I’ve been slacking on this and I’ve got some catching up to do, so let’s get to it!

This was my bid to knock off the final parkrun in Glasgow, having visited Ruchill in January and Drumchapel in April.  Accidental quarterly visits to Scotland’s biggest city.

Route description
Two and a half laps, largely following the border of the the park.

Course profile
Pretty flat.  Easily the second-quickest parkrun in Glasgow after Victoria.

All on paved paths.

Road shoes are the way to go.

1/6.  Flat, a couple of simple loops that are well marshalled/coned.  About as easy as they come.

Screenshot 2018-07-29 16.49.46

Speaking of difficulty, the most challenging aspect of the day was controlling my disgust when passing by the Orange Walk kicking off in Springburn as I jogged from Queen Street to the park itself.  I’m staggered this sort of thing is still permitted.  I encountered again in all its ‘glory’ when I got back into the centre.  I’d planned to stick around for a while, but this assault on the eyes and ears had me jumping back to Edinburgh as soon as humanly possible.

Anyway, I digress.

After gathering next to the 115-year-old James Reid statue – the man having donated towards the bandstand and winter gardens there – in the middle of the park for the first timer’s brief, we take the short walk to the start line by the pond.

The view from the west of the course, with the finish area/memorial and up to the James Reid statue at the top

[Spoiler] I finished! Back up at the pond where we started with a complimentary cup of water. Cheers!
I’d managed a total of 10 miles of running that week, including a middling parkrun and a shortish interval session, which isn’t actually too bad given my consistent niggles, so time to see what I had in me.

I started at the front and got to the end of the straight in around twelfth, and after passing and being passed by various folk, I got up to the north-west of the park and around Mosesfield House onto the narrower part of the course in eleventh.

The northern section around the ponds is comfortably the most picturesque of the course and did a little to ease the focus on my own wheezing!  Eventually I got back to familiar territory as we ended the first lap, and I turned my concentration to a couple of bodies in the distance.  I convinced myself they were coming back to me, so they became targets.

The long-derelict structure in the middle of the park is passed on each lap.  Fascinating in its current state, it must’ve been quite something back in the day.

The second lap was otherwise a painful one.  It’s almost as if running 4km to get there when you’re relatively unfit is a bad idea!  It was an evenly-paced run by my standards, the third K being the slowest and speeding up as I reigned in my ‘victims’.

I made the pass just as the second lap ended on the south of the course, and put the afterburners on to give the illusion I was flying.  Is it mean to try and break a fellow parkrunner’s spirit?  Maybe…

It built the margin I wanted, so I crawled down the home straight.  The volunteers shouted encouragement as I got towards the line, and it was only after finishing I realised they were trying to egg me on to a sub-20 time.

I finished in 20:03!

Ninth place and a solid enough run, 53 seconds up on the previous parkrun down south (report to follow – I’m all mixed up).

What a day it was

Thanks to a really enthusiastic RD, the smiley bunch of volunteers, and the absolute bonus and thoughtful addition of free water at the finish on a hot morning.  That’s going above and beyond!

While Pollok is The Daddy of Scottish/Glaswegian parkrunning, Springburn is an excellent event and worth the trip.  Go on, you know what to do…