Disclaimer: To many of you my aims are modest and laughable and that’s fine. Personal challenges are what makes our wee sport thrive. Some we win and some we lose 🙂
The Brian Goodwin 10k. It’s a Friday night 10k and one of the MAC club champ events. Always a great turn out, we run a bus and instead of getting a medal after the race you get a beer and a burger instead. I know! What’s not to love? I did it for the first time last year and got babied round by Henry from Bella. 38.36 and my second fastest ever at that time. I had pencilled this one in at the start of the year as my sub 38 attempt but my form of late and since London not really pointing towards that.
Aye the sub 38.
Since my first sub 39 at Clydebank 2 years ago I’ve been after it. Gave it a right go last year at Helensburgh and crashed and burned with 2k to go and got pelters for it. Tried and failed in another 5 or 6 10ks last year, and in my 3 attempts so far this year. 38.45 last week at Vale of Leven showed I wasn’t quite there, so was wondering if I ever would be to be fair. It’s become a big barrier to me. Got as close as 38.11 at Cambuslang, but that during marathon training and I don’t feel that I’m in that shape. Anyway, so be it. Would be a good race anyway. So what’s the expectation? None. What’s the aim? I would be disappointed not to be under 39 again. I would like to beat last year’s time and get under 38.30. Big ask but it’s a decent course, there’s lots of club rivals and there’s a beer at the end (have I mentioned this already?) Once the club vest on things change, and combined with a new pair of Merino Runderwear won from Running Heroes I had no excuses . The club bus arrived on time, went the right way and had us there nice and early this year. Good start. Saw Olympian Callum Hawkins and course record holder Luke Traynor, so decided that bronze would be the best I could get……. Nah in all seriousness it’s a thrill to be in the same race as runners of this pedigree and calibre and it’s great to see them support grass root Scottish Athletics like this. When I tell you that they finished in 29.12 and 29.25 respectively it shows the class of these guys.
Cracking pic by Kenny Phillips of the start.
It was a hell of a clammy night. Had a couple of miles warm up with the Legend after the usual hellos. Sweating worse than Cee Lo Green wearing a polo neck on a trampoline. Thank goodness for our ultralite Kukri vests……. Apart from this though the weather about perfect. MAC Group pic then off to the start.
As we were piped to the start I made the decision that with it being two laps I was going to go for it, go out hard, and if it didn’t work out I could be drinking my beer while everyone else did their second lap. Win win. Aye I know, what goes on in my head? And we were off.
First few tight turns all about keeping out of trouble as the field sorted itself out. By the end of the first k all good. Except the GPS already playing up. Always the same at Pollok Park, use as a guide and that’s it. Just remember that. But aye I was going out fast. That’s a good thing, but also a bad thing. Second and third kilometres and my head playing it’s usual games. You won’t keep this up. Not a chance. It’s crash and burn time. Drop out and walk back. Hammies feeling tight.
Persuaded myself to at least get to 5k. Felt like a Helensburgh rerun as Cambuslang’s Simon Gold right in front of me again on a clammy night. The battle was on, and not with any other runners, no, just with my head. Got to 5k (19.04 on the watch but the 5k marker maybe 10 seconds or so faster ?) and by this time had calmed down. The game was on. Did I have the endurance this year to keep it going? Halfway there, let’s keep it going. Still trailing Simon, just ahead of Mr Kennedy, and again near to Killie Connell.
For the first time as we climbed slightly at the 5 k point I started to feel it in my legs. I also started to feel a headwind but probably in the mind. Jude the Viking had made banners for everyone she knew and mine was on show at the top of this climb. I saw it and didn’t realise it was aimed at me. Doh. We all appreciate it though 🙂
This was my worst part of the race. Connell came back past me, a stream of runners came past me. I was ready to capitulate until I noticed Mr Kennedy alongside me. Do or die time. If he went away I was done. I was toiling, and the composure from earlier wasn’t there.
The face of pain. Deid on the feet.
As he went past I stuck beside him and then, like our training session on Thursday, when the next small climb came I went past him and started to pull away. Got slightly ahead and started to find my rhythm again and tried to work back through the field. While a little slower I still felt I could come in on a course best if I kept it going. Apart from that no idea as the K markers and my watch were now way out. Sharp turns, winding roads and trees. Aye not ideal for the GPS. Managed to get past Connell and had Simon in my sights again. 3k to go. Hurting but up for it. Out the park and 2k to go. Going by the 8k marker I worked out that if the markers were right and if I did my last 2k in a 3.50 average then I would be on for 38 or thereabouts. I dug in. It was sore. The sweat pouring down my face, dripping into my eyes. My legs burning. Breathing rough. But my head was now in the zone. 9th k done in 3.47. It’s possibly on. Passing people though not racing them, racing the clock. Passing people I know without realising (Sorry Richard!) and can see the turning towards the park in the distance. Look at the watch 37.03. It’s last year all over again and I’m counting elephants. Simon in front turns and sees me and cheers me on before sprinting ahead. I am giving it all. Hit the turn off the main road. Reckon its about 37.30.
I’m hurting. One turn and a sprint to go. Really giving it a go. Last corner, turn and see the clock. In the 37s still. I know I have started a good 6 or 7 seconds after the clock started. It’s on. I give it all to the line.
Over the line and stop the watch. It’s showing 37.49. Arms in the air. Shouting yes like a numpty. Totally ecstatic. Oh I know. It’s just running. I’m 61st in the race. It’s so modest but it was my challenge and I done it! Never really thought I would. Mr Kennedy came in not far behind followed closely by Babybelneil, and then the Gazelle and the Legend both smashing the 39 barrier for the first time. Amazing stuff. Official time through and faster in 37.46.
I very rarely drink but the Bud went down sweet as did the next couple of pints and a few drams in the house too. Kitbag #graduated to Empire Biscuit provider to round off a quality evening.
So there it is. Unexpected but bloody hard work. Next aim? No idea, I’ll just enjoy this one for now. Simply it wouldn’t have mattered how much I had beaten that 38 by. Second minute or hour, it didn’t matter. Nothing wrong with thinking big, sometimes it comes off, give it a go. Today’s song by Jack Penate. He runs in the video. But I doubt he is wearing Runderwear. This, and the rest of the blog songs are on my Spotify playlist, have a wee listen 🙂
Big thanks to Kenny Phillips, Steven Hill, Graham Mcewan, Louise Hetherington and Ian Goudie for the pics. Thanks to all at Bellahouston Harriers for a superb event, and all the people who gave up their time to help out.
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