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Running at Christmas: Dos and Donts

Running at Christmas: Dos and Donts

The festive period is always a challenging time for us runners. As the calendar fills up with work parties and social gatherings, and the kitchen cupboard fills up with mince pies and yule logs, you’d be forgiven for over-indulging and missing out on some running!

But if you’re feeling extra determined this year, we’ve got some top tips to help you keep fit this Christmas, and some dangerous pitfalls to avoid!

Become an early riser

If your calendar is chock-a-block with parties, gatherings and family reunions, why not set an alarm and get your run done nice and early? It’s a great feeling having it under your belt and knowing the rest of the day is yours to relax! Will it be cold? Probably – but winter mornings can also be pretty beautiful things to behold.

Don’t be self-righteous

You might be really enjoying the feeling of keeping fit while family members pour prosecco onto their cornflakes, but don’t go gloating! An endorphin-charged runner sitting on their high-horse is sure to ruffle some turkey feathers.

Get into the spirit

There are plenty of festive fun runs coming up in the next few weeks, so why not get yourself entered into one? Get some friends together, don your Santa hats and reindeer antlers and have a laugh with it!

Don’t expect any PBs

A few cheeky treats are inevitable and Christmas food is certainly more conducive to steady running than a max out effort! So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just go out and enjoy running for the sake of running!


Merry Christmas and enjoy!

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Men’s 10K Glasgow inspires positive change for men across Scotland

Men’s 10K Glasgow inspires positive change for men across Scotland

The Men’s 10K Glasgow continues to produce an event day like no other; each runner’s personal journey and reason for running adding to the atmosphere and vitalizing the collective identity that the event is built on.

Over 2,500 men took to the streets of Glasgow on Father’s Day, Sunday 17th June in ideal running conditions – the morning rain clearing just in time for the start of the run. Supported by local crowds along the route, they tackled the stunning city-centre 10K from the Riverside Museum to George Square, taking in many of Glasgow’s most iconic landmarks along the way.

The event also coincided with the final day of Men’s Health Week; a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of a variety of men’s health issues.

Among the finishers was Martin Kilcoyne whose 10K run for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) was an emotional one. Martin explained:

“Last year my father was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and had multiple tumours which had spread rapidly. He had a brain tumour which was operated on, but a successful operation and a few months of good treatment eventually stalled and the tumours started to grow back.

“While on a break from his treatment down in London, he suffered a large stroke that led to him being left unable to communicate or get out of his bed, and doctors had no option but to end his treatment. He was taken home for end of life care at the start of November and passed away around a week after getting home.

“My brother and I decided that it would be a fitting tribute to our father to run the Men’s 10K for CRUK on Father’s Day.”

You can read more and donate to Martin’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/martin-kilcoyne.

The inspiration continued as William Shirriffs crossed the line at George Square, raising funds for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

William was diagnosed with depression several years ago, and shared his journey to the start line:

“Looking back, I have no idea how I kept functioning and going to work. I managed to get the help I needed and over the course of a year and a half, I got back on track – I spent a great deal of time rebuilding, made some changes and started to going to the gym.

During the rough times, I relied heavily on techniques for managing my depression, as well as mental health services offered in Glasgow, and I’m proud that I’m back on track, now with more knowledge and awareness and even more ways to manage things if they start getting difficult.”

On his decision to fundraise for SAMH, William said:

“I believe that awareness and provision of support services for mental health is just as important as those for physical health.”

You can read more and donate to William’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/william-shirriffs10k.

SAMH also benefited from the Men’s 10K pacers team who, as big fans of Glasgow band Frightened Rabbit, wanted to remember lead singer Scott Hutchison who tragically took his own life last month. On Frightened Rabbit’s request, they made their donations to SAMH.

Hundreds more guys took part in today’s run raising money for charity, including the official charity Cancer Research UK. Together, runners are estimated to raise over £100,000 as a result.

Event Director Sandra Scott commented:

“We’re delighted that the Men’s 10K continues to inspire the men of Scotland and beyond to make a real, tangible and positive change to their lives. The atmosphere in Glasgow is always special, and we hope the runners enjoyed the incredible city-centre route and their whole Men’s 10K experience.

