For the last few years, we’ve been regular participants at the Edinburgh Santa Run but this year we decided to go to do the Glasgow one instead. These runs are great fun and have become a tradition for us to visit the capital, do the run then visit the winter market afterwards. The Edinburgh run involves 2 laps of Princes Street Gardens (3km) but there was an attraction to try the Glasgow run as its a full 5km and the route goes through the streets in the centre.
We had an early rise as the race started at 9.30am and we had to be there before 9am to collect our Santa suits. As we are veterans of this type of event, we had kept our suits from last year’s race and so took them with us in case we didn’t arrive in time. This turned out to be a great idea as we parked the car around 8.50am and wouldn’t have got to the start area in time to collect this year’s suits. It was rather fun anyway walking through Buchanan Galleries as everyone else we saw were all heading to the same place as us and so there were more Santas on the go than people in ‘normal’ clothes.
The route had a familiar feel to it as it started in George Square and headed up St.Vincent Street, the same as the Great Scottish Run. We were informed there were around 3,500 taking part, there was an amazing atmosphere there and we did the usual warm up before the start. We also observed a minute’s silence to remember the victims, and their families, from the tragedy at The Clutha Vaults from last weekend. We then counted down from 5 and off we went. Runners of all ages headed off in unison and it wasn’t long before the road became steeper as we climbed the length of St.Vincent Street and when I got to the top, I looked over my shoulder and all I could see was a sea of red stretching all the way back to the start line. Stunning!
We headed left into Finnieston Street then onto Finnieston Quay and I became aware of two things, the Armadillo and surrounding landmarks and also that I was running at 6.40min/mile pace and wondered how long I’d be able to hold that pace for! I haven’t run much lately and only a few days ago, I couldn’t run at all due to a mobility problem in my hip Joint.
On most occasions when I’m running, my mind drifts off and I can ‘lose’ certain parts of the route I’ve just run and that happened today as one minute I was turning into Finnieston Quay and the next minute I was heading towards the Heilanman’s Umbrella on Argyle Street. We turned into Buchanan Street and I was starting to feel the pace at that point but then I knew there was roughly 500yds to go. A couple of people passed me at that point and I was just happy to keep running and get to the finish. We turned back into St.Vincent Street again and I could see the Finish ahead of me and from nowhere, my legs found some energy and I managed a sprint to the finish, passing the two guys who had passed me previously. I was finished and I was also aware that I hadn’t run this hard since the Loch Ness Marathon in September.
A couple of things struck me looking back on the race that apart from the odd training session with a client, I haven’t done any kind of training myself apart from teaching Metafit classes and would put my ability to run an average of 6.40min/mile solely down to that. The other thing I noticed is that I took 40secs off my previous 5k PB which was set in Florida in 2010 wearing a vest and shorts. Today I wore base layers, short sleeve top and shorts under my full Santa suit with hat and beard and carrying a bag with our jackets and valuables. Awesome!
The moral to the story is if you want to run faster, come to Metafit classes!