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Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon 2008

2008
Mar

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Murdo Macleod took part in the above race and commented:

“I’d entered this race last year but couldn’t take part due to a PBP qualifier clash so I was keen to take part this year.

The run is a point-to-point from Balloch on Loch Lomond side to the Play Drome in Clydebank. You can either turn up at the 0930 start at Balloch or be in Clydebank before 0830 to take advantage of the free buses to the start. As I had to drive through, it was easier for me to get out of my kip an hour earlier and take the bus – saved any hassle in getting back to the start to collect the car. You get your number and race instructions posted out prior to the race. The directions to the start were very clear and I was through with half an hour to spare. There were four double-deckers at the start which left as they filled up. I got the first one through, getting there for 0845. You can leave a bag on one of the buses and it’ll be taken back to the start. I’d taken a rain-jacket, longs and hat to keep warm but, because of the weather, ended up wearing them, and can’t comment of the baggage efficiency.

The race started at the Loch Lomond shore beside the shopping area; a kind worker opened the arcade and we had shelter and use of toilet and washing facilities before the start. It was threatening rain all morning and it started about five minutes before the start followed by intermittent showers until about mile eight after which it stayed dry to the end – no wind worth talking about.

The race is either on the road or cyclepaths. The race isn’t very scenic (not helped by the weather), either pavements on main roads/streets, through housing areas or on cycletracks. The cycleways were mostly shielded from views by shrubbery on either side or ran at the back of houses or beside main roads although it did run alongside a dodgy looking stream for part (strange colour – milky grey). The course is reported as being generally flat although there was a number of inclines and one or two small hills.

There were water points at 5 and 10 miles (bottles with spouts) and the race was well and enthusiastically marshalled. Saying that, most people tended to run on the open road, sometimes on the outside of parked cars or railings, rather than the sometimes narrow pavement, and this was the accepted norm.

Didn’t enjoy it that much, possibly due to feeling washed out (getting over a cold), weather and course. Saying that isn’t taking anything away from the organisers and the volunteer marshals of which there was many, there being a lot of junctions and turns.

Finished in 1.51.20 (280 out of 391). Race wasn’t chipped but times were accurate. Goody bag included water bottle, mars bar and banana along with a boxed engraved glass cube which is one of the nicest mementos I’ve ever had from a race.

Would I do it again – probably not? The start is difficult to get to without a car and the distance means an early start. The type of course and the weather didn’t help but that may have been compounded by me feeling off-colour. However, very helpful and enthusiastic marshals, good organisation and a great memento are plusses.

Some photos below:

Busses at Play Drome, Clydebank that you can take to the start
Busses at Play Drome, Clydebank that you can take to the start
Start at Balloch, Loch Lomond, just started to rain
Start at Balloch, Loch Lomond, just started to rain

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Finish at the back of shopping area near the Play Drome, Clydebank
Finish at the back of shopping area near the Play Drome, Clydebank
Me looking wet and wabbit!
Me looking wet and wabbit!
Help yourself goody bags
Help yourself goody bags

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Excellent and different memento
Excellent and different memento

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