Do it again – The parkrun double at New Year

First of all a very Happy New Year to every reading this. To everyone who read this over 2017, thank you, to anyone who gave me kind words online or at races etc, thank you. It has been a general theme of mine recently that I am trying to find different running things to do as I try to get my real mojo and competitive edge back, so when Kev suggested a New Year’s Day parkrun double my interest was piqued. It’s a peculiar thing on New Years day that some parkruns have that extra event with it not being a Saturday and change their start time so that the punters can do something different and double up. Kev’s plan was to do Strathclyde Park at 9 am then drive through to Livingston for their 11am start. As I had only  couple of Glenfiddich last night them the plan was on and was glad to see that someone had drunk my share of the bevy instead as a singing, drunken, kilted gentleman was narrowly avoided as he strutted/ wobbled/ zig zagged across the main road in Motherwell. The lyrics of “Zigragullymagikiccallyxzoodaymeshcccoootlannd” were heartfelt and profound, but I stuck the radio back up, got back onto my side of the road and carried on to Strathy. Despite the early start the atmosphere was cracking. Some right good runners turning up, people from all over planning doubles, though a lot of them planning “The Tollcross miniature mounds” for the second run. Was good to speak to a lot of people, too many to mention you all,  but was good to see Mark Sutherland who I had first spoken to at Alloa in March when he informed me I had been on Pointless with his pal 🙂 Mark was going to Livingston as well. Sadly due to a little bit of ice it was decided to do the alternate course that I had spent the last month avoiding but it was what it was. 200 hundred hardy souls lined up thanks to the volunteers and off we went.

Though in Cambuslang’s Shaun “the Bullet” Butler’s case down he went.

Most folk have a dip finish, Bullet Butler’s dip start and spreadeagled mud slide saw me pass him in a run for the first time ever. By the end he was fortunate to have beaten me by just under 3 minutes 🙂 My simple plan for the day was two steady runs, as close as possible in standard if I could manage. If I could get 20 21 minutes I’d be more than happy, but set out at an initial pace of 4 min per k ( I switched to mile pacing for 1week and hated it, if it’s a Brexit condition I am offski). The alternate course is up and down and round Neil Robbins twice. He is a talkative cone and was telling me I looked too easy and should up the pace but I was happy where it was. The good thing about this route is you could see the race panning out. MAC’s Boxer Burns on his way to a sub 17 mixing it up with EKs Clements and Bullet Butler, with the fastest Santa in Lanarkshire, John Brogan battling it out with Luke Chamberlain not far behind. Great quality. I was happy in about 15th or so but after the last turn knew I was in with a shout of a sub 20 after not really exerting myself, this was pleasing so I upped it a wee bit and was happy to come in in 10th place and in a time of 19.20. A second consecutive age group first was nice. It was nice to be referred to by the volunteer doing the barcode scanning as “the guy that runs to the transmitters from Newhouse”, thanks to you and all your fellow volunteers 🙂 Kev went off to find his car keys for the next part of the quest so I was left to do the selfie myself. Ah well.


Aye ok. Let’s do it again. And have some Matthew Sweet while we do.

Quick jaunt across to Livingston and more than 300 here. It’s a tight, tight course as much as I like it. My achilles was tighter than a Greenock kitty. My auld legs were creaking but we had a wee warm up and were back at the starting line. I had a simple aim now, the double sub 20. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. And if I failed I didn’t care as long as I could run decently. The rivalry here was intense and that was just from two dogs who were giving it laldy desperate to go. Met Mark again on the starting line. He had had a great run at Strathy finishing a good 30 seconds or so ahead of me. While we were chatting we were suddenly off, and caught a fair bit behind the start. There was no way past on the first straight and corner, and myself and Mark are together here in this pic as we avoided the first black ice section.


He was soon away from me as my legs protested. Up the first slope and through the first k in 4.05. Aye OK wasn’t going to be easy. Next was onto the trail and mud with a short sharp hill as well. The wee hill at about 2k or so done for me. Oooft I wasn’t prepared for that. That and the third k were a slog for me and people streamed by me. I was now doing the calc in my head. Wanted now to finish in 20.40 so that combined I had 40 mins, two 20s. Keeps it interesting. I did also remember that the GPS on this course tended to go out at this section due to the ups and downs and turns, so wasn’t totally giving up. 3 1/2k and a wee pic. The arms couldn’t be arsed doing the plane.


I was upping it a bit with about a K to go but had to reel it in as I nearly tumbled on the ice. Round the bridge bend and offered a High 5 from volunteer Tot, but sadly knew I had a slight sub 20 chance having checked my watch so had to deny him. Sorry mate. Up the last hill, round the last corner and finished. 15th place and 19.47. I will more than take that. Went to get scanned and in a de ja vu scenario it was my Transmitters pal from Strathclyde. I’m sorry, I’m terrible with names. It was also funny to hear someone say today “You’re that guy from the internet”, I had no idea how to respond to that one, but hello 🙂 Cheered on Kev, said hello to the legendary Paul Forbes then a selfie before a chocolate milkshake.


Results through and another 1st in the V45s, 2 in one day, and 3 in three days can’t be sniffed at.


I won’t lie, I found the second parkrun really difficult. The legs weren’t as fluent but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m glad I done it. Cheers Kev for the idea and the company, and thanks to everyone I spoke to today, you made it a cracker.

A massive thank you to all the volunteers at all the parkruns today. Really appreciated for your time, your encouragement and everything is what holds our wee sport together. Thank you.

So Doing it again, since two parkruns were done, here’s Steely Dan. And doing this again…  if you’ve liked the blog the Running Awards 2018 awards are still open 🙂 If you like what you read then please consider a vote. If you don’t then I won’t be annoyed. It’s all a bit of fun. publications and online/ blog. markgallmac – the most irritating runner in Scotland ? VOTE FOR MARKGALLMAC HERE.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

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