The Great Scottish Run 2018

We asked members of The Runbetweeners to reflect on the Great Scottish Run. All in we had 20 members across the two distances. It’s all there – PBs, injuries, camaraderie, family, friendship, struggles but most of all enjoyment. Without doubt the top highlight amongst The Runbetweeners seems to be Rock Choir 🙂 Quite apt given the coaches guilty pleasure for musical theatre.

 

So here it is – The Runbetweeners take on the Great Scottish Run. Thanks to all our contributors.

 

The 10k

 

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Clare and Dame Kelly Holmes

 

Clare T.

This year’s 10k at great Scottish run was my 9th such event and contrasts with last year’s, my second. It wasn’t just the more benevolent weather – who could forget the 2017 non stop rain – but an improvement in my running due to joining two different groups: The Runbetweeners and slimming world. One increased my fitness and the other meant there was 16% less of me to cart around Clydeside. Both contributing to a 12 minute drop in time to 1:00:28. There was one constant: the event is real fun – from that dread inducing view of the St Vincent St. start to the thrill of running on the Kingston bridge and all the time the great support from the public and other runners. Last year I was exhilarated but knackered and cleared off quickly at the end. This year we wandered round the tents, met Kelly Holmes and waited for the half. It was really exciting to see the half coming in before the cold wind forced us to find a pub.

 

 

Jennifer L.

This was the first time in a few years I had taken part in the GSR. I opted for the 10k route so I could be back in plenty time to watch my sister take part in the half marathon (her first). The weather was cool and clear – ideal run conditions but cold for hanging about at start (fortunately my friend Kirsty let us use her office facilities in George Square so we were nice and toasty!). I had no expectations of a PB (previous 10k PB 54.01, course PB 55.40) and decided just to enjoy the atmosphere of this great running event in my home town. Ever the professional I ran the whole course without looking at my running watch once () and was therefore shocked/delighted to smash my PB with a time of 51.20. A good running day!!!

 

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Jennifer and Kirsty

 

Kenny

Opting for the 10k after a short running hiatus I arrived at the start line of the Great Scottish Run not expecting much yet knowing I would be disappointed if I didn’t run hard and close to my season’s best of just outside 38 minutes. Thankfully (given I’d been off work for a week with a virus) I had a rare moment of sanity on the start line and decided to run Ian who was pacing the 40 minute pack. Racing up the hill I immediately felt off and allowed a short gap which never grew or closed for the remainder of the race. Ticking of sites, seeing friends out on the course and enjoying the brilliant weather I had a ball. I love seeing the streets being turned over to runners for the day and I enjoyed finishing in time to see friends and family over the line in both the 10k and Half. Not an easy course so I wasn’t too disheartened to finish just outside the 40 minute mark (note: everyone else has mentioned the perfect conditions – they must have been running in my draft as I felt like I spent the whole race running head on into a wind tunnel).

 

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Rock Choir – Photo Courtesy of Tony Coyne

 

Kirsty C

5 reasons why I love the Great Scottish Run!

  1. You get to run round the streets of your home city without watching for cars and erratic pedestrians. You run over the Kingston Bridge and the drivers toot their horns at you. You get to run up St Vincent Street!!
  2. Which is quite a big hill but the amazing Rock Choir will encourage you up to the top. It may also make you cry.
  3. The personalised vests and T-shirts of your fellow runners raising money for charity may also make you cry (but in a good way).
  4. The cheer buses for those charity runners will make you smile and they’ll cheer you even if you’re not running for them.
  5. Lots of my pals run, spectate and pace so it’s a very sociable run. It’s the biggest running event in Glasgow and it’s just really nice to be a part of it.

 

Paul B.

The time had come, all the hard training under my belt and preparation complete. The Great Scottish Run was here at last and i was gunning for my 10k PB. The weather couldn’t have been better. It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Glasgow and the competitors and spectators were out in force. After a brief warm up i was ready. Lining up near the front of the white wave with my running friends from the Runbetweeners and Harriers and I was off. I kept a good steady pace up until 8k then i started to feel the pain. I wasn’t going to falter now. I pressed on through the pain and got my PB in a time of 39:44. I was so thrilled with my time and am really looking forward to next years Great Scottish Run.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Neil Nairn

 

Half

 

Gillian

 

The GSR Half Marathon was amazing and is one of my favourite runs every year. The support throughout the course is brilliant, as is the opportunity to run across the Kingston Bridge. The buzz of excitement at the start wave makes you forget any nerves you may have (I was trying to distract a nervous Karen Rosling and put her at ease). We were soon off and running up St Vincent Street, we were quickly at the top where we heard the uplifting voices of The Rock Choir. This is always one of my highlights. I was still with Karen as we headed to the Kingston Bridge but she was soon heading off into the distance. 4 miles in and I was on target for my finish time and felt good. Then it went wrong as I went through Pollok Park. My stomach was churning after taking a gel. The support through the park was great though and on exiting the park I was greeted to amazing cheers from my Bellahouston Harriers Club mates.

By this point I knew I would not get my target time but I was enjoying myself and savouring the atmosphere. I was also making a concentrated effort not to talk to anyone as everyone says I chat too much ! I had so much support throughout the route that a few runners commented…”does everyone know you Gillian?” 😂. I just said yes!! Running along the Broomielaw is always tough as it seems to go on forever but the crowds lift you and you always see a familiar face. As I approached the finish to many cheers, I also heard someone cheer on one of the Bellahouston Road runners, our friendly rival club. This was just what I needed for my sprint finish to ensure she didn’t pass me! I crossed the finish in a time of 2.04, just a bit faster than last year but 9 mins off my target. I will be back to do better next time and reassess my fuelling too.

