This morning I headed along for the 4th event of Scotland’s newest parkrun. Greenock is 25 miles west of Glasgow and sits on the south bank of the Clyde, just at the point where it opens out to the Firth of Clyde.
The course is an out and back route along the esplanade. I didn’t take much note of what it involved other than: out, go around a traffic cone then something about a yellow pole. I was therefore surprised when 6 minutes into the run I started seeing the front markers returning. This didn’t make sense, either Greenock parkrunners were managing 5k in 10 minutes or there was more to the route than I imagined.
There was more to the route than I imagined: The ‘out’ to the traffic cone (witches hat for my fellow Australians) was 1 mile. At this point we turned and headed back towards the start line but only as far as a big yellow pole where we turned back on ourselves and went back to the traffic cone, turning again for the mile back to the start (make sense?). It worked surprisingly well, and the advantage of not being a front marker is getting to follow people who know what they’re doing, though there were also plenty of marshals who pointed the way.
I had planned for an easy 10 minute/mile run but got a bit carried away with the crowd and found myself running 9 minute/miles. There was a strong headwind on the ‘back’ sections and I faded in the last half mile, though still posting a sub-29 minute time.
The Greenock Cut
The Plan called for 9 miles today, so I decided to combine Greenock parkrun with a nearby trail run around the Greenock Cut. The Greenock Cut was opened in 1827, an aqueduct that carried fresh water from Loch Thom to the mills, factories, farms and homes of the town below. The Cut was kept flowing in all weathers by workmen who walked the Cut breaking up ice and removing rubble. Their tiny stone shelters are still dotted along the length of the aqueduct. It remained in use until 1972!!
The route is 7 miles along well formed paths, with stunning views of the Firth of Clyde, Argyll and the Southern Highlands. It is relatively flat, with just a small climb in the first half mile. The run was lovely today, and I was so pleased to be out on a trail instead of my usual suburban pavement routes, though I was really quite tired by the end.
As you can see from the photos it is not raining! The torrential rain that has hit the rest of the UK in the past 12 hours, has been a bit slower to reach us (don’t worry, it is well and truly here now).
- Running: 22.5 miles
- Cycling: 19 miles
- Core Strength: x 3