My 200th parkrun

200-club-anyone-can-joinI ran my 200th parkrun at Pollok Park on Saturday 17th 2016, almost eight years after running my first one. Anyone can do it but it will take at least four years.

Glasgow, and indeed Scotland’s, first parkrun was held in Pollock Country Park on 6th December 2008 with 44 participants. I wasn’t one of them. However I did run in  the second event the week later, which attracted only 24 runners and since then, on average, I’ve continued to run a parkrun every two weeks..

Out of those 24 parkrunners on that mid December Saturday morning, 20 beat me as I placed 21st with a time of 25:19. For the record, Casey Morgan was first to cross the line in 17:26, with Li Wang winning the women’s event in 23:22. A total of four volunteers made the event happen: Frances FLOOD, John HAGEMEISTER, Richard LEYTON and Ewan MCDONALD

Pollok parkrun, Glasgow # 2 – 13/12/2008

Pos parkrunner Time Age Grade Gender Pos
1 Casey MORGAN 17:26 74.19 % M 1  
2 Gary HESTER 18:29 77.28 % M 2
3 Campbell JOSS 20:04 76.58 % M 3
4 Gavin ORR 20:09 67.25 % M 4
5 Anthony QUINN 20:11 74.24 % M 5
6 Andrew MOTT 20:39 62.63 % M 6
7 Jamie MCLAUGHLIN 20:55 66.22 % M 7
8 Robert MOODY 21:34 70.63 % M 8
9 Iain BURKE 21:45 73.72 % M 9
10 Alistair KELL 21:59 62.09 % M 10
11 Robert PATTERSON 22:25 64.68 % M 11
12 Nicky FLEMING 22:39 58.20 % M 12
13 John HAMER 23:12 61.14 % M 13
14 Li WANG 23:22 69.04 % F 1
15 Veronika JURANOVA 23:39 62.58 % F 2
16 Dan MAHER 23:40 57.68 % M 14
17 Lucy Sarah MACKAY 24:29 64.06 % F 3
18 Michael ALLAN 24:30 59.18 % M 15
19 Andrew ALLAN 24:30 61.16 % M 16
20 Eddie CAFOLLA 24:47 62.54 % M 17
21 Ian GOUDIE 25:19 58.72 % M 18
22 Christine PATTERSON 26:38 62.77 % F 4
23 Ian MORRIS 28:38 54.13 % M 19
24 Libby PORTER 31:08 48.02 % F 5

I didn’t let my lack of initial success get to me though I did set myself a target of getting into the top 33% of parkrunners. I’ve also had the opportunity to try out some of the other parkruns which have been established across the country. Here’s a summary of my results:

Event Summaries

Event  ↓ Runs  ↓ Best Gender Position  ↓ Best Position Overall  ↓   ↓
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 144 13 14 00:20:50 All Graph It!
Victoria parkrun, Glasgow 18 25 27 00:20:18 All Graph It!
Strathclyde parkrun 17 11 12 00:20:29 All Graph It!
Tollcross parkrun, Glasgow 6 13 13 00:22:18 All Graph It!
Springburn parkrun, Glasgow 3 14 14 00:20:32 All Graph It!
Edinburgh parkrun 3 28 30 00:20:19 All Graph It!
Eglinton parkrun 3 19 19 00:21:53 All Graph It!
Ayr parkrun 2 6 7 00:22:59 All Graph It!
Linwood parkrun 1 16 17 00:20:08 All
Falkirk parkrun 1 38 44 00:23:15 All
Greenock parkrun 1 23 24 00:20:56 All
Inverness parkrun 1 38 46 00:26:50 All
200 6 7 00:20:08 All

Although my form has been up and down over the years, I’ve returned from a lengthy period of absence caused by a damaged hamstring and I’m now getting a bit of form back. In fact my time of 20:08 achieved at Linwood on 3rd September, was not only my fastest ever parkrun but it also placed me in the top 1% of fastest parkrunners in the UK in 2016.

