Monday, 30 August 2010

Pipe Track Run

I resisted the temptation to run one of the two 10k races in the area this weekend and opted for a long steady 16 miler on the trails. My main focus is the Great Scottish Run next weekend when I will be aiming to run the half marathon in under 80 minutes. This weekend I felt like a long steady run in the hills and set off at 8am on Saturday morning. I headed through Mugdock Woods and across to Strathblane, running along the Pipe Track before coming down at the Distillery. I then headed back home along the West Highland way to complete 16 miles in just over 2 hours. After the Great Scottish Run I will consider my options for the remainder of the year with an autumn marathon a possibility.

Victoria Park City of Glasgow runner, Ralph Connelly ran well at the Paisley 10k to dip under 40 minutes. I haven't found results yet for the Drymen 10k.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Walton Park 5 Photos

............and a few from Walton Park 5 mile race. Plenty more to follow.

Preston 10 Photos

Some photos from the Preston 10 mile race - not sure of the year

Great Scottish Run

I went for my monthly sports massage at the New Balance Sports Clinic at Greaves Sports last night. I got a hard time - hamstrings and ITB's too tight. Legs felt a bit tender today so I had an easy run along the Clyde at lunchtime - around 5 miles in 35 minutes. I should get the bounce back in my legs over the next few days and hopefully I will be flying by the time I line up for my next race - the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon on 5th September. I ran 1.20.17 last year and my target is to go slightly better this year and run sub 80 minutes. My training has not been going quite to plan and so this might be a tough task but my recent race times suggest it might just be possible if all goes well on the day.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sherrifmuir Challenge

Summer finally returned to Scotland this weekend and as the temperature soared, I finished 4th overall and first vet at the Sherrifmuir Challenge 11 mile road race.

The race starts and finishes at the Sheriffmuir Inn, just north of Stirling. I ran this race for the first time last year and it certainly lives up to its name with the first half being mainly downhill, before turning around and running back uphill. It caught me by surprise last year and despite being in 5th place at the turn the brutal hills found me out and I faded back to 12th at the finish. This year, I was determined to run conservatively for the first half to ensure I was still strong for the second half - particularly as the rising temperature looked like adding to the challenge this time. The first half mile is uphill before the downhill section along narrow country lanes and all went to plan for the first mile or so. There were plenty of runners around me but as the miles passed by - whilst still feeling I was running relatively easily - I found myself in 4th place. As we approached the turning point, I felt that I had pulled away from the runners chasing me - the leader passed me on the way back uphill and then second and third running closely together. Soon I was heading back and starting to feel the pain - a mile and a half of fairly steep climbing before the route levels out slightly. Not for long though - and despite knowing the course it still wasn't any easier - the hills seem much steeper on the way back than they did when we were running down them! I calculated that I was the best part of a minute ahead of the runners chasing me at the turn but I knew that I could easily be caught if I started to fade.

I had to keep working and thought at one stage that I may have been closing the gap on the runners in front of me. I finally reached the top of the last hill and started the final downhill half mile to the finish, still convinced I might get passed in the run in that seemed to last forever. At last I crossed the line and had held on to 4th overall and first 'extreme' vet - in fact I had opened up a gap of around two and half minute over the 5th placed runner.

Barry Patterson from Falkirk Victoria Harriers won the race in 68.52. Robert Warnock took second and first V40 in 70.03 and Sam Price third in 70.30. I crossed the line next in 71.31, well over a minute faster than last year, for fourth and first V50. Local runner, Richard Coombes from Central AC was fifth in 73.59. Wee County Harrier, Beryl Junnier retained her title in the women's race despite running 60 miles a week in training for her first marathon, in Amsterdam. She finished 7th overall in 74.32.

This is a brutal course but it is small and friendly, well organised race that is well worth the hour or so drive from home. A free beer in the Sherrifmuir Inn is an added bonus!

Results / Route on Garmin

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Broadwood 5k

I ran the Broadwood 5k tonight. Organised by Kirkintilloch Olympians, starting and finishing at the Broadwood stadium in Cumbernauld. I finished in 18.50 - full results and report to follow.

