Saturday, 27 November 2010

Dunbartonshire Cross Country Championships

It was unfortunate that the day the first snow of the winter fell was the day I had chosen for my first cross country of the year. The Dunbartonshire championships were once again held at Maryhill Park but it was my first run around this fairly uninspiring venue. Having taken it easy since the Kielder Marathon this was always going to be hard work for me and the snow lying on the ground added to the challenge. However, I felt it was a good hard workout and I am not sure the snow made that much difference to times. Results will follow.

Next Saturday is the West of Scotland Champs at Irvine.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Try out this route

‎OK this might be a bit far to run but try this out

Go to Google Maps. Enter Japan as start point and enter China as your destination. Then check out point 43!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Return of a classic

I was very pleased to hear that the Llandudno 10 mile road race is to return in 2011. This used to be a big fixture in the Southport Waterloo calendar and one of my favourite races. It was a flat, fast course that attracted a top class field from all over the UK. The race was first held in 1983 and it's list of past winners reads like a who's who of British distance running. The first ever winner was the British international steeplechaser, Roger Hackney in 48.09. By 1985 it had become the biggest 10 mile race in the UK. 1986 saw a top class field including, Charlie Spedding, John Gladwyn and Max Coleby but it was Liverpool Pembroke's Martin McLoughlin who won it in 49.45. In 1989, Welshman Steve 'the race' Brace was a popular winner. Bashir Hussein, Nigel Adams, Tipton's Nick Jones and Paul Cadwallader all won this race over the years and at its peak it attracted over 5000 runners.
It was without a doubt one of my favourite races and was held in the middle of November each year. In the eighties, Southport Waterloo used to send a coach load of runners to compete this classic race. After moving to Glasgow in 2001, it was too far for me to travel but I was still sad to see the last one run in 2005. Difficulty in getting enough volunteers to ensure the safe running of this event was cited as the reason for it's demise.
I will need to dig out my old results to see what my best time was for this race but I certainly used to run 56 and 57 minutes there. Who could forget coming down onto the promenade and seeing the long sweep of the promenade and the finish line still a half mile of lung busting running away.
The race will be held on 22 May next year and so it may well have a different feel to the freezing temperatures and biting winds that often greeted the runners in November but I for one am pleased to see it return. I might even make the long trip from Scotland to take part. Maybe it should be in the SWAC Grand Prix next year - over to you Rick.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Glasgow University Road Race

Inverclyde's Chris Mackay shaved a few seconds of his winning time last year to retain the title this afternoon, beating club mate Andrew Douglas by just 12 seconds. His winning time of 23.57 is very impressive for this tough race around the Garscube estate and Maryhill. A five mile course that takes in two hills and a deceivingly long drag up Temple Rd from Anniesland on each of two laps.

With doubts in my mind about how running Kielder Marathon 3 weeks ago would effect me today, I set off at a steady pace and ran within myself for the first lap. I didn't feel too bad and pushed on a bit over the second lap. I was running well at this time last year but still didn't crack 30 minutes on this course finishing in 30.20 for 51st place. I wasn't expecting to get anywhere near that this time out but I seemed to maintain a good pace on the second lap and was surprised to cross the line in 30.47 and 52nd place. Disappointingly, that put me only 6th in my age group , won by Kilbarchan's Donald Petrie in 29.07. There is always a top class field for this classic race and this year was no exception with 178 finishers and 42 of them under 30 minutes. First woman was Elspeth Curran from Glasgow University in 27.44.

First in for Victoria Park City of Glasgow was Allan Ramsay (16th in 27.18) ahead of his dad, Peter (90th in 33.38) and Kenny McVey taking the 2nd V60 spot in 34.19.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Glasgow University Road Race

Back to running this weekend. It is the Glasgow Uni 5 miler tomorrow afternoon. A bit soon after my marathon to expect too much but it is just down the road and a tough but enjoyable two lap course. I haven't run very much since Kielder but I will use it as a hard training session to help prepare for the cross countries coming up.

James Walsh

More music than running this week, last night it was back to Oran Mor to see James Walsh. The Starsailor front man returned to Oran Mor less than a year since he appeared on an unlikely double bill with Ian Broudie. This time it was a solo performance save for a string quartet that joined him later on. Walsh started with two classics - Tell me it's not over and Alcoholic before switching to the piano for some new material and a superb slowed down version of Lullaby. The stripped down acoustic delivery of Starsailor songs and Walsh's powerful vocals somehow seem perfect for this intimate venue and his quiet humour charms the audience as he works his way through the old favourites and his newer material.

It was not a full house - the die hard fans were there though and it would be a shame to have missed this show. James Walsh is an accomplished live performer and all too soon he is leaving the stage. He returns for a lively encore and finishes with Good Souls.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Suzanne Vega

OK, so strictly speaking this is a running blog but had to mention a great night out last night to see Suzanne Vega at Oran Mor. The only link I can make is that Vega too has moved into the V50 category but is still in great form. Accompanied by Dublin born guitarist Gerry Leonard, kicking off with Marlene on the Wall, she worked her way through an impressive back catalogue. Some songs you had almost forgotten about and others that you could remember all the lyrics. There was some decent new material included as well but saving some of the best until last, her encore included Luka and Tom's Diner - timeless classics that take us back a long time before X Factor.

Sunday Run

A good Sunday run over some muddy trails. Thought I was recovered from my marathon but I suffered big time on the hills>