6 Nov

Park Life

The Southside Six

After such positive feedback from last year's race, scottishrunningguide. com decided to tackle The Southside Six (Sunday 4 November).

In the lead up to Sunday's Southside Six, there were various warnings about 'those steps' at Queen's park. Even though this was a feature everyone who had taken part in last year's race was fairly insistent on, I concluded that the difficulty in scaling this final obstacle would be superseded by the uplifting prospect of having just completed a highly innovative tour of Glasgow's southside.

As I approached the end-point to yesterday's race, I realised that this was purely misplaced optimism and was intent on never listening to that 'I'm sure I will be OK' voice again. The 16 miles through the city's six parks were tough, with some uphill sections - particularly leading in to King's Park in the early stages and at Pollok Park. Despite overnight rain, the course stood up pretty well, with the muddiest section during stage 3 when travelling from Linn to Rouken Glen Park.

Moving through each section, runners were greeted with a coloured sticker and an offering of haribo/water. Having never competed in a race in which checkpoints were involved, I wasn't entirely sure how long this would take, although the transaction, primarily due to the readiness and number of the volunteers, was always swift and conducted with some encouraging words. The marshalling, well positioned on an expansive route, was similarly impressive.

At the end of the race - having recovered from 'those steps' that would most certainly have floored Rocky - runners were invited back to the registration area at Queen's Park Glasshouse. In addition to a generous goodie bag, lentil soup, rolls, and a vast array of cakes were on offer.

Having read such positive reviews about the event after last year, the Southside Six most certainly stands up to its reputation. Speaking with co-organiser Alan McDermid after the race, I was told that the race was originally planned for last weekend, which, casting the mind back, was a dreary and wet Sunday. Somewhat fortuitously, the 300 runners who took part in yesterday's race were met with perfect conditions on an autumn day that was meant for running. Considering how well the event was organised, you get the impression they more than deserved this slice of luck.

Full results are now available at scottishrunningguide.com's race listings page.