Disclaimer: I enjoyed pacing and didn’t miss racing. I know. Don’t tell anyone. Oh, and last year as many of you know I was fortunate to get the silver award at the Running Awards in the best blog category. Well the long list has opened for this year, and I’m automatically entered. If you like what you read then please consider voting for me on the wee link. I wouldn’t expect to even reach the short list this year as I still don’t play the game, but it would be nice 🙂 Vote for markgallmac here It’s free and easy to vote, Publications and online/ blog/ markgallmac thank you 🙂
So I didn’t know it at the time but Sunday was to be my last race of the season. After a year in which my breathing problems got progressively worse I’m happy to say that next week I am going in for an operation to hopefully sort my breathing, return my sense of smell, and if I’m lucky I can fit some breast implants in as well (one of these may not be true). So GSR, I’ll see you next year as it’s a few weeks of no running post op. And what a race to end on. My slowest 10k since 2012. And it was magic. I had answered a late call to help pace at the Cumbernauld 10k. Never a race I had ever fancied but how wrong I was. Now before I talk about the run, let’s talk about the race. I’m quick to slag off events but this was brilliant. Kudos to Dougie Holmes and his team who nailed it. The start and finish in Broadwood was superb. Numbers and chips sent out. Bouncy castles for the kids. The general organisation from start to finish was cracking. But enough of the praise, too much of that and people might think I’m happy. So Dougie dropped off the costume at my work. Aye a costume. Have a look at the pic and maybe if I was running you’d spot me. More noticeable than Sean Paul going “Barrabangbang” at a funeral.
Had a wee practice run with the rucksack thing and all was good. I was allocated the 50 minute fin. 10 x 5 minutes kilometres. Should be easy eh? Err ok….
Now the easy thing is to say I was wonderful and nailed it but it wasn’t as easy as that. Got along early and had a good catch up with some usual suspects, said hello to some others I hadn’t met before and posed for some saucy snaps for Team Baldy’s Dave both in and out of the pen.
It was good to meet my fellow pacers especially when I found out two of them were my previous jogscotland gurus Ged and Tommy, who had helped transform me from an overweight plodder who couldn’t run the length of himself to a club runner.
I decided to attach the gopro to myself for a wee bit of fun and we were ready to go. If you want to see the Cumbernauld 10k run in 6 minutes through my eyes then the link is below, be warned though it is speeded up, and fast and could affect folk with epilepsy or something.
So I didn’t know the course. Had no idea if it was long or short. Hilly or flat. But I didn’t tell anyone, so a simple aim. Go a little faster to build a wee buffer. Run an average of 4.55 so that I’d be well under and could settle about 49.30. Certainly didn’t want to go slower. I’d get destroyed. Great plan and easy to execute. Except I didn’t. Oh I’m sorry 50 minute possee. I’m sorry prospective funbus. The first k was too fast as my GPS didn’t settle and I got it all wrong in 4.43.
The second was closer but still too fast. Three about spot on and thankfully we still had a group. There was a drink station here and I told the group we were slightly up and there was time for a drink, oh I know, but they believed me that it was a plan, but I’m caught now.. 🙂 The rest of the run averaged from 4.53 to 5.02 so I can’t really complain with that.
It was brilliant fun. I got a chance to people watch and was watching all the effort. Recognised some faces from various Facebook groups and tried to give some encouragement. Maybe I was too quiet in the first half but at 7k we got down to the Loch.
The other 50 pacer Sean was slightly ahead and we had discussed the last couple of k where I would move up and take the runners around down to the low 49s and he would take others nearer the 50. The girl in black beside me at this point turned and told me she read the blog. So I told her thank you, to shut up and stay ahead of me. And away she went 🙂 Pleasure to meet you Lynsey. That’s her shaking my hand in the video. 3k along the tight paths, chatting to some (well done Big Al, good to see you back), shouting at others (I found my voice) and getting stuck in the trees once ( I forgot about my fin, don’t think anyone noticed though :)) I saw people willing each other on, a Dad encouraging his daughter, the challenges people had set for themselves etched across their face. I watched them speed up as they saw me behind them. Loved that 🙂 The last section coming up and into the stadium is superb. Good wee crowd, the atmosphere at the finish superb. I kept shouting watching people go for it, hitting that sub 50. I was in about 49.20 so not far off where I had expected, the GPS coming up 9.95k for me. And I can’t tell you what a buzz that was seeing people hitting their aims. Well done all of you. The photos and the video hopefully give you some of the flavour.
So that was that. Handshakes and hugs, smiles, pats on the back. What an enjoyable occasion and glad that I finished the season off on a high like that rather than the lows and downers I have had of late. So it’s the operation next week and a few weeks off. I’ll no doubt find something to write about but all of you doing the Great Scottish Run, be it at the front, middle or back, go out and give it laldy, and I will see you out there again soon 🙂
Thanks Dougie Holmes, Dave McNulty, Cumbernauld 10k, Arthur Duggan, Glitz Glam for the pictures.
To finish off, here’s today’s tune. Slow down by Smoove and Turrell. Bit of modern but retro soul. Enjoy 🙂