Gallus Glasgow

Gallus Glasgow

Well, Glasgow was indeed pure Gallus over the past fortnight.

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Our Commonwealth Games experience began on Friday, 25th July when we arrived in a sunny, scorching hot Glasgow for the live ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ broadcast from the City Halls. We were thoroughly entertained by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, John Owen Jones and Gloria Onitiri. Boy, could that girl sing!

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We were also lucky to see several British sports stars including Dame Kelly Holmes, Matt Pinsent, Rodger Black, Colin Jackson and Steve Cram. Wowsers!

We then enjoyed a Saturday night wander around the Merchant City, before heading to George Square to take some photos at the Giant G:

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I even got to ‘high-5’ Clyde:

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And to hug him, of course!

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Saturday morning was an early start, and we caught the train back into Glasgow, and headed to the SECC for the Judo. The security was very slick and efficient. and we were inside the venue in plenty of time.

Our seats were fantastic: very close to the action, and I found the contests surprisingly easy to follow. Although we only saw preliminary rounds, through QF, SF and repêchage, there was plenty of success for the home nations teams, and we saw many well deserved wins.

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When the event ended, we stopped off at the Crowne Plaza hotel for a lil’ drink. And, we were surrounded by BBC execs: Clare Balding and her team were sitting at the next table prepping their show for later in the evening 🙂

We then walked along to Glasgow Green, to experience the Commonwealth Games Festival and we had arranged to meet Simon, Pamela and Matthew, Joe, Stacey and RJ, and Angie and Ryan, and his nephew Kieran. The queues for security were quite long, but when we were inside, there were lots of activities and fun for the kids – including the big kids!

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We had a few little drinks there, and when the rain made an appearance we retreated to a nearby pub.

@The WelshWookie and I had dinner reservations for Brown’s, which was wonderful. I had lobster linguine, while @TheWookie had steak. Yummy.

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Sunday morning was a little damp, but we headed into the city once again to see the marathon. Not long after we arrived in George Square, the male marathoners past us. Those guys are fast! We then met up with the wonderful Allison aka The Running Princess and her husband Steve which was fab! We watched the female marathon runners pass by, and Allison gave me the MP3 player with her running tracks on it, as part of the Great Music Swap. Stay tuned for a later post on this! 😛

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@TheWelshWookie and I walked back down towards Merchant City, and had a look around the Irn Bru ‘pop up’ museum, before stopping to cheer on the marathon runners as they made their second of three laps around the city. We then headed to Glasgow Green, and were lucky to find a spot around 100 metres from the finish line, where we could cheer the runners.

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The atmosphere was fantastic! Yes, it was a little wet and showery, but everyone was in good spirits. And when Michael  Shelley from Australia rounded the corner an realised he was at the finish line, his joy was palpable!

We then spent the rest of last week working, but glued to the Games all week.

And, on Friday at lunchtime, we headed through once again to Glasgow, for this weekend’s shenanigans!

We met up with Angie and Ryan in George Square, before catching the shuttle bus to Hampden for the athletics. And what a ball we had!

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Our seats were fantastic: right behind the flag poles, at the start of the race track. It was also just where the pole vaulters were performing.

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We had a wonderful evening, and the events seemed to fly by, including the men’s 10,000 metres, the ladies 800 metres, with Lynsey Sharp bagging a silver medal for Scotland! We also watched the pole vault final, triple jump, ladies high jump final, discus and javelin. And we also saw the heats for the 4×400 relays and, of course the 4×100 relays too!

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We were very lucky to be seated just where the anchors would start their run, which meant we could see plenty of two of the biggest sprint stars in the world: Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce and, what’s the name of that fast guy again? The entertaining one? Ummmmm.

Oh, that’s right.

Bolt. Usain Bolt.

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Despite all of the controversy during the week, he received a fntsatic reception from the crowds and he did not disappoint with his explosive running. Wowee.

You can see him in action here:  

The evening ended with the women’s 100m hurdles, which was also very impressive. We then headed back to the queue for the shuttle bus before stopping off for a night cap on our way home.

Saturday morning and we found ourselves heading back into the city for two events. It was pretty wet and damp, so we had some breakfast at the station before we caught the train to the SECC and joined the queue for the para-powerlifting event.

