Saturday, 3 December 2011

Marcothon and parkrun event 84

So the beginning of December introduced me to the 'Marcothon' challenge.  This involves running every day in December.  Easy you may shout, just throw the jacket and scarf on and do a quick loop of the street and back in and park myself on the couch....wrong.  The only rules of the challenge are that you must run at least 3 miles or 25 minutes every day, which ever comes first.  Now I could just go out an run at a slow pace until I reach my 25 minute target then and head back home but I want to try and benefit as much as I can from this challenge, hoping that some strong base miles and learning to run on tired legs will improve my chances in the Lochaber Marathon.  You can also complete the miles on the treadmill but I want to try and do as much of my running outdoors as possible, weather permitting!

Day 3 of my Marcothon challenge included a familiar route wearing a familiar vest, pacing 24 minutes at Strathclyde parkrun.

This was a special week at parkrun as all the pacer vests were out on the field today, hoping that we could bring a few of our regular runners home in a PB time.  I personally knew that one of my running buddies, Stewart Cutler was relying on me to come in as close to that 24 minute target as possible as he was hoping to beat that 24 minute barrier.

We had our regular warm-up led by John Allan who I pre-warned to cut out all the less dynamic stretching and get us all moving as it was FREEZING!  The wind had changed direction this week which meant that we had the wind against us on the way out, this of course was a slight advantage as we would have it behind us on the home stretch!  The runners made there way to the starting line through the soggy grass where race director Iain Macaulay gave us our usual safety briefing.  I got a special mention this week as I was nominated as this months Sweatshop prize winner, sporting a new pair of Asics Cumulus running shoes (thanks guys!).

Jon Edge was on timer who gave the signal and we were on our way.  Normally when I pace at 24 I run the first KM about 10-15 seconds slower than the rest but with the head wind and the wet conditions I knew that round at the puddles things may slow down a bit so I stuck to a strict pace.  I immediately had about 4 or 5 runners around me with one runner right by my side.  Conditions were not too bad despite the wind and we all soon warmed up to beat the cold.  Before I knew it we were crossing the 1 KM mark, bang on target at 4.48 minutes.  I wasn't sure if I had already lost Stewart by this point, the 1 parkrunner that I wanted by my side for this event.  Before we reached the first marshal point I had a quick look around my shoulder and there he was, right on my tail.  We made our way through the trees, crossing the 1 mile point in 7.41minutes.  Here comes the fun and games!  The weather had been terrible the last few days with rain fall high.  It doesn't take much for the puddles to appear at Strathclyde park but with the recent bad weather I don't think the word 'puddle' really cuts it.  I was half expecting a couple of life guards to come in after me as I made my way through the middle of the first 'puddle'.  The runner by my side made comment on how my new trainers would no longer be so 'new'.  Not something that I was too bothered about, I find something quite embarrassing  about parading new white shiny shoes.  Soggy feet on the other hand, not something I welcome with open arms.

We crossed the 2KM point in 9.30 minutes, just under our target pace and ideal for the course.  The 'puddles' seemed to go on forever and was glad when we reached the bend as my feet were soaked and toes frozen with the cold water.  I still had my group around me and we were scooping up runner as we went along who found their pace slowing down coming up to the 3 KM point.  14.20 minutes and almost perfect splits at this point in the run.  I turned to make sure I still had Stewart on my tail who informed me that he was starting to struggle.  I encouraged him to keep going and that the hardest part was done.  I was glad to find that he upped his pace to join my side as we headed down through the trees and along to the home stretch.  I knew that I was going to be pretty close to the 24 minute mark at this point and with all the pacer vests out today, I was determined to try and get as close to my target pace as possible.  We reached the 4 KM mark in 19.10 minutes and assured all the runners around me that they were all going to do it.  At this point Sarah Joyce came powering through and off she went leaving the rest of us behind.  My concentration at this point turned to Stewart, knowing that he was going to get his PB as long as he finished!  We kept a steady pace and with 200m to go I gave him the signal to go for it!  Off he went along with everyone else around me, I continued to shout words of encouragement as they passed the 100m mark and was glad to see that everyone upped the pace and pushed that little bit harder.

