I entered the Bupa Great Glasgow Women’s 10k (that’s a mouthful) in a flurry of entering spring races. I thought it would be fun to do it with other women from my club with the guys joining us at the finish line as part of their Sunday run. I then realised it fell a fortnight after the Edinburgh 10 mile and a fortnight before the EMF Edinburgh Half Marathon, not ideal as it should probably be the weekend of my last long run. Then I was invited to a friend’s wedding ceilidh the night before and only one other club mate entered, so I was beginning to think that it was a whole lot of pointless hassle.
The 2011 Glasgow Women’s 10k was my first ever, the culmination of a 12 week Beginner’s 10k course with the Glasgow Running Network. My time was 62 minutes, and I shaved a minute and a half off my time the following year. Both those years the race weather was abysmal and the goody bag matched the weather. Last year the race moved to the “Bupa Great” stable.
Normally I get to races ridiculously early, for fear of being late, this has the advantage of queue-free toilets but results in standing for an hour in freezing weather, trying to keep warm. This time around I tried a different tack, making my last loo stop in the subway station on the way, walking from Ibrox Subway to the start as a warm up and slipping into my start corral with 10 minutes to spare. Perfect!
The race got underway, busy but never really tripping over anyone or stuck for space. There were fewer bands and support acts than previous years although there was a bagpiper at each kilometre kite (not to everyone’s taste, but they make me happy!). There was steady crowd support but we still had patches where all I could hear was the slap, slap, slap of hundreds of trainers on tarmac; it was quite cool really.
I decided to aim for 9:30 minutes/mile and see how long my legs held out however I soon found that I was running 9:20 minute miles without too much trouble. The sun was out and it was surprisingly warm for the first half of the race. The cool shade of the ancient oaks on entering Pollok Park just after mile 5 provided welcome relief. I was able to lift my pace for the last mile and crossed the line in 58:19. A new PB 🙂
I collected my goody bag then waited around at the designated meeting place, soon joined by my club mate who had taken six minutes off her 2013 time. We waited for 50 minutes for the guys to turn up before giving up on them and I began the run home, my goody bag decanted and stuffed into the pockets of my Nathan Hydration rucksack.
The race was on the south side of the city, and I live in the West End, north of the River Clyde. My route took me through the back streets of Govan and past the now silent Govan shipyards before crossing the Clyde next to BBC Scotland. One mile in and the heavens opened, you gotta love May weather.
My total for today was 11.5 miles, bringing the week’s total to 29 miles. I’ve now reached my half marathon taper, only two weeks to go until race day. I’m starting to look forward to it!