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As we queued the rain started, and the brollies went up. The tickets said gates would open at  12.30, but that came and went and we were still waiting in the pouring rain. Turns out there was apparently a misprint on the tickets, and they weren’t ready to let us in! Needless to say I was soaking wet, and not impressed.

Finally, we were allowed in, and both security and the Clydesiders did their best to get us into the dry of the Clyde Auditorium (a.k.a. the Armadillo) quickly. We found our seats easily, and settled with a beer to enjoy the event. The athletes were really impressive: how they have overcome various levels of disability to lift and achieve so much was inspiring. We also saw a new world record, when Ali Jawad from Team England broke his own world record not once but twice! I reckon that was one of my highlights of the games.

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When the event finished, the rain was still pouring, and so we headed back to the Crowne Plaza again, knowing we could have something to eat and wouldn’t have to go back through security once again.

The gates for the Boxing were due to open at 6.30pm in the newly built SSE Hydro, and so as I paid the bill, I saw that we’d been given a 20% VIP discount! 😀 The staff must have thought we worked for the BBC or something, as most of those there appeared to do so.

Anyway, we left the hotel at around 6.45pm, and found that the doors had not yet been opened, and for the second time in one day we found ourselves queueing in the rain. Finally, we got in, and we were in the circle, overlooking the boxing ring.

In fact, we were sitting next to the VIP area, and throughout the evening, lots of the referees and officials were coming to stand just in front of us to have their photos taken above the ring, as it was the perfect spot for that!

We saw the finals of the women’s middleweight, and the men’s middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight. The atmosphere was simply amazing! The star of the evening was Saint-Pierre, from Mauritius, who was very entertaining. But, the audience were shocked when the bout – and the gold medal – were awarded to the New Zealander he was fighting!

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By the time the boxing drew to a close and the medal ceremonies were complete, the rain had cleared and we walked to the train station, stopping for a night cap before catching the train back to Dumbarton.

Our final taste of the Commonwealth Games excitement was brief, on Sunday. It wasn’t just wet, it was torrential. We had to head into the city to run an errand, and we were lucky enough to watch the men’s road race from the dry within the Apple Store on Buchanan Street.

When we got home, we settled down to enjoy the closing ceremony, and to reflect on all of our fun over the past couple of weeks.

Glasgow did itself proud: the people made the games: the friendliness, the hospitality and the support was brilliant. The Host City volunteers were a credit to Glasgow, and the Clydesider volunteers (including my sister and my mum) really made the games very special, and made everyone feel very important.

I’d like to share my wee voice of congratulations, and thanks to everyone involved in some way to making the Commonwealth Games such a wonderful success. Puredeadbrilliant!

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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Well, it’s all over, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have drawn to a close.

Hopefully, I’ll post very soon to fill you in on all of our antics: we had a real blast!

But, it’s back to work, and time to get cracking:

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Are you planning on rolling up your sleeves this week and getting stuck in? What do you want to achieve?

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

I thought you might appreciate a little break from my posts about the Commonwealth Games. While I’m watching the gymnastics, including another gold for Team Scotland, I thought I’d share a local Tarbert festival, which I missed this year.

While @TheWelshWookie and I were sunning ourselves in Tenerife, my family were at our house, enjoying Tarbert Seafood Festival! I enjoyed last year’s festival so much that I split my review into two posts, which you can read here and also here.

They had fabulous weather, and they told me that there were even more stalls than there were last year. They enjoyed sampling the seafood delights:

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Enjoyed a little beer:
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and basked in glorious sunshine.
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Stacey was a winner this year: she won a fishcake! No, not a fishcake, but a Fish Cake! Nom nom nom.
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And on the Sunday, they enjoyed the music at Beer on the Pier. They took the boys over to the outdoor gym, and were able to enjoy the music from the other side of the harbour. Smart thinking, guys!
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There is no way we’ll be missing the festival in 2015 😀

GLASGOW 2014: Highs and Lows

GLASGOW 2014: Highs and Lows

Did you manage to watch any of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony?

What did you think?

I LOVED it! It was very self-depreciating, tongue in cheek, and just shows that we don’t always take ourselves too seriously 🙂

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I loved the dancing Tunnock’s teacakes! I’d love one that size!

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More importantly, I thought the UNICEF appeal was a fantastic idea, I wonder if that will now set a trend?

