Did you hear about the man who walked into a café…
Bishopbriggs 10k race report: Saturday, 12th April 2014 by Chris Graham
I was in Glasgow for the weekend and had three training options; attacking the track at Scotstoun stadium, Pollock Park parkrun or a 10k organised by Deafblind Scotland Association in Bishopbriggs. After much pondering I opted for the 10k. Training has generally gone well over the winter and I have had a few strong races in the cross-country events but recently a couple of real stinkers on the road that I wanted to get out of my system.
I caught the train up to Bishopbriggs a town just north of Glasgow late morning. Not really knowing the area I luckily found a signpost directing me to the Leisure-Dome venue. I bumped into a very friendly runner wearing a Scottish international jacket, identical to the one worn by our very own Mighty Mac, who pointed me the right way after a nice little chat about the race itself.
Once I had collected my number I had a good 2 hours to kill drinking tea and reading my book in the café. I ended up talking to people in the café and trying to find out as much as I could about the route. Wandering around wearing my racing shorts (probably a little too short for café life) a chap approached me wearing a Spider-man t-shirt.
Spider-man : Is there a marathon on or something? (Pointing at my shorts)
Me: No it’s a charity 10k
Spider-man: £uck that!
Me: You don’t fancy a run then…?
Spider-man: No I’ve just ordered some Chips.
…Anyway. I got chatting to some of the more enthusiastic participants about the route and then went for a couple miles warm up in preparation.
The start was in the middle of a housing estate with a quarter mile climb then a flat section then roughly same distance of descent to the canal with five miles out and back along the towpath. My plan was to get to 5k around 18.10 and then see what I could do in the second half. There were a few club vests amongst the front of the waiting runners so I thought there might be a good race amongst those present. After a brief introduction by the organisers we were off and I very quickly realised that it was going to be a rather lonely run. I reached the top of the bank first and we turned left towards the canal and I couldn’t really sense anyone around me, worried that I had gone the wrong way I looked around but I was actually clear of the field by about 20 meters or so. I held my pace hoping to see some marshals to keep me right. By the time I reached the descent I had been guided expertly but still concerned I was slowing considerably at every turn just to make sure I wasn’t going the wrong way.
Once on the canal I was able to settle into a rhythm, I knew I just had to run until the turning point then three miles back until I reached the finish. I reached 5k in 17.55 and shortly afterwards a marshal was stood indicating that he was the turning point and I had to loop around him. I was then able to see the chasing pack and could judge how much of a lead I had. It was my intention to really pick it up for the final three miles however we turned into a very strong headwind and it was very much a hard slog all the way back. It was very difficult to keep a consistent pace as the wind was constantly buffeting me almost to a standstill. I ran the whole way worried that I may be caught but used this as motivation to press on. At every bridge, kink in the road, slight incline I put in some of those patented Dave Moir surges and they really helped me push on. Coming into the finish there was a large group assembled and honestly I was just happy not to have to run into the wind anymore. I crossed the line in 36.20 and was shortly joined by the chasing runners. I chatted with some of the runners then made my way back to the Leisure centre for a free massage. The race goody bag was definitely a highlight; bottle of water, banana and a Tunnocks caramel, nice, simple and none of the promotional rubbish you get at the more corporate races.
All in all it was a good day of racing and great preparation for the North Tyneside 10k. The course itself was good and could potentially be a quick one on a less inclement day. At the presentation I received a bottle of wine and a most welcome cash prize for finishing first. I must say a big thank you the organisers of the event. Deafblind Scotland is a great charity that put on various fundraising events throughout the year and should be supported, as it is a very worthy cause. Also, a big thank you must go to all those other runners who chatted and made me feel very welcome.