Most Recent Runs

Event  ↓ Run Date  ↓ Gender Pos  ↓ Overall Position  ↓ Time  ↓ Age Grade  ↓
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 17/09/2016 43 50 21:13 74.94%
Springburn parkrun, Glasgow 10/09/2016 14 14 20:32 77.44%
Linwood parkrun 03/09/2016 16 17 20:08 78.97%
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 27/08/2016 64 69 22:29 70.72%
Strathclyde parkrun 20/08/2016 35 36 22:43 69.99%
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 13/08/2016 67 74 22:13 71.57%
Victoria parkrun, Glasgow 06/08/2016 82 96 22:32 70.56%
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 30/07/2016 80 85 23:36 67.37%
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 23/07/2016 133 155 25:58 61.23%
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 16/07/2016 120 136 26:02 61.08%

Pollok parkrun, Glasgow # 397 – 17/09/2016

Some 490 runners took part in the 397th Pollok parkrun. Whilst I didn’t run a course best on my 144th outing at Pollok, which remains at 20:50, I did run well. I crossed the line in 50th place, with a time of 21:13. Almost four minutes quicker than my first outing nearly eight years ago  and it could be argued that this was my best ever performance at the event as my wava reached a new high of 74.94%.

Andy Bonner won the event, with a time of 17:37 and a wava of 73.60% and Ayr’s Toni McIntosh travelled to Glasgow to help me commemorate the occasion and also turned the clock back, as she placed 1st Female for the first time in four years. Time 19:55, wava 75.31%

Full Results:


Of course at the grassroots level parkrun relies on volunteers to stage the events, week in and week out. Parkrunners are asked to volunteer three times a year and I continue to help out when I can.

Volunteer Summary

Year  ↓ Role  ↓ Number of Times  ↓
2016 Tail Runner 1
2015 Barcode Scanning 1
2015 Number Checker 1
2015 Pacer 1
2015 Photographer 1
2014 Marshal 1
2014 Photographer 3
2013 Photographer 3
2011 Photographer 3
2011 Run Report Writer 1
2010 Marshal 1
2010 Photographer 2
2010 Run Report Writer 3
2010 Tail Runner 1
2009 Barcode Scanning 1
2009 Marshal 2
2009 Photographer 1
2009 Run Report Writer 5
2009 Timekeeper 1
2009 Token Sorting 1

Friends and Running Buddies

Off course whilst all of the above may be of interest, the best thing about the parkrun is the opportunity which it provides to get together with your friends and buddies from the running community. Since its inception, over 15,000 different runners have completed the 5k in Pollock, I’ve run it with most of them. For that alone I thank you all two hundred times. See you at a parkrun soon?



Russian Round Robertland-Stewarton 5k

It’s been a long, long time since I last ran around the streets ‘up the hill’ in Stewarton but the local academy’s decision to stage a 3 and a 5k race gave me the opportunity to turn back time and return to the place of my youth. Although I couldn’t resist taking a slight detour so that I could grab a selfie beside the sign for Ayrshire’s village ‘Moscow’. memoscow

The Robertland housing estate has expanded somewhat since I left the Bonnet Town, with more private housing being built on the south east edge of the ancient burgh. Although I’d never been in the Academy, which was built after my time at school, it still felt like home to me as I entered the gym hall to see a number of well kent faces. Most of these were from the running community and the warmth of their welcome was appreciated.


Pre Race Pic with Lewis

After much deliberation, I decided to run without Jack. ‘Hey it’s not all about the dog!  One local lad taking pat was my nephew, Lewis, so that was challenge number one. After catching up with everyone and warming up, I lined up beside Cat Stewart of Kilbarchan A.A.C. My tactics were easy. Try to stick as close to her as possible, which would be easier said than done, as she ran a 19:09 5k earlier this year.