I enjoyed this week at parkrun more than any other weeks I have ran, knowing that an army of pacer were out on the course trying to bring everyone in for a PB, before the snow arrives!  My Garmin signalled that I crossed the line in 24.00.58, or in other words 24 MINUTES!  I knew that the official time would be a second either way of the 24 minutes but was pleased to know that I carried out the task of pacing to almost perfection!

The runners around me came in at:

Sarah Joyce         - 23.48 minutes
Dwayne Marshall - 23.50 minutes
Stewart Cutler     - 23.50 minutes (NEW PB)
Gordon Cowie    - 23.51 minutes
Ronnie Brown     - 23.52 minutes
Martin Kelly        - 24.11 minutes (NEW PB)
Martin Stirling      - 24.20 minutes (NEW PB)

My Garmin recorded the spilt's for each KM at 4.48, 4.48, 4.45, 4.48, 4.51....

Today's event welcomed a total of 88 runners, 9 first timers and 16 PB's!  Also, well done to John Smith who completed his 50th parkrun to join that 'elite' (his words not mine) group of runners!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Strathclyde parkrun Event 81, pacing!

This would be only my 10th parkrun event that I was turning up to run.  So I want to just start by saying thanks to all the regular runners who have taken the step forward to give volunteering a go!  I ran 4 parkrun’s before deciding to volunteer and for me, I got hooked!  I have volunteered countless times now and I have made a great bunch of new friends.  My running has improved with all the helpful advice and training that I have received from some of the core team and regulars at Strathclyde parkrun.  It’s strange to think that coming to a parkrun event and not running has actually improved my overall running....with all the invaluable support, advice, training tips and encouragement from all the team.  So if you have been thinking about volunteering then please do put your name forward.  Not only are you contributing to the event and ensuring that it’s a success but you are giving someone else the opportunity to run that week.  Thanks to everyone who has volunteered!

The run its self was going to be a challenge for me, not only had I just completed a hard 1 hour circuit session with John Allan (the warm-up guy) but I was to pace.  My PB at parkrun is 21.31 so you may think that wearing the 24 minute pacer vest should be easy for me, it’s not.  Trying to run with a consistent pace, not speeding up and slowing down is hard. 

We had our usual dynamic warm-up led by John Allan before being marched up to the starting line by race director Moira Nicol.  It was ideal conditions for running at Strathclyde Park, the wind from the night before had died down and the sky was clear and blue, temperatures perfect.  The safety brief was given and the wheelchair event started.  After a short wait, the runners were let loose.  I tried to take the first 1K just that little bit slower than my others, hoping that some of the runners around me would be encouraged to stick with me knowing that the pace was somewhat comfortable.  At the 1K mark I was dead on 5 minutes, I was conscious of a couple of runners at my back and was hoping to have them on my tail the whole way round.  I knocked a couple of seconds off the pace and coming up to the 2K mark I was at 9 minutes 40 seconds, almost perfect for a 24 minute parkrun, still with a few runners around me.  I hit the puddle after the 2K mark, running right through the middle of it, great fun!  Running passed Ella Edge who was hoping to get as near to a 24 minute time as possible.  Some quick words of encouragement and I continued with my run.  I had made it to the turn and was back on target for the road back.  By this point I only had a single runner who was right behind me the whole way on the home stretch.  I manage to shout a few words of support before encouraging him to take the lead and go for it on the long stretch back.  At the 4K point I was on 19 minutes 11 seconds, all I had to do was keep the pace and I would be in on time.  I enjoyed the last few hundred metres as all the runners who were beginning to slow down clocked me in the pacer vest and began to push it again, 3 or 4 runners managed to keep up the pace and finish in front of me.  The last 100 metres felt strange, trying to come in as close to 24 minutes as I could this eliminated my usual sprint finish.  Crossing the line at 23 minutes and 59 seconds, I was delighted, an enjoyable, controlled run.  It was nice to get some words of encouragement from Thomas Wilson of Strathaven Striders who noted my steady pace throughout the race.  The experience of pacing made this one of my most enjoyable parkrun’s.
The race wasn’t over for everyone so I headed up to the 100m marker and gave cheering and shouting a go.  It was great to see runners’ faces lighting up and giving it there all for a sprint finish.  Well done everyone!

This week we had a total of 117 runners, 15 first timers and a massive 35 personal bests, a couple of which I hope I helped people achieve!

