Thanks to Kirsty C. for her guest piece on last month’s OutRun organised by Glasgow Frontrunners and held in Kelvingrove Park. Brilliantly coordinated to fall on Kirsty’s birthday it sounds like she had a ball. A great review and by the sounds of it one to pencil in the diary for next year.
The morning of 18 August dawned grey and drizzly but that could not dampen the excitement Jennifer Laskey, Sarah Grant and myself as we prepared to take on the undulating course of OUTRun organised by the Glasgow Frontrunners.
We headed to the leafy West End and parked easily on Kelvin Way 45 minutes before the 930am start time. Making our way to the bandstand to collect our numbers and hand our baking into the cake stall (you can’t go wrong with a race with a cake stall). (I’m signing up tomorrow).
The bandstand was full of runners and volunteers mingling and chatting with many sporting rainbow face paint. Our favourites were the Unit 4 Cross Fit contingent in gold lame (short) shorts and vests with the logo “A place for everyone, their dug and their unicorn”. We were proudly sporting our rainbow shoelaces kindly provided by Coach Jack Arnold, who came along to support us, but regretted not having worn our own gold lame shorts.
It was a good chance to spot the runners from other Frontrunner groups around the country. Newcastle, Manchester and London were all represented. The Frontrunners are Scotland’s largest LGBTQ+ club so there is an LGBTQ+ focus to the event but it’s very much open to all and we found it a very welcoming and inclusive event.
At 920ish the group warm-up led by a man in a cape on the bandstand stage started and runners joined in enthusiastically (some more so than others). The rain was off and it was a lovely cool morning as we were then piped round to the start line just outside the bandstand.
At 930 over 370 of us set off to tackle the 5 mile course. The route is entirely within Kelvingrove Park and starts off fairly flat before climbing for half a mile or so. Before getting up the hill we were well supported by June MacLeod and Kirstin Campbell who had kindly given up their mornings to marshal and were in fine voice. We were encouraged up the hill by the sound of a steel band at the top and lots of friendly volunteers and supporters.
The course is an out and back and runs by the side of the river. It flattens out after the hill and then you head north through the park. At around 2.5 miles the faster runners started to come towards us on their way back and we enjoyed seeing their pace and determination. The hill at the first mile has to be done in reverse on the way back and seemed much tougher but again, steel band and marshals provided lots of encouragement.
It was then more or less downhill all the way to the finish. We ran past June and Kirstin again and then onto the home strait where Jack, Jennifer and Sarah were there to cheer me across the line. Disappointingly, I hadn’t practised my cartwheels so was unable to finish in style and claim a prize but we enjoyed seeing others do so.
We made our way back to the bandstand for our finishers’ bags and one of the nicest race T shirts we’ve ever had and got ourselves in line for the cake stall (did we already mention the cake stall?). Bakes are donated and are free to runners but donations to SAMH were welcomed.
The race was won by Jonathan Roebuck in 27:31 and the first woman was Toni Mcintosh in 31:07. Sarah and Jennifer finished in a pacey 43:23 and 43:58 respectively and were happy with that. I was a good bit behind them in 49:28 but my time was irrelevant for this one . I’d never run a timed 5 mile race before so had no benchmark and my running had not been my priority over the summer. I ran this one with no pressure and it was much more about enjoying the atmosphere and spending time with my friends on my birthday. It’s a cracker of an event – I found it very joyful and uplifting and that, and a good laugh with friends, did wonders for my mood and sometimes that’s all you need from your running.
So Runbetweeners, would we recommend this one? The answer is a an emphatic yes. If you like Moira’s Run (and don’t mind hills) then you’ll like this one too. Lovely route, lovely people, lovely cake, cheap to enter, an excellent T-shirt and a prize for the biggest team which we think the Runbetweeners could claim next year (not to mention the prize for best bake). We’ll see you there!