Out of true respect for a wonderful guy there was no way I could miss this race and even the fixture pile up of Loch Ness Marathon, West District X Country and wedding reception on the Saturday evening would not prevent me starting and completing this race. When someone who gave so much to others is taken from us it puts everything back into perspective and the trivial matters no longer bother us. I have been asked a few times this year why I run ultras and marathons and I can only answer 'because I am here and I can'. None of us know whats ahead so lets get out and do it while we can.
Linda kindly agreed to drive me over to the start after the previous evenings wedding reception and with slick organisation at registration number, chip and t-shirt were all collected swiftly. The weather was not going to be kind to us today as strong wind and rain battered down. A bit of banter with mad doctor Ewan Jack who was trying the beat the world record for a half marathon in full doctors outfit today and off we went into the wind. Slow and steady today as I had to gauge how much my legs had recovered from last week, so the first few miles just cruised by as they were mainly downhill. On into the countryside heading towards Milton of Campsie the wind was blowing from the left across open fields which meant at the left turn towards Lennoxtown we would be into the wind for a few miles. At this point my nephew Scott who was running his first half marathon cruised ahead and off into the distance I thought to myself would I see him again before the finish, answer to follow. All the way along an amazing amount of stewards and police officers encouraged us in terrible conditions, great support and much appreciated.
As you come out of Torrance and head for Bishopbriggs the route climbs for 3/4 mile up to Kirky Road and still the wind did not let up.
|Photo by Claire Thompson|
9 mile hill
At the top of the hill you go right and head towards Bishopbriggs then hang a left at burger king. This was the point when we were finally given a break and blown back towards Kirkintilloch and also where the previous nights alcohol wore off and I felt like a runner again. Three miles to go and I came to life.
After passing the prison a couple of bends and then down Boghead Road towards the finish I rattled a couple of 6 minute miles and spied Scott up ahead but he wasnt running a straight line and I sensed he had a problem. As we turned onto Lenzie Road and crossed onto the pavement with about 500mtrs to go I pulled alongside him to ask if he was ok but one look at his face I sussed he was in a bit of bother so slowed down and ran with him, his mum would never forgive me for running straight past him. We were at jogging speed now and he assured me he would be ok so I jogged on and finished, grabbed a bottle of water and turned round just as he crossed the finish line and had a wobble so I caught him before he fell. Sat him down and made him drink then helped him into the sports centre and fed him a snickers and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, instant recovery food. Full recovery and off to the pub for a beer, he is learning fast.
Full results here:
A great event from start to finish organised by Kirkintilloch Olympians and a fitting tribute to Neil.
Link to Race facebook page: