Starting back more gingerly than Lulu drinking a can of Irn Bru with Ross Burton – Tollcross parkrun

I’ve been good, really, I have. Tuesday i didn’t do the time trial, I helped out and did a few k before it and during it. Tommy had a great run , PBing and took over from me at the top of the Time Trial league and is now red hot favourite to win it, well done to him. Ross won it, bringing his time down sub 25, as did Bobby, new to the club but more rapid than Jim Proffitt with a free ticket for an all you can eat buffet.

Thursday night I went for the club run and ran a slow one, but ran one which pleased me. The group was Nick Hughes, Barnie Gough, Craig Mackenzie and the prodigal Alex Robertson who I had actually met at a funeral that morning. We had both been at the funeral of well respected runner Brian Campbell, formerly of Hamilton Harriers, and latterly of Clydesdale Harriers. I had known him since i was about 11 or 12 and am lucky to count his son Brian as one of my friends. Internationalist Brian senior was known as one of the 3 Amigos, or Border raiders, known for the many titles they took south of the border. I last saw him 2 years ago when I set my at the time parkrun PB of 22.05. At the age of 70 he was still ahead of me and running under 22 mins, the picture below showing probably the closest I ever got to him.

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RIP Mr C, always a gentleman.

Come Saturday and myself and Jim White decided to go do Tollcross parkrun. Been wanting to do it for a while, and Strathclyde was off so a good chance to give it a go. As I said in my last blog I was hoping to do it as a training run. Back and foot still giving me a bit of grief. Jim was coming along to 1. make sure I finished it 2. make sure I didn’t go off like an eejit. Tollcross is a hilly run, starting on one of 10 climbs. It’s not a fast one. Got there and jogged round, said a hello to Stuart Ogden who was starting his 50th parkrun and got our first timer briefing.

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Jim and I went TO THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK to start. Yes you heard it right. or read it. Unless you are reading this out loud. It started and we let them run off. We jogged up the hill. Man it was mad. And refreshing. It’s 2 1/2 laps and i reckon after 1 lap we must have been about 25th or so? Doing about 4.30 a k which is a good bit slower than I would normally attempt a 5k in. Back stiff, sore, foot behaving not bad. As we started lap 2 and went up the hill again I think we had moved up to about 17th or so as people started to struggle on the hill. Here we are at the top of the hill.

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We were gradually picking up the pace, but nothing mad and we came up the big hill for the last time just behind young Niamh Riggins of Cambuslang who we later found out had won the female race. Top of the hill with just one more uphill and downhill section to go and we had worked our way past a few more to be sitting 11th and 12th.

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Jim encouraged me here to stretch the legs out a bit, so I decided to up the pace and run hard up and down the final hill. I was happy that I had the speed to overtake and then hold off Ross Crawford and get myself home in 10th place, and was very happy with a time of 21.14 on a tough course considering it had been treated pretty much as a progression run to test out my back. Big thanks to my bud Jim for running round and stopping me doing anything daft. A good lad and I owe him one.

Came home and had pleasant surprise when I got email informing me I was the first v40 finisher. My first age category 1st place since about 1989 and ironic since in a season of PBs that my slowest run gets a “victory”.  I loved the run today. No pressure. Great course. Good company. And cake after it. Run for fun. Now I am not saying I am back as I still have a lot of pain, but it’s easier, and you know what? I’m not as far off the pace as I thought for when I DO come back. Take care blogpeeps.

Thanks to Tollcross parkrun for the fantastic event, and for the superb pictures. Please go along and support it.

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