Round and Round – The Tom Scott 10 mile road race 2016 for all your non essential running info 😉

Disclaimer: the views in this blog are blinkered by baldness. I know that what seems a great run to me is nothing to others but it’s my blog so meh. 

After the highs of Tuesday I was optimistic about the Tom Scott race. Loved it last year, and felt I was in shape to challenge my best of 1.07.53. My first 10 miles at Alloa had been 1.08.00, so got to be worth a go? Sadly Wednesday and Thursday weren’t quite to plan. A very upsetting family day on the Wednesday, then Thursday saw me in the hospital for minor surgery and tests after my passing blood episode of 4 weeks back. The good news was I got the all clear, a huge relief for me and my family, but the prodding around inside me had more afters than expected, and the Thursday fartlek was cut short as I experienced significant internal inflammation. Head was all over the place too. Short jog on Saturday evening and felt better, but not quite right. The legend in lycra arranged to meet me before the race and take me on a decent warm up so I could make up my mind. Much appreciated and after a couple of miles I felt no ill effects. I was ready to race. The legend had beaten my convincingly last year but we were pretty neck and neck this year so was looking forward to a good race. The Ginger Prince was also back, and he had destroyed us both last year so added spice. Emma flying, Kev PBing all over the place, Cammy promising to beat the hour, aye should be a good day.


Met Sid and Dave and Dave took pictures of me and the Ginger Prince. Had a wee natter with Bella’s Paul Clawson and a multitude of hellos with others and off we headed to the start. The sun was coming out, the wind was minimal, it was almost perfect racing weather. Since MAC train there all the time I knew the course, like one of my favourite New Order songs it’s round and round the loch, in different directions with a few challenging inclines thrown in but pretty flat.. There were no excuses to not go out and have a go.  I have to be honest, I was running by watch and aiming for a PB. This one was for me. I didn’t just want a PB, I wanted to go under 1.07. My aim was a minute off my best. A big ask but I’m trying to shed the fear. Bang and away. Decided, just like Alloa, to go out hard and see how long I could hang on for. 3.55 first k and felt good. Second in just over 4. So far so good. Looking for roughly 4.10s for my target. Got encouragement from Coach John and more of the Sunday running squad who also encouraged Ross so knew the Prince was right on my shoulder.  I was running alongside Dundee’s Louise Beveridge who I had narrowly finished ahead of in Alloa, and wasn’t far behind Fife’s Alison McGill, another quality runner. I knew who she was as I actually used to work alongside her about 8 years ago but never spoke to her as she was a runner and I was an overweight chainsmoker. Was in decent company.


Was running steady and got through 5k in a shade over 20 mins, and all going to plan. We were coming up to a sharp turn where we started moving uphill and I had a wee glance behind and could see both the Prince and the Legend. Excellent, they were going out well too. If I blew up I could try and hang onto them. The next section is the biggest uphill section of the race and I felt ok. Descended cautiously, and thankfully there was no swing talk from Scott Dickson this year. The field was starting to spread out now as we came round to the loch again after a jaunt past M & Ds and at the half way stage. I was on target. Past 6 miles and 10k in about 41 mins and we were getting set for the last lap round the loch. For the last mile or so I had been playing Cat and Mouse with Carnegie’s Karen Kennedy. This was certainly helping me and as we turned round the bend for the last lap we were still shoulder to shoulder.


Not far behind the Legend was making his move on the Ginger Prince and things were hotting up there. I was in Jim’s sights and any slips up and he was there.


The last lap is well known to me, it’s our time trial in reverse. I knew the course, and I also knew that if I averaged 4.10s for the last 5 -6 k then the PB was mine. It was my mantra now. Except we got to about 11.5k and the legs went as we negotiated the zig zag climb, a straight section then another uphill section to the bridge. Legs were heavy. Had a slow k here, dropping down to 4.15. That wouldn’t do. Had one opportunity to look over my shoulder here, and although I had a few runners ready to come past none of them were my MAC colleagues. Steadied the next one to 4.10 but the legs were gone. It was going to be a case of hanging on, and through the trees we went with about2 1/2k to go. I was pulling away from Karen but was getting passed by a few runners including Dundee’s Raymond Tully. I could see Alison ahead not far ahead which makes a change so knew I was on for a decent time.


Despite nothing in the legs I knew I was just over a k to go. Was fortunate to pass Shettleston’s Ruth Joss at this point. The only other time I passed her was at the 3k in the green last July when I was going well, so again taking heart.


Not far to go, legs burning, PB still on the cards, keep going…. no sprint like last year I knew that, gave it all, round the last section, Portobello’s Yana Thandryen just ahead but out of reach, hearing the shouts, could see the line, could smell the donuts….


Over the line and checked the watch. 1.05.18. A PB by more than 2 1/2 minutes, delighted. Had stormed the top 100 in 99th 😉 Spoke to Cammy who had missed his target by 2 seconds…. 1.00.01, ouch, but a great first 10 miler. We waited for the rest and first to come was the legend, smashing his PB in 1.06.39, and running away from Ross, literally, in the second half of the race. He’s having a brilliant season.


A load of great runs by team Motherwell, team MAC results as follows:

Pos Name Time
55 Allan CAMERON 01:00:01
70 Christopher MACDONALD 01:01:18
99 Mark GALLACHER 01:05:18
107 Jim WHITE 01:06:39
125 Ross BURTON 01:08:12
128 Emma STEVENSON 01:08:29
151 Stuart GRAY 01:11:35
175 Kevin DURNIAN 01:14:15
180 Nigel HETHERINGTON 01:15:11
211 Ross MCLEAN 01:19:15
215 Angela DOWNIE 01:19:44
239 Gillian MCCAFFER 01:24:22
266 Barbara HOGG 01:29:57
269 Gary WOOD 01:32:14
286 Jim TRACEY 01:36:35
288 Helen MACLEAN 01:36:52
293 Louise SPEIRS 01:40:06


So PB of the season no 2 after me writing it off, I will take that 🙂 AND I got a donut.



Thanks to everyone who supported on the day, Craig and Andy in particular at key stages of the race. Thanks to all the organisers and special mention to Bobby Hill for his sterling promotion. And thanks to the photographers, Claire Thompson, Neil Richardson, Louise Hetherington,Dave McNulty, Cameron Newell, Kevin Ramage and Don Cook. Time for some speedwork now.

3 thoughts on “Round and Round – The Tom Scott 10 mile road race 2016

  1. Excellent read Mark. Makes your time/achievement look even better now I know the back story. It sounds like the whole MAC membership are running great too.


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