An ordinary woman's fascination with an extraordinary sport ... and the extraordinary people who take part

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Heading West

As you may have gathered, I had a brilliant time marshalling at the WHW Race.  I met some extraordinary people, whether as organisers, runners, supporters or general family.

So, not surprisingly I found myself offering my services to the lovely Mrs Mac who is the Race Director of the next one in the SUMS championship: the Clyde Stride.  There might have been one or two intoxicating beverages consumed prior to the conversation taking place :-) so thought it sensible to confirm that I did mean it by an fb message a few days later.

Today the email landed confirming the arrangements for the weekend ... and it seems I will be taking my first ever non-work related trip to Glasgow.  Or, to be precise, to Partick Railway Station.

Now as an Englishwoman who has only been resident north of Hadrian's Wall for just over two years, Partick is one of those mythological places that only really exists in association with a football team.  English football clubs have ordinary sounding names like "united" or "city" ... Scottish clubs have exotic names like "Partick Thistle" or "Queen of the South".

(Talking of football ... the first time I ever went to Glasgow was for an industry lunch some years ago.  Me and about 400 men and a very politically incorrect comedian - oh the joys of the construction industry...  I asked what the dress code was, and was told "Anything you like - so long as it's not green or blue",  "But I'm English?".  Nope.  Not green or blue.  Mind you it's not every day you walk into a hotel meeting room at 10.00am and someone hands you a large glass of whiskey...)

Anyway, at an early hour on Saturday morning I will be heading west to see what a mythological town looks like.  It's probably as well that Mrs Mac chose to allocate me to registration as all the other checkpoints come only with map grid references.  I used to be able to read a proper map but I'm failing miserably at any attempt in converting these to actual locations!

However the race finish at New Lanark I am very sure I can find.  Even when I was still English resident, I travelled up to central Scotland on a regular basis with work.  On numerous occasions, I would see the signs off the M74 for "New Lanark Heritage Village".  On numerous occasions, I told myself that it looked interesting and I should come back sometime and see it.  I never did.

But it looks as though this weekend I finally will.

And hopefully so will all the runners.

PS If you want to hear a very bizarre sounding description of the Clyde Walkway, click this link to the qwiki website ...

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