Both the 3k and 5k races started together at 7pm and we did one lap of the school before going down a lane and on to Pokelly Place. A left turn took us down Cutsburn Road and then a right took us through Fairways (this was the site of the local golf course) a left took us along Mccardle Way (named after Phil, a local church minister?) and down an abrupt path, with a number of steps to overcome, before joining the path along the Annick Water.  As soon as I saw the steps, I though ‘Oh sh*t’ fearing for my injured hamstring. I managed to avoid the steps by running down the adjoining grass. Surprisingly, I overtook Cat at this point but not for long as she breezed past me a few seconds later.  This part was of the course was relatively flat but it wasn’t too long until we reached the pedestrian bridge and turned right ‘up the hill’. Around the swing park, and up Annick Cresent and Gameshill View. A sharp left took us on to Netherlands Road. I was amazed to see that the prefabricated houses on the right hand side were still there after all this time. At the end of the road, we turned right and up the steep Robertland Road before joining Cutsburn Road and starting lap two.


Up the hill….

Having been out for a year, the hills were taking their toll on me but it wasn’t long until we reached the downhill section. My head was telling me to stop and have a rest, even just for a few seconds but I’ve heard that cry before and I struggled on. Back up the hill and along the lane towards the school and the welcome Finish line. I looked at my Garmin, which was displaying 20:03.  One of my best ever times for a 5k.. I congratulated those around me before having a good lie down and getting my breath back. A bottle of water and a banana helped the recovery process as I joined in with the post race banter.  Of course I beat my nephew but the boy ran well.



Irvine’s Paul Lafferty was first overall and Cat took Gold in the women’s event. Full results below..



Good to see my old mate Peter Miller at the end and locals Sandra Hunter and Kenny Phillips on photo duty. Well done to Race Director David Mitchell and all the marshals and other volunteers on the night, including the enthusiastic, flame haired PE teacher.

pics by Kenny Phillips



200th parkrun

See you all next year but before then I’ve got my 200th parkrun on Saturday 17th September at Pollok Park to look forward to. Feel free to join me.



Justice Done at Springburn parkrun

I wasn’t planning to do a parkrun on the 10th September but the heavy rainfall on Friday afternoon put paid to my original plan and around 8:30am, I decided to return to Springburn parkrun. Until recently, this great wee event at the top of Glasgow has been something of a hidden gem, attracting sometimes as few as nineteen runners. However the word is out now and recent attendances have been up to around, and above, the one hundred mark.  Some 97 of us turned up on Saturday and it was good to see so many running buddies amongst them.

Having ran in the first Springburn parkrun in May 2014 and then the 51st in May 2015, I was overdue a visit to the north of the city and of course, my dog, Jack was guaranteed a course best.

The route has been slightly altered since last year and the Start is quite narrow, so I found myself harnessed to Jack near the front of the assembled runners as Belinda Porteous sent us on our way. The downside of starting near the front is that we had to get into race mode straight away and I ended up running faster than I had really wanted to and the first kilometre took us only 3:55. We both had a hard training session on Friday and I had consumed too much red wine in the evening. We ran through a few puddles and then worked hard up the long slope back to the house and the end of the first lap. Same again and then a right turn took us down the final strait and across the line in fourteenth spot, with a time of 20:32. Twenty-nine seconds off of last year’s time delighted me, especially as I recall how happy I was then to get close to the 21 minute barrier. That barrier is now well gone.

Full Results

I exchanged mutual congratulations with those around me and had a wee warm down before heading back to the car to give jack a bowl of water. The boy had done good. I joined the others in the cafe at Huntershill for post run coffee and chat.


Bust of Thomas Muir by Alexander Stoddart

Huntershill is synonymous with Thomas Muir, the father of Scottish Democracy who somehow or other was omitted from my education until I heard Dick Gaughan singing a song by Adam McNaughton entitled Thomas Muir of Huntershill.  The brilliance of the lyrics are typical of the former English Teacher.

