By Jeremy Smith
I spent last week at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and decided that I would run Pollok parkrun – I had initially intended to run Strathclyde parkrun (which was nearer to where we were staying) but it had been cancelled following the holding of the triathlon the previous week.
Pollok parkrun takes place in Pollok park, home of the Burrell collection, in the South West of Glasgow. It formed part of the Commonwealth Games marathon route and Michael Shelley, who won the gold medal for Australia, must have very fond memories as he joined us for the run (although he must have forgotten his barcode as his time was not recorded). We were also joined by another Australian marathon runner, Martin Dent (who also ran the Newcastle parkrun a fortnight ago) – as he ran the course in nearly 24 minutes it is not often that I can say that I have beaten an international runner! – and many other runners from outside Glasgow, including runners from Morpeth and South Shields and also a female runner (who pipped me on the line) who finished with an extraordinary age percentage of over 92% (and whose, coincidentally, only other parkrun is at Burnley – my home town – which I am planning to run this weekend).
The course consists of two laps – part of the route (although we only ran it once) is along the road that runs through the park (and which formed part of the Commonwealth Games marathon route), but the remainder of the route took us along woodland paths and (given the intensity of the rain that you will have seen later when watching the evening’s athletic coverage from Hampden Park) through plenty of puddles! The course is also fairly hilly, so not a particularly fast course, although maybe I’m making excuses for my time as I finished in an adequate time of 19:34!
Note: Martin Dent ran 14:45 at Newcastle, just nine seconds short of Ian Hudspith’s course record.