OK let’s cut to the chase.
If you are one of those ones who has indeed found me irritating in the past then I warn you, this one will have you reaching for the markgallmac voodoo doll or for the keyboard to proclaim your indignation at my attitude under a catchy nom de plume. Oh aye, it is going to be that bad. Just remember my head is not your head and ignoring better judgement I will always go through my real and true emotions in this blog.
I have run this race three time before finishing 4th, 5th and 6th. It’s an interesting course, not a PB one as such with some real undulations, especially in the last mile, but really could be a good one for a good race. I say could be but three years in a row I have run solo, way behind the leaders but ahead of the pack behind. Could I be arsed with similar again this year? I really couldn’t. Could I sneak onto the podium this year? Looking at the start list led by Darran Muir I reckoned maybe 6th likely if I ran to form.
I’ve knocked my pan in the last few weeks and I was tired.
Nothing to gain.
Club champ race so target on my back after having had a good spell lately.
There was nothing about the race that made me want to run it, and not a slight against Dougie or any of the organisers as it is such a well-run event, but in my head I was going to hate it, was going to run terrible, the fingers would be out wagging and telling me I had just had a few flukey weeks, know your place Gallacher and I really didn’t sleep well the night before. It was all playing games in my head but I got up early and I went along despite there being no pep in the tank. Unlike the other races recently I had no aim, no target, it wasn’t an “A” race and as bad as this sounds, it was an inconvenience. I know this is a shocking attitude, I know there are people who can’t run, there’s people in Greenock without shoes, and I am very fortunate and thankfully being part of a club I got shaken out of it by my team mates, the usual suspects from other clubs and my running compatriots from all over. Up for it? Still not but was I going to give it a bit of welly? Ach why the hell not. Speirsy had switched to the half marathon and I couldn’t see Cambuslang’s Mark King. Top 5 a realistic aim. The aforementioned Darran I thought would win it at a canter. MAC’s Cammy, the defending champion, wouldn’t be far behind. Bella’s Mark Porter had skelped me in many a race, including Troon parkrun recently and though I had finished marginally ahead of him last week at Edinburgh he is so consistent in his sub 18s and consistent in his showing me a clean pair of heels. With no disrespect to anyone else in the race I figured he was the most likely to be number 3 on the podium so if I was to stake a claim he was the one to beat. Aye not sure what was happening but maybe the sunshine was getting to me despite Gav’s Team Baldy sponsored sun cream on my napper and a wee bit of belief, fire or something was creeping in. Sod the watch, it’s not a PB course lets go race and see what happens?
On the starting line waiting, about 200 of us waiting, for the starting hooter and to see if the woman about 100 metres down the path with the two dogs on extendable leads would cross the road. 3 seconds to go, she crosses, a relief and we are off. It’s a downhill stretch and it is utterly rapid, Darran already stretching out, Cammy following and bizarrely me tailing them both. Don’t panic, keep the heid, last year I slowed down worried about the pace, finished fourth, annoyed myself, it’s here if you don’t believe me. Drumpellier 5k 2018. Do I feel easy? Aw man no. I’m going too fast, I do have to reign it in and let them both go, especially when the first K beeps and tells me 3.17. Keep the form, keep the heid, don’t look behind me and bottle it, look only ahead. Darran and Cammy waltzing away but I am not going to go into my wee shell like last year.
Maintain the pace.
Show a wee bit of belief in yourself.
Even if it all goes wrong let’s give my course PB of 18.17 from last year a try. Onto the lochside and a poodle looks at me shiftily, but not today Roland, I’m racing. Go on Marko! No one else past me yet so I am doing something right and I’m starting to find a rhythm. It’s a flat section before we start going up and down and up. David Hoolaghan comes down from the mountains to look at me shiftily and also takes some photos.
I’m nowhere near Cammy but also no one is near me, I don’t know that though. Focus on and look ahead. Big Bad Brian fae Airdrie is out walking with the family and takes a pic.
