Great Progress at Local Run 5k
On my recent visit to Tollcross parkrun, Garry Henderson pointed out that he hadn’t seen me at the Great Run Local Glasgow Quays for a while and I decided to rectify this at the first opportunity. I hadn’t been there since 2nd November 2016, when I had completed the 5k course, running with Jack, in a time of 22:13. To be fair, I’ve been abroad for four months since then and been injured for a while too but with my forthcoming duathlon in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to get a 5k race under my belt.
I’d had a three and a half mile, off-road run with Jack in the morning and had started a new role as a volunteer at the Govanhill Baths Community Trust after that, so I was a little bit tired, but that’s how I wanted to feel I wanted to run a 5k race being tired in preparation for the second 5k in the duathlon which consists of a 5k run, 20k cycle and another 5k run.
There was a decent enough turnout with some 28 runners taking part in the free 5k event. Although some regulars were notable by their absence, due to the Scottish Vet’s 45k race taking place in Clydebank. Perhaps I should have run that one instead but I’m afraid it slipped under my radar this year. Instead, I lined up at the Start line on the Broomielaw for the two and a bit lap course along and over the Clyde. Fellow Glasgow South Road Runners Maria Doherty and Michael Kirwan were also there.
Maria’s been running well recently and I knew that I’d need to have a decent run to beat her and I was confident of getting below my target of 21:30. Although I’ve seen Michael running well at training a couple of times, he is a bit of an unknown quantity to me as far as racing is concerned. There were a number of other runners that I didn’t know, as well as some more familiar faces such as Paul Laverty and Richard Cooper, It was Richard’s son, Kieran, showing maturity beyond his 17 years, who set us on our way around 6:35 pm.
It didn’t take long for Paul and Richard to shoot off into the distance as usual, then a pack of seven or eight runners and then Maria and I. As predicted, I hard to work hard to stop Maria going ahead of me and managed to get in front of her as we crossed the squiggly bridge for the first of four times. My task was then to try to build up a big enough lead to ensure that she didn’t catch me later in the race. The 4:04 that I took me to complete my first kilometre would help this no end but it didn’t take long for my pace to drop to around 4:10 min/k.
I didn’t feel particularly comfortable, with a parched mouth and throat and someone was running right behind me, breathing on my neck. I looked on the positive and used it as a spur to keep up my pace but it in vain as when we reached the bridge for the third time and the half way point, Michael Kirwan sped past me and any hope I had of hanging on to his coattails didn’t last long and he soon opened up a gap which increased for the rest of the race. However, I was able to focus on another runner, Antonio Berretta, who had also been overtaken by Michael.
I knew that I must have been running fast because I felt terrible but it wasn’t long until I reached the far turning point and knew that I only had one kilometre left.
With words of encouragement from new Ultra Runner Chris Paton on marshal duties and Erica Christie supporting as well as from some of the other runners edging me on, I managed to maintain my pace and even squeezed out a wee sprint to cross the line in tenth spot with a time of 20:39 (Strava) but by the time that the scanner worked on my wrist-strap it was recorded as 20:43. Either of which was a clear season’s best for me. In fact, this was my fastest 5k since clocking 19:55 at Linwood parkrun on the 8th October 2016. I was satisfied with my performance and my progress but I still have quite a long way to go to get back to a sub twenty.
There was no surprise at the head of the race where Paul Laverty had galloped home in a time of 17:17, followed by Richard Cooper in 18:05, with debutante James Healy placing third in 18:55. Michael Kirwan finished in eighth place, with a time of 20:07.
In the women’s race, I’m sure a blond haired lass placed first but maybe she didn’t have a wrist strap. Maria Doherty was piped in the final strait by Paula McCabe who crossed the line in 21:36 with Maria nine seconds later. The next finisher was Lisa Banks, with a time of 24:11.
Well done to all the runners and volunteers for another great night in the Scottish running community and a special mention for birthday boy Jay Semple, who forgot his wrist strap but remembered to bring his cake. It was delicious. Thanks also to Celia Alice Thompson and Keiran Cooper for the photographs and to Graeme Aitken for looking after Jack during the race.