The Southside Six:
- 10 runners in 3 teams: Gwyn, Stanley, JD and Cam; Dave, John, Steven and Hamilton; Sharon and Steph
- 6 Southside Parks: Queens Park, Kings Park, Linn Park, Rouken Glen Park, Pollock Park and Bellahouston Park.
- 6 pubs: The Clockwork Beer Company, The Old Smiddy, The Overlee, The Rowallan, Cartha Rugby Clubhouse, Samuel Dows
- 6 pints: Tis the Season, Doom Bar, Goose Island IPA, Best, Guinness, Black Sheep Ale
- 17.2 miles
- 2 hours 40 minutes running time
- 1 hour 40 minutes drinking time
It all started at 11.30 at the flag pole in Queens Park surrounded by Glasgow buried under a blanket of snow. I waved Sharon and Steph off and retired to a cafe for a coffee and a bacon butty. As I took my first bite I spotted on Facebook that Sharon had already checked into the first pub.
JD and I then wandered back to the flagpole aiming for a 12.15 start. As we approached we met Gwyn and Stanley. Gwyn was feigning injury and unsure he’d make it the whole way round so they joined our team so Stanley wouldn’t be left alone in the depths of the Southside. But as we would eventually discover, they were just using us for our route finding.
So the 4 of us crunched our way out of Queens Park, with the other quad hot on our heels. 8 minutes later we were lined up a the bar of The Clockwork Beer Company asking for “4 pints of the weakest ale please” – a rather tasty Tis the Season. As we were slurping away the other guys arrived. This focused us on the task in hand and the pints were quickly finished and we were off again, with our bags stashed in the brewery for our return.
Kings Park came round quickly and we were soon in Linn Park, but heading down stream to find our second pub, The Old Smiddy and a rather delicious pint of Doom Bar.
We retraced our steps back into Linn Park and followed the winding trails by the river, up stream this time, for miles. It was glorious running! This lead us into the formerly dry district of Clarkston where we found a delicious pint of Goose Island IPA in The Overlee. It was so tasty we considered having a second, but thankfully the rival quad appeared and reminded us there were prizes at stake so we set off in search of Rouken Glen Park. By now we were having out-of-body experiences where it felt as if you were watching yourself running from afar. Clearly this was the beer’s doing, but it was helping Gwyn forget all about his injury.
A full lap of the duck pond in Rouken Glen Park for banter and we were soon in Thornliebank. We were not intending to grab a beer here, instead pushing onto the 1901 pub (think it is called now The Burrell Bar). But, Facebook evidence suggested the girls were not too far ahead so we popped our head into the only pub that appeared to still be in business in Thornliebank to see if there were there. I didn’t spot them so started running on…. only to hear a scream of CCCAAAMMM. I turned to see Sharon emerging from The Rowallan – turns out the girls were hiding the corner. So we got our pint in Thornliebank, a Best, and a gossip with Steph and Sharon.
Once in Pollock Park Gwyn and Stanley’s tactics became clear as they were in more familiar territory and put in a burst and disappeared ahead. We re-caught the girls just after Pollock House, took their order and agreed to meet them in the Cartha Rugby Clubhouse. Pints of Guinness for JD and me, and a half-of-Best for the girls.
Running was getting really tough now, and the climb to the top of the steps in Bellahouston Park nearly finished me off. I was struggling to run, struggling to talk, but thankfully Samuel Dow’s offered a return to ales and I struggled with a pint of Black Sheep Ale. And in no time at all we were standing back at the flagpole in Queens Park having had a fantastic day out.
Gwyn and Stanley had finished a few minutes ahead of us, and the rival quad of Dave, John, Steven and Hamilton just behind, with Sharon and Steph following them in with huge grins on their faces.
I think everyone had a great day out exploring the Southside’s parks and pubs – thanks for the great company. And thank you to the official Southside Six race organisers who gave us some Southside Six snoods (aka Buffs) which were awarded to Gwyn and Stanley for the quickest time, Cam and JD for being closest to the 4pm target finishing time, and to Sharon and Steph for first ladies.