Last long training run today before Loch Ness so an old tried and tested route used by many generations of Vicky Park marathon runners, the Pipetrack which is West Highland Way to the Beechtree, back along the road and then up the hill at the Dumgoyne distillery and follow the water pipe (which takes Glasgow's water from Loch Katrine to Mugdock reservoir) back down to Blanefield through Mugdock village and back to the start.
Dumgoyne Hill in the background
I had a few runners for company today, Duncan ,Mark Chris and Chris's pal Michael. Mark is doing Liverpool marathon and Chris and his pal are both doing Loch Ness while Duncan in his own words 'just needs a long run'. It was a bit wet and windy but ideal temperature as we set off from the Allander.
After reaching the Beechtree Inn we headed back along the road into a stiff headwind and began the climb at the distillery at which point the talking disappeared and the heavy breathing began.
Chris Sheridan cruising uphill
A few more ups and down and a little history lesson for Chris about the pipe we were soon descending towards Blanefield and encountered a few highland cattle who were not for letting us follow the path they were blocking, and none of us being brave enough to insist they do, a minor detour of the road had to be taken. They are seriously large animals up close!!
A gentle cruise back to Mugdock and then downhill for the last 2 miles at a rapid rate as Duncan and Chris's pal obviously had saved a bit for a sprint finish. Just over 17 miles in 2hrs 10mins.
Todays plan was to get the 10.07am train from Gartcosh to Queen Street, which is a simple 16 minute journey and would get me and Kate in to George Square (aka Philadelphia) in plenty of time for the 11.00am start but some moron at Scotrail decided that one of the biggest sporting events in the calender was a great time time cancel the Sunday service and replace it with a bus which would take approximately one hour for the same journey. As logistics is part of my job Linda, who was on taxi duty, was rerouted to Cathedreal Street to drop us off along with another lost soul at the station.
George Square was buzzing with the largest entry ever for this event, 22,000 according to the organisers. Daley Thompson as todays famous face to set us off in glorious sunshine, yeh honest.
First half mile is uphill so an easy start was required so I clocked 5.55 for the first mile, oops. I was running today with fellow Vicky Park runner Mark and we cruised along nicely till Bellahouston Park when he slowed for water and that was the last I saw him till the end. Out of Bellahouston and then into Pollock Park and a couple of climbs where my slowest mile of the day was 6.30.
All the hard work is done after this and the route is mainly flat or downhill from 9 miles which I cruised along and enjoyed for a change. Into Glasgow Green for the last mile and pushed to try and dip under 1.20 but it wasnt to be. Finished in 1.20.35 and felt fine, maybe need to get back to shorter races to speed up a bit.
Lovely day in Glasgow today and such a difference when everyone is out enjoying the sunshine.
I met Chris and Kate at the meeting point and off to merchant square for a beer and chill nachos.