Sunday, 2 September 2012

Never trust a pacemaker

The marble staircase (Glasgow City Chambers)

My clubmate Lisa and I travelled up to take part in the Great Scottish Run (Glasgow Half Marathon), with nine thousand other like-minded souls, but the comedy started almost as soon as we'd got out of the car....when I noticed that Lisa had got her club croptop on back to front. We wondered if it could catch on as a new look....or even a posture-corrector for the latter stages of a race, when you start to slump....but she decided that it would be better to change it than experiment.

It was like another world going into Glasgow City Chambers to pick up an elite wristband and race number - what an amazing building with its mosaic floors, granite columns and marble staircase. I was completely in awe.....and that was before I saw the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners bounding down the stairs. We met Avril and then went off to escape for a wee warm-up before "mustering". 
Lisa, myself and Avril after warming up

They called out names to ensure everyone was there before we were taken to the start, and it was one of the first times that my name had not sounded the strangest (though admittedly the pronounciation was still so unusual that I didn't realise they were looking for me - I thought that there must have been an African called Josiah that was late!!).
It felt very odd to be led through the assembled runners to the front "pen", but I should have savoured being in front of the diminutive Ethiopian Bezunesh Bekele (a 2:20 marathon runner who went on to win the ladies race) for the only time all day!

Scottish Half Marathon Championships podium

Almost as soon as we'd started I spotted the 80min pacer disappearing off into the distance with his high-viz t-shirt and yellow balloon, so I figured that I must have done my usual slow start and tried to chase him down as I hoped to run well under the 80mins. I thought my watch must have been playing up, as it felt like I was running way too fast, yet I still wasn't making any headway on that balloon.
After nearly running a 10K PB, a fellow runner saved me from a (more) massive detonation by reassuring me that the pacer was not running anything like 80min pace - in fact he was running 75-76min pace.
I still paid for the fast start in the latter stages of the race, but was happy enough to cross the line as 3rd British lady home. Not a PB but a good hard run. The 2 ladies in front of me were also Scots, and as it turned out that the race was the Scottish half marathon championships, we ended up being presented with surprise medals on a podium at the finish.

Lisa and I with our medals

More importantly, Lisa and Avril both had great runs, both running PBs (before their next meeting over a marathon distance) and Lisa and I were awarded the silver and bronze medals for the Scottish veteran half marathon championships. An impressive result for a small place like Dumfries, especially when you consider that Hayley Haining (1st Brit, 1st Scot and 1st Scottish vet) grew up in Dumfries!

Anyone who knows me, will be unsurprised to hear that the best part of the day was yet to come, as we all then got to have a buffet lunch consisting of large amounts of delicious seafood followed by a huge piece of sticky chocolate fudge carb replenishing is vital for recovery isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations again Jo - You're getting used to standing on a podium after a race.