Over 20,000 runners took to the streets of Glasgow yesterday as part of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run Half Marathon and 10K making it the biggest turn-out in the event's history and worthy holder of the title 'Scotland's Biggest Race'.
In the main, conditions were ideal with an overcast sky and slight breeze allowing runners some respite from the warmer temperatures the city had been experiencing late last week. Thousands of eager 10K runners started the day's proceedings and first home in a time of 31:12 was Matthew Gillespie of Shettlestone Harriers, while Emma Raven of Central took the women's crown in a time of 36:18. Hailu Mekonnen of Ethopia won the Half Marathon in 1:01:53, narrowly beating last year's winner Jason Mbote of Kenya who had a time of 1:01:58.
George Square was literally heaving with people at the start of both races and colourful charity vests were everywhere, showing that taking part in a big race like the Great Scottish Run is the perfect way to raise money for a good cause. British Heart Foundation had 500 runners taking part and it seemed that everywhere you looked there was another 'Heart Runner'! scottishrunningguide.com spoke to Ali Rulton of British Heart Foundation: "Most of our runners today are employees of our corporate partner Lloyds - it is a big deal for us to have so many BHF runners taking part in today's races and thanks to them we should raise about £50,000."
The finish point at Glasgow Green was awash with people, spectators and runners alike. A tent dedicated to the London 2012 Olympic Games was particularly popular - probably because it housed a few famous faces including Jenni Falconer and Sally Gunnell. TV presenter Jenni completed the 10K in an impressive 42:41 and so scottishrunningguide.com asked if she had any tips for race day: "Make sure you wear a pair of trainers that still have some life in them; today I wore the same trainers I used at the London Marathon because I thought they were 'lucky'. I suppose they were lucky in that I got a great time - but my blisters are huge!"
Sally concurred: "You should really be changing your trainers every four months if you are training regularly." Good advice and something that many of us fail to do - thanks girls!
scottishrunningguide.com also managed to catch a few words with Scottish songstress and The Hour co-host Michelle McManus as she came over the finish line having completed the 10K course: "I've had a great day - lots of fun and I would definitely do it again, throughout my training I have been aiming to complete the race in two hours and I have managed to shave about 20 minutes off that today - I feel fab!"
Most people would think that taking part in either a 10K or a half marathon is enough for one day - but two of Sunday's runners clearly disagree with this and challenged themselves to participate in both races. Nigel Holl and Chris Daniels toed the line for the 10K at 9.30am, completed the distance and then returned to George Square for the start of the half marathon! Nigel completed the 10K in 39:16 and Chris in 34:58 - giving them both plenty of time to head back to the start line to take on their second challenge of the day. An impressive feat by anyone's standards.
Councillor Archie Graham, the Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games took part in the 10K himself and is delighted the event has once again proved so popular with the running community and wider public. Councillor Graham told scottishrunningguide.com: "The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run continues to set new records, with this year's event well on course to be the biggest and best ever. To have surpassed last year's entry levels with only a week to race weekend is a remarkable achievement and shows exactly why it is Scotland's largest mass participation sporting event. Make sure you visit our website pre-register for next year's races - let's make it even bigger."