Saturday 25th July 2015 and I made my way to Pollok Park to participate in my local parkrun, for the 125th time. I’ve run another 48 at various other courses, making this my 173rd in total. I have to be honest and admit that I don’t always ‘race’ the event but ‘use’ it, to suit my training. Today would be one of the days when I’d be using the parkrun and I joined in with a number of Bellahouston Harrier club mates, a bit further back from the front as usual.
After the pre race announcements, which included support for Stuart McBeath who, after battling with poor health, has recently returned to the running community and was clocking up his 50th parkrun. Well done Stuart, great to see you back! Race director, Campbell Joss then sent the 418 participants around the two lap, undulating, course.
My plan was simple, to start slow and gently increase my pace, perhaps pushing it in for the last kilometre, depending on how I was feeling. Today would also be another chance to try out my new Garmin Fenix 2. All my previous GPSs have always lost contact with the satellite signals once we get into the wooded section and therefore gave the route as less than 5k and ben of little use in analysing the race. The new one, actually clocked my route on the day as being 5:08k. The multi sport also gives various other data, including cadence, stride length, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. It also guestimates your V02 Max, mine, for the record, comes in at 50, which is somewhat excellent for my age. More about these another time.
My first kilometre took me 4:43 and the second one 4:39, the third 4:10 and the penultimate one 4:16, I felt fine, so increased my pace and covered the last kilometre in 4:06, with the 0.8 taken me 18 seconds, given me a total of 22:10 and a lovely negative split. I crossed the line in 82nd place, just behind Hilary Robinson, who was pacing her daughter Eilidh to a PB of 22:09.
Bellahouston Harriers: Robbie Ferguson; Iain Morrison; Mel Ronald and Laura Ritchie, all ran course PBs. Congratulations to all of them and also to Jack Arnold who won the race, in a time of 17:03, beating Robbie by 33 seconds, with Swansea Harrier Mikey Bryant celebrating his 100th parkrun by making his Pollok Park debut and placing third, in 17:38. In the women’s event, Forres Harrier, Hilary Cameron earned gold, with a time of 20:49. Mel’s PB of 21:35 was good enough to earn her runner up spot, whilst Hilary’s pacing helped her teenage daughter to third place.
Many thanks to the volunteers who make parkrun happen, including Bellahouston Harrier, Calum Ferguson and to all my fellow runners.