Friday, 23 May 2008
Missed the club for some family duties. Taking my son and nephew to Kirkintilloch for Dumbarton Accies league cup final. I used to do the injuries and massage for the Accies so it was a plkeasant duty to go watch them win 2 - 1 in extra time.
Even better to see the club left back amongst those at Helensburgh running the 10k on Thursday. More of that in a mo.
The jogscotland girls had turned out in force at the Women's 10k on Sunday and I spent the morning, camera in hand, taking as many photos as I could.
Debbie, if your still following this blog, give me an e-mail adress as I have a few of the Garscube girls.
On Wednesday I let them off lightly and let them run a lop through Balloch, but for a wee change I ran with some of the faster girls on a further loop through the park and Lomond shores. About 55 mins. Left them exchanging war stories and PB tales so i could get back to see the footie.
On Thursday it was my turn. A reasonable turn out of Millies and Jimmy Mackenzies daughter Isabel making her race debut. Started off fairly well back in the crowd so I wouldn't get carried away and was soon overtaken by Yvonne Boyle of Dumbarton. Her sister Elaine who I had beaten at Troon then came past me, so I knew I had started reasonably paced. I passed and repassed her a couple of times, mainly due to taking the shortest route at the generous corners and working hard on the hill at Sinclair St. Wasn't really enjoying it at that point but by the time I got to 5k in about 2250 I started to feel good and kicked on into what was a stiff breeze on the run back to the school. Finished fairly strongly in around 45,25 so an improvement on Troon, although I didn't feel as good as I did at Troon. Funny that.
Saw a lot of old faces from my previous life in the police, including Andy Bates, Frank Krievs and Anne, the girl who succeeded me in one of my posts. She was also having her first race after being encouraged by her hubby Stewart...... wish I could remember her name......It'll come to me! Never got a chance to speak to Frank who was at Kilcreggan when I was at Luss.
Rushed off to see..... the footie. Wish I hadn't bothered. Oh dear there's always next year.
Saturday, 17 May 2008
And for the clubs and jogging groups to recruit!
Date has been set for the 9th of August as that seems to be a relatively free weekend for races in this area.
Back to the club on Thursday after a day driving back and forth to Shotts Auction. Milburn club run instead of coaching as I wasn't home till about 10 to 6, too late for WDAC and just in time to get to the Vale for an easy run round Balloch Park. Some Millies still suffering from the Fling, others from the previous weeks races, and one making a return to training after active fatherhood duties.
Household duties on Friday as we had fallen behind, being away and leaving a 22yr old in house alone not the best recipe for a Good Housekeeping award, not that we are in the running.....
An LAP meeting at Clydebank at 5 followed by a WDAC family night in the Renton Bowling Club. Great night organised by the West Dunbartonshire club's social committee. Some real stars in the making, if not as athletes then in showbiz.
Saturday morning run along the Dumbarton Rd, Renton Rd and then back to the village via Kipperoch. Just over an hour but delayed with numerous gates, farmer's dogs and cowfields due to farmyard closures. Felt good, but little pase in run.
Tomorrow being Ladies 10k day I will try to get out of my scratcher to go on the JogScotland bus from Dumbarton. Take my camera and never know what you'll see......
Will run later unless
Sunday, 11 May 2008
Off to Englandshire tomorrow for Mairi's cousin's funeral in Kent. Won't be back until Wednesday late on, so it looks like enforced rest for three days. BBFN
Camera out, photo’s of the leaders who were running, well….,fast! OK it’s a flat section but no need to show off guys! Lots of supporters about handing out drinks, food, and taking photos and videos. I managed to get a few photos before the camera misted up due to the rain and waited patiently for the Millies to arrive. Steph looked comfortable enough, and then Jim Drummond of Central, sometime training partner of Millies foolish enough to go with JR on a Sunday. Jim had got behind a few ladies and was obviously enjoying the view! Jim and Geraldine were a short distance behind, running with Brian Garry, and again were looking good. Trish and Ali arrived and, honest, the soft focus filter on the camera was not required to give them a flattering action photie. That was the weather. A few others passed before JR and then Christine with one of her new found pals, Mary Louise, from Helensburgh, who was running as sweeper just to see if she enjoyed ultra running!!!! (Christine’s other new pal is Joe of whom more later.)
No sustenance required from the support car, all smiles and full of optimism off they went towards Drymen.
