The Troon 10k – A Tribute…

Thanks again to Runbetweener Paul Killen for this fantastic review of the very popular Troon 10k!

 

It’s Wednesday night

It’s like we’re on vacation

It’s Troon 10k time,

The Joy, the Elation

 

Through sand dunes and streets

And a country park

Past the golf course and houses

Before it gets dark

 

As some may know,

I’ve a demon to slay

T’was last year

Almost to the day

 

My race fell apart

In a horrible way

I’m not happy

People OFTEN heard me say

 

I’d got three K in

And felt really rotten

But thankfully nothing,

To do with my bottom

 

The legs were heavy

The brain was a mess

I considered quitting

I must confess

 

Plodding on like a Tortoise

Back to the shorefront

I was ****** by now

I have to be blunt!

 

But past the dunes

The wind did blow

I walked a bit

Just 400 to go

 

I got there, just

But mentally scarred

An awful experience

The race was marred

 

But now we come

To twenty nineteen

And I entered the race

To make the slate clean

 

So it’s Wednesday night

It’s half past seven

We’re off down the promenade

A good race, not a given

 

At the sand dunes it narrows

So there’s bumping and jostling

But it’s a friendly race

So not much squabbling

 

Round the bend

And over the hill

The pace is good

I feel the thrill

 

Now into the park

No piper is playing

I’m not dwelling on that

I’m not delaying

 

Through the park

And into the houses

No need to be

Quiet as mouses

 

There’s folk in the street

Both young and old

And some inbetween

So I’m told

 

The kids look for high-fives

And they’re given gladly

Coz not to do so

Would reflect on me badly

 

As I said

It’s a friendly race

And we accept their big cheers

With utmost good grace

 

Bypassing the water

I’m feeling okay

And as for the legs

The don’t disobey

 

Round the back of the golf course

There’s now a long straight

3K to go

Past gate after gate

 

The final hill

With a cop at the top

Stopping the traffic

So off we can pop

 

Down the hill

And back to the dunes

I’m thinking now

I wish I had some tunes

 

I’m digging deep

The end is in sight

And we pass the point

Where it went wrong that night

 

The Demon is slain

Hurrah we all cheer

But wait a minute

What have we here?

 

The wind is a blowing

There’s a spanner in the works

Can I get there in one piece

Disaster lurks

 

The wind did change

There’s some seeds of doubt

It’s still in my face

As it was on the way out

 

Using runners as windbreaks

I head to the end

Pulling out to pass

As we round the final bend

 

I huff and puff

But no houses to blow down

There’s the finish line

No need to frown

 

I’ve done it, Yippee

The Demon is slain

It’s worth the effort

It wasn’t in vain

 

But it’s not just the training

Sometimes it’s the mind

Take care, fellow runners

And always be kind

OutRun Race Report

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. 

 

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The Boy, Jennifer, Kirsty and Sarah

 

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!

Scottish Athletics Awards Night 2017

On the 26th September, Kenny and I were delighted when we received an unexpected message from Jog Scotland HQ – a notification of our being shortlisted for the ‘Jog Scotland Group of the Year’ award. We were both over the moon to be nominated for the award and are very lucky to have stumbled across a small pocket of runners in Glasgow’s Southside which has grown and transformed into a fairly large community of enthusiastic, friendly and encouraging Runbetweeners. Upon informing the group of our nomination they stepped up immediately: 30 tickets were snapped up and Susan did an incredible job of organising tables, tickets and transportation for an evening which promised to be fantastic. Kenny and I were also pretty chuffed that this took a little of the attention away from our failing to organise the long-promised ‘Group Night Out’.

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With sparkly dresses purchased and kilts readied, the group met at Run4It for the much requested group photo. Whilst it took a while to recognise everyone out of their lycra, we eventually got organised and managed a cracking photo of the group before piling onto the Vengabus and making our way to the Hilton – and the thirty of us definitely made an entrance as we slipped into the reception.

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It was at this stage of the evening that Chris Smith demonstrated his fantastic ability of making prosecco appear out of thin air –  an admirable and very useful skill! Between the bubbles and the laughter we began to spot the Olympians and famous athletes with whom we shared the floor. It was at this moment that we first realised the scale of where we were and what we were doing – prior to actually arriving, we hadn’t realised just how big a deal this evening was going to be.

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The awards got underway and Brian Burnett kept things entertaining with insightful interviews and interesting details of the nominees in each category. Shortly after Chris demonstrated that his resourcefulness applied to desserts as well as prosecco (thanks!), our award was called and, unfortunately, this would not be our night. This was the turn of Tain Joggers who had achieved some incredible things as a group. The initial disappointment of not winning was soon forgotten however as the dancefloor opened up and June grabbed me by the arm to teach me some Ceilidh dancing.

