Glasgow parkrun report for Event #157, 21/January/2012

Normally the event reports I write are more generally about parkrun, and perhaps a little lighter on the running front. The reports have been generally fewer, certainly from me, in recent months. If you think you can do better, please drop us a note. We're particularly keen to hear from anybody who's relatively new to parkrun, and would like to write a bit about their experiences.

Anyway, thanks to the support of our expanded run director team, in particular Catriona who was this week's Run Director, I had little excuse not to run yesterday. That said, like many, I woke up and felt less than inclined to run - I've been battling a cough the last few weeks. But I had some kit to bring along, plus Saturday morning without a parkrun is a difficult proposition these days! So, keeping my options open, I went kitted out to run, just in case I shook off the lethargy. I had two other reasons to 'zip up the man suit': I had some new shoes to try out (I'd taken advantage of my parkrunner discount at Glasgow Sweatshop a week or so before), and I had a date with a comeback PB.
Allow me to explain: Towards the end of 2011 I somehow tweaked what felt like my knee. My times nose dived, and the fun went out of running. Turns out, thanks to the excellent efforts of Matt Williamson who's physiotherapy services are available at my running club Bellahouston Road Runners, it was actually my ITB, which I'd heard about but didn't know much about until he explained. Sort of explains a lot of knee pain, but isn't actually your knee. I admit I don't know the mechanics of it, but seems that with poking and prodding in the right areas by his expert hands, elbows, thumbs, a few exercises, and a roller, I had a solution that meant running was back on the agenda again. Also goes to show running clubs are a great thing to be a part of, even when you can't run, so do think about joining a club or running group. See our Links page for more details.
So run I did, and ran what Tom Williams - parkrun's new UK Country Manager, and Marathon Talk/parkrun show co-presenter - terms a 'Comeback PB'. My fastest in a couple of months, and nearly a minute faster than my last couple of runs at Glasgow parkrun. Hard work as ever, and as usual I cursed the person who 'designed' the course (that little joke that keeps me going, particularly on the second lap). Joking aside, I genuinely think Glasgow's got one of the best parkrun courses out there: It's superb for training, and really helps develop pacing strategies, and mental discipline, as you tick off the kilometres and ascents and battle those demons.
It's also a great marker for fitness, and for me what's so great about running. I found my time of 25:17 (some three minutes slower than my fastest time on that course), every bit as difficult as when I ran my 21:19 PB last year, and I'm always minded to recall my first runs around Pollok park (before I'd even heard of parkrun): a sub-30 5k time seemed insurmountable, but I got there eventually. It's all relative, and everybody running and pushing themselves is a champion, wherever you are in the field. Many thanks to the support from around the field, and particularly to Tom Ross who's consistent pacing was a target for me throughout.
The event
It was a sizeable field of 326. As ever the park was in wonderful condition. Please be mindful of the effort the park team put in, and in particular be respectful of the park and it's other users. This means not doing things that create us difficulties: Particularly we'd ask runners don't 'nip into the bushes': There are toilets nearby, whether at the Stables by Pollok House, local supermarkets. Details on our course page. Doing it in public risks our event being cancelled. We'd ask regular participants who know somebody doing this, to speak to them politely to explain the risk it poses to the event taking place, or bring it to our attention so we can.
We had a number of reports about another runner being rude to our participants on the main path through the park. When confronted by such behaviour, we'd always encourage parkrunners to be polite in return, and not get involved in any confrontation. We've certainly informed park managers, and are doing what we can to address what we understand to be the core concern this runner has. Alas he's not spoken to us. We'd invite him to do so. If you know who he is, please encourage him to get in touch at
The results
A tricky results set this week due to a large number of 'funnel duckers'. If you see somebody about to jump out of the finish funnel after you've crossing the line, please speak to them. Our results system depends on tokens being issued in sequence with timer presses, so when people jump out, we have a real nightmare unpicking the results. Combined with a couple of technical problems, Liz spent a good few hours on the issue. As much as we want our event to be as simple as possible, there's a lot that goes into the event both before, and after, the hour or so we're in the park. Many thanks to Liz for her hard work.
We know one or two folk may not have had their result scanned properly either. If you were scanned, but don't appear on the results, please email with as much detail as you can provide. Athlete ID, Position number and self-recorded time appreciated.
Remember too our event is entirely run by volunteers, and every task presents it own challenges. Please think about volunteering from time to time, to gain an appreciation of the work put in by so many people to stage the event each week, but also to give something back.
I mentioned earlier I'd some equipment to bring along to the event. Thanks to the donations we'd received (see our results page for a link if you'd like to contribute), we were able to get a couple more waterproof clipboards, which will make a big difference to our event in inclement west-coast of Scotland drizzle (and the rest of it). All donations are available to review at - Thank you to everybody who has contributed, it really is much appreciated.
That's about it for this week. Hope you have a great rest of the weekend, enjoy your week, get lots of running in, or if you're injured, some good quality recovery done.
Until next week,
Glasgow parkrun Event Director