See you all next week!

Strathaven Striders Run With the Wind 10K

This would be my first 10K in over 4 months, and with a well known PB potential on this course I had high hopes!

My previous 10K PB was set on my last 10K race at the Men's Health race at Bellahouston Park back in June, with a time of 51 minutes 23 seconds.  With my 5K time now down to 21 minutes 31 seconds I knew that the PB was set to fall over the longer distance.  My longer distance races have been consistent and I have even managed to run sub 50 minutes for the first 10K of my last two half-marathon's.  I didn't want to get over confident as I knew the route well and Strathaven is well known for its hills and undulating roads, making it popular amongst runners and cyclists from around Scotland.

I met up with training buddies John and Moira and had a few friendly chats with some familiar faces in the running circuit.  We were all bused out to the start line at Whitelee wind farm, a convoy of around 8 coaches. I felt as though I was sitting up the back of the school bus on my way to a field trip!

I had heard about the mass exit of the buses and the line of runners taking the opporunity to have one last toilet stop, but nothing prepares you for seeing hundreds of male runners all facing the trees, equal numbers of female runners heading out in front of the 'firing line' and deep into the trees for some warm up 'squating'.

I took my position at the start line and we were set on our way.  It was a bit of a squeeze at the start with the narrow road trying to accommodate the 400+ runners who turned up for the event.  After a few minutes of weaving and dodging both John and I managed to find a clear patch and quickly found our tempo.  I ran the first kilometre in around 5 minutes 12 seconds, not a bad start considering the packed start.  I shouted to John that we were on target.  The plan was to run the first 5KM in 25 minutes then the next 5KM in 20 minutes, bring me in around the 45 minute mark.  This would be a huge PB and a time that I never thought I would achieve thinking back to my first ever race, a 10K in October 2009 when I was happy to complete the race in 1 hour.

I think the problem for me started when I could feel myself increasing my pace, trying to claw back the 12 seconds that we had lost in the first kilometre.  We sailed passed David Arthur, a regular at my jogscotland group.  I felt good and was comfortable with the 4.15 per kilometre pace that I found myself running for the next 2K.  It was good to see fellow parkrunner and Motherwell AC member Andrew Scott out on the route taking a few photo's of the event.

photo by Andrew Scott

John was running strong and had soon took a lead with a gap steadily increasing.  I knew that he was no longer sticking to the plan and as we had just had a conversation about his 10K PB I guessed he must have been giving up his pacing duties for a PB attempt.  I let him go on but tried to keep the pace.  The route had been mainly downhill from the start but coming up to the 5KM mark that soon changed and everything was uphill from here.  These were the roads I trained on when I first started running, driving out to a rural starting point, running out for a single mile then running back to the car.  It was great to be back out here and running solo in the race it gave me time to reflect back on how far my running has came in the last couple of years, more so in the last 6 months.

It was a long and endless hill, seeming to go on a lot longer than I remember.  Plenty of undulation within the incline my pace was beginning to fluctuate and on a couple of occasions looking at my Garmin my pace was dropping to 5.15 per kilometre.  Making a hard effort to try and keep the speed up I was soon overtaken by David Arthur who gave away his secret to a successful run, less layers!  I had came out on the cold November morning with my base layer on under my running T-shirt along with my running leggings, gloves and hat.  This was all comfortable about 7KM ago when we were back up at the ice cold heights of the wind farm but 30 minutes into a race, I just wanted to burst out of all these layers!

I had tackled the long hill and knew there was a short incline before heading back down Lethame Road and into Kirkland Park for the finishing straight.  Gillian Scott managed to capture me once again looking a little bit tired to say the least!
photo by Gillian Scott

The final kilometre was all downhill before a slippery stretch on the path leading into Kirkland Park for a cross country finish.  John was already at the sidelines shouting his words of encouragement.  My mother and father in law had also came out the cheer me across the line.  I finished with a time of 46 minutes 57 seconds, smashing my previous PB by around 4 minutes yet still feeling disappointed.  