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The Runbetweeners may not have picked up an award on this occasion, but we had an incredible night which reminded us that we have come much further than we ever could have hoped initially. To think that our little group, which in some early weeks had attracted a grand total of 0 runners, had not only managed to fill three tables at an awards ceremony, and made the shortlist alongside some incredible groups, was truly humbling. Kenny and I are incredibly proud of everything that the group has achieved and the achievements of those runners within the group. We have a fantastic bunch of runners and love turning up on a Monday evening and hearing tales of parkruns, races and adventures. The enthusiasm is infectious and we cannot wait to see where the group will be at this time next year!

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Beating the Drum…better late than never!

Well this is a bit late as I managed to delete my first write-up. Here goes the second attempt:
Last Saturday our Runbetweeners JogScotland group made the trip across the city to visit Drumchapel parkrun. Fifteen members of the group (plus the two handsome leaders) would be running the route and Finola would step up as a Marshal for the event. Meeting outside Run4it in order to organise lifts gave Kenny the perfect opportunity to explain just how tough the hills of Drumchapel would be. Kenny had run the route before however I hadn’t yet had the privilege and this gave him the perfect opportunity to wind me up with tales of mountains to be scaled. I decided to take his stories with a generous pinch of salt – after all, I have fallen victim to Kenny’s jokes before!
When we arrived at Drumchapel it was clear that this was a very friendly event – the smaller numbers definitely give it a fantastic atmosphere of community and appreciation. Our group all looked fantastic in their new Brooks running t-shirts and we were made to feel very welcome – even getting a special mention from Brian the Run Director! Chris was also pleased to get a shout for completing his 100th parkrun and the invitation of post-run cake was widely appreciated! 


After a short pre-run brief we were off. The route begins with a fairly sharp downhill path that twists and turns out of the woods. As I was filming the event on my GoPro, arm pinned to my side in order to maintain a steady shot, it was pretty tricky maintaining my balance on this winding section but I just about kept my footing! The downhill start serves as a nice introduction before the inevitable levelling out. The route then undulates slightly for a few hundred yards before the first real climb. This short-lived ascent is soon conquered however and then another nice downhill into the woods is on the cards. At this point in the run I concluded that the hills here ‘aren’t too bad actually’. 

Then we hit the big climb.

This was a much more notable ascent and it was at this point that I heard a familiar voice approaching from behind me. Kenny had caught up and we decided to run the remainder of the route together (I think he just wanted to get in the video!). Once we had reached the summit, things levelled out and made their way back to the start for the end of lap one.

Repeat.

Repeat again.


By the third lap the hills were taking their toll and I can see now why Drumchapel has a reputation as a tough course. The woodland location and trail underfoot however make this a picturesque and enjoyable run. The marshalls were fantastic (especially Finola obviously!) and the event was a nice change from the usual Glasgow parkruns that we find ourselves doing.


Post- run, the runners headed off to the cafe for well deserved coffee and cake while Kenny and I had to disappear to the Emirates for some JogScotland/SAMH Mental Health Awareness training. The Runbetweeners all did fantastically well on the challenging course and reported back that they’d enjoyed the change of scenery. I am sure many will be back to take on the hills again.

Special thanks to the volunteers at Drumchapel for putting on such a fantastic event and for making us all feel so welcome. We will definitely be recommending people head over and pay you a visit!

RunBetweeners JogScotland Group FAQ

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Just a short note for any new followers / people considering joining us about the group and registration process for Monday night training. Hopefully this deals with most common questions we get.

 

Am I fit enough to come along to your group?

The group is aimed at intermediate runners and those returning to running. Most of our members are currently running or have run before – parkrun, a 5k or 10k race in the past. This is more important that being fast (see below).

 

Many of our members have had a long break without running. You might have been doing something else that to maintain your fitness – e.g. walking regularly or taking part in regular fitness classes. Don’t worry if you have lost this fitness it will soon come back.

 

If you are a complete beginner get in touch as we would be interested in running periodic beginners sessions (following a 10 week programme).

 

What would I be doing?

Typically we run a gradual 1k warm up at conversational pace followed by 6-12 intervals at a faster individual pace followed by a gradual 1k warm down. Don’t worry about the intervals we will tailor these to runners and you can walk / run as needed until you build up your fitness.

 

Would I be too slow / at the back of the group?

You might be but you’d be very welcome. Running a mile is running a mile. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you and the group is here to help people get faster or prepare for a race if that is what they are looking for. Similarly it is here for people who want to run in a social group and have no interest in racing.

 

 

Do I need any specialist kit?

