Canalside Capers – SVHC Half Marathon, Clydebank

Having joined SVHC (see over the summer I thought it was about time I went along to one of their events to find out more. The ideal opportunity seemed to be the club half marathon championships, so I filled in & sent off the entry form, pausing only for a sharp intake of breath when realising that my last half had been the GNR in September 2007!

Following the wild winds of Saturday, it was a huge relief to wake to a calm, sunny, chilly morning on Sunday. After a pleasant, uneventful train journey through to Glasgow & on to Clydebank, we wandered our way across the car park to the Clydebank Playdrome to collect my number and meet & chat to some fellow competitors who were milling around in the reception.

The course was along the canal path in towards Glasgow for 6.5 miles, round a cone at the end, run back to the start and leg it under a bridge for the final 0.1mile to the finish. I have to say it was possibly the most low key race I’ve ever done. There were only 21 competitors who were gathered casually together at the start, timekeepers were primed to get ready & when told to GO we went – simple! Despite the small size of the field, each mile was marked on the canal path & water was available at both the 4/9 mile mark & at the 6.5mile turn. Running alongside the canal was great, not too busy, only a few puddles to contend with, pretty much flat, generally good surfaces to run on and the scenery was good too.

Due to a two week cycling holiday, niggly injury & a recent nasty cold, the race was only my second since the Edinburgh Marathon at the end of May and the longest I’d run continuously for at least two months, so I was a little apprehensive about my ability to hold it together competitively for a whole 13.1miles. This should signal a cautious start you might think? No chance! Covering the first mile at a pace that I’d struggled with when doing ‘steady’ mile reps on Thursday, I soon settled down to around 6:15mins/mile pace. I ran with two others all the way until the 10mile point when my lack of speed endurance caught up with me and I had to ease back by 10-20seconds per mile. There was to be no repeat of the Stirling 10K sprint for the finish line on this occasion…

Everything held together, I ran a whole 2 seconds quicker than my nominated 82minute time, managed to be 5th overall, went home with the female handicap trophy plus club medal for 1st F35 and met a whole new group of very friendly people, so I judged the day to be a success. If you’re a woman of 35 or over, or a man of 40 or over, then you’ll be made very welcome at SVHC events, so I’d recommend joining up as a companion to your EAC membership.

Clydebank is also a place worth looking up if you’re ever in the area as it’s got an interesting heavy industrial history and is currently undergoing extensive regeneration. Making the most of the great visibility & lack of wind we took a trip up the ‘Titan’ giant cantilever crane down on the waterfront. This gives brilliant, far reaching views of Glasgow Airport, the City itself, the Erskine Bridge and the hills & scenery in all different directions – really quite fantastic & the 102 year old crane itself is an amazing structure. But… we’d chanced upon it on the penultimate day of the season, so if you fancy a trip you’ll have to wait till 1st May next year when it re-opens for the summer.

Eventually arriving home at 7:15pm (having set out @8:30am!), Euan & I reflected that we’d had a very enjoyable and worthwhile day out & would gladly do it all again.

Jenny MacLean

2 thoughts on ““Canalside Capers – SVHC Half Marathon, Clydebank”

  • James Mittra

    Great run Jenny. That’s a fantastic time considering all the disruptions to your training. And a trophy too! 🙂

  • alex macewen

    Any vet can join SVHC : they provide a decent competition programme across all the disciplines . Often these events are not in the Scottish Athletics calendar and are for vets only

    SVHC membership also means that only members of SVHC can claim medals at their various championships and seek selection for the home countries international in 6 weeks time, ie get a scotland vest . It is not expensive and it opens up more competition opportunities and championship honours.

    A decent newsletter, website and links to UK masters.

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