.........after a crowded start, at 1k I was flying along. At 2k I was gasping for air, at 3k I was wondering why I was putting myself through this. At 4 k I was hanging on, at 5k it was all over and I was wondering why it had been so long since I ran a 5k race. It hurt like hell and I couldn't maintain the pace I wanted to run on this twisty off-road course but it was a good hard work-out and I have to admit - once it was over - i realised I enjoyed it. I finished in 18.50, 18th position and 1st V50.
My best ever time for 5k was 16.20 at the Southport Town Centre races in 1992. My Broadwood 5k time would have put me in 25th position in the Southport Town Centre open race in 1999 (I think the last year these popular races were held - but Brian Grice might be able to correct me). Tipton Harrier, Nick Jones won the 'Elite' race that year in 14.32 almost a full minute ahead of 2nd placed Paul Howarth. Rick Bowker was the only Southport Waterloo runner to take part in the elite field that year and finished last in 18.13. However, he was clearly only using this as a warm up for the open race where he finished in 8th place 17.38. Brian Gow was the fastest SWAC runner on the night with 17.18 for 5th place. John Burnett was just one place and 3 seconds behind him. Geoff Caton was the first V45 in 18.07.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Milngavie Reservoir Run

I had an easy run this evening through Mugdock Wood and uphill to the reservoirs. A quick loop and then back down again. I must have been looking fit - the Milngavie Wanderers FC coach wanted to sign me up! I ran 7 miles in 52 minutes - taking it easy as I am thinking about running the Broadwood 5k tomorrow night. It is many years since I ran a 5k so it will hurt but I fancy a hard workout after missing quite a few days training over the last few weeks. On Sunday I am running the Sheriffmuir Challenge run. The race takes place near Dunblane and I discovered it last year and enjoyed it. 11 miles, and as the names suggests, one or two hills included! I remember being in 5th place last year at half way but didn't know how tough the second half was - finishing in 12th.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Ainsdale Pinewoods run

We made a flying visit to Southport at the weekend and I managed to meet up with the Southport Waterloo training group to run a lap of the pinewoods. There was a good turnout - Brian, Joanne Paul, Terry and I set off at 8am for a 7 mile loop to Freshfield and back. Ben and dad Rob turned up late and so ran the route in reverse and we met them in Freshfield. It was good to catch up with Rob - not ran with him for many years since the days of running our 'Parbold 20' marathon training route from his house.

Route on Garmin

Friday, 6 August 2010

Helensburgh Half Marathon

Laptop broke down last week - one expensive repair later we are back in business and here is my delayed report on the Helensburgh Half Marathon last Sunday.

Having not raced since June and my training being a bit hit and miss over recent weeks, I was a little apprehensive about this race and wasn't sure what to expect. I ran 1.22.41 here last year before going on to run 1.20.19 at Glasgow a month later and so I hoped to run a little faster and would have been very pleased with 1.21. That would have meant I was well on target for a sub 1.20 at Glasgow on 4th September. I decided to start off quite conservatively and ran the first few miles with VPCoG club mate Gerry Craig who was using the race as part of his preparations for the Scottish 100km Championships in September. The first few miles went to plan- I could see my main rivals for the V50 prize up ahead and we were slowly catching them I was on their shoulder by 3 miles and planned to stay there until about 10 miles and see what I had left for the last three miles. Why then had I passed them and pulled away by the time we got to the four mile marker?

At 5 miles the course goes under the main road and there is a steep climb before rejoining it and heading back towards Helensburgh. I felt good but conscious that this hill has caught me out before and so I backed off a little and let the chasing group catch up. Once back on the main road, Clydeside's Gerry Montgomery took off and I tried to stay with him. He has been beating me to the V50 prize over 10k this year and he beat me by a minute at the Kirkintilloch 10k. However, I felt I could give him a race over the longer distance but he is flying at the moment and I couldn't keep with him as he opened up a gap. I felt I was running at a decent pace though so dug in and hoped he may slow a bit later on. On the climb at about 8 miles Gerry Craig eased past me but by this time I was becoming more concerned about making sure I finished within my target time than racing.

I was still feeling good though and after gulping down a gel at 10 miles I sensed I might have been closing down the two Gerry's. I had, however, forgotten the hill at 11 and I started to struggle a little to keep the pace going. Bellahouston' Road Runner, Alastair Maclachlan powered past me on the downhill but I tagged behind him and made him work for the last mile or so. With the finish in sight he pulled away from me to take the 2nd V50 place but I was pleased to finish in 1.22.19 - slightly faster than last year. I was 24th overall and 3rd V50 - Gerry Montgomery won the category in 1.21.08. Gerry Craig was the only other VPCoG finisher in 20th position. 1.21.36 and 5th V40.


Sunday, 1 August 2010

Helensburgh Half Marathon

After a 5 week break from racing, I ran the Helensburgh Half Marathon this morning. I finished in 1.22.19 - half a minute quicker than last year. Full report to follow.