Arriving at Drymen it was almost impossible to get access to the road at the crossing point and I stayed in the car, back from all the activity until some of the leading runners had passed and their supporters left to create some space. Seeing Chris and Christine for the first time I was able to pass on the bags belonging to Ali and Trish. Only problem was the Chris car was full of food, drinks and other essentials (like chairs, wine, more wine and some sweeties!) Steph arrived soon afterwards again JD (who had been dumped by his harem) then Jim and Geraldine with Brian. At this point, Mr McKenzie revealed a race tactic, a bit underhand if you ask me, of running away from Geraldine at the changeover, chivalry it seems is indeed dead! Did she care? Did she nothing! A quick sook of lucozade sport, a wave to the camera and she was offski…. While the poor support staff waited in the pouring rain for, first, Ali and Patricia, still cheerful although by now walking even the small uphill stretch from road to checkpoint. As can be seen from the photos, see link above, our chairman decided to give Trish the benefit of his extensive running knowledge, whilst she, in turn, wished the ring pull on her diet coke was his neck!
Next, and last to arrive was the trio of JR, Christine and Mary Louise, carefully closing the gate on the east side of the road before climbing for some eagerly awaited refreshments.
Onwards to Balmaha and the rain started to ease and eventually go off for the day. Ahead was the section over the Conic Hill, the fault boundary line between the lowlands and the highlands. And a windy climb it was to prove. By the time I arrived, ( by this time I was hungry and looking for my second breakfast of the day) the leaders had long gone and it was only a short time before Steph arrived in 3 hrs 21mins. To say he looked dreadful was an understatement! “Auntie” Margo would have had him in resus, and life support and insisted he change clothes. Steph (“I’m not a team player”) refused point blank and set off after a few bites of carbs, stuffing his bag full of gels, jelly babies and other fast acters. If Margo thought he was bloody minded and stubborn worse was to come. Jim 3.45 and Geraldine (3.46) arrived looking for the full boonah. Change of clothes, clean socks for Jim and food and drink on demand….. Margo where’s my socks? Cue domestic dispute! Oh Oh! Watch out, plates flying, call the polis. Look at Geraldine, that’s how families should behave. Mum and brother had arrived with Mum’s pal. Hugs, kisses and smiles. That’s how to support your family.
Socks found and Jimmy is off and running.
Geraldine: Where’s Jimmy?
Exit Geraldine covering 100metres in about 11.2 secs……
Back to the car to listen to John Beattie’s sports report. There he’s talking aboutb the weather being too bad for sport today. Try to text him to let him know about 119 hardy souls who would agree! At this point I realise that we had reached the edge of civilisation and I had no signal on my Mobie.
By this time the race is starting to lose some runners. I had to tend to one such casualty who had twisted his ankle on the Conic Hill. He was going to try to get to Rowardennan but knew that was as far as he would get. I offered to take him to Tyndrum from there, but eventually he decided enough was enough. My foil space blanket (courtesy Strathclyde Police) was finally of use and after half an hour thawing out in the back of my car he transferred to an official’s car for the onward journey to his B&B, booked with some optimism I think, in Tyndrum.
Ali and Trish arrive in 4.39. Cue lap of honour round the car park. To say they are delighted with that split is an understatement. Just after 5 hours (5.03) came
Back to the checkpoint, just in time for the arrival of Ali and Trish(7.03), on the road!!! If this was a board game it would have been “Go back to
Jim and Christine arrived in (7.29) and Mary Louise work done for the day retired to hand over her role as last runner escort to Joe.
Big mistake by yours Truly here and Christine’s Camelbak doesn’t get re-filled. That’s me sacked then although in mitigation I was too busy listening to her thanking Mary Louise to be able to think of anything else. And that was Rowardennan>.
A long way from Rowardennan to Inverarnan by car! Especially when I stopped at Inveruglas for a coffee. Word of warning reader….. do not EVER stop at Inveruglas for coffee and cake… unless you either are
After stopping at the now rather abandoned McGregor’s Landing and bunkhouse for some photos of the race from the other side of the loch, (see link, see telephoto lenses), I continued to the Drovers where I was parking to go to Beinn Glas. As I was leaving the car park I found three wee people hiding between two cars, summer chairs and picnics out enjoying the Highland weather, Yes, folks, while you were running your little socks off, Chris Christine and Anne were having a wee Scottish picnic, and sharing nothing with the geese.
I walked on, only to meet Margo who told me I had missed the three amigos but that Jim and Geraldine(9.20) were only a few minutes behind Steph(9.13) who, she said was really struggling. His feet were in serious pain and it looked as if he might struggle to stay ahead of Jim and Geraldine.
