warm-up act of Great Scottish Run

First, a hearty Thanks! to Ian the Westy Sec, without whose offer of a free place in the Glasgow 10k this posting – and my latest 10k slog – wouldn’t be.October (and autumn proper) arrived last weekend. I had to scrape ice off the wee blue car before heading through the Neilston hill mists into Glasgow. Grim’s “life coach” was coming across from Edinburgh on the Citylink coach (Sunday, so trains were aff), and sure enough, a big blue bus packed with runners (& life coaches?) rolled into the bus station just in time for the 9.45am race start in George Square. They’d brought a helping of east coast haar with them, but at least the sun was trying to peep through, visible at the top of St Vincent St. Pre-race exercises were followed by an ear-splitting rendition of “Caledonia” by some buxom wumman who must’ve stumbled into proceedings from an “X Factor” session?

Plod through the start-line, then we’re off! Still half-asleep. Thank Goodness for the concealed off-street entry to King Tut’s, where I managed an off-piste piss (gosh, sorry…great venue…) before rejoining the fray. Over the Kingston Bridge, and plodding through drab Tradeston, I was amazed to find the race is almost half done as a 5k marker appears. Water station, Squinty Bridge, Broomielaw….Central Station bridge ahead: where’s Reiko-life-coach? A solitary Westy (wotsisname fella from Dumfries) shouts encouragement as we make that loop across the Clyde before the last charge towards the finish. Ah, there’s the Wee Nip…fumbling with her (un)smart phone, but too late to take my photo. “400 metres to go” sign gives a shot in the arm, and hobble turns to spurt as we galumph under the McLellan Arch and on to Glasgow Green. Finished! and best of all, in a faster time (despite King Tut-Tut incident) than last year. Large T-shirt (nylon this year) but nae large banana to re-charge the batteries. Enjoyed that! OK, so no proper hills on this course, and tarmac & cobbles are baad for the shins; but road races just allow me (you too?) to “get into a zone” and just float along…try it some time! It’s Grim!

All this was just a warm-up for the main event, the half-marathon, which was getting under way as we drove back to Neilston. Saw the last 4 miles of the race on BBC2 TV, and a stunning display of race tactics and front-running by young Callum Hawkins. Wow, it almost feels like the 1970s again!   

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