I joined in with another two dozen Bellahouston Harriers who made their way to the west of Glasgow, on Saturday 18th July, to take part in our club championship race aka Victoria parkrun #85.
The overnight rain had abated and the wind had died down a lot but it was still breezy, particularly around the far side of the pond. I managed a decent warm up, as usually interrupted by chatting with running buddies before joining in with the assembled masses for the pre race announcements. Unfortunately, even with the benefit of a megaphone, I couldn’t hear anything the run director was saying. Thankfully the race starter was more audible, to me at least, and sent 227 of us on our way around the, three lap course, at 9:33am.
I started quite fast but any hope I had of holding onto club mate Gordon Gallacher were buried after about 600m, as he sped away into the distance. Instead, I ended up running just behind Victoria parkrun regular Gordon Davidson, with his distinctive beard and Bellahouston Road Runner Mary Senior. The first kilometre took me 4 minutes and 5 seconds but I found it tough going I was feeling a bit tired after working hard at training on Tuesday and Thursday and racing hard on Wednesday, on top of this, my eye infection was still giving me pain. However my calves were pain free and I soon ditched the negative thoughts and concentrated on stopping a guy, on my shoulder, from overtaking me. It was back to focussing on Gordon and Mary and letting them pull me around the course. Enthusiastic support from Sharon Muir and her two daughters also helped and I was feeling much more positive in the second lap.
In the third, and final lap, I was feeling as if I was running fast without killing myself (a very unusual feeling for me! and I was able to increase the pace quite easily. Although I had to weave my way in and out of the slower runners, I was strong as I ran up the small hill for the third time and was closing the gap on Mary. Along the middle of the park we ran, with me in hot pursuit, before turning left. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to catch her before the 5k was up, so I switched my focus to “every second counts”, I turned left and onto the final strait.
From nowhere, Derek McElhinney sprinted past me but I managed to find an extra gear and crossed the line in the same time as him 20:33, my second fastest time at the event and my third fastest ever! My wava was 76.7%.
I shared congratulations with those around me, which surprisingly included Julie Marie Gordon, admittedly coming back from injury, and Debbie Martin-Consani, tapering for her 50 mile Lakeland Race.
Up front, it was 1,2,3 for the Harriers with teenager Jack Heathwood earning glory with a PB of 16:45, runner up Jack Arnold was only two seconds behind his namesake, with Daren McQuade placing third, with a PB of 16:55.
In the women’s race, it was Kelvin Runner, Shona McManus (Doherty) who took the plaudits, with her second PB in as many outings, as she continues with her improved form, crossing the line in 18:10 and placing 17th overall. Making her Victoria Park debut,, Livingston’s Mhairi Inglis worked hard to earn second spot (29th overall) in a time of 19:42. Whilst Mary Senior’s excellent performance saw her finishing third (38th overall) with a time of 20:25.
Congratulations also to Angela Campbell, who clocked up her 150th parkrun.
Many thanks to all of the volunteers for enabling the event to take place and to my fellow runners and supporters for making it such a great occasion.
I did however feel a tad old when a fellow runner asked me if I was Ian Goudie and then said “you know my mum and dad”!