I prepared for the 25th November’s 3k on the Green by drinking Nicaraguan rum and listening to live blues late into the chilly winter’s night in one of Strathbungo’s numerous bars, the Rum Shack. I admit that my mind was reminiscing on my time in the Central American country, rather than on the next day’s race.
Winter’s icy weather had arrived in Scotland some days ago and had resulted in a number of last week’s races being cancelled. Thursday night’s clear sky resulted in another heavy frost and in the morning it took me a while to remove the ice from the car’s window’s before driving down to Glasgow Green for the last 3k of the year.
It takes more than a bit of frost for the organiser’s to cancel the ‘best wee race in Scotland’ and I joined in with another 79 runners as we squeezed under the historic McLennan’s Arch for the 12:30 start. The bright sunshine had raised the temperature to around 274 Kelvin, or 1°C. I was glad that I had my sunglasses on as we set off running eastward, right into the blinding sun. This gave me a great sight of the majority of runners who sped off making me feel decidedly pedestrian.
By the time I reached the underpass and the 1k point there was no-one that I recognised to race against and I wasn’t really sure if I was racing or just having a steady run. At the turning point, I increased the pace a bit and started to focus in on a guy four places in front of me. I was working harder now and I was already eating into the gap on the others, so much so that as I reached the 2k point, I changed my focus to the runner six places in front of me, Mark Russell who seemed to be running strong. I raised the pace another notch and managed to catch a couple of runners, however, I could also hear the footsteps of someone behind me who I didn’t seem to be losing.
In the final stretch, I upped the pace some more and it felt relatively easy, so I increased it some more and managed to catch another couple of runners before crossing the line in 48th position, two places and four seconds behind Mark.
I was disappointed with my time of 12:09 but happy enough with the second half of my race. I know now that I could have comfortably increased the pace much earlier than I did. It was only later, when I checked my records, that I discovered that I had run a seasonal best (SB), taking eight seconds off of my performance in August.
The footsteps that I had heard belonged to Clydesdale’s septuagenarian Bobby Young, who told me that he thought that he was going to catch me before the last twenty metres.
With some 25 clubs represented there was real class throughout the field, East Kilbride AC’s Grant Baillie earned gold with a time of 9:12, twenty seconds ahead of Greenock Glenpark’s Chris Mooney, with Michael Healy third in 9:33. A total of thirteen finishers completed the, out and back, route in less than 10 minutes.
In the women’s race, a strong second half saw Natalie Stevenson taking the lead from Victoria Park’s Claire Thompson and crossing the line in 10:35, some nineteen seconds ahead of her rival. Airdrie Harrier Marrie Rodgers earned bronze, with her time of 12:38.
Full Results here
Century of Races
In his quest to raise awareness of and sponsorship for the Moira Fund, Richard Cooper ran his 100th race of the year, placing 19th with a time of 10:09. You can find out more about Richard’s challenge and donate here.
Note there will be no 3k on the Green in December, the next event will be on the 27th January 2017.
Many thanks to all involved in the great event during 2016.