My name is Thomas Muir as a lawyer I was trained
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
But you’ve branded me an outlaw, for sedition I’m arraigned
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
But I never preached sedition in any shape or form
And against the constitution I have never raised a storm
It’s the scoundrels who’ve corrupted it that I want to reform
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

M’lord, you found me guilty before the trial began
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
And the jury that you’ve picked are Tory placemen to a man
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
Yet here I stand for judgement unafraid what may befall
Though your spies were in my parish Kirk and in my father’s hall
Not one of them can testify I ever broke a law
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Yes, I spoke to Paisley weavers and addressed the city’s youth
For neither age nor class should be a barrier to the truth
M’lord, you may chastise them with your vitriolic tongue
You say that books are dangerous to those I moved among
But the future of our land is with the workers and the young                                                           Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Members of the jury, it’s not me who’s being tried
200 years in future they will mind what you decide
You may send me to Van Dieman’s Land or clap me in the jail
Grant me death or grant me liberty my spirit will not fail
For my cause it is a just one and my cause it will prevail                                                                     Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

With quiet words and dignity Muir led his own defence
He appeared completely blameless to those with common sense
When he had finished speaking the courtroom rang with cheers
Lord Braxfield said, “This outburst just confirms our greatest fears”
And he sentenced Thomas Muir to be transported 14 years                                                                 Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Gerrard, Palmer, Skirving, Thomas Muir and Margarot                                                                            These are names that every Scottish man and woman ought to know
When you’re called for jury service, when your name is drawn by lot
When you vote in an election when you freely voice your thought
Don’t take these things for granted, for dearly were they bought                                                     Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

There’s few that deliver it as well as Dick Gaughan, even after his recent stroke. Here’s a video of him performing the great song a number of years ago:  Thomas Muir of Huntershill


Back to my Rootes in Linwood

I had read a couple of blogs by Steven Hill about the new parkrun at Linwood in Renfrewshire. It’s a place that has fond memories for me as my favourite uncle, aunt and cousins lived there and I used to go my holidays there when I was young boy. As a family we never went on holiday, so it was just me and it was my ‘holiday’ home.

My late mum’s younger sister Margaret McDade and her husband Robert Rae had both moved there to work at the Rootes car factory, which was opened by Prince Phillip on 2 May 1963. The factory became famous for the manufacture of the Hillman Imp. At the peak of production, some sixty cars per hour were rolling off the assembly line and Linwood prospered. I was lucky to spend my time there when the town was in it’s heyday.


Prince Philip and the first Linwood Hillman Imp

Sadly Rootes had financial problems and in 1973, they  became a small part of the giant US Chrysler corporation , who wanted a foothold in Europe. Production of the Imp ceased in 1976 and the plant was sold to Peugeot Talbot in 1978. The factory struggled on with the Hunter, the Sunbeam and the Avenger but three years later Peugeot closed the plant.  Some 6,000 people directly lost their jobs and another 12,000 were lost in the supplier chain and ‘corner shop’ effect.  At a time when jobs were hard to come by, Robert was one of the lucky ones managing to find a job as a bus driver but the town of Linwood suffered badly.

on-xMore than thirty years later there are signs of recovery. As part of Renfrewshire Council £103m investment in the Building Better Communities programme, Linwood has a new Sport and Community Centre, the ON-X  which opened in March 2013 as part of a £24m project. The Centre has three pools;an eight-court sports hall; fitness suite; four dance studios, athletic track and field area and an outdoor, full-size synthetic pitch and facilities for community groups.  Since the 9th July 2016, it has also been home to the Linwood parkrun.