During the winter months it is sensible to wear hi-vis clothing (a jacket or vest is ample) as we do run on the road and we want to make it as easy as possible for traffic to see us. Generally speaking layers are a good idea to keep you warm – you can take something off if you get too hot. If you are looking to run regularly you can get good advice from the staff in-store about specialist running clothing.

 

Do I have to do anything before I attend on the first week?

We are a jogscotland run group. As such all members must pre-register with jogscotland to ensure that proper insurance is in place. Registration is free. Registration also gets you 10% off in-store at Run4It.

 

Follow the link below to register:

 

https://membership.jogscotland.org.uk

 

You will be emailed confirmation which we need to see on your first night. This might go to your junk mail box. You can show us a print confirmation or the email on your phone. If you forget on your first week you are more than welcome to run with us at your own risk and we will help you register for the next week.

 

On the first night we will also ask you to complete a short health questionnaire. One of us will have a quick chat with you about your running experience and what you hope to get out of the group. We’ll introduce you to some of our established members / staff in-store and then we’ll be good to go.

 

The group is inclusive / supportive and good fun. Many of our runners attend other local groups so if you’re looking for something more regular they can help you out. We also meet sporadically on a Saturday (once a month approx) and are thinking about a longer Sunday run every so often.

 

Hopefully see you all soon.

 

Jack and Kenny

 

 

The Runbetweeners Running Group

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The Boy and I are excited to confirm that our partnership with Run4It Giffnock is now finalised.

For various reasons we have decided to organise the run under the jogscotland umbrella. This will offer a number of benefits to runners as well as providing guidance and support to The Boy and I in our new and exciting venture. JogScotland and Run4It have a long standing partnership so it was a natural fit for Jack and I when we approached Run4It in December about starting a group.

Pilot sessions, thanks to wifes and pals, have gone well and we are now ready to expand. Key lesson learned – don’t do hill sprints on week 1 or nobody will come back.

Key Info:

a. We meet at Run4It Giffnock – G46 6JB

b. Every Monday @ 6-15pm

c. Please arrive at 6pm on your first week to complete a medical health questionnaire

d. Come in sporting clothes (please try to wear something bright / luminous while the evenings are still dark)

e. Make sure you drink enough water in the afternoon and consider a snack around 4pm if you are coming straight from work

f. Parking is available at the shop and bags / keys etc. can be left in store

g. Sessions will typically last 45 minutes including a warm up and warm down

Any questions please ask:

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Becoming Official…

Yesterday morning I sacrificed the usual ‘Sunday Long Run’ – invariably followed by a large coffee and a bacon and cream cheese bagel from D’Nisi  – in order to pile into Kenny’s car for a drive out to Livingstone. The reason for our road trip? To spend the day learning how to be ‘Jog Leaders’. Kenny and I had established our ‘Runbetweeners Run Group’ a couple of weeks ago but had experienced a few difficulties actually finding a JogScotland course with spaces available for us – hence the trip out of Glasgow – and so had not been able to affiliate to Jog Scotland. While this delayed our ability to really promote the group prior to its maiden outing, it did give us an opportunity to experiment with a couple of sessions aimed primarily at a group of mates (and wives!) who we had managed to rope into attending. These proved invaluable and we learned some important lessons which I am sure will serve us well in the future – mainly that everyone definitely LOVES hill sessions. And so it was that we found ourselves two weeks later journeying down to Livingstone to learn how to become the leaders of an official Jog Scotland group.

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The course itself was very insightful and full of interesting characters. It was fascinating hearing the different stories of the hopeful Jog Leaders and the different aims which they had for their own groups. Some attendees were from well established groups and others were, like ourselves, looking at starting their own. Our instructors for the day, Laura and Jaz, kept the session entertaining and relevant which definitely helped to keep the information digestable as a full day in a classroom could have been intolerable – just ask one of my pupils! As the course meandered through the basics of group organisation, planning and promotion it was clear that there was lots to think about when running a group such as ours but also that we had been working on the right lines with our current set up – a few tweaks and things would be grand! A morning spent in the classroom was followed by some more practical tasks in the afternoon before we concluded the session by constructing ‘6-week training plans’ in our groups of four (or was it six?!). We were provided with lots of practical information and left the course happy that we were equipped to move forward and get things underway! We also met lots of people who will undoubtedly be useful contacts over the coming months.

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And so we now find ourselves as qualified ‘Jog Leaders’ with an official, affiliated group! As things move forward I am sure we will have plenty of lessons still to learn and unforeseen obstacles to overcome however I am really excited to see how things progress. Our group will be based out of the new Run4it store in Giffnock and will meet on Monday evenings at 6pm. Anyone who fancies joining us can get in touch via this blog, Twitter (@therunbetweeners) or on Facebook. See you there!