With the departure of the summer months and several weeks of autumn marathon training in the bank, runners thoughts turn to longer races and Glasgow’s Great Scottish Run is the destination for many runners on the first Sunday in September. Always a very popular event with ERN, this year was no different and a large group headed through to central Glasgow and a packed George Square for the massed start of one of the best organised and supported events on the calendar. While occasionally a bit ‘industrial’ in nature, the route takes in several of Glasgow’s scenic greener places including a fantastic finish on Glasgow Green and also gives you the opportunity to run over the Kingston Bridge. A great event and one that many come back to more than once.
David said : I had been looking forward to the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow as I had heard good reports about it and it was getting on for a couple of months since I last ran a half marathon. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite turn out the way I hoped.
I wasn’t feeling too great the day before and thought I had a cold coming on. I felt much the same on the morning of the race but thought I’d give it a go anyway. I travelled through to the dark side (I mean Glasgow) with Beverley and we were a bit fortunate to end up parked in the Buchannan Galleries as I didn’t really know where I was going. Turned out we were right beside the start at George Square. We wandered down to the finish at Glasgow Green to leave our things at the bag-drop. I was a bit concerned to find that it was literally “a bag-drop” as it was a case of leave your bag wherever you could find a space and hope for the best that it would still be there when you returned. A bit risky in Glasgow perhaps? Runners are an honest bunch……
We made our way back to the start area at George Square and did a little warm-up before entering the pen where there didn’t appear to be any signs to assist with lining up in time order. We found ourselves standing beside the 1.35 pacer which was of little use to me but bizarrely the 1.40 pacer was actually way ahead of the 1.35 and I had no hope of getting there through the crowd. Oh well I’ll just have to judge my own pace then! Once we started it was very crowded but I watched as Beverley shot off into the distance closely following the 1.35 pacer. If only I was faster……
Despite the crowds and a little bit of barging I covered the first mile in a leisurely 8mins but I was already contemplating stopping as my nose was running and I had a stitch in my side. I decided to keep ploughing on but by the time I had crossed the Kingston Bridge and reached the 5km point my nose was pretty much running constantly and every breath I took felt like I was being stabbed in the side. I again considered stopping but I realised I’d have to get back across the river somehow so thought I better keep going. I kept up a pretty slow pace and the stitch did recede a little bit but by the time I got to 10 miles I was all out of gas. I took on a gel but even that didn’t give me much of a lift so I ended up walking/jogging the last 3 miles while feeling quite sorry for myself. Rachel and Louise were kind enough to ask if I was ok as they cruised past me as I struggled along and I was very relieved to finally reach the finish line. I equally relieved to find that my bag was exactly where I left it and all my valuables were still inside. Sorry for doubting you Glasgow!
I was a bit disappointed with the route of the race (although I might not have been in the best frame of mind to appreciate my surroundings). While it was nice running through Bellahouston Park and Pollock Park in particular the rest of it was all a little bit……well, grim is the word that springs to mind. Having said that there were lots of people out to offer support and encouragement along the route so it wasn’t all bad.
I realise my health issues may have clouded my judgement slightly but overall I wasn’t that impressed with the Great Scottish Run due to the crowding issues, lack of organisation at the start and uninspiring route. I know Beverley also had problems afterwards when the results came out and they had her name/sex wrong. Although I wont be rushing to do the race again, I wouldn’t rule it out completely in the future as I will need to go back and better my time at some point.