Through his running glasses Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the runners waiting under the start sign at the Edinburgh parkrun, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the running outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offences against taste and decency. Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul.
John Kennedy Toole may have written if he had been alive in living in Edinburgh today. However there was no need for fiction as his namesake Ross wrote his own story by smashing the Edinburgh parkrun course record on Saturday, February 13.
Record Breaking Toole
The Commonwealth Games hopeful and Glasgow parkrun course record holder Ross Toole added the Edinburgh record by running a new PB of 14:31. The 23 year old Kilbarchan athlete took seven seconds off of Ross Houston's record, set on December 12, 2009. Another first timer at the Edinburgh event was runner up Murray Strain (26), the Hunter Bogs Trotter also recorded a PB, with a time of 15:20. Celebrating his forthcoming 26th birthday was Central AC's Lewis Millar who earned third in a time of 15:24.
There was also a first time winner in the women's race where, in her second appearance, Nicola May (37) improved on her previous time by 27 seconds to win in 19:26. Six seconds ahead of Corstorphine's Gillian Carr (34) who placed second in her inaugural parkrun. In her third attempt, veteran Gail Murdoch (44) of Carnegie Harriers dipped below the 20 minute barrier to earn third in a time of 19:58.
A total of 64 first timers including Edinburgh parkrun's very own Race Director Alia Haskouri were among the record 220 runners participating in the fast growing popular 5k timed event.
In the Age Graded competition, Ferranti AAC's, classic veteran, Elizabeth Gilchrist (65) recorded an outstanding performance of 90.31% to finish in a time of 23:03.
Individual Championship Placings
In the points' competition non runner Iain Taylor of Carnegie remains on 1447 and has a lead of 478 points over second placed John Owens, with Carnegie's Robert Milton just one point behind on 968. Pitreavie's Irene Miller on 1331 leads Mary Gibson by 322 in the women's competition, with Joanne Parkinson in third place on 792.
Record Breaking View
Glasgow and Edinburgh parkrun record holder Ross Toole told www.scottishrunningguide.com "I've just been using the parkruns as part of my training schedule, they help to give my usual tempo runs a bit of atmosphere, I really enjoy them both, Edinburgh and Glasgow have a great set-up and everyone is really friendly. The Glasgow parkrun is a hard course so I was happy with my 15 mins time there. I gave the Edinburgh one a go as it is flat. I'm happy with my time of 14:31 although I went off a bit too fast (I ran my first km in 2:40 and the first two in 5:30). Hopefully with a bit more reserve in the first few km I can run a bit faster. I am travelling to Armagh to run in a 5km there and hopefully with people around and a fast group to run with I can get near to my 14:10 target."