There seemed to be a lot of debate on Facebook and Twitter: lots of people loved it, others hated it, I thought it was great fun! Except Susan Boyle singing Mull of Kintyre (and unfortunately fogetting the words). I could have done without that!

I also loved Sir Chris Hoy saving the day, by opening up the Queen’s Baton.

And the Scotland team uniform is growing on me. A little. Except the socks. Yuk!

So, for me, the Opening has been a high. Lots of fun.

Now for the low: Mo Farah has pulled out. Boo! 😦 He hasn’t recovered sufficiently from illness, so I have no doubt he’s done the right thing. I guess it just reminds me that pulling out of a race can be a sign of strength, not weakness. He’s talked before about wanting to add a Commonwealth Gold to his collection, and I’m sure he’ll be disappointed.

Oh, well, I’ll still see Usain Bolt ‘flash’ past! 🙂

News Round Up

News Round Up

Hello! How has your week been?

I have a couple of wee bits of news to share with you tonight:

Fever Struck

Have you been affected by the condition ‘world cup fever’? Be careful – it can be serious! 😉

So, tonight we see the kick off of the world cup. As an auntie to seven nephews, I think that football is going to be an important topic of conversation over the next few weeks! To keep us interested, we’ve had a family sweepstake, and my teams are France and Japan! @TheWelshWookie has Germany and Equador. Tonight’s game sees my dad and my brother Joe going head to head.

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Mo Runs

In other news, Mo Farah has announced that he will be running the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Hurrah! I’m really looking forward to seeing him run the 10,000m.

Expansion

In my post last week, I’d mentioned that we’d gone to Campbeltown on an errand. We had something to collect. Do you want to know what it is?

It’s………….

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Yip; an exercise bike! So, our home gym is now complete. We have the bike to complement the rowing machine, the treadmill, the free weights, resistance bands, etc. Now that I’ve started my marathon training, I think I have to take my cross training a bit more seriously, and not count a walk to the cafe as cross training! 😉

Yesterday, I did 18K on the bike. My legs were burning, using long neglected muscles, but I feel fine today, fortunately. DOMS might kick in tomorrow, though! My little toe is still pretty sore from the blister and bruising from Sunday, so I’m going to give it a couple more days and give it a test on Saturday’s long run.

So, who’s your pick for the World Cup?

 

 

Commonwealth Games Marathon

Commonwealth Games Marathon

Many of you will remember my post last year, when I excitedly announced that I had secured tickets for judo and for athletics, including the 10k, at the Commonwealth Games being hosted in Glasgow this summer.

I’m really looking forward to it!

Yesterday, the marathon route was announced, and I’m so excited by it! There are some great vantage points along the route, and it covers loads of roads I’ve run along before!

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It begins in Glasgow Green, which is where I ran the MoRun back in November, and is also the finish for the Great Scottish Run too.

It then heads out along the River Clyde to the SECC and The Hydro, and over the Squinty Bridge which is also part of the GSR route.

Next, the route goes through Bellahouston and Pollok Parks, which is part of the route for the Glasgow Women’s 10k which I didn’t run in 2013, but I have run it 4 times before, and it’s over 10 years since my first one!

The route then follows the old GSR route back through Glasgow’s south side, and back into Glasgow Green. It’s a great route!
I now have a few months to work out where I’ll spectate from 😀

Meanwhile, the first week of half marathon training has gone well. I got in a slow 4 miler today, the first of my ‘long’ runs, I know they’re just going to build from there. Mileage for this week: 13 miles. Bring on week two!

In wedding news, it’s my hen weekend next weekend, and I can’t wait! 🙂 It’s now less than 9 weeks until the big day!

Do you have a long run (or a not-so-long run, like me) planned this weekend?

I’ve Only Gone and Done It!

I’ve Only Gone and Done It!

Earlier this month, I posted about Mo Farah’s pledge to move from Metres to Miles in 2014, and how I was considering running my first marathon, too.

Well I’ve only gone and done it. I’ve signed up for  The Loch Ness Marathon this September! Eeek!

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I thought: this is the year. It’s the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It’s the Year of Homecoming across Scotland. Mo’s stepping up the distance. And I signed up!

There was something extra special about signing up for this race: it’s the first race I’ve signed up for in my married name- since I’ll be an ‘auld married wummin’ by then! That was exciting, too!

Be prepared to be very bored with my marathon chat, folks! 😉

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