He always looks at me shiftily.
Up a wee climb and I can see Darran and Cammy ahead, that makes a change. Cammy isn’t getting further away so I am doing something right. Dig in Marko, you are halfway through the race and the podium is in your own hands. Strangely it doesn’t scare me. Heid doon, and on with it. I’m wearing shades, no one can see the actual fear 🙂 The bit I dread coming up. Downhill, I am a woose but fair play I hit the downhill hard, I can’t afford to lapse, happy with my descent. I may even be catching Cammy but he’s Cammy so I read nothing into it.
Uphill to the split and Darran already round. Cammy next, and he is looking behind him.
Whoah, he’s looking back.
Maybe he isn’t comfortable. Maybe my presence is making him uncomfortable. Lots of maybes but let’s use them, any positives to get me through. Aye I’m a good bit behind him bit close enough that he needs to check. I go round the bend and look back myself, not because I am scared of what’s behind, no, sod it Marko, if you are going to go chasing Cammy then make sure you have the space if it all goes wrong. The gap is enough for me, and despite having heavy legs with a k to go I am gaining on the climb. Into the scheme and slowly but surely I am reeling Cammy in. Less than half a k to go and I am just behind Cammy. I had no idea what to do next as I don’t usually end up in this sort of position. He will outsprint me so can’t try take him there. There isn’t enough distance to try and wind it up. I’m pondering and slowing now. Wakey wakey, come out of the housing scheme and about 400m to go and I pass him. I know, it’s not part of the script, people like me don’t get to take these guys on. He’s Cammy, the Golden God of MAC! A straight of about 250 metres then onto the grass for about 150 to the finish.
The legs weren’t as nice as I had hoped and I am not able to get a gap. Cammy in touching distance behind and sure enough as we hit the grass he winds it up for the sprint.
I try, I really do but the legs are knackered from the pursuit, I have nothing as he gets away and just try to get home solidly. I glance at the watch. 16.50. What? You are joking me. I had no idea of the time. I have been racing, aye me! I can see the line. I can see Cammy’s arse. Both are seemingly getting further away and I give all I have to cross the line and hit the watch. Man I’m going to be on the podium. That’s exciting. I check the watch 16:59.7. I already know what the official result is going to be and sure enough the typical round up, 17.00. Feeling high, feeling low. I don’t know what is going on in my head.
I have just taken another 17 seconds off my 5k PB and got a very very rare podium place and I am gutted!!!
1 second away from second place. One second away from a sub 17 5k that I thought was so far out of my reach I hadn’t even targeted it. Here’s an interlude for the song while you curse my ridiculous attitude. Jarvis Cocker gets it. Probably.
Now I couldn’t understand how I felt a lot of the day after it. Delighted, so happy, but a massive flatness on the missing out of both the time and the position. I didn’t think I had finished in the manner I should.
I purposely didn’t write my blog then because it wouldn’t have been right. I had run faster than I ever imagined I could and I got a wee trophy. I posted about it on Running Friends Scotland and surprisingly a lot of people got it and I didn’t get ripped to shreds. As time went on the outlook changed and now? I am so chuffed. Aye I look out of place in all the podium and celebration photos below, but I got there.
I am soooooooo chuffed!!!
I ran a time that is way faster than I ever thought I could which was alien to me. I got a trophy. I got a 17 second PB, I was over a minute faster on the course I have ever ran, and I gave MAC’s Golden God a race. What’s not to be happy about? This could be as good as it ever gets and I was in danger of not appreciating that, what an irritating numpty. Believe me, I am over that. I did something good for me and you know something? This old man is sitting here with a smile for once. Thanks for putting up with this if you made it to the end 🙂
Thanks to Dougie and his helpers for a great event, for Mark Porter for telling me after the race to stop p@ssing about now (loved it :)), to all my running pals at the race and online and to David, Brian, Joyce and NLL for the pics.