I decided to give it a try on Saturday 3rd September, the ninth staging of the event. As luck would have it, Strathclyde parkrun had been cancelled that day due to a triathlon taking place in the park and a number of regulars from Lanarkshire had decided to come to Renfrewshire, including fourteen from Motherwell AC. In all, some forty-five first timers were included in the day’s 119 parkrunners. As well as a few dogs and at least one baby in a buggy. I was there with Jack and Steven had volunteered to tail run with his daughter, after achieving a fantastic PB of 20:08 last week.


Oh We’re Off

After warming up and chatting with loads of running buddies, we lined up for the 9:3oam Start. When the Race Director said that the pre-race announcements wouldn’t take long, she wasn’t joking and with the cries of ‘oh we’re off’ ringing in my ears, I started my Garmin and joined in with the others running with the hockey pitch on our left hand side. Whilst the others were on the narrow path, Jack and I kept out of their way by running on the adjacent grass, joining the path as it turned left at the far end of the pitch and then right, through the woodlands, towards Moss Road.

Jack hadn’t been too keen to put his harness on and I had hurt my back on Friday, so I wasn’t expecting too much from our performance but with an easier course than Pollok, I hoped that we would be able to dip under the 22 minute barrier for the first time.  We weaved along the course, which changed from path to trail and back again. A sharp left at Moss Road and then another and then a long left curve took us to the end of the woods. At this point, I could see the heads of the those in front bobbing along above the hedges in the distance on our left.  Another left turn and then one more and we were back at the Start line, so I knew that we had completed about half the 5k course. I also knew that we were working hard because I was feeling it.

‘Only 2.5k to go and Jack’s on for his PB’ I thought, in order to motivate myself to keep working hard even though it hurt. We turned left, this time before the hockey pitch, then right and rejoined the first lap. Because of all the wee twists and turns, we never really got a good view of who was in front of us, but most of the time we could see at least one Motherwell vest.

The marshals were great, all of them spurring us on at each turning as I shouted out to Jack ‘left, left’ or ‘right, right’ trying to keep him from taking too many wrong turns. There were white posts on our right indicating 600m, then 500m etc. I didn’t know if that was to the Finish line or not but used them anyway. With a cry of ‘way-bye’ we overtook another runner and headed towards the final strait. With my hamstring and back issues, there wouldn’t be any mad dash for the line but we still finished strongly, placing 17th.


The Final Strait

‘Did you get your sub 22’ asked Neil Robbins, ‘I did indeed’ I replied as I my Garmin revealed a time of 20:06. I was delighted with that time and just as happy to get an official time of 20:08. My lack of attention at the Start may have cost us a couple of seconds but it doesn’t matter too much. My fastest ever 5k in a Scottish Athletics recognised event was 20:18 on 25th May last year at Victoria parkrun. In my 198th outing, I had smashed that by ten seconds, despite being out for nearly a year and not back to real training yet.

With the same time as Steven Hill’s parkrun PB, it’s maybe just a question of which one of us smashes our 20 min parkrun barrier first but at the moment my main target is to get my 200th under my belt, hopefully on 24th Sept at Pollok.


In the last race of their Championship Series, it was Motherwell’s Allan Cameron, running a superb PB of 16:49 who took the plaudits, ahead of team mate Mark Paterson 17:07, with Ian Carroll placing third in 17:11. St Mirren supporter Mark Gallacher ran his first sub 18, placing fifth in 17:54.


Rachael Bushfield

In the women’s event, Inverclyde’s Rachael Bushfield still recovering from injury set a new course record of 19:14 to take Gold, ahead of Claire MacAskill (20:22) and Gemma Taylor (21:42).

Full Results

Post Race

After our warm down, I joined in with the Motherwell runners and others in the cafe before visiting my uncle who still stays in the same house as he did all these years ago. Sadly, my last visit a  few months ago had been at my aunt’s funeral, so it was good to see that he was in good form. Today was a much happier day than then. I’ll be back to run Linwood and catch up with him soon.


Post Race Selfie with my Uncle Robert


Many thanks to all the volunteers for putting on this great event and to all my running friends and buddies for making me and Jack feel so welcome.  Photos from Linwood parkrun Facebook page.








