Once around the block – Great Scottish Run 10k 2016

One of my stupid aims that I give myself is to try and PB my core distances in each of my two racing blocks. My blocks are pre holiday, March – June, and post holiday, Aug – Oct. I tend to do a block of racing in each of these time windows. In the first one I was lucky enough to hit PBs for 5k, 10k, half marathon and 10 miles. Delighted. So got to block 2, got PBs at 1500m, 3000m, the elusive sub 18 5k and an unexpected half marathon. The only one missing was the 10k. Now I had run  couple of these. Paisley was very meh, and 38 seconds outside. Stirling I was on to smash it with 2k to go and the legs went, and ended up 25 seconds outside. In a huff straight after that I entered the GSR 10K as I didn’t want to end the season on a bum note.

Now the Great Scottish 10k was the second race I did after I started back in 2011. I ran a PB that day of 53.32, met Daley Thompson, and wrecked my back so badly I didn’t run for almost a year and was on medication and a waiting list for a back op for 6 months.  (https://markgallmac.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/history-part-5-my-first-gsr-and-the-fallout/ ) A few wee pics from that day are below.


So 5 years on. The course PB of 53 minutes had to be destroyed. I just really wanted to finish off the season with an ENJOYABLE 10k, as I have stopped enjoying them. It was a pleasure to get my number through and I was in the faster paced club runners section with my striped number. Something I never thought would happen to me and it was quite a thrill. After my audience with the Olympians (see previous blog) I was actually feeling good about running, and looking forward to the atmosphere despite having eaten dreadfully for the couple of weeks since Edinburgh and not done any real hard sessions as my legs took longer to recover the half than I had hoped. But was even looking forward to it enough that I took a picture of my kit for instagram. Aye I know, instagram. Embracing technology me.Ten years late as usual. Maybe put it on myspace as well.


So woke up in the morning with the sun splitting the trees here in Lanarkshire. Shades all ready. Had a cracking message from my old friend Ken


I liked that one a lot. Elaine and the kids were coming with me. Her support has been amazing. Got my “feck it let’s go for it” tune lined up and was ready to hit Glasgow.


Got to Baillieston and everything changed. The sun went away. And the fog came down.


Got to Glasgow and not just foggy but baltic as well. Kids not happy. Daddy a bad man. Parked at the Barras and headed up to George Square. After queuing to get back down to racing weight (sorry) I had a wee jog before I thought it was time to get into my pen. Did I tell you I was in the fast pen? No did I? Please don’t go….. Time for a wee picture with my inspiration before I went.


Aye she’s magic so she is. Brings me down to earth when I’m high as kite.

Here’s a series of photos from the start, thanks to Elaine for them.


So that was me in my wee pen getting more nervous as the real runners arrived. Had a wee chat with Cambuslang’s Paul Kernohan, shook hands with athletics smiliest man Robert Gilroy. Saw Fiona Matheson, Jo Moultrie, Jonathan Hopkins, Stuart Gibson etc etc. It was exciting but daunting. We stood in the freezing cold waiting to go as Evie the voice coach person sung Caledonia. A lovely song and sung beautifully I’m sure, but we were baltic and just wanting to get away. Eventually we were off! Now I know that hill well. Up St Vincent street at the start. It’s a cracker. People sprinted past me but I wasn’t for doing a Stirling and going out too fast. Was up the first k in under 4 mins so that was fine. Came back down the climb fine and into the third k as you go up onto the Kingston Bridge and while I was enjoying the experience my time was slipping. I was over the 4 minutes for that K. No fast time today then! I felt like I couldn’t get moving at all. Wasn’t going to chuck it. Let’s focus and make an aim. If I got the finger out I would go sub 40, and if I finished well I could try for another sub 39. I have to say that the support on the course was phenomenal. On that first 4 or so K there were cheers from Murray, Scott, Roddy and Dave amongst others, and plenty of normal punters with great encouragement. Dave took a couple of pics as I lumbered towards 5k.



I had been yo-yoing behind a group containing VPs Claire Thompson for a few k. She’s a good runner so didn’t mind getting pulled along while I struggled. Stirling I went through 5k in 19.02, I wanted to go through today in 19.15 ish. I went through in about 19.36. Naw Marko, come on now! Wasn’t going out on another disappointing run. Finger oot time. Over the next couple of k I managed to up it slightly, I was feeling better. Was starting to pass a few people. Aye finger oot but a bit late? I enjoyed coming across the squinty bridge and seeing the messages on the wall of support. A message from my boys pepped me up. Had a laugh at the “irritating” messages and Marc Bromwich’s PB prediction. I was continuing to go by people and with 2 go was still slower than Stirling (where I then died) but realistically if I kept going well was going to get well under 39, and maybe even close to 38.30. Across the bridge, and back again where Cammy and Mark P from MAC took pictures and gave encouragements we approached the Green in the fog.


About a k or so to go, time to go for it. Got past Mark Devlin who had been ahead of me in the Polaroid series. Could see a group ahead and went chasing. 400 to go my name being shouted from the side and getting into the Green. Cheers almost deafening. Heard Iain Littler finishing. Well his name being announced, he’s not that loud. A look at the watch and knew how long I had to get a PB, I had actually got that close after a terrible first 5k. People ahead in the way and 200 to go. Not sprinting but running as hard as I could. Counting down elephants ( I do it instead of seconds). Getting to 15 elephants. going to be close, passing folk, a few folk coming back at me, didn’t care, all about the elephants. 5 elephants, 4 elephants. How accurate are these bloody elephants? 2 elephants and finished. A look at the watch and a new PB by 2 seconds in 38.26. Boom! After my first 5k that was the business! 15 minutes faster than my last one in 2011. A wee well done from Supertramp Osborne who has sprinted past me in the last 10 metres to also claim a PB. Met Fiona Matheson who had smashed Sandra Branney’s over 55 record in the low 36’s, amazing stuff. Through the finish and saw Elaine and the boys.Brilliant to see them. And so picture time again. Bank of Scotland had me posing. I did the normal ones as well. Jon was happy as he had candy floss.


Had finished 94th out of over 8000 runners, and 7th in the V45 category. Oooft. Thanks everyone who supported me in this, it was appreciated. Thanks Elaine, Dave, Mark, Kenny, Bank of Scotland for the pics.

So the end of the racing season. A wee road relay, then the Southside Six 16 mile challenge to go. And it had went to the wire but got there. Block 2 done. This year has been much better than expected after 5 months of injury last winter.

5k – 18.23 to 17.54. That elusive sub 18. Highlights included the 2nd place in Paris. Great Stuff.

10k – 38.59 to 38.26, the pleasing thing was 5 sub 39s and a couple just outside. Didn’t quite get my aim timewise but pleased with my consistency inside my old PB.

10 Mile – 67.53 to 65.18

Half Marathon – 92.45 to 88.51. Pleased to break that 90, and twice, and to slay the Haddington demons.

1500m – 3 races and time down to 4.48 with a county bronze thrown in for good measure.

3000m – 3 races again and PB down to 10.23 from 11.40.

Stole a silver in the club road race champs too.

So a good first V45 year. Next year I have no aims yet as I have no idea at all what I want to do. No pressure. This road season has had it’s ups and downs but I’ve loved it. Roll on the next one. See you out there in the XC mud πŸ™‚

I’m very happy to say that my wee blog has been nominated for blog of the year at the annual Running Awards. It would mean a lot to me if you considered giving me your wee vote if you enjoy what you read. The blog section is under community and it takes only a minute to register. Ta:)

see you at http://www.facebook.com/markgallmac

Once around the block, by the talent that is Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy.




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