Saturday 22 June 2013

Largo Law Hill Race

Results | Garmin track

Having done a new Parkrun in the morning at Tollcross, I thought I might as well do a new hill race in the afternoon, so drove over to Fife and got lost for a while trying to find the Crusoe Hotel in Lower Largo.

It was a completely different scene to the grim grey Glasgow rain in the morning. Bright sunshine, blue skys and dazzling light sparkling off the harbour. I was a bit spaced out after the Parkrun and the drive.

The race started up a fairly steep road, before turning through a bottleneck gate into a glade leading into an interesting wooded valley with a couple of stream crossings.

It took the precaution of starting fairly fast, so was in 4th place at the gate and running through the woods for the first 3km or so. I could hear panting noises close behind, unless they were some sort of strange echo. Eventually after a road crossing there were several kissing gates in close succession, at which point I realised Graham Nash of Carnethy was right behind me.

Graham got past just before the 2nd road crossing, at which point I realised Jonny Knox was right behind me, given the shouts he was getting. I resigned myself to getting caught by Jonny just before the really steep hill proper.

Once flogging up the steep hill I looked back and saw Charlotte Morgan approaching at a rate of knots. I almost held her off until the twin summits, and assumed she would totally drop me on the descent, but the gap never really changed much, so I thought I would probably catch her on the 4km run back.

I made a reasonable effort, and kept the gap down to about 20 seconds, but never really closed her down, so Charlotte finished 6th in a new women's record of about 50:32, and I was 7th in 50:54. Kyle Greig won the race in a new record time of 43-something.
Largo Law
Largo Law Race Route

Tollcross Parkrun #8

Results | Garmin track

It took a while to find it, but eventually I tracked down the immaculately well-kempt Tollcross Park, amidst the grim east end of Glasgow.

Luckily only about 40 runners turned up, which was about the number of people who could shelter under the tiny bandstand in the pouring rain.

I thought I might be in with a shout at a win until I saw Shaz Hakeem from Ronhill Cambuslang, who I knew had won it a couple of times before in times quicker than I could run. There was also a quite fast looking Garscube runner on the startline who I'd not seen before.

The course follows 2.5 laps of the park, meaning that you have to tackle the first kilometre 3 times, which was uphill from the start. I set off fast-ish, holding position with Shaz and the Garscube runner (Andrew Gibson) up the first hill. I tried to break away from them too soon, which back-fired, since they just went past again. I then spent the next 4km chasing Shaz at an almost catchable distance, whilst Andrew disappeared out of sight.

The course was severely undulating, so by the 3rd lap it was a struggle climbing the last hill.  I closed the gap down at the end to 3 seconds, but was never going to Shaz, so I finished 3rd in 18:23, whilst Andrew Gibson set a new course record with 17:41.

Sunday 9 June 2013

Vale of Leven 10k

Results | Garmin track

4th and final Polaroid 10k, and apart from my aberration at Dumbarton, my other times were within 14 seconds of each other with 36:57 at Helensburgh, 36:43 at Clydebank, and 36:50 today at Vale of Leven - so at least fairly consistent if not exactly back to full speed.

Photo: Gillian Scott