A huge thank you to Runbetweeners Kirstin and Paul for this fantastic write up of the Tom Scott Memorial 10M race. This has been one of our top races for the last few years and is always a great event…
The Warm Up
View of from the finish line – the Loch at Strathclyde Park – a beautiful day (photo credit: Finola Ashe)
Kirstin: 31st March, first day of spring when the clocks go forward, and Mother’s Day. So naturally I was up at six to eat my porridge before going to collect Paul, and head to Strathclyde Park for the Tom Scott Memorial 10 mile road race. After a brief journey in which t-shirts/gloves/base layers and sunglasses were debated as racing options, we met Finola and were good to go.
Paul: An absolutely smashing day for a race; not too warm, hardly a breath (in the main) and glorious sunshine. It was time for my first crack at a 10 mile race. I’m definitely of the opinion that the weather helped lift me for this one. Training had been good after the rigours of Strathaven, but I’d been a bit lazy the last couple of weeks. I’d three targets in mind, but the middle one (a 1:25) was the realistic target (and had been for some time).
The Start Line
Partaking in a leisurely warm-up, though we’d like to say we always look this at ease when running (Photo credit: Alan@allsport-images)
Kirstin: It’s funny how as a runner you can find such a sense of camaraderie standing in car parks and toilet queues. Personally, I was very excited to spot Mark Gallagher of Running Friends Scotland blogging fame. I didn’t fan-girl, but it was close. It was clear this was an impressive field, and over 700 runners, completing the 6k and 10 mile option set off together, making for a very impressive site to behold spread out across the loch in the park.
Paul: As Kirstin said, a hectic start (as anyone that’s done Parkrun up there will know) with both races starting at the same time. Based on previous times, I’d positioned myself after the middle but hadn’t taken account of the 6K runners, but no harm was done. I went off at, I thought, a reasonable pace, but mile marker one passed in 7:34, and I forced myself to calm down. The flat course didn’t help, I wanted to push, but once beyond the Parkrun bit it gets a bit undulating and we were soon turning on the main road towards M&Ds. A long, steady, uphill, then downhill took me to 4 miles.
Kirstin: I had also set off at a fast pace (we all were there for a PB), and enjoyed the first half of the race. However, at mile 5, as you run back along to the Watersports Centre, I was overtaken by scores of faster club runners on their final sprint home. This should have been inspirational but was just demoralising as I knew had to go round the loch again at this point. Paul was significantly ahead of me at this point, so his view was slightly different…
Paul: Past 5 miles and heading towards the Watersports Centre was the long straight, and a wee bit of wind. Comfortable at this point I was approaching the Centre for the first time (we were to head round the back) when the lead out cyclist past and announced the lead runners were coming through. The leader passed me about 50 metres before the turn off point. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t really happy with that. (Kirstin: I would take being half as slow as the winner any day of the week!)
The Long Road Home
Kirstin: At mile seven I caught the lovely Terry Nimmo from the Bellahouston Roadrunners (also a Runbetweener), and she was absolutely my saviour in the final stretch. I’d pushed myself way too hard in the first half. Every inch of my body hurt and I was so ready to quit, but Terry expertly coached and coaxed me round to a personal best at this distance of 1:37:15. I can’t thank Terry enough.
Paul: I’d settled into a rhythm, enjoying the scenery, avoiding (or failing, as it turns out) the midges with one full lap of the lake (6K) to do. I was feeling it a bit, but knew there was only one more up and down section to go. I decided to assess the situation at 8 miles. At 8 miles I was looking to be almost bang-on a 1:20 time. That was my top target and was outstanding in its own right, but I was feeling it. But I’m stubborn, so Go Hard or Go Home. 800 metres to go the Low Battery warning came on obscuring all timings on my watch – but I didn’t want to press the button for fear of pressing the wrong one. Lets be honest, we can’t have Strava having incorrect data!! Crossed the line in 1:19:14. Delighted, I was. Nowhere near the front, over 30 minutes behind the winner, and I couldn’t have cared less as under 1:20 hadn’t really felt realistic.
The Finish Line
Amazing how quickly you can recover with a medal and mars bar in hand! Paul, Terry, Kirstin and Finola from left to right (photo credit: Finola Ashe)
Kirstin: At the finish I met with Paul and Finola again, who had blasted their races and came out with amazing PBs. Paul looked like a car windshield, covered in the midges which has plagued us the whole way round, which was testament to his speed. A caramel log and a mars bar later, and suddenly I was feeling great again. Funny that. On the whole I enjoyed the race (though nobody warned me about the hills or the midges). I recognise that this is a fast course for fast runners but it pushed me to a PB, and was another race I am proud to say I’ve completed.
Paul: I had a medal, a mars bar and a midge beard…and a smile.