The name Balfron means ‘village of mourning’ in Gaelic. This originates from a legend that the village was attacked by wolves, which stole children out of their homes. To me, this sounds like a story made up by people who’d got rid of their kids and had to think of an excuse when the police investigated!
Policeman – I’ve heard Children have gone missing. Do you know anything about that?
Villager – Not me, officer. I’m innocent. It was those wolves. Pesky creatures, always wolving around.
Policeman – Wolves you say?
Villager – Oh yes. <Turns back to policeman, makes howling sound> Did you hear that? That was one! He’s probably coming right now to steal our kids.
Policeman – You’re knicked!
I didn’t spot or hear any wolves on the course.
The 10K was undulating which is Gaelic for Hilly as f**k. Its an out and back course along a B road. The first 3k was mostly downhill which meant the last 3K was mostly uphill. The weather was great (warm and sunny) and their was approximately 600 runners.
I started near the front as I’d noticed a left turn 100m after the start. I don’t know why races start with a turn so soon. It always causes a bottleneck.
I started well and felt good. The course was quite narrow in places but there wasn’t any issues with people getting in the way. My aim was to get as close to 45min as possible so I was pleased to just beat that. Especially considering how “undulating” it was.
I mostly travel on canal paths whilst biking to work. Now that the the weather is getting better more people are using the paths. Where were you all in the depths of winter? Probably nice and warm indoors , rather than biking in the freezing cold like this idiot!
I have a bell to warn people of my impending passing but, one time, I biked round a corner and a women was in front of me. I politely said, “Sorry, excuse me,” as I thought the bell would be too loud as I was very near her. She told me to “F**K off!”
The lesson here is people can be twats no matter how polite I try to be.
I was reminded of this yesterday when taking part in the Alloa Half marathon.
Just after the start I had to pass a blind runner. They were attached to a sighted runner. They were going slower than me so I passed them on the right hand side. As I passed they shouted angrily “PASS ON THE LEFT!!!!”
I immediately wondered whether I had done something wrong. Is there an etiquette for passing people? Is there an etiquette for passing blind people? There was plenty of room to pass on the right…
I’ve asked around and the consensus is that you can pass on either side as long as your polite about it and don’t get in the way.
The lesson I’ve learnt is that even blind people can be twats.
Other than that the race was enjoyable. The weather was beautiful with hardly any wind. It can be a tough course if a westerly wind blows due to a five mile east to west section.
I was four minutes faster than last week’s race (when I ran with Andrew)
Andrew wasn’t taking part this week so this proves his boring chat has a drag effect of 20s per mile!
The race starts beside a shopping centre, dodges through the grimier parts of Alexandria, weaves through the back of Dumbarton train station before finishing with the bookies, chippies, an industrial estate and a car park in Clydebank. It must be the only race that starts with one of Scotland’s most beautiful spots – Loch Lomond – and immediately turns its back on it and runs as far away from it as it can.
It was the usual ‘scenic’ route of bookies, chip shops, newsagents, whiskey warehouses and industrial units. All the sights. (All the smells).
The one thing that hadn’t changed was the bus trip from the finish line at Clydebank to the start line at Balloch. The important thing to remember when getting on the bus is to make sure you’re the first off it. Everyone goes to the toilet when they arrive. The longer you’re on the bus, the further behind you’ll be in the queue. A queue that gets slower and slower as the toilet roll in the cubicles is used up until eventually there’s only one cubicle for 200 runners. As I said, all the sights. (All the smells).
I wore a pair of Asics trainers. They’re the second pair of Asics I’ve ever owned. I hated the first pair, they were very uncomfy.
That didn’t stop me from buying a second pair. My principle of buying running shoes isn’t how good they are but how much of a discount I get on a sale.
This new pair were very cheap (60%off!)
By the end of the race my right foot was very sore. I won’t buy a pair of Asics’s ever again!
Iain goes to shoe shop
Iain spots trainer with 80% of marked price
Its a pair of Asics
Iain buys them!
Hey. Don’t judge me. It was 80% off. That’s a bargain!
I was tired so couldn;t keep up with my brother who sprinted away in the last mile to beat me by 20s.