian Sim||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:35:52||00:35:53||+00:02:10|
|70||60||George Taylor||M||V50||Bellahouston Harriers||00:37:02||00:37:05||+00:03:22|
|77||699||Robbie Ferguson||M||JUN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:37:21||00:37:24||+00:03:41|
|86||179||Thomas SMITH||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:37:39||00:37:42||+00:03:59|
|88||714||Francis Gilroy||M||V50||Bellahouston Harriers||00:37:41||00:37:43||+00:04:00|
|156||238||BERNADETTE O’NEIL||F||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:40:18||00:40:26||+00:06:43|
|186||575||DEREK SHAND||M||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:41:05||00:41:29||+00:07:46|
|196||53||Ian Goudie||M||V50||Bellahouston Harriers||00:41:35||00:41:42||+00:07:59|
|240||542||NEIL NAIRN||M||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:43:03||00:43:13||+00:09:30|
|264||74||DARREN MURRAY||M||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:43:25||00:44:03||+00:10:20|
|273||90||Janine DICKIE||F||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:44:07||00:44:18||+00:10:35|
|285||707||KRISTINA GREIG||F||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:44:32||00:44:45||+00:11:02|
|289||905||MELANIE RONALD||F||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:44:47||00:45:00||+00:11:17|
|363||586||Helen STEVENSON||F||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:47:20||00:47:36||+00:13:53|
|371||614||Stephanie BAIRD||F||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:47:41||00:47:56||+00:14:13|
|400||121||Claire Norman||F||SEN||Bellahouston Harriers||00:48:30||00:48:44||+00:15:01|
|407||57||THOMAS KEENAN||M||V60||Bellahouston Harriers||00:48:46||00:49:01||+00:15:18|
|495||56||CAROL KEENAN||F||V50||Bellahouston Harriers||00:51:40||00:52:15||+00:18:32|
|521||13||JOHN SOFTLEY||M||V60||Bellahouston Harriers||00:52:24||00:53:15||+00:19:32|
|522||31||Lisa GILMORE||F||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:52:52||00:53:27||+00:19:44|
|582||85||Colin Clews||M||V40||Bellahouston Harriers||00:55:59||00:56:36||+00:22:53|
|650||827||JOHN ROBERTSON||M||V50||Bellahouston Harriers||01:01:22||01:01:58||+00:28:15|