The July 2015 edition of the 3k on the Green surpassed all expectations with a record number of new entrants and a record number of runners. The lunchtime run has grown from strength to strength as participants have raised awareness of the great wee race through both word of mouth and social media. Three years ago the charity race attracted a record of 42 entrants, this year the event set a new record of more than double this, with some 88 participants. This record was well and truly smashed in July, when some 139 runners, including 28 Bellahouston Harriers, assembled at the McLennan Arch! Although a bit overwhelmed by the race’s increasing popularity, Al Murray and his handful of volunteers responded magnificently.
I mentioned in a previous Blog, that my Garmin had estimated that my VO2 was 50%, apparently this means that, with ideal conditions, I should be able to run a 10k race in 41:20; a 5k in 19:56; and a 3k in 11:33. I’m not sure how scientific that this is but, given that I had ran the Clydebank 10k this year in 41:35, I was prepared to believe it, especially if it gives me the self- belief to run faster and maybe even achieve that elusive sub twenty minute 5k!
My 3k PB is 11:47 and, despite having a terrible night’s sleep, I was confident that I could better that. I arrived at Glasgow Green at 11:45, which gave me plenty of time for a decent warm up. Extremely important in such a short race. Five minute walking, five minute jogging and then a dozen or so 200m strides, building up to race pace. I changed into my race gear, double tied my shoe laces and I was ready to give it a go.
We set off at 12:30 and although it was very congested, I still managed a decent Start. I thought I was doing fine but my Great Run Local nemesis, Sarah Munn, sped past me and soon opened up a sizable lead. There were a number of other runners between us and after the first kilometre, which took me 3:50. I found myself running alone, into the wind. My tactic changed to catching up with this group and I increased my work rate. I thought I was doing great, when I heard unfamiliar footsteps behind, closing in on me. I was a bit surprised and relieved to see that it was Kirkintilloch Olympian, Robert Rogerson that overtook me. I was also surprised at how far I had run before seeing the lead runners coming back from the turn point.
Rodger McEleney provided some encouragement at the turn point and I increased my pace for the second half, immediately overtaking another runner. I then dodged the roots coming through the tarmac and the branches overhead as I continued my pursuit of those ahead. I ran under the bridge and, as I reached the small hill, Motherwell’s Kevin Durnian appeared on my shoulder. He sounded as if he was running flat out, so I increased my pace and held off his challenge.
There was still a long way to go but I was now eating into the gap between me and Sarah, with Robert just ahead. I dug even deeper and sprinted after them but Sarah knew I was there and managed one last burst of energy, enough for her to cross the line in front of me.
I went to congratulate her but she had bent over with exhaustion, I was also exhausted, so I sat on the grass for a moment to get my breath back, before exchanging congratulations with her and the other runners. Including her, younger, sister Emily, who wasn’t far behind us.
I had placed 47th and had smashed my PB by at least nine seconds, finishing in 11:38, Sarah had placed 46th and second woman. in 11:36, and her sister 51st and 3rd woman in 11:44.
We collected our goody bags, which had been laid on to commemorate the first anniversary of the Commonwealth Games and cheered the other runners over the line, before going our various ways.
Up front, Shettleston’s Kevin Brydon had won the race, in a time of 9:09. with Bellahouston Harriers’ sixteen year old, Jack Heathwood, outsprinting Cambuslang’s Shaun Butler to place second, in 9:24 one second ahead of his competitor.
It was Shettleston to the fore in the women’s race too, with Ruth Joss, earning Gold, with a time of 10:34. With new Bellahouston Harrier recruits, Sarah and Emily Munn, placing second and third, as mentioned above.
Of course as well as those up front and those of us who ran PBs, the real winners were the organisers who work so hard every last Friday of the month, as well as behind the scenes, to enable us to have a lunch time race. The record turnout was a reflection of the sterling job that they do.
See you in August?
Full Results here
Pics by Clare Barr, Matthew Brown and Iain Burke.
Clare Barr’s pics here