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Unexpected Result at Strathclyde parkrun, Wood you believe it?

Unexpected Result at Strathclyde parkrun, Wood you believe it?

A last minute change of plan saw me cancelling my duathlon debut on Sunday and enjoying a tough 10k off-road run with Jack in Rouken Glen Park on Friday morning I wasn’t planning on doing a run on Saturday but I felt good when I woke up and as the weather was fine I soon decided that a run would, as ever, be a great way to start my day. The only question was what type of ‘easy’ run to do. A long slow one or an easy paced parkrun, or even combine them both. I decided on Strathclyde parkrun and headed down the M74 to Motherwell. It had been almost a year since I had participated in the Lanarkshire event but Jack and I still received a warm and friendly welcome from the regulars and made some new running buddies too.  It was a fine morning and the ducks and swans were out in force.

This being the first Saturday of the month, Pacers were on hand to help some of the runners achieve their target times on the ‘lasso’ shaped 5k course. There was a marked absence of faster Pacers though, with the fastest there being Tim Bloss doing 22minutes. I decided that I would be going for a time of less than 21:50 and didn’t expect to see any Pacers in front of me at any point in the race. 

261 of us set off at 9:30 and headed along the path around the loch, well the others did, Jack and I decided that we would stick to the grass and help protect Jack’s paws. The grass was a little bit wet but not too bad and the sun was shining so what was there not to like. Well the sight of Tim ahead of us at the 1k mark did concern me a little but a quick look at my Garmin indicated that I was running the correct pace. As Tim started to disappear into the distance, I did think of shouting at him to slow down but decided not to and just to run my own race.

We switched from the grass on the right-hand side of the path to the grass on the left-hand side to ensure that we weren’t cutting any corners and without any issues, we reached the furthest point on the course. We had lost a bit of time in the second and third kilometre but the fourth one, back along the side of the loch, saw us running on terra firma gaining some time and catching a few runners.

We returned to the grass for the last kilometre, which seems to go on forever. You can just about see the finish line from the 4k point but it takes a long time before it seems to get any closer. We were running comfortable and working our way steadily up through the field when all of a sudden I realised that Tim was slowing significantly as he neared the finish line. Not wanting to be beaten by the 22min Pacer, I sprinted as fast as I could and just managed to nip in front of Tim to cross the line with a time of 21:41.  Tim clocked 21:42 and immediately turned to me and said ‘I made a mess of that didn’t I?’  I didn’t argue but I did give him a couple of tips on how to pace. The last thing I want to do is to discourage people from Pacing at their local parkrun. Sure they won’t always get it right but it’s a learning process. Remember that they are volunteers who are giving up their own personal race to help others. In my book, that’s a good thing.

Jack and I post race

Season’s Best

Another good thing is the fact that Tim had made me sprint that final part of the course, finishing a few seconds quicker than I would have and surprising myself by running my fastest parkrun since November 2016, and my fastest at Strathclyde since September 2014.

Alison and I

Wood you believe it?.       

The last time I had been at Strathclyde parkrun, event # on 28th August 2016, Alison Wood had been the tail runner, I had placed 36th then with a time of 22:43. On Saturday she was on volunteer duties again, pacing 28 minutes, and I finished 36th again, admittedly with a better time.



This would have been one of the hardest events to predict as two of the first three finishers were running the course for the first time and the other for the second time. Making his debut, Christopher McCann placed first in 17:46, seven seconds ahead of Border Harrier’s man mountain William Nicholson who despite taking 21 seconds off of his previous time had to accept silver, with Dumfries RC’s  Graeme Cross earning third with a time of 18:19.

1 Christopher MCCANN 17:46 VM45-49 81.71 % M 1   First Timer! 1  
2 William NICHOLSON 17:53 SM25-29 72.13 % M 2 Border Harriers & AC New PB! 2  
3 Graeme CROSS 18:19 VM45-49 79.25 % M 3 Dumfries RC First Timer! 1  


Women’s Race

Likewise In the women’s event, it was Natalie Hallas that ran to victory at the first time of asking at the Strathclyde 5k with a time of 19:48, with Amy Beck running only her third parkrun and first this year who placed second in 20:26, a PB of eleven seconds with West Midland based parkrun tourist, Fiona Starkie earning bronze with a time of 21:26.  

15 Natalie HALLAS 19:48 VW35-39 75.51 % F 1   First Timer! 3  
20 Amy BECK 20:26 SW30-34 72.43 % F 2   New PB! 3  
32 Fiona STARKIE 21:26 SW20-24 69.05 % F 3   First Timer! 59  


MV60 Race and WAVA

With Frank Hurley and Tony Quinn finishing in 19:13 and 19:44, the best I could have hoped for was third in the Classic Veteran’s race and that’s what I managed.  Frank also had the highest wava of the day 86.47%

Full Results

There was one DNF who pulled up after 300m.


Muckle thanks to all the volunteers and fellow runners for making Saturday mornings that little bit special.



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