This is the first time I have ever felt disappointed after a race.  Even though I got a huge PB and really enjoyed the run, I know that if I had approached things a bit differently during the race I may have performed better.  The Striders 10K has been a learning curve for me, its taught me that pace is everything in a race.  It doesn't matter how many hours or miles training you put in, if you don't get your pace right on the day it can all go out the window!  I have took more out of this race than any other, I am realising now just how technical running really is, it can be mentally as well as physically draining.  Trying to hold your body back in those first few kilometres is very hard when you have that spring in your step.  

Thanks to all the Strathaven Striders, volunteers, organisers and sponsors who made this event happen!  See you all next year....

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Southside Six and marathon training begins!

Sunday 30th October, the first year of the epic Southside Six race.  16 miles around the south side of Glasgow taking in 6 parks.  I arrived early as always for registration and to find a good parking spot!  The weather was ideal for a nice long run, although it has been raining in the lead up to the weekend which was going to mean some muddy sections along the route, good fun!

I met up with John and Moira accompanied by Andrew Jeske for support and to take a few photographs!  Andrew won jogscotland's jog leader of the year award at their annual conference the night before so was good to be able to say my congratulations to him!  Well done Andrew, well deserved!

After we all collected our race numbers and finished fighting with the safety pins we stopped for a quick photo by Gillian Scott of

photo by Gillian Scott 

We headed up to the start at the flagpole in Queen's Park for a pre-race briefing before our walk down to the start line.  The race director finished his brief by saying 'hopefully see you all back here in a couple of hours' was a thought! 

It was a good turnout for the first year of this race with about 220 runners taking part.  It was 11am and the race began.  We went out a bit quick but soon found our pace in the first few miles.  It was a hilly start heading up to Kings Park.  The open road's added an element to the race that I wasn't used to.  The busy roads of Glasgow proved to be a bit harder to cross than those of my quiet home town of Stonehouse.  We made it to Kings Park in one piece and got our first sticker on our race number along with some water and wine gums!  We had some cheers and support from Ian Gouldie who was pursuing on his bike.

The next park we hit was Lynn Park after a short 3km stretch, again collecting our stickers and sweeties!  I was then beginning to focus on the wine gums rather than the race!

Next stop was Rouken Glen Park, the highest point of the race.  We headed out to Nethervale Avenue and up to Clarkston Toll.  I was looking forward to getting into Rouken Glen as it is my favourite of the six parks. Running along Davieland Road we entered the park.  Running past the waterfall in the park, which was in full flow, I was really enjoying the run at this point.  We left Rouken Glen park with a spring in our step.

Reaching Pollok Park next this is were the fun begins!  Entering at the Pollokshaws Bowling Club we found ourself on a slippery, muddy and narrow trail path.  A few of the runners up ahead had slowed down to a walk while I tried to keep some sort of pace.  Moira re-enforced at this point that I would make a terrible cross country runner, worrying more about the mud on my shoes than my pace.  I didn't really recognise any of this area of Pollok Park, we left the park passing a rugby club.  I was glad that Pollok Park was out of the way as I often relate it to hills hills hills but it was a fairly flat section of the run.

Next stop was Bellahouston park and familiar ground as I had ran the roads leading into it and around it for the MHFS 10K earlier this year.  Someone with a sense of humour included the steep climbing stairs up to the monument as part of the route, very difficult after the 11-12 miles we had covered at this point.

The mood lifted soon after leaving Bellahouston park and we began to talk about the short distance left.  'It's only a parkrun (5k) to go'.  As we headed back to Queen's park the crowds began to grow and the cheering kept us going.  We entered the park and ran up a scenic path lined with autumn tree's.  These scenes were overcast with what seemed to be an never ending stretch of stairs.  It felt as though I was running forever up those stairs!  But once I reached the top a few encouraging words from some finishers of the race told me that I ran strong all the way up them.  This gave me the boost I needed as I felt as though I had left my legs at the bottom of the stairs and I crawled up them.  Gillian Scott was perched at the top taking photo's, she always seems to find the perfect spot after the hardest section of races!  I posed for a quick snap before heading to the finish line.

Once at the top of the stairs and on the home stretch I took in the strong line of spectators and finishers cheering us on.  I looked back for Moira and John who were just behind.  I shouted some cheers of encouragement and Moira soon joined me to cross the finish line.  John was a wee bit further behind helping a fellow runner by giving some encouragement as she was struggling after the stairs.  We crossed the finish line in 2 hours 26 minutes 33 seconds.

