Jack Crawford 10k

By Ewan Smith

This year's Jack Crawford is an event I'll be quite happy to forget about but as there's no point just writing about your triumphs there now follows a brief report/girnfest. The Jack Crawford is held annually in Bishopbriggs. Quite a few CRC members have run it over the years but for those who haven't the bulk of the course is along the Forth and Clyde Canal. It can sometimes be windy but it's flat and fast as witnessed by the fact that this year's winning time was 30:57 and the first senior vet was home in 34:09. It's an inexpensive race and consequently doesn't do medals or tshirts. You can however, get a shower which is always good if you're not heading straight back to Argyll.

I wasn't expecting much. I've been on the slide since the West Districts for no clear reason. I haven't been getting the miles in because for some reason I'm taking ages to recover even from wee easy runs and when you're coming down the stairs sideways of a morning, you're disinclined to go out and put in a few miles. And when you do it feels like you need a new timing belt. I had struggled to keep up with Tommy on the Tuesday before but I had ditched the GU 5 mile and the XC Nationals so as I was going to be in Glasgow anyway thought I might as well give it a go before questions were asked about my habit of spending money on races I don't go to. I reckoned though I'd be over 40 minutes.

The first K was actually alright. At 3:50 min to the K I knew it was a bit fast under the circumstances but it felt OK and was about my 10k pace last year. However, imperceptibly at first I soon began to slow and by 4K it was quite noticeable. The turn is at 5.6K and somewhere after 4K the front runner passed me heading in.

After the turn, it was a wearisome slog into the wind, getting slower and slower all the time. I saw 40 minute finish slip away, then 41 minutes. There was no obvious reason; I just couldn't do it. Finally I crossed the line in 41:53.

I'm not sure where to go next. If it was down to an injury I'd approach it in my usual patient manner. Maybe, as my family are fond of pointing out, it's just age. But I don't feel ready for the bowling green yet and I'd be a liability at the darts. So for now the plan is just to get the miles in if possible and see if it picks up.