The Biggart Baillie Giffnock AAC 10k was my first race in my training for the Loch Ness marathon. Held almost at the summer solstice, the event was far more than a simple 10k. It was billed as a “Festival Of Running”, the event had a 1k race, a 5k race and a 10k. It was held in the beautiful Rouken Glen park, and was clearly intended to be a great family event. I could easily imagine families picnicking in the park, being entertained by the pipe band and proudly watching those family members who were runners running through the park, cheering as they reached the finish line.
|The weather as I left the office|
Sadly, the weather wasn’t playing along. At the risk if using a colloquialism, it was… widdling down! All day, the rain had been falling and it certainly wasn’t letting up as the evening approached. If anything, it just got heavier and heavier.
I had a bit of a drive from Fife in the East of Scotland over to the south west side of Glasgow, and so was a bit late in arriving. I wasn’t able to take part in the “aerobic warmup” that had been billed. Instead, I got to the park and rushed to the pavilion to collect my race number. Then I dashed back to the car where I changed for the race. Well, by “changed” I mean that I took off my jacket. There was no way that my running tights were coming off – I was much too cosy!
Talking of the car, there was ample parking space in the park, something that I much appreciated.
Having pinned my number to my vest with the pins provided by the race organisers, I rushed back to the pavilion for a visit to the gents, then joined the throngs walking to the start.
|Scott Sport Photography‘s photo of me|
There was a pretty decent turnout (according to the result page, 324 finishers), and we were started by a klaxon. We ran a loop of paths within the park, back under the “start” arch and then took a different path, which led us out onto the streets. All this way I realised that I was being swept along far too quickly by the crowd, and I struggled to “screw the nut” a bit and reduce my pace. For heavens sake, it was 7:45pm – fifteen minutes to wine o’clock – and I was having real trouble getting myself tuned in to running at this time of night. I think that the aerobic warmup that I missed would really have helped me get into the right frame of mind, but after the first mile or so I began to get my head into the right place.
Mile markers – or rather, kilometre markers – were provided by helium-filled balloons that struggled to stay “up” as the rain tried to push them “down”. But I must say that I like kilometre markers – they come around so much more quickly than mile markers!
The race continued along roads that had one lane closed off for running. Soon we turned off Rouken Glen Road and on to Stewarton Road, and at this point the climb started. Over two miles we climbed about three hundred feet. During this time, I found I had a reaction I’ve never had before – a gagging in my throat. I stopped and almost was sick, but then it passed and I was able to run again.
By the time we got to mile four we were at the top of the hill, and we turned on to Ayr Road. From this point on my pace never dropped below eight minutes / mile, and I was able to enjoy the downhill almost all of the way to the end.
Finally we reached the finish. As well as the 10k Dri-Fit t-shirt, I was given a 5k t-short because there were some left over from that race. A banana to help provide some energy, and we were done. I walked back to the park, shouting encouragement to those approaching the finish line, and drove home for a well-deserved shower.
This was such a lovely event, I do feel sorry for the organisers. It should have been the wonderful family event I described; the organisation was impeccable, the roads cleared for us to run on and a beautiful park to start and finish in. But the weather just didn’t play ball. Shame.
On finding the results, I came in in 47:45, a PB for me for a 10k. I came in chip position 87 out of 324 finishers.
So, thank you to the organisers – it was a great race. What a shame the weather let you down. My thanks also to Scott Sports Photography for allowing me to use the picture above.
GPS track is at http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/65618908