I ran back to the car and drove on to Derrydarroch. OK I didn’t know it was Derrydarroch, but I do now! Some more photos and asked all the runners if they had seen someone with sore feet struggling from Beinn Glas. “No-one with sore feet on this race!!!” What a dork!
Eventually Steph appeared but true to form refused any assistance. Probably a good idea, as if he had taken his shoe off, it would probably never go back on again.
He ran on and was just going out of sight when the chasin’ Millies came into view, probably smelling blood and hoping to surpass their master!
A bit of encouragement about catching Steph in the next mile or so and off they went a whoopin’ and a hollerin’; “Ready or not, here we come!” See team-mates, see Millies.
Back to Beinn Glas and a long wait for the others.
A moment, however, to ponder the achievements of the three ladies we awaited.
When I became a member of the Milburn about 4 years ago, albeit I was aquainted with the club for some time due to being involved with JogScotland and JR, I was aware that the club covered all abilities. Including Christine, Patricia, Ali and others. Regularly, but not always, the last to finish races, they complained bitterly about having to train, climb hills, do intervals (fast and slows as they are known down the Vale). They would follow their mentor
At 6pm on Saturday 26th April, those of us at Beinn Glas realised their race was run and that they weren’t going to be allowed to proceed past the final checkpoint. We were disappointed for them but now downhearted, as we agreed they had done brilliantly to get this far. Only problem was, where were they?
Chris and I set off along the way, and came back, then went along again and eventually Ali Trish and Jim arrived. Christine was about half a mile away, so I continued along and met her. Her escort, Joe, had provided the water and support that I had failed to give her at Rowardennan, and although tired and a wee bit disappointed she was, give her her due, still running whenever the trail allowed. At one point I heard the quote of the day.
Christine; “Next year I’ll be two stones lighter”!!!!!
Joe; “There’s a next year already”
What a brilliant attitude.
Hugs and kisses all round at the checkpoint, before the walk back to the Drovers.
Cue party!!! In time honoured Millie tradition all disappointments were placed firmly in the past and wine opened to celebrate the achievement of finishing 42 miles. They immediately christened themselves the 42milers and it became a cause to celebrate. Not that they need a cause to celebrate. They are Millies for God’s sake.
Than I was reminded I had promised a massage (and indeed my table was in the car).
That promise, however, was for a full body massage and was therefore relinquished in favour of a foot massage. Each. Oh, dear.
Finally our A team arrived, medals and finisher’s bubbly in hand. Hugs of congratulations and commiserations were exchanged, the story of the last leg was revealed.
Steph, the guy who could hardly walk, allowed Jim and Geraldine to get within 10 metres of him before waving, bye, bye, and running off into the sunset with new tactics of running the uphills(!) and taking it easy on the flat and downhills. (A different kind of pain was his explaiation)
He finished in 12.35.27 with Jim and Geraldine at 12.51.20. Terrific achievements for all the A team.
And so, dear reader we drove off into the moonlight, Runrig on the CD player whilst coming down the lochside. A stop in Balloch for fish teas and,for some, more wine!!
After a good nights sleep we re-convened in Balloch for Sunday lunch and some protein. Trish was elected Chair for the occasion and she made a short speech of thanks to all the supporters and gave us cards expressing their appreciation which was, for me,a nice touch.Oh, and the ability of those who had run the previous day, to walk on the Sunday was, sadly, a poor example of athleticism. Please buck up guys and gals. You should have been skipping; like me.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
This was going to be a toughie, as it was my first race since the marathon. Held out little hope of a fast one and so it was. A chip time of 46.05 was my reward. It felt great though. I really felt fast and as far as I was concerned it was a bloody good run. Pity that my legs weren't turning fast enough for it to be reflected in a decent time (nearly 4 mins slower than my Pb of two years ago).
I must compliment the Tortoises on a well organised race. 958 finishers, all chip timed, 2 fun runs for the kids, results online by 11pm (or earlier perhaps), no crappy medal, but a decent quality t-shirt. And I got a great pre-race massage although it was too deep for a pre - event but it certainly took the stiffness out of my legs.... and it was free! (the massage that is the race cost£8)
Met two of my old club-mates from Irvine YMCA Harriers, Andy Rennie and John Surgenor. Surge was a year above me in school and Andy was the physics teacher. So how come Andy runs 39 miutes and John 41 minutes? Maybe the answer lies in about 2 stone of excess weight that really is going to have to come off if I'm going to get any better. Weigh-in tomorrow...... watch this space......
