I started off quickly, keen to get round the first bend (about 20ft) away from the start line before a crowd formed. Paul Sorrie of Shettleston quickly disappeared in to the distance at the front and I was soon passed by a dozen or so alarmingly fast runners. By the 2nd km I’d settled in to a relaxed pace, just behind a Bellahouston Road Runner and a couple of Garscube types.
My own performance was a bit of a mixed-bag. I managed to maintain my position and also enjoy a few ‘Fisherman’s Moments’ – the delicious realisation that you’ve caught the runner 20ft in front of you and it’s just a matter of reeling him in. On the other hand I felt pretty done in by the time I got to half way, stitches and niggles were appearing in all sorts of unwelcome places and my splits just deteriorated as time went on. Maybe I was tired. Maybe I’d poorly judged my pace. Or maybe, just maybe – whisper it now – I’m not quite as fast as I like to think I am.
In the last 500m I experienced the dispiriting realisation that I wasn’t going to crack 35 minutes, almost immediately followed by the galvanising awareness that I might have a chance of catching Greenock Glenpark’s Michael McLoone in front of me; which I did in an exciting, sprint battle, just and no more, photo-finish stylee at the end to land me 10th place in a time of 35:13.
Regardless of the assessment, a fine way to spend a sunny Friday evening in the Southside. Well done to the Bellahouston Harriers for a slick, well-organised race.