I was up at 7.30 and in for a bath to try and relax my muscles before the day's excertions and Jim dropped by at 8.15 to pick me up. We made our way to pick up Hammey and then on to Glasgow to give Kath a lift. Susan was coming with James and his parents who were over visiting from Ireland.
It was a beautiful, sunny day which was perfect for this afternoon's BBQ but not for running 13 miles (or 10K for the ladies) this morning. We arrived 10 minutes before the start of the race and had to park a little bit away from the Sports Centre due to the heavy traffic which meant jogging there so we could use the loo before the start, which, if you have ever ran a Half Marathon you will know is very important!
As we made our way over to the crowd who were preparing to start we spotted James and Susan and went over to say hello. Up ahead the MC announced the start of the wheelchair race, so it was time for us to join the mob and get ready to go.
The start of the race
At 9.30, the starting pistol fired and we were off. I wanted to beat my personal best and beat the 1 hour 45 minute mark so I ran ahead of the others to try and get through the bottleneck that always occurs at the start of a race.
Around the three mile mark I began to struggle. The heat was unbearable and I could understand why the Glasgow Half Marathon was in September and the London Marathon in April, when the weather was more suitable for long distance running.
As the miles went on I struggled more and more. I usually try to spot a nice bum (on a lady!) to try to run behind as an incentive, but there were none to be seen, or maybe they were just too quick for me. I stopped at every water station and grabbed two bottles, one to pour over me and one to drink. However, with the temperature in the mid 80's it was going to take a minor miracle to achieve a new PB today.
By the 9 mile mark I was walking for a bit then jogging and I knew it was bad when a man who looked about 70 years old gently passed me and shouted "not far to go now". He was obviously enjoying himself, I was not. I did zero training for this because I have had too much on at Uni, a mistake that I will not make again.
I spotted Jim running at the other side of the road at around 12 miles and shouted over that he was about 5 minutes behind me. A little further on and I started to hear the MC in the distance and realised that thankfully the end was near.
I entered the Sports Centre and spotted Kath cheering me on and then to my surprise I spotted Hammey. "Oh, poor Hammey", thought I, "he must have pulled out early". I shoudn't have been so cocky as he shouted over that he had finished 10 minutes earlier. Damn!
I crossed the line and picked up my T-shirt, goodie bag and medal and met the rest of the guys. Jim appeared shortly afterwards having ran a good race and was justly proud of himself and we left as quickly as we could to start this afternoon's festivities!
Our times were as follows:
- Susan - 1 hour, 5 minutes and 11 seconds.
- Kath - 1 hour, 10 minutes and 1 second.
- Hammey - 1 hour, 59 minutes and 43 seconds.
- Me - 2 hours, eight minutes and 55 seconds.
- Jim - 2 hours, 15 minutes and 39 seconds.
Click here for a video clip of me completing the half marathon, closely followed by Jim.
For more information about the race, visit http://www.ekhalfmarathon.co.uk
Or if you are interested in running in the Glasgow Half Marathon go to http://www.run.glasgow.gov.uk
As we arrived at their flat, Robert had just arrived with Fiona and Ryan. Fiona was already in the kitchen helping to prepare the food with Ann and Thomas, while the runners sat on their backsides doing nothing and then going for a shower one after another.
James, Susan & Jim Muir and his wife Debbie arrived with their kids just in time for the food being cooked. We all sat out the back and the sun was still beating down, ideal conditions for a BBQ. Liam arrived shortly afterwards and by now the party was in full swing with beer, champagne and good food.
Enjoying the BBQ
Kath, Susan, Ann & Jim
Thomas & Kath
Hammey and "Clint"
The kids amused themselves by playing the PS2 and running round the garden but eventually Jim & Debbie's youngest kid was too tired and Debbie decided to take her home. Jim stayed with their son, Joseph as he and Ryan were having a great time together, so I could relax for a bit longer without worrying too much about Ryan.
As the big "kids" got more and more merry they discovered how much fun they could have by playing with Joseph's toy lightsabre!
Darth Dorito feels the force!
Liam minces it up.
Princess Leia eat your heart out.
Fiona, Ryan and the big, burnt, shiny headed one.
Kath auditions for a German porn film!
Couple of fannies!!!
Kay arrived straight from work, at 5.30 and joined in the fun. By now the embers on the BBQ were becoming cold but the Portrush Pig had other ideas and informed us that he would be heading off to the shops to buy some charcoal, bananas and chocolate to let us taste a creation that he had read about in a book.
He returned half an hour later with his provisions and got the BBQ going again. He then showed us how to mush up the banana, make a slit in the side, push chocolate inside and then cover it with Tequila. The idea being that the chocolate would melt in the heat and we could scoop out the inside of the banana. Sounds horrible, tastes fantastic!
Chocolate & Tequila bananas!
The night wore on and by now we were all well oiled. Jim left with his boy to take him home to leave the rest of us to our own devices and Robert wasn't far behind him, leaving the usual suspects.
We cleared up out the back and, probably to the residents relief, moved inside to carry the party on. Ryan was let loose on Thomas' computer and after a bit of a lull and some chat time the tunes were on and we were up dancing.
Fi gives Kath a massage
Ann, Thomas & Fi have a boogie
As tradition dictates, we made asses of ourselves and kicked the backside out of the night for as long as possible. James and Susan headed off and with the removal of the Portrush Pig there was lot more room on the couch! I made the mistake of lying down and closing my eyes only to rest them of course, but the next thing I knew Kath was bouncing on top of me to wake me up and Ann decided that I would need more to drink and tried to pour Champagne into my mouth but unfortunately poured it into my eye instead. This is not recommended by my contact lens manufacturer!
Click here for a video clip of Ann trying to blind me!
Fiona decided that Ryan could have the day off school the next day since he was enjoying himself and so were we. Normally that would be a no no, but since it is his last week in school before they stop for the Summer holidays all he would be missing was playing games and watching DVD's.
Suffice to say it was a late night and one of the best I've had for a long time. However, all good things must come to an end so Fiona phoned a taxi to come and pick us up, unfortunately he got lost on the way there and we had to wait a while.
Liam was sleeping on the couch at Thomas & Kath's house, so the quicker we left the better for him. By now Thomas had had enough and was off to bed and Kath was heading that way too. Just then disaster struck when Fiona pulled the curtains a little too hard to see if the taxi was outside and brought them down on her head!
Moments later the taxi did arrive and we said our goodbyes to Liam and Kath and collected a tired little boy from the kitchen and we headed outside for the cab, with Ann. As the taxi pulled away the last thing I saw was a rather drunk Liam standing on the back of the couch trying to hang the curtains back up. Rather him than me!
You know it's time to go home when Ann's tights are tied round your head and the host is sleeping beside you!
Good luck James, Susan and Liam, we wish you all the best in your travels.