Easy Protein Balls – There’s a Hazlenut in every bite.

hazlenut.jpgThis really is the easiest recipe for making protein balls  There’s literally no cooking or baking involved. All you need is a blender or juicer and a fridge, oh and half a dozen  ingredients.

Healthy, delicious and easy to make. What more could you ask for?


– 1 cup of walnuts

– 1 cup of pitted dates

– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (melted)

– 1 tablespoon of protein powder

– 1 tablespoon of raw cacao or cocoa powder

– 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds  (I used the ones that I sprinkle on my cereal)

optional – cacao/cocoa powder and desiccated coconut



Place all the walnuts into a blender/juicer walnuts then add all the other ingredients and blend for a few minutes, until a sticky dough forms.

Use your hands to roll the mixture into small balls

Optional – sprinkle a baking tray with the cacoa/cocoa power and/or the desiccated coconut. Roll the balls over the coating.

Place in a bowl and store in the fridge.


Enjoy after your run or workout

John’s 250th parkrun

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.

full results

johnsmith250This 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:

Event  ↓ Runs  ↓ Best Gender Position  ↓ Best Position Overall  ↓   ↓
Strathclyde parkrun 172 9 9 00:20:50 All Graph It!
Pollok parkrun, Glasgow 15 52 55 00:21:19 All Graph It!
Edinburgh parkrun 9 66 75 00:22:24 All Graph It!
Ayr parkrun 5 18 24 00:25:42 All Graph It!
Tollcross parkrun, Glasgow 4 20 23 00:25:26 All Graph It!
Perth parkrun 3 15 19 00:22:41 All Graph It!
Victoria parkrun, Glasgow 3 89 107 00:24:12 All Graph It!
Eglinton parkrun 3 31 32 00:23:51 All Graph It!
Dunfermline parkrun 3 32 38 00:25:42 All Graph It!
Hazlehead parkrun, Aberdeen 2 42 46 00:24:22 All Graph It!
Livingston parkrun 2 53 68 00:26:33 All Graph It!
Portobello parkrun, Edinburgh 2 59 69 00:24:08 All Graph It!
Kirkcaldy parkrun 2 35 39 00:23:55 All Graph It!
Fountains Abbey parkrun 2 101 124 00:26:37 All Graph It!
Perry Hall parkrun 1 114 139 00:28:09 All
Woodhouse Moor parkrun 1 151 181 00:25:31 All
Keswick parkrun 1 58 78 00:26:36 All
Linwood parkrun 1 22 28 00:25:26 All
Hanley parkrun 1 37 43 00:26:48 All
Derry City parkrun 1 28 34 00:24:42 All
Greenock parkrun 1 30 32 00:22:11 All
Ellon parkrun 1 35 46 00:26:01 All
Citypark parkrun, Craigavon 1 52 70 00:28:24 All
Worsley Woods parkrun 1 153 198 00:28:43 All
Inverness parkrun 1 37 40 00:26:04 All
Poole parkrun 1 175 235 00:29:32 All
Falkirk parkrun 1 39 43 00:22:51 All
Drumchapel parkrun 1 44 52 00:27:39 All
Carlisle parkrun 1 35 39 00:25:03 All
Springburn parkrun, Glasgow 1 9 9 00:22:52 All
Portrush parkrun 1 27 35 00:26:47 All
St Andrews parkrun 1 26 36 00:24:58 All
Newport parkrun 1 209 288 00:31:24 All
Cannon Hill parkrun, Birmingham 1 193 233 00:26:09 All
Camperdown parkrun, Dundee 1 39 46 00:25:42 All
Elgin parkrun 1 53 68 00:26:04 All
Aberdeen parkrun 1 67 81 00:23:51 All
250 9 9 00:20:50 All