 

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Jack

I felt fit as I stood tentatively in the start pen, however recent results did not indicate that I was quite as fit as I had been in for my last effort over the half-marathon distance earlier in the year. The goal was simple – head out for a PB and try to hang on. The plan however soon disappeared out the window. As the gun went, I exploded out of the start and found myself striding up St Vincent Street. I could see several faces ahead of me who I was confident I should be beating and so I kicked on – a little too hard. After three miles of sitting in behind the female leaders (and the BBC cameras – apparently they weren’t there for me!) I realised I had perhaps bitten off more than I could chew. I let them disappear and tried to get a grip on my pace. Fortunately, my club mate Gregor appeared at this point and was having similar thoughts. We had a quick assessment of things and decided to work together for as long as we could and we would try to stick to a pace that we were happy with. This strategy seemed to work and by the time we had left Pollok Park I was starting to regain my confidence. It was nice to be moving through the field at this stage and we claimed a few scalps over the middle section of the race. As we powered down Paisley Road West, Matt Brown appeared out of nowhere to yell that we were just a few seconds down on PB pace. I couldn’t believe it – I had all but accepted that a decent time had vanished in the first 5k! This was the spur that we needed and we both picked things up and headed for home. I couldn’t quite keep with Gregor in the final mile but was chuffed to cross the line in 70:40. It was not quite the time that I had planned for at the start of the training block, but a PB is a PB and I was just grateful to have salvaged something from a race that could have gone horribly wrong. The support was great, but it was definitely having a teammate (and friendly rival!) alongside that helped me to keep going when things were not feeling fantastic. I had not done this race since 2014 and it was awesome to see the same levels of enthusiastic support spread around the city as I remembered. Definitely one I would do again!

 

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Jacqueline

This was my 4th half marathon this year and my 1st at this event. It didn’t beat Run Mhor in the scenery stakes but the electric atmosphere, entertainment and support of the crowds all along the route was superb! Its my favourite so far! Starting from George Square to the strains of the Proclaimers 500 miles I followed the bunny bobtail of the 2.20 pacer up the dreaded St Vincent Street hill where we were serenaded by the wonderful Rock Choir.  We crossed the Clyde on the Kingston Bridge and headed out to Pollok Country Park & Bellahouston Park where bagpipers and supporters aplenty cheered us on.  Onwards to Festival Park, across the Clyde again on the Squinty Bridge and then at mile 12 on the Broomielaw I got a second wind and ran my fastest mile of the route to the finish at Glasgow Green resulting in a PB! Iconic landmarks, live music, bagpipes and amazing Weegie supporters – I cant wait to do it all over again in 2019!

 

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Jill

The great Scottish half is my favourite race! It holds a special place in my heart as it was the first half I ever did. The route is brilliant and the support is amazing. Running down St Andrews Drive towards Pollock Park the noise of the crowd is immense. My family tend to stand there each year and It makes me so excited to see everyone. Special mention to fellow Runbetweener Claire Lamont running about with her bell screaming ‘Go Jill!’ It made me chuckle as I ran past. I would definitely recommend this race to anyone thinking of giving it a go. This was my fourth attempt and I managed to knock a minute off last years time, so a new PB. Yay!

 

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June

This was my first attempt at this event and I had been looking forward to it for ages, hoping the weather would be kind to us. As it turned out the weather was perfect, apart from one tiny blip, which I will mention later. The morning started with a chill in the air and I was suitably attired in my best bin bag in an attempt to keep warm. Meeting up with the other Runbetweeners, there was unmistakable excitement, chat, laughter and the need to retie my shoes. After our visit to the bag drop we all started heading to our starting areas with a final hug and good luck wishes, I found myself on my own, a strange feeling when in amongst thousands of people all with a common purpose. I made my way through the throng hoping to find anyone I knew, but soon gave up to join in the warm up. It was at this point I was found by one of The Runbetweeners. The obligatory selfie got taken and we were off. Not wanting to make things easy for participants, the run starts with an uphill section. I had already instructed myself to take this part at a steady pace, and not fall into the trap of keeping up with others around my. There were a few bobbers and weavers, but I stuck with my plan. I felt good running through the centre of Glasgow being part of the sea of people running up St Vincent Street. The support was magnificent, cheers, a choir, majorettes, bagpipes, spectators calling my name. I felt special being part of it. Fast forward to Bellahouston Park and mile 8. Now the experience had changed, it started with the clouds, then rain, wind, sleet and perhaps even a bit of snow. It was all there, designed to distract me from my pleasant experience and remind me of the following, my neck was sore, my hip ached, my knee had a niggle, but worst of all my toes were squashed. I should have retied the laces one last time before I set off! Going along Paisley Rd West I was giving myself a firm talking to, it was less than 4 miles to go, about 40 – 45 minutes of running, just a parkrun to go. Well I did keep going, the sun came back out, the crowd thickened, everyone seemed to know my name, then I remembered, it was on my bib. One final push and I was heading for the Big G within Glasgow Green and the finish was in sight. A great feeling of relief, then meeting another Runbetweener who finished beside me I was very happy. Unlike my toes who reminded me, they were still feeling squashed. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

 

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