I had been targeting this race for a while as a good indicator for where I am in terms of speed ahead of the Yorkshire Marathon at the end of the month. Having ran the event for the first-time last year, I knew it offered a great test for the legs with the notorious climb at 9 miles only one of many challenges in this undulating course.
As has been the custom with this race, the weather gods were not kind to us with heavy rain falling for much of the night before leaving many of the roads waterlogged. Thankfully however, the rain held to a light drizzle during the race itself and without much in the way of wind. Lynsey and I were representing the Harriers, both of us 24 hours on from the George Cummings Relays and Lynsey only a week on from her Berlin Marathon heroics.
My goal was to try and get as close to 1:30 as possible, with a more realistic aim of 1:32. With so many rolling hills, it is difficult to maintain a consistent pace on this course and I quickly found the best method was to try and recover as quickly as possible from the uphills to kick on and claw back some of the time on the downhills. This seemed to work quite well and after a bit of jostling in the first few miles I settled into a nice rhythm and began to pick off some runners in front. The long uphill towards Bishopbriggs Retail Park was a slog as always but I found the rest of the course really enjoyable and managed to up the pace as we re-entered Kirkintilloch, slaloming through some residential streets before a big 100m dash for the finish line. Happy to sneak under the 1:32 mark with a final time of 1:31:56, taking nearly 4 minutes from my time last year.
Elsewhere, Lynsey continued her superwoman efforts of late and stormed to her fastest half time in many years, finishing in 1:38:38 and bagging 3rd place in her category! To be running at all so soon after a marathon PB is one thing, but racing twice the very next weekend and smashing her targets is remarkable stuff.
I’d fully recommend this event to anyone who fancies a change from the bigger name events at this time of year. The Kirkintilloch Olympians do a tremendous job of marshalling an open-road course and it’s always a great atmosphere. Looking forward to next year!
Maryhill Harriers Results :
30th – Scott Coulter – 1:31:56
48th – Lynsey McLaughlin – 1:38:38