Heading back to the registration area there was a great spread on with soup, rolls, cakes, baking and banana's!  This really was the icing on the cake! A great race, excellent company and support.  The race has to be one of the best road races of the year and all for £5.  We hadn't even got back to the car and John was already talking about beating his time in next years Southside Six!  

There was just one last thing, a bit of home-baking back at the car before heading home.  The chocolate brownie's hit the spot!

I would highly recommend this race to fellow runners.  Its a great distance if you are looking to take a step up from the half-marathon.  The route is perfect and the parks really break up the run.  I think its going to be even more popular next year so keep an eye open for for registration!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Training begins for Lochaber Marathon...

So here it is! Finally going for the big one! Lochaber Marathon.....26.2miles of running!

I have posted below my running schedule for the weeks leading up to the marathon.  The schedule was very kindly made up by my friends John and Moira, who I have managed to convince to run the marathon as well.  The plan includes a number of races throughout the session and I hope to keep you up to date with out I get on with each of them.  As well as the occasional parkrun...

On top of this schedule I will be doing my usual cross training, yoga and weight classes.....let the games begin!

Week Beginning
Southside six 16 miles
Normal runs / jogscotland groups
Run with The Wind 10k
Normal runs / jogscotland groups
Jimmy Irvine 10k
10 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 7 mile run
12 miles (tempo)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 8 mile run
Hugh Wilson 10k(entry on day)
10 miles (race pace)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 7 mile run
14 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 7 mile run
10 miles (tempo)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 8 mile run
14 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 8 mile run
Fit in at least two runs, one about 5 miles and one about 8 miles
Fit in at least two runs, one about 5 miles and one about 8 miles
12 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 7 mile run
14 miles (tempo)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 8 mile run
Buchlyvie 10k
15 miles (race pace)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 9 mile run
16 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 10 mile run
18 miles (tempo)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 8 mile run
20 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 9 mile run
19 miles (10 race pace)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 10 mile run
16 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 9 mile run
18 miles (tempo)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 9 mile run
Inverness Half (Race)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 10 mile run
21 - 22 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 9 mile run
19 miles (10 at race pace)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 8 mile run
16 miles (easy)
Normal runs / jogscotland groups to include one 8 mile run
Tom Scott (Race)
Taper week, only do two/three 3 mile runs easy
Lochaber Marathon

Monday, 10 October 2011

Neil McCover Memorial Half Marathon 09.10.11

Today was the inaugural race of the Neil McCover Memorial Half Marathon.  A celebration to remember the life, achievements and difference that Neil McCover made to the world of running, the police force and his family.

It was a successful first turnout of the race with over 400 runners registering for the race!

This would be only my 3rd half marathon race and one in which I was aiming to smash my previous PB of 1.50.48 set at the Glasgow Great Scottish Run last month, and a very similar time of 1.50.57 at the Helensburgh half.  If I could get under the 1 hour 50 minutes I would walk away happy!

I arrived at the Kirkintilloch sports centre to pick up my race pack at the dreaded hour of 8am on Sunday morning!  It was good that the race was an early start in a sense that I could get back home and enjoy the day but dragging myself out of bed with the thought that I was about to run 13.1 miles was not pleasing!  The race pack included my number, timing chip and a cracking technical t-shirt, one of the best yet.  It did cross my mind to head back to the car and go home as getting my t-shirt before the race was a bit of a novelty, then I reminded myself that I don't ONLY run for the t-shirts and medals....

I met John Smith and Moira Nicol  in the registration hall.  We then became the 'jammy's' as all three of us wore the jammy's t-shirts, supporting the Simpson's Special Care Babies Unit.  This was my first time flying the colours and felt privileged to do so! 

John and Moira ran the Loch Ness Marathon last weekend so to turn up at this time of the morning the following weekend really does show determination!  John and Moira had the opportunity of meeting Neil McCover when he came along to Strathclyde parkrun to help out on its initial set-up, they tell me he was a really nice bloke.

