3rd January 2013
This event was organised by the Glasgow Athletics Association and the British Milers Club, and afforded the opportunity to try out the new Emirates Arena. Wow, what a facility! It’s huge, hosting the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome as well as the sports hall which will be the home to the Commonwealth Games badminton next year. For now, the running track is in place and on hydraulics to adjust the height of the bends, meaning no more “wall of death” bends that pull at your achilles tendons and calf muscles like the Kelvin Hall track. It’s a dream to run on and will hopefully see more Westies vests as the year progresses. Owen O’Neill turned up in spectating capacity after registering to use the velodrome today.
After the juniors had completed their field events and 800m races, it was time for the seniors to start the series of 3000m races (this being a graded event). Chris Upson was forced out before the B race began by an aggressive lurgy, leaving me as sole Westie in the C race. Both featured some serious contenders with Scottish junior 800m indoor record holder Laura Muir taking the B race in an all-female 1-2-3 and world FV50 3000m indoor record holder Fiona Matheson first in the C race.
Knowing that Fiona had run 9.56 last year at the Kelvin Hall (in a cooler climate which was said to be better for distance running), I didn’t attempt to follow when she overtook the pacemaker after 4 laps. Inverclyde’s Chris Mackay had us clipping round nicely in 41s per lap so I sat in with Gary McKendrick (also Inverclyde) as the pain grew. Everything hurt after 10 laps but somehow I made it to 14, Chris dropped off after doing a sterling job pacing, and on the last lap I managed to push myself past Gary to finish in 10.08 for second place behind Fiona’s 10.02.
I greeted the PB with some disbelief – this is right in the middle of a heavy period of winter base training with no speedwork, much tiredness, and only an outdoor 3k of 10.15 as a form guide. Ideally shouldn’t have been racing today but wanted to see the new arena!
The A race saw the last man finish in just over 9 minutes but he still got lapped. That’s a whole new level of fast.
A – 1. Mark Haskett (Thames Valley Harriers) – 8.30.33
B – 1. Laura Muir (Dundee Hawkhill, FU23) – 9.02.35
C – 1. Fiona Matheson (Falkirk Victoria Harriers, FV50) – 10.02.34
C – 2. Johnston Orr (Westerlands CCC, V35) – 10.08.01
D – 1. Evan Warwick (Greenock Glenpark, U15) – 11.06.40
Video of the A race: