Glasgow University 5 mile race report

I’m really enjoying having a race every weekend. Today I entered the Glasgow University 5 mile race. I have done this race once before but it must have been before 2006 as I can’t find it on my blog!

The weather was pretty wild but by the time we started it wasn’t too bad and the rain stopped after 10 mins or so.

The course is almost two laps starting and finishing in different parts of the lap.route 11-28 Glasgow Uni 5

I set off just behind Kilbarchan club mate Robert Snodgrass and basically stayed there for the whole race.

I wanted to run as hard as I could but making sure I could maintain the pace throughout the race. I knew there were a couple of steeper hills each loop so I needed to be sensible.

I felt pretty good on the first lap and after overtaking a few runners early on I stayed in the same position. I could see Robert not too far ahead and a couple of times I thought I was catching him but the gap never got any smaller.

On the second loop I had to dig in a bit and I felt my 3rd mile was my slowest. I didn’t loop at my watch at all during the race but once I’d downloaded the splits it did confirm that.

I was overtaken by a few guys on the 4th mile but then for the last mile I tried hard to stay with them and was happy with my finish.

I’ve not seen any official results yet so not sure what position and time I finished.

I enjoyed the race and would like to say a thank you to those who organised the race and especially the marshals out on the course in the wet and wind!

splits 11-18 glasgow 5HR 11-18 Glasgow 5

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Midweek runs

I’m continuing to tick over with another couple of easy runs Wednesday and Thursday.


I ran before work on my normal 6 mile loop. It was pitch dark when I set off at 6.30am and was still dark when I finished. I’d forgotten just how dark some of the sections are on this route.

At one point cars were coming towards me with their lights full on so I could hardly see where to put my feet.


This time I ran after work opting for one of my hillier runs. I ran after work starting at 4.45pm and I was in the dark again.  I’m getting used to running in the dark again which is just as well as it’s a long time until Spring!

Tomorrow (Saturday) I’m running in the Glasgow University 5 mile Road Race which I’m looking forward to!

Glasgow University Road Race 2015 Flyer

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Club Fartlek Session

There were 6 of us tonight in our group and it was great to have Donald P back with us. Donald has had a few injuries over the past two years so has not been able to train regularly with us so it was really good to see him back.

The session last night was 5 x [2min (1min recovery), 4mins (90secs)]. The recoveries were shorter so meant we were working that bit harder. My aim was to maintain a good pace right through the session and I was really pleased with how it went though my calves were burning by the end!

fartlek 11-23

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Tollcross parkrun

I’m enjoying being able to do some shorter faster runs at the moment so I was keen to run Victoria parkrun as I’ve not done that one before.

Neal and Caroline were also going so I picked them up at 8.45am and we drive to Victoria Park arriving at 9am in plenty of time for a warm up.

We were met by a marshal who explained that the paths were quite icy so he thought there was a good chance it would be called off. He suggested if we were keen to run then it might be worth going to Tollcross or Pollok.

We decided to jump back in the car and go to Tollcross as they have a grassy alternative route if the paths are icy there. We discovered later that the Victoria parkrun did go ahead as the park keeper took out his tractor and gritted the paths so well done to him!

We arrived at Tollcross just after 9.20am so just enough time for a quick warm up before the start. I’ve not run this one before but Neal warned me that it is very hilly so my aim of 19:30 was out the window!

We saw ultra runner Katie Smith who is on the organising committee. She obviously loves this route and reckons it is great for ultra runners! There was a good crowd including a lady who was doing her 100th parkrun, the vast majority at Tollcross.

The route is two and half times round the park which includes a good hill to start with which you go three times.

Neal was making excuses from the start that he still getting over his cold and his legs are sore from all the miles he has run this week. I think he was just scared I would beat him so wanted to get his excuses in early!!

route 11-21 tollcross parkrun

Neal and I started near the front and ran the first lap together. I was breathing fairly hard but happy with how my legs felt. We chatted a little bit. Well basically Neal told me what was coming next and how his gubbed his legs felt!

parkrun photo with Neal

Photo with Neal (Thanks to Tollcross parkrun)

As we approached the second lap and the main hill for the second time Neal said, ‘See you at the finish!’ so I pushed on up the hill.

A lady had gone past us half way round the first lap so I tried to keep in touch with her. She was about 30 yards ahead and I never caught her again but didn’t loose too much ground either.

I was pushing as hard as I could and felt fairly strong on the many little hills. On the third and final time for the main hill I caught up with a runner who seemed to be slowing quite a bit.

I then pushed as hard as I could to the finish. I passed a few runners who were on their second lap.

The final 100 yards is slightly uphill and on the grass so I pushed as hard as I could to the end.

I finished 8th in 20:29 which I was very happy with. My splits for the 3 miles were 6:32, 6:48 and 6:36 which is encouraging as recently my 3rd miles has been a lot slower than the first two.

After the run we enjoyed some cake courtesy of the runner who completed 100 parkruns then headed over to the Swimming Centre for a drink (hot chocolate) and a sausage piece. Thanks Caroline!

results parkrun 11-21

If you sort by age graded % I won!!!

results parkrun age graded 11-21


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Midweek runs

I ran three times this week Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. A brief summary …

Monday – Club Fartlek Session

The weather was a bit wild but as we run out an back on the cycle track it didn’t seem too bad.

There were 6 of us running including Tracey. The session was 6 x [3mins (90sec recovery), 2min (1min)] so I decided to run with Tracey for the first 4 sets and push a bit harder for the final two.

Fartlek 11-16

My HR graph shows the increase in effort!! I messed up my watch by pressing the stop button instead of the lap button at the start of the session after the warm up so this graph is just the session and cool down!

HR 11-16

Wednesday – run after work

It was really windy for this run. I ran my normal loop around Paisley which meant that half of the run was with the wind and felt easy whereas the other half was into the wind and tough!

Thursday – run after work

This run was very wet and windy. I had been organising a cross country race in the afternoon with the schools I work with so I was expecting the run to be a bit of a chore but felt okay.

It’s runs like this that I get a lot of pleasure out of in the sense that it would be so much easier not to go out but once I have it feels good to have run.

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Renfrewshire AAA Cross Country Championships

Now that my ultra races are over for the year I fancied doing a few shorter (and hopefully faster) races. The first on my list was today’s Renfrewshire AAA Championships at Gourock.

I’d not run this race before so was looking forward to it. Our friends Thomas and Silke are part of the club Greenock Glenpark Harriers who were organising the race.

I arrived in time to catch up with other members of Kilbarchan AAC and have a warm up lap of the course. First impressions was that it was going to be muddy and hilly!

At the start the organiser reminder runners that the men were to run 5 laps and the women 3 laps. This caused much laughter and booing! I see on Scottish Athletics web site that from 2017 the men and women will both run 10k in the National Cross Country whereas at the moment men run 12k and women run 8k

XC race 11-14

I was keen to start steady as I knew it was going to be a tough little course. I could see club mates Donald and Alan not too far ahead but they slowly moved further away!

One of the good things about the course was you could see the runners ahead coming back towards you at various points. I was feeling okay but working as hard as I could. I seemed to be holding my own but I wasn’t catching anyone!

I could feel I was slowing a bit on each lap which was confirmed when I downloaded my splits.

11-14 XC splits

It was good having friends around the course cheering me on. Neal and Caroline were near the start/finish so it was good to see them at the end of each lap. Thomas was half way round taking photos and I saw Silke at various points.

I did enjoy the race but it was pretty hard work! My HR showed that I kept a good effort going right through the race even though I slowed as the race went on.

HR 11-14 XC race

The results are published and I finished 48th in 40:25.

Neal took some great photos and posted on Facebook.  Thanks Neal. Here are some of them ….

xc neal 10 xc neal 9 xc neal 7 xc neal 4 xc neal 3 XC neal 1

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Midweek runs

I feel I’m recovering well after the White Rose Ultra. My plan for the last two months of the year is lots of easy runs with a few races thrown in for fun!

My first cross country race of the winter is on Saturday at Gourock for the Renfrewshire AAA’s. I’ve not run that course before so I’m looking forward to it.

I went out for a recovery run on Tuesday after work and felt okay. Tonight I decided to do my loops around Brodie Park. It was a wild night with high winds and driving rain for part of the run.

I was wanted to have a run in my Inov-8 Talons. The soles are perfect but the fabric has torn in a few places. I don’t do enough cross country to warrant buying a new pair so I bought some ‘incredibly strong Gorilla tape’ and it did the trick.

It held my shoes together so the run so I’ll be using that again on Saturday. £2.95 for the tape was a lot cheaper than a new pair of shoes!!

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