Ross Goodman was next to arrive, completing the Strathclyde parkrun team!  After a long wait and a quick warm-up the masses were walked down to the starting line on the main road outside the sports centre.  A few brief safety points were given over the world's smallest megaphone and the runners were set on there way!

photo by Richard Leyton

We started of slow, running about 8.30 - 8.45 minute miles.  I was planning on initially sticking with John and Moira who were taking things easy after last weekend.  The first couple of miles gave an idea of how the course was going to be, hilly.  We kept a good steady pace for those first couple of miles when all of a sudden John shouted 'come-on' and before I knew it my pace had increased to 7.15 per mile.  Things didn't slow up for the whole mile and I was beginning to wish that I just hung back with Moira.  The weather was totally against us with strong side winds and heavy rain.  The pace became a bit more comfortable by the 4th mile and I felt like we were back on target to break my PB.  We passed my jogscotland buddy Lindsey Gray who was runner her first half marathon in over 4 years.  A few inaudible shouts of encouragement and we carried on.  I used the crowds in front as a bit of a wind breaker and stuck by John's side for most of this mile, the course continued to undulate and I found that my recent hill work paid off as every hill we came across I was passing two or three runners at a time.  I still had some fight in my legs but the wind really did get to me and by the 5th mile John had made a good 10-20 metre gap in front of me.  I took on some water at the first water station but I think it knocked me off my stride a little.  I managed to keep John in my sight and knowing that John's PB was 1.39 for the half marathon distance, I thought that if I could keep him in my sight at least I knew I would break the 1.50 marker.  John continued to power on and I tried my best to keep my pace going over miles 6, 7 and 8.  These are the miles that I felt things slowed down for me in both Glasgow and Helensburgh so I was happy to see that my gramin was telling me I was running between 7.30-7.45 minute miles for each of them.  At the end of mile 8 I also took on board my energy gel to keep the legs moving.  Then it hit us! The hill at mile 9.....

 photo by Claire Thompson

This was a real challenge for me.  Running the last 9 miles faster than I had ever ran 9 miles before, breaking my 10K time unofficially by nearly 3 minutes in the first 10K of the race and continuing to increase my pace, then coming across this long steep hill.  By the time I had came around the first bend my pacemaker John was no longer in sight but I knew that if I just got myself up and over this hill there MUST be a downhill section at some point?  I tried my best at keeping my speed up and I managed to stay around the 8 minute mile mark for the duration of the hill but from this next photo you can see that I really did struggle....

photo by Claire Thompson

Once I had conquered what felt like Kirkintilloch's own Mount Everest I had to get myself back together!  This wasn't easy as I was expecting to run straight back down the other side of a hill yet things just seemed to keep on climbing.  I welcomed the sight of another water station.  My pacemakers now became anyone that was in front of me and managed to overtake a number of club runners which spurred me on a bit.  When we reached mile 11 I had told myself that I could run the remainder of the course at 10 minute mile pace and still finish in under 1.50.  Then I had to think about how gutted I would feel if I had slowed down from this point and how I would feel once I crossed the finish line, telling myself I could have done better.  Running is a constant battle in your head and you always have to think about how you will feel crossing the line knowing that you could have done better, it often picks you up and gets you going.  Before I knew it I was in amongst houses weaving through streets, many of the locals out at their front gates shouting us on, finally at mile 12 I heard what I had wanted to hear from that very first hill when one of the local's shouted......'its all downhill from here'.  This gave me a sudden burst of energy, I had kept my pace throughout the whole race, this in itself was an achievement for me, I knew that I was going to break the 1.50 marker with only a mile to go but by how much?

Running downhill all the way to the sports centre I had a real feeling of relief, you never remember how hard it is until you are out there, but you also never remember how much you enjoy it until you are out there!  Especially when you can see the finish line!

It was a cross country finish over the grass in front of the sports centre, with 153 runners already crossing the finish line before me the grass had become a complete mud bath, after I got over the fear of falling on my backside I actually quite enjoyed finishing over grass!  My coach, running partner and friend John Smith was at the finish line shouting me on and I completed the course in a chip time of 1.44.47 (gun time of 1.45), beating my last PB by over 6 minutes!  

John managed to break away and finish with a time of 1.41.28 and Moira coming in not far behind me in 1.54.34.  Ross crossed the line in 2.28.32, celebrations all round for the Strathclyde parkrunners!

Here is a wee photo of the jammy's!

You can donate to the Simpsons Special Care Babies Charity here:

All in all a great day out, a fantastic course and it made it all the better running with friends!  Looking forward to next year!