When Love breaks down – Cambuslang 10k and pacing parkrun


Twitter: @vanhaddock

Disclaimer : these are the rants of a man who found out this week that he has the hands of an extra large woman. Some may find that good, some may find that bad. If you find that arousing then I’m scared.

So last week had ended on a bad run. And that’s good. Got it out the way. Had a fantastic hill session with the club on Tuesday and found myself motoring, a real confidence booster. Didn’t really manage much the rest of the week though. Work still being challenging and to be honest I had a right dose of the blues which I was finding it difficult to shift. I had lost one of my favourite running gloves and Elaine spotted a similar pair, but they were females, and extra large. But she bought me them, I tried them on and they were perfect. I was the Fatima Whitbread of Motherwell and had the hands of an extra large woman. This cheered me up. My vest for London also arrived. This excited me.


Yeah thats right,  


you are so kind πŸ™‚

I started to look forward to the weekend. Saturday I was pacing at Strathclyde parkrun as MAC took over the hosting, then was going to blow away the cobwebs at the Cambuslang Down by the River 10k on the Sunday. The equation was coming into play:


The weather in the run up had been honking but when I got down to Strathclyde early to do a lap before the parkrun the weather cleared. Yeah it was cold, but rain was gone, and wind was gentle. Excellent stuff πŸ™‚ I was pacing 26 and got my bib as we all gathered trying to keep warm.


We were warned that we were going to be audited at 2k as well as 5k which was nice. I really haven’t had enough of bloody auditors the last three weeks…. And off we went. The typical first half k melee then settled into my pace. I was quickly joined by Isobel Paterson (I am guessing her name looking at the results, hope I am right….) who told me she was going to try and stay with me as long as possible but didn’t expect to. She had been under 26 twice before but didn’t expect to today. Sorry Isobel, that’s a challenge and you weren’t getting away with it. First 2k and through about 10 seconds or so fast which is fine as the last section tends to be windy. We were joined by Laura Muir, a friend of my fellow team baldy member Scott. Yes, I paced Laura Muir. What a day.


Through 3k and 3 1/2k and I still had my possee, and time was as expected.


Over the next k Laura pulled away and Isobel kept telling me she wasn’t going to make it but she dug in and when we got to 200m to go away she went, finishing well inside the 26. Magic and well fought:) I came in in 25.56 which is hopefully suitable. Great fun, lifted a cloud from my head and I will definitely do it again.

Now I was due to do the Scottish masters 1500m this weekend, but had a change of heart in the interests of not being a total eejit and got a last minute entry for the Cambuslang DBTR 10k before it closed. It was a club champ race so would be good to get rid of some cobwebs and get a decent tempo in as part of my London prep. Did I tell you I was doing London? Talking of London the Running Awards are being held there and I may also have told you this blog is shortlisted… aye I know, I only have until 20 March and want to at least register a vote… Please consider a wee vote at:


Anyway, this race I had done last year in 39.52, but felt I was in the shape to go faster than that even without racing. But you don’t know what’s in those legs until you give it a go. And I’d made that mistake a few times at 10k before… Having not raced in a long time I was crippled by nerves before the run. The worst in a long time. I had to take myself away from everyone and try and calm myself down. Having done that I had a good chat with Bella RRs Italian Stallion and a catch up with quite a few other folk and we were ready to start. Over 30 Motherwell runners in the field with competition at all levels. I decided I was going to try and run hard but maintain a steady hard pace. No going out mental and slowing down, or going out slow and speeding up. Let’s see how the strength is. The first half k is always out of that equation as people go mental. 


The usual suspects were flying away. Neil the laldyman, who I love training with, was away like a banshee. I was just behind Mr Kennedy, where I didn’t expect to stay, and as usual I was quickly overtaken by PH’s Scott Love. Scott and I have very similar results and PBs but over the winter period he has been training brilliantly and has hammered me in our last two meetings over half marathon and 6k, so was no surprise to see him going off into the distance. Just behind was the Chairman who after having a superb winter had picked up a hamstring injury he was just coming back from, and just behind again was sub 40 seeking Arf and the sub 39 seeking Yogi Marcus. Plenty of people to run with. After the first k of 3.40 things settled a little and I was just behind Neil and Mr Kennedy. Scott was away, as were Paul Kelly of Dumbarton and Springburn’s Tony McGale who were going great guns. 3k in and Mr K was pulling away from myself and Neil and I tried to go with him but as he upped the pace I was happy to stick to mine. Last year I was through 5k in just over 20, this year I was through in 19.22, so 40 seconds up. And feeling stronger than last year. Course PB was going to fall unless I did. At the turn with a gap in front of me, but Marcus etc right behind me. Good. Inspire me to maintain my pace and maybe, just maybe, I could start off the season with a sub 39.  The good thing about this run is the turning point and you can see how far people are both ahead and behind. There was a line of runners in front of me that I could try and chase down rather than run on my own, or with the MAC group which would no doubt end up in a race which I wasn’t interested in in this stage  of my London training. Nah just keep it going steady. Pick people off if I can and maintain my pace for a tilt at a sub 39.

Note images removed here due to lack of ownership, apologies to the person involved. 

I caught and overtook a few runners including Paul and Tony. I was catching Mr K as well, who in turn wasn’t far behind Scott. 

Last K and up the wee hill before the turn for home.


Was still running solidly. Mr K was on Scott’s shoulder and they weren’t that far ahead. Yer man Hulse from Bella shouted “Come on Mark” as he took the pic, which Mr K heard and responded. I still kept going, getting closer to Scott who looked like he was tiring. 20 metres or so behind him, 600 metres to go and boom! He appeared to wobble to the side and caught his ankle on the kerb at the side and went over on his ankle. Fair play, he kept on his feet but I could see he was in bother. Had this not happened who know what would have happened. Head to head to the line. Who knows. But Scott Love was hurt, and you can’t have a sprint battle when Love breaks down (oh I know 80s kids, I had to, I really did.) Last bend and I went by as Scott bravely carried on as he was also PB chasing, but it wasn’t enough to catch Mr K who held me off by 2 seconds, but I was delighted to have taken 15 seconds off my PB in 38.11. Boom I will take that.



I may not have had speed at the end when I wanted it, but man I felt strong. This marathon training is doing that for me. So really happy. Shout outs to the Italian Stallion who aiming for a sub 38 went sub 37(!!!), Marcus on his first sub 39, and the multitude of others who hit PBs. So ends this big post, thanks if you have lasted this long. What a difference a week makes. Back to the big miles this week and see what happens but it is important to remember, we all have our wobbles, just find that wee thing that gives you your spark back.  This one is for Scott, and all those 80s children amongst us πŸ™‚

Thanks to Colin Stephen, Kenny Philips, Ann Leach, David Hulse and Strathclyde parkrun for pics.  


2 thoughts on “When Love breaks down – Cambuslang 10k and pacing parkrun

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