Since joining Bella Harriers early in 2014 I had heard several members talking about the monthly 3k race around Glasgow Green. The reviews were always positive of the flat, fast course and members often commented on the camaraderie at the race. Due to the race taking place on the final Friday of every month I have been limited in opportunities to give it a go myself – whilst several friends of mine manage to squeeze it in during their lunch hours, my work is simply too far away to make this feasible! This week however I finished for summer (one of the joys of being a teacher!) and so penciled in my debut.
As I was jogging down to Glasgow Green doubt started to creep into my mind. Having completed a 1500m race on Wednesday night and a tough interval session on Thursday, I was feeling the effects in my left hamstring. Optimistic that I could work the ache out over the course of my 3 mile jog into town, I took my time to loosen up and enjoyed the lengthy warm-up. By the time I arrived at the arch – which would be the start line – I felt much better although the tightness was still giving me some concerns.
The turnout was impressive and I was informed of the straightforward nature of the route – follow the path for 1600m, turn back on yourself and sprint to the finish along the riverside! The runners collected their numbers, paid their £2 entry (a bargain!) and made their way to the start line.
Keen to get things underway, the starter gave a quick run through of the route and we were off! I flew out of the start with perhaps a little more pace than I should have but I had spotted a couple of potential rivals in the crowds and wanted to make a statement in the opening 500m. I found myself in first place as we made our way along the leafy riverside and, once the adrenaline of the start began to wear thin, I felt the heaviness creep into my legs. Serious doubt started to cross my mind as I began to wonder if I could even finish the race – my legs were feeling terrible and a glance at my watch told me that I still had a mile to go. It was not long however and I could see the turning point. I figured that if I could make it to the turn I would be able to grit my teeth and hold on for the final five minutes.
Taking the turn I managed a sneaky glance behind me and spotted that second and third place were only a few seconds back. I realised that they could easily get back into the race unless I held the pace which I had set and so pushed on. With 500m to go I heard a spectator shout to the boys behind me to kick for the finish and so I determined to do the same. Realistically I don’t think it made a huge difference to the pace at which I was running but it felt like a full on Usain Bolt moment! I managed to hold the competition off and crossed the line in first place with a time of 9:25 which I was pretty pleased with and would definitely have taken at the start! The jog home was pretty painful as my hamstring started to seize up again and so I took my time striding along in the rain with Marathon Talk keeping me occupied with stories of ‘Bingo running’ helping me to appreciate that at least my run home would only be a few miles!
The 3k on the Green is a fantastic event and I will definitely be heading back. I was particularly impressed by the turnout and by the efficient running of the race – it would be easy to turn up, complete the run and disappear again in under an hour. There was plenty of competition at the sharp end of the field but also a depth of runners which meant that the race was competitive right the way through.
For more information check out: http://www.3konthegreen.com/
Photos courtesy of Iain Burke (Bella Harriers).