“Each year, we’re inundated with amazing runner’s stories, from those taking personal steps to better health and fitness, to those raising funds for charities close to their hearts. We are humbled to be a part of these personal journeys and congratulate each and every runner who crossed that line today.”

“Our ultimate aim is for the event to play a small but significant part of an urgent need to change the face of men’s health in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

Scott added:

“We want to say a special thank you to the people of Glasgow who have shown such incredible support for the runners across the route and also to our Event Delivery Team who give their free time, skills and enthusiasm to ensure that every single runner enjoys a welcoming, safe and enjoyable event.

We hope that you wear your finisher’s t-shirt with pride and we look forward to seeing you all again.”

For those who want to continue the journey or who missed out on Glasgow, there is still another chance to join the fun when the Men’s 10K returns to Edinburgh later this year.

Edinburgh will host the event on Sunday 4th November just ahead of International Men’s Day with a stunning route that begins on the Royal Mile in the heart of Old Town and finishes in style at BT Murrayfield Stadium.

To find out more visit https://www.mens10k.com/edinburgh/ and to see the full list of finisher’s times from Glasgow, visit https://www.mens10k.com/glasgow/.

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Niall Darroch to run Men’s 10K in son’s memory

Niall Darroch to run Men’s 10K Edinburgh in son’s memory

Niall Darroch will run this year’s Men’s 10K Edinburgh for SANDS Lothians; a local charity who offer befriending and counselling to bereaved parents, and he predicts that it will be an “emotional experience” for many reasons.

In 2015, Niall’s son Ryan was stillborn despite the best efforts of staff at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Niall recalls:

“From the first difficult moments we felt the influence of SANDS Lothians.

“We were lucky to know a midwife friend who put us straight in touch with the charity, and they were able to support us from day one. They offer individual, family and group counselling, and events to help parents commemorate their babies. Not too long ago, stillborn children were whisked immediately away and parents encouraged to simply forget their babies as the way to recovery.

“The expert support SANDS Lothians offered really made the difference in coming to terms with Ryan’s stillbirth. We are able to think of him with love and pride, and being able to talk about such a difficult subject hopefully reduces the taboo that bereaved parents sometimes feel.

“Fundraising for this cause is really important to me for a number of reasons. First and foremost, helping SANDS Lothians fund their ongoing work means other families can be helped through difficult times. I knew that there would be a large and diverse group of SANDS Lothians supporters running the Men’s 10K, and I’m looking forward to being part of a pack of men with a shared focus.

“I’m also convinced of the mental health benefits of being active. I’m sure that running the Men’s 10K through my adopted hometown in the company of men all racing for the good of others and themselves will be an emotional experience.”

You can donate to Niall’s JustGiving page here.  

If you want to join Niall and thousands of others on the start line on the Royal Mile next month, there’s still time. Late entries are available until 5pm on Wednesday 1st November. Find out more and enter at https://www.mens10k.com/edinburgh/.

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Glasgow Men’s 10K a huge hit on Father’s Day

Glasgow Men’s 10K a huge hit on Father’s Day

Thousands of guys took to the streets of Glasgow for the Men’s 10K on Sunday 18th June in warm, overcast conditions. The collective spirit of the Men’s 10K runners never fails to generate a truly unique atmosphere as guys from all different walks of life come together each year, united by the same goal of completing the 10K run.

Supporting a 2,000 strong army of men were thousands more locals who gathered in George Square and along the route, further adding to the already fantastic atmosphere. Runners were cheered on as they headed east along the River Clyde, past the Glasgow Science Centre, the Armadillo and the SECC. Around the 5K point, runners passed by the south side of George Square and onto Glasgow Green crossing the Clyde twice more via Crown Street and Kings Bridge and then heading back to George Square to enjoy their moment of glory as they crossed the finish line.

Among the finishers was Ross Clift who completed today’s run in memory of his cousin Lennon Toland who tragically lost his life when a van mounted the pavement in September last year. Lennon was just 5 years old at the time and had started at school just a few weeks prior to the horrific incident. Ross, along with Lennon’s uncle Declan and other family and friends, donned a Spiderman morphsuit for the run as a nod to Lennon’s favourite superhero. The Men’s 10K makes up part of the family’s inspirational effort of taking part in an event for every month of 2017. You can donate via their JustGiving page here.