Volunteer Summary

Year  ↓ Role  ↓ Number of Times  ↓
2016 Backup Timer 1
2016 Pacer 4
2016 Pre-event Setup 5
2016 Results Processor 5
2016 Run Director 3
2016 Run Report Writer 1
2016 Tail Runner 1
2016 VI Guide 1
2016 Volunteer Co-ordinator 2
2015 Barcode Scanning 4
2015 Number Checker 1
2015 Pacer 5
2015 Pre-event Setup 5
2015 Results Processor 17
2015 Run Director 6
2015 Tail Runner 4
2015 Volunteer Co-ordinator 5
2014 Barcode Scanning 10
2014 Pacer 7
2014 Pre-event Setup 2
2014 Results Processor 6
2014 Run Director 7
2014 Tail Runner 2
2014 Volunteer Co-ordinator 6
2013 Barcode Scanning 1
2013 Finish Token Support 1
2013 Finish Tokens 1
2013 Funnel Manager 1
2013 Number Checker 1
2013 Other 2
2013 Pacer 9
2013 Results Processor 15
2013 Run Director 8
2013 Tail Runner 4
2013 Timekeeper 1
2013 Volunteer Co-ordinator 17
2012 Barcode Scanning 6
2012 Finish Tokens 1
2012 Funnel Manager 4
2012 Marshal 1
2012 Other 3
2012 Pacer 6
2012 Photographer 1
2012 Pre-event Setup 2
2012 Run Director 3
2012 Volunteer Co-ordinator 7
2011 Barcode Scanning 3
2011 Marshal 2
2011 Photographer 1
2011 Pre-event Setup 11
2011 Run Director 5
2011 Tail Runner 6
2011 Timekeeper 1
2011 Volunteer Co-ordinator 7
2010 Barcode Scanning 8
2010 Finish Tokens 1
2010 Funnel Manager 1
2010 Marshal 1
2010 Number Checker 4
2010 Post-event Close Down 1
2010 Pre-event Setup 15
2010 Run Director 4
2010 Tail Runner 4
2010 Timekeeper 1
2009 Marshal 1


Freedom parkruns

Date  ↓ Time  ↓ Location  ↓
26/06/2016 00:34:42 Wakefield Thornes
26/06/2016 00:33:26 Cross Flatts
26/06/2016 00:33:30 Bramley
26/06/2016 00:31:56 Woodhouse Moor
25/06/2016 00:32:04 Harrogate
25/06/2016 00:34:42 Temple Newsam
25/06/2016 00:33:58 Roundhay
25/06/2016 00:33:12 Wetherby
24/06/2016 00:32:30 Dewsbury
24/06/2016 00:33:54 Oakwell Hall
24/06/2016 00:31:01 Halifax
24/06/2016 00:34:18 Horton Park
24/06/2016 00:31:14 Bradford
07/05/2016 00:26:52 Strathclyde
23/01/2016 00:26:50 Strathclyde
29/08/2015 00:28:49 Strathclyde
22/08/2015 00:27:11 Strathclyde
28/06/2015 00:27:52 Dunfermline
21/06/2015 00:29:48 Bryn Bach
21/06/2015 00:31:59 Barry Island
20/06/2015 00:30:45 Cardiff
20/06/2015 00:30:44 Porthcawl
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18/06/2011 00:23:10 Strathclyde


Dog Gone Race

I’ve started training again, just me and the dog until I build up enough speed and confidence to train with a group. I’m also building up gradually, although I walk with the dog every day, there’s a big difference between walking and running and I don’t want to do anything that would set me back or exacerbate the hamstring injury. It’s been a year now since I damaged it and despite having great treatment from the NHS Physiotherapist for nine months and the associated daily stretching exercises, it’s still not 100%. Perhaps it never will be, but it’s good enough to run. Well a bit anyway. As you may know, I’ve back doing the weekly 5k parkruns.

