After Wednesday’s exertions at the Great Run Local, I decided a steady run was on the cards this week. I’m also of the belief that every fourth week should be an easy one, so it was time to take the foot off the pedal. I decided to give Pollok parkrun a miss and to take Jack to another one. When I heard that John Smith was running his 250th parkrun at Strathclyde Park, my decision was made.
After participating in fifteen parkruns in Pollok Park, John and his partner Moira Nicol, as well as a few others, launched the Strathclyde parkrun on Saturday 10th April 2010 with some 81 participants.
With volunteering duties taking precedence, he wasn’t able to actually run in the second parkrun in Scotland until event number ten, on 12th June 2010. Today would mark his 172nd run in ‘Scotland’s Theme Park’.
It’s testimony to the work that John, Moira and the others, have done behind the scenes that some 241 runners took part today, in the 319th event. I was honoured to be one of those helping the fellow Ayrshire man mark the occasion.
It was a pleasant surprise to meet a few other friends and running buddies there, not least of all, Race Director, Ally Robb; John Cunningham, making his Lanarkshire debut; Alison Wood, on tail runner duties; Scotland’s volunteer of the year, Janice Millar; Iain Crawford; Eddie Carr; Ian Devoy; Pauline Henderson; Lesley Juskowiak and Robert Gilroy.
Strathclyde parkrun #319
For some reason Jack decided that he would prefer to run on the, heavy going, grass today, rather than on the pavement. It didn’t make my race any easier, or any shorter, but at least it meant that we kept out of the way of the other runners. I was happy enough with our pace, which saw us pass the 1k marker in a time of 4:33. We kept around that pace for the other four kilometres before crossing the line in a respectable 36th place with a time of 22:43. Coincidentally this was just one second slower than my last outing, on 1st August 2015 and exactly the same time as I ran there in 2013 and 2010. Hopefully I’ll be back to beat that time soon.
This was my 17th Strathclyde parkrun and my 196th overall. Of course John has ran 54 more than me but he’s also volunteered more, toured more and ran a lot more freedom runs too. Today was his day. He’s a gentleman and an inspiration to many. I take my hat off to you sir.
Here’s John’s amazing record:
|Year||Role||Number of Times|
|2016||Run Report Writer||1|
|2013||Finish Token Support||1|
|2010||Post-event Close Down||1|
|19/06/2015||00:30:32||Llyn Llech Owain|