When September 7, 2008
First Man Emmanuel Mutai 1:01:10
First Woman Wokknesh Tula 1:11:00
Last Finisher 3:55:56
No. of Finishers 7,054 (+6,000 in the 10K)
Many’s the runner who finds himself wondering, halfway through a race, where the hell the next mile marker is. In this area, the Great Scottish Run surely can’t be beaten: every marker was guarded by a piper, announcing the approaching benchmark with the distinctive sound of Scotland’s national instrument.
It was one of several crowd-pleasing touches that helped create a buzz. A rousing PA system blasting out The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles and Jimmy Savile waving people off at the start in George Square helped runners forget the chilly morning air.
The staggered starts were successful at reducing congestion, though perhaps some runners had overestimated their fitness as the opening uphill stretch slowed the pace.
A few miles after crossing the unprepossessing Kingston Bridge, the route made a welcome turn through Bellahouston and Pollock parks. As the morning wore on, more locals ventured out, and particularly lively support from the Sikh community and children handing out oranges brightened up the last few miles before the final run into Glasgow Green.
At the finish, crowds lined the funnel, and bananas, medals and goody bags were handed out. Local support was strong, with many Sunday shoppers stopping afterwards to ask about the race. If just a few more could be persuaded to plug the gaps along the route, this would be a perfect run; it’s well-organised, PB-friendly and a race that Glasgow can be proud of.