Parkrun 195

I’ve set myself a target of doing one per week until I reach my 200th one and then reassess the situation. It’s not that long to go as on Sat 13th August, I completed my 195th. Jack and I returned to Pollok Park and joined 510 other participants round the two lap, undulating course. Jack is getting used to cani-running and didn’t need any coaxing to get moving this week. Running from the off and only needing the occasional reminder not to walk, we had a good positive race and crossed the line in 74th with a time of 22:13.  I was delighted to have taken nineteen seconds off of our Victoria Park time, seven days previous, and 83 seconds off of our joint PB at Pollok two weeks before. Good progress, which is always great to see. Someone said that my next target should be to get a 21 something 5k.

Full Results

We had a tough off road session at Rouken Glen Park on Sunday morning, a couple of walks on Monday and a hot and sweaty 5k, in Queens Park on Tuesday. Wednesday was one of the hottest days of the year and we had decent walk in the morning. We sometimes do the Great Run Local 2k together along the River Clyde at 6:30 in the evening but it was over 20c, so I decided to leave Jack in the cooler confines of home and cycle down and back to the Broomielaw, where I decided to use the 5k event as a training run. This would be only my second run this year, unaccompanied by the dog. The other being July’s 3k on the Green.

Great Run Local

Despite the absence of the SQA gals and a number of other regulars, some of which were racing in Irvine, there was still a decent turnout of 31 runners, plus another five in the 2k option.  After the pre-run announcements from Emma O’Rourke we line up for a photograph and made our way to the start. We cheered the 2k runners as they passed us and then got our own race underway.

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself running along side Al MacLachlan for the initial part of the race, however when we reached the bridge for the first time he darted off and I took a more cautious approach. Over the bridge and back and I started to feel that I was being isolated so I targeted Gary Henderson and chased after him, passing Maria Doherty on my way.


Pic by Andrew Gallacher

I couldn’t see anyone in front of Gary, so I was happy to tag along behind him for a while. Although I was just looking for a training run, I started to think that it would be good to get that sub 22min 5k.


Pic by Iain Littler

As we a approached the bridge again, I noticed Stephen O’Neil ahead and decided to overtake Gary and target Stephen.


Pic by Andrew Gallacher

By the time we had returned to the north side of the Clyde, he was within catching distance and I decided to throw caution to the wind and overtake him too. There was almost 2k to go and I worked hard running out to the turning point on my own trying to establish a decent gap on Stephen.

I noticed the fast boys as they approached me. First Darren McQuade and then Michael Healy, a bit of a gap and then Al MacLachlan and Connor McEirien, running shoulder to shoulder. another gap and then Jim Buick and that was it.  Next was me.

I ran around Iain Littler, marshaling (taking pics and providing words of encouragement) at the turning point, and I was into my final kilometre. There was no sight of Jim but I noticed Stephen and Gary making their way to the turn. I had established a decent gap on them and knowing that I had no chance of catching Jim, it was me against the clock.  I worked hard both physically and mentally and the the final one thousand metres took me 4:01 mins. I surged over the line, holding my wrist strap up as I did but forgetting to stop to allow he scanner to work. Emma caught up with me and made up for my error.

Al MacLachlan congratulated me and I thought that he said ‘you got your 21 something’. I had worked hard in the heat, ran a good race and got the tie that I was after. However after chatting with the others, I realised that he had said that I had got ‘under 21’. 20;56 according o his watch. My Garmin revealed that I had stopped my watch at 20;58 and the official results show that Emma scanned me at 21:05.  All of which are way inside of my target of sub 22.

To be honest, a few months ago, I wasn’t sure if I’d run again. To achieve a sub 21 minute 5k wasn’t even in my plan, never mind reaching it so soon after my comeback. I’m pleased to be ‘back’ but I’ll resist the temptation to go gun-ho and carry-on gradually building up my training.

Full Results



Thanks to all the volunteers and fellow runners who have continued to support and encourage me over the last 12 months and more.