Quick rethink and headed down onto the shore only to find the farmer had ploughed and seeded over paths I usually use. Still, it's his land. So it ended up short and sweet although fairly fast.
Tuesday's club run was an easy 5 miler although some took it even easier. I ran with Rob and although we felt we were going as slow as we wanted the others seemed to be quite content to stroll along in our wake. Mind you, for some the Highland fling is still in their legs so they are excused. The others.....
That reminds me that I still have to finish the blog of the Fling. Still a work in progress.
Started work proper yesterday and shifted two cars within Glasgow. Off Wednesday as I have a race and I have been warned that I shouldn't plan to be able to get home for anything when I'm working and to make myself available for work to suit. The down side is that I don't ever know if I'll make club nights for coaching or jogging groups. I'll do my best though.
In addition I received news of a bereavement. Sheila died after a long fight against cancer. I'm really glad Mairi and I got down to Kent to see her when we were in London for the marathon. Don't know when the funeral is yet but I don't think it will be too soon as things seem to take their own time in Englandshire. Phoned in availability for four days next week but it may alter for the funeral.
Now I'm off for a coffee before some stretching!!!
Saturday, 3 May 2008
Supporting Millies (3)
The race (1)
In the last few days before the race, further volunteers to be support staff for the race came forward. The line-up for the start was Margo McKenzie, for her loving husband Jim, Steph, and Geraldine(now known as the "A team" and pictured below) , Anne Robertson for Jim Robertson, myself for Alison,Patricia and Christine. At Drymen we would be joined by Club Chairman Chris and his wife Christine who would look after Ali and Trish who planned to run together whilst I would stay with Christine. Should I feel the need to do any running, then I would leave my car at Inverarnan and, leaving Christine’s stuff with Chris and Christine, pick it up upon our return journey.
That was the theory, but some of the runner’s pre – race nerves were starting to show. There had been some talk of doing the race as a relay team, but as it turned out, everyone who entered managed to toe the line at the start, buoyed up with many good wishes on the club website and the many, many, miles of preparation behind them.
As I said beforehand, Steph and Jim Robertson were old hands at this game, Geraldine and Jim McKenzie were more than capable of good runs, as seen by their preparation marathons where Jim broke the 4 hour barrier at Dumfries and Geraldine had a ball at
Alison, Trish and Christine were really pushing the bounds of their capability but had prepared as well as any other runner taking part. Hours and hours of training each week supervised by, accompanied by and, yes, sometimes bullied by, JR. All capable, but, probably dreading the Loch Lomondside stretch between Inversnaid and Beinn Glas more than most, they were determined to do their best.
Alarms rang all over the Vale of Leven and Dumbarton about 3.30am on Saturday 26th April 2008. Our D-Day had arrived and no turning back.
Texting “Taxi for
At 6am the 119 starters were off and running, into Milngavie town centre,
However all this running and traveling in springtime means that my grass is knee-high so this morning was spent with mower and strimmer. Mairi went off to get her hair done........ oops I haven't told her how nice she looks!
I settled down to watch the lunchtime footie. Man U I thought, but Andrew wanted to watch the Cellick. Hoping they got gubbed. 0-0 at halftime so turned back to Old Trafford to find I'd missed 4 goals. Back to Celtic and missed both Celtic goals whilst making coffee. Good job I'm not a football fan, eh?
Got my first driving jobs for Tuesday...... A BMW and a Jag to be moved. Sadly only a short distance, and I should be home in time for the club run on Tuesday night. It will be a short, easy one as I'm going to Troon for the Tortoises 10k on Wednesday. Very apt.
Friday, 2 May 2008
I've also started a new job and spent all day Thursday down in East Yorkshire at the company HQ for an induction. Learnt little I hadn't already learned from my mentor, a nice old guy who used to sprint with Garscube back in Ming Campbell's day. Andrew Salmond is his name, any-one out there remember him? The job entails driving cars from customers to various delivery points and can see me anywhere in Scotland at a days notice. Hours could be long and will no doubt affect training. But I've got to eat and the better half has been at me for ages to get back to work. She's booked holidays for the next two weeks and is delighted that I'm not going to be home!!!!
Half the country in celebration mode after a magnificent victory last night in Florence. The other half of the country is too busy saying the Gers have a long way to go to beat the Lisbon Lions/Seville Stonkers/anyone else who ever won anything.
Son and heir wants to start making plans to go to Manchester. He has an exam on 14th May but says if I drive, we can still make it down. Ticket? What ticket!