Sunday, 30 December 2012


Well I have left it to the last minute for the review of the year, and as I have had such a varied year with events I do not know exactly where to begin.  The month of December has been great with the Marcothon taking up more time than Mrs Wife appreciates.

So up until tonight 30 days have been completed and as long as I am fit and healthy tomorrow the full challenge will be completed. I have managed one race this month which nearly ended the rest of the months running but it was only a bit of sliding and bumping and a great race in to the bargain, the Pentland 7reservoirs half was a truly excellent event and I thoroughly recommend it for next year.

Strathclyde Park

I ended the year with a small challenge of taking part in a Saturday morning Parkrun, not much of a challenge for a lot of folk but as I work Saturdays and need to negotiate one off they are normally taken up with marathons or ultras. So as this one was the first and only spare in the 2 years since I registered I was down to Strathclyde Park (10 mins from my house) and finally registered on the finish list. It was not pretty and it was most definitely a great workout, a 4th place finish in 18min 32 secs. Only my third ever 5k and a total gutbuster after a week of beer and food but I really enjoyed it and I shall be back whenever I can make it.

Below is the list from the Power of 10 website of all the events they have captured me at this year, although I wonder who entered an event in my name with my SA number as I was not at that event and did not even enter it as MHFS 10k is not mine.

2012 V40 Victoria Park City of Glasgow
5.8ML34:5427L6LivingstoneScottish Relays Championships31 Mar 12
12.5K47:4243KirkintillochKirkintilloch 12.5K12 Feb 12
33MMT3:55:0152AberdeenD33 Ultra17 Mar 12
33MMT4:00:275StrathyreGlen Ogle 333 Nov 12
40MMT5:31:306GlasgowClyde Stride Ultra Marathon 4021 Jul 12
43MMT6:33:0254Fort WilliamDevil O The Highlands 434 Aug 12
53MMT9:35:353716MilngavieHOKA Highland Fling 5328 Apr 12
1000037:24.012CoatbridgeSVHC 10,000m Championships21 Oct 12
5K18:35144CumbernauldToC Broadwood 5K16 Aug 12
4.8M29:1093CoatbridgeSVHC Snowball Race 4.82 May 12
10K36:56103GlasgowSVHC Open Masters 10K19 Aug 12
10K37:07115GlasgowSVHC Walter Ross 10K6 May 12
10K48:1447:4366781GlasgowMHFS 10K17 Jun 12
10KMT37:1272KirkintillochKirkintilloch Olympians 10K14 Jun 12
HM80:452615KirkintillochNeil McCover Memorial Half Marathon (Inc BMAF Champs)7 Oct 12
HM80:50143DumfriesDumfries Half Marathon23 Sep 12
HM83:0683:0361CoatbridgeMonklands Half Marathon13 May 12
HM87:1483PerthHeaven & Hell Half Marathon8 Apr 12
Mar2:53:242:53:22263LiverpoolRunLiverpool Marathon14 Oct 12
Mar2:59:5554ComrieStrathearn Marathon10 Jun 12
ZRDL19:2922GlasgowMcAndrew Relays6 Oct 12
ZXC35:047832KilmarnockScottish National Masters' Championships4 Feb 12
ZXC50:13211FalkirkScottish National Championships18 Feb 12
ZXCL11:598L4DumbartonDunbartonshire County Relay Championships20 Oct 12
ZXCL15:5964L2CumbernauldScottish National Relay Championships27 Oct 12

So best wishes to all you runners out there and heres to a really enjoyable 2013.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


With no sign of the packed ice on the pavements shifting I bit the bullet and decided that after Sundays falling down session I would finally give in and add a bit of traction to my shoes. I have ordered a pair of  "Ice Runner" grippers online but will not be here for a few days so a quick call to my mate Gav @ Sweatshop Glasgow and a pair of Yaktrax were on my feet ready for a christening along my Tuesday evening run from Anniesland to Bishopbriggs. This would allow me to stay upright and enjoy all the Christmas decor along Bilsland Drive, which most Glasgow residents know is always the street to go along to see the first tree of the season and normally an indication Easter has passed.

The Yaktrax were easy to fit and after the initial mile or two I did actually stop and check to see if they were still there as I could not feel them on my shoes. The only time I noticed them was when the ice ran out and I was on tarmac but even then they were fine for running on. I actually added a few sharp left and right hand corners to give them an extra test and they passed with flying colours. Seven miles on mostly packed ice and no slips at all, excelent product and it does what it says on the box. The ice runners are going to have to go some to beat these but time will tell and so shall I.

Monday, 3 December 2012


There was a limit of 100 entries for this race and luckily I secured one as soon as the entries opened as it was full within hours. Never having set foot in the Pentland Hills before it was to be an new adventure. Minus 4C when I set off from home along the M8 but a beautiful crisp clear day. Managed to find Threipmuir Farm for registration where the first indication of what lay ahead was in the signing of a disclaimer absolving the race organisers of any liability to injuries caused while running the route. The word was there was some ice on the course, how much was still to be discovered.

Race Route.

Footwear was going to be key to survival today so a tricky decision had to be made. The last 3 Decembers have thrown some treacherous icy conditions at us and I have stuck with my road shoes and thankfully they have kept me upright but as this was more trail and fell running I went with my new bright orange Adidas trail shoes. The race start was moved onto the grass verge along the first reservoir as the path was like a skating rink. You soon realise this is a serious race when the runners vests all have a mention of 'HILL' in the club name. So off we went sliding away for a few miles and after my second fall I admitted to myself I was a twat and 'yes' I had made the wrong shoe choice. There were 6 runners ahead and I could not hear anyone close behind so the target was the man ahead and hope he is going the correct way. The paths were just all ice so bounding across the grass and heather and anything resembling green stuff was the only option. Once I reached the tarmac path at the next reservoir I was back on terra firma but still had to be cautious. I had lost a bit of ground while performing like a newly born calf trying to stand for the first time. Bambi did come to mind but I think he got the hang of it quicker than me.

A kind steward pointed me up a hill as he mentioned that we were at halfway and although I could not see the top of the hill at least it was grass and not ice. As I got higher a layer of icy snow was reached and a few miles on this was bliss, it was really great running and I started pulling in the runner in front.

Picture courtesy of Bob Marshall.

The view over Edinburgh and most of central Scotland was spectacular just before the descent and I wished I had brought my camera but in hindsight probably just as well I hadn't as it would have been in bits by now. I passed the runner in front of me around about the last reservoir and with 3 miles to go tried pushing on a bit but a long icy uphill path put paid to that although there was a short stretch of forest to the left of the path which I jooked through. Downhill now and onto the final straight to the finish, across a small bridge and through a gap in a wall and 'wallop' , I was now staring at a clear blue sky. I don't believe it, 100mtrs to go and I land flat on my back with a bit of a somersault into the bargain.

A mere flesh wound.
The steward on hand kindly asked if I was ok and as I hobbled up the grass verge I proclaimed I would be once I finished. So hobbled to the line finishing in 1hr 38mins 5secs in 6th place and was handed the 1st vets prize so a good day out in the hills. The medic on hand cleared the muck out of my leg and I refueled with a mug of tea and a couple of slices of fruit cake (how appropriate).

This was a belter of an event and superbly organised by Harmeny Pentland Runners, many congratulations guys this race will be very popular next year.

Results :
Garmin details :