DONE: Race #13 of the LauranDoes179 ALS Challenge!

Welcome, blog fans!  I’m back to say that I completed race #13 of the LauranDoes179 Challenge, the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon, yesterday afternoon!  I’m running 179 miles across 15 races in 2015 (with a little help from my husband, Mike) to raise money for the Blazeman Foundation for ALS research as part of the larger TeamDrea Challenge.  13 down, only two to go!

Victory!  Georgie's just bored
Victory! Georgie’s just bored

The Great Scottish Run Half Marathon takes place in Glasgow and is part of the super duper Great Run series which organizes races all over the UK throughout the year.  This was the 4th Great Run I have done as part of my LauranDoes179 Challenge and I have to say they are some of the most fabulous, fun, and friendly events I have had the pleasure to participate in over the years (and they have the BEST t-shirts in the goody bags…so soft).

Hangin' out at the start in George Square
Hangin’ out at the start in George Square

Sunday, race day, dawned quite cool and cloudy as Mike, Georgie, and I made our way to Glasgow on the train.  I was really, really (REALLY) nervous about this race as it was my first one following a few weeks off from running due to my ankle injury.  I was scared the pain would come back and be as vicious as it was during the Medoc Marathon (race #11) but I just tried to focus on being positive and cuddles from Georgie certainly helped.

Georgie gives me a pep talk on the way to Glasgow
Georgie gives me a pep talk on the way to Glasgow

The race route departed from George Square in Glasgow City Centre so Mike and Georgie dropped me off at my corral and went to find a coffee before meeting me over at Glasgow Green at the finish line.  As the masses warmed up, we got to watch the elites get underway…including Gemma Steel, our home grown Scottish hero, and Jo Pavey, the wonder woman 42 year old mom of two running superstar.  So inspiring…seriously.  About ten minutes after the swifties got underway, my turn came and I tramped out over the starting mats and immediately onto a pretty decent little hill up St. Vincent Street.  Nothing major and I knew it was there but it was still a little bit of a surprise to be greeted with a climb 500 yards out of the start gate!

Elites at the start line.  So much inspiration.
Elites at the start line. So much inspiration.

Hill summited, and I was underway.  The route wound round Glasgow City Centre and we got to do cool things like crossing the Clyde River twice and run through Pollock Park and Belahouston Park before making our way down a long straight, through this cool stone archway thing, and into Glasgow Green to the finish.  The support along much of the route was fantastic…thank you to all the thousands of people who came out to cheer us on.  Glasgow is such a friendly city and it was clearly evident on Sunday.

The finish line was just through that cool archway
The finish line was just through that cool archway

I spent much of the route thinking about how wonderfully generous people can be and how sport seems to bring out the best in people – be they superstar runners pursuing their goals and inspiring others to do so as well, ‘normal’ people running their absolute guts out for a loved one or a great cause, or the wonderful spectators offering warm words, high fives, and jelly beans at just the right time to keep you going.  There’s so much bad in the world and it’s wonderful to see so much goodness for a change.

Hooray!  This lady is really pleased that fascism is over and that I completed race #13!
Hooray! This lady is really pleased that fascism is over and that I completed race #13!

Anyways, back to the finish line.  My plan was to run the whole thing metronome steady with each mile the same as the last to try and stay pain free and feeling good the whole way round.  This resulted in a rather uninspiring time of 2.06 but my mile splits were darn near perfectly paced the whole way round and I made it most of the way without my ankle / leg griping.  I was, therefore, pleased as punch.

Thumbs up as I cross the finish line
Thumbs up as I cross the finish line

Mike and Georgie greeted me with hugs and wags at the finish line and I celebrated my achievement and all that my body is capable of (it still seriously amazes me that I can go out and do these races) over a very tasty Five Guys cheeseburger before boarding the train back to the Burgh.  Race #13 complete!

If you’d like to donate to my challenge and help me raise money to beat ALS, I’d be really grateful.  You can click on the ‘donate’ button in my header or follow the link below:

www.active.com/donate/teamblazeman/laurandoes179

That’s it for the time being, sports fans.  The LauranDoes179 Challenge has now logged 154.61 miles…that means there’s only 24.39 miles to go!  My next race is the Edinburgh Big Fun Run 5km on the 11th of October!

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