Joining Ross out on the course was professional wrestling referee Thomas Kearins who was running for Cahonas Scotland who work to raise awareness of male cancers.Thomas had a minor scare himself back in 2014, and decided to seek medical advice after the Cahonas Scotland website helped him to identify potential signs of cancer. Fortunately Thomas was given the all-clear, but decided to continue to support this brilliant cause. He said: “Cahonas Scotland eliminate the stigma attached to male cancers, and the embarrassment associated with it. Cahonas enable men to talk freely about their personal health. I’m delighted to be able to support the great work they do for thousands of people in Scotland and beyond.” You can donate to Thomas’ JustGiving page here.

Elsewhere, Grant Hutchison added some rocker stardust to proceedings; the drummer from Glasgow-based rock band Frightened Rabbit found time to complete today’s run in the midst of the band’s global tour. Grant, who has been vlogging for the Men’s 10K in the lead up to the event, was also raising funds for Cahonas Scotland. You can donate to his JustGiving page here. You can check out Grant’s progress throughout the year, as well as fellow video blogger Stephen Morrison here.

The event’s official starter was 73 year old Lachie Stewart who won 10,000m gold at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Lachie provided some extra inspiration for the Men’s 10K runners as he set them on their way, firing the gun at 10am outside the Riverside Museum.

Hundreds of guys took part in today’s run raising money for charitable causes, including the event’s official charity Cancer Research UK. Together, runners are estimated to raise over £100,000.

Event Director Neil Kilgour commented:

“It’s been another fantastic Men’s 10K here in Glasgow. The event never fails to generate a unique atmosphere, made so by the incredible runners, the local crowds lining the route and the brilliant volunteers and event crew that make it all happen – so a massive thanks to all of them.

“The event plays such an important role in Scotland, inspiring thousands of men of all ages and abilities to make a genuine difference. Whether that be improving their fitness, quitting smoking or running for a charity close to their heart, each and every guy that crosses that finish line is a hero in our eyes.
After some great feedback on last year’s new route, we stuck with more of the same this year. The 10K took runners on a whistle-stop tour of Glasgow’s city-centre, taking in the very best of this incredible city.”

Kilgour added:

“We hope our runners can now enjoy some well-earned celebrations for the rest of Father’s Day and reflect in their amazing achievements this morning.”

For those who want to do it all again or who missed out on Glasgow, there is still another chance to join the fun when the Men’s 10K returns to Edinburgh for the third time in November.

Edinburgh will host the event on Sunday 5th November just ahead of International Men’s Day with a stunning route that begins on the Royal Mile in the heart of Old Town and finishes in style at BT Murrayfield Stadium. To find out more visit https://www.mens10k.com/edinburgh/ and to see the full results from Glasgow, visit https://www.mens10k.com/glasgow/.

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Jay Cruz Semple: “Men’s 10k Glasgow – my favourite event”

“Men’s 10k Glasgow – my favourite event”

“Men’s 10k Glasgow – my favourite event”. An easy and obvious sentence to open a blog about the Men’s 10k, and one you’d probably expected. But it’s true. It is in my heart, it’s a passion to me and part of who I am as a runner. But who am I?

My name is Jay Cruz Semple. I’m a visually impaired, 37 year old athlete from Glasgow, and I suffer from a degenerative eye condition, Choroideremia, which affects the blood cells around the retina leading to a total loss of sight.

Back in 2012, the Glasgow Men’s 10k was my first ever running event. My eyesight at that time was already deteriorating and I only had tunnel vision. Two close friends had lost their father to prostate cancer in May 2012, and my poor eyesight was not going to stop me running in his memory, and raising money for a deserving charity.

I ran a further 28 races that year, running in my trademark kilt and raising money for Prostate Cancer, Macmillan and Cancer Research UK. Of all the events, the Men’s 10k remained my favourite – for the route, the piper leading runners to the start, the amazing support along the route and the family atmosphere.

Fast forward five years; I’ve completed every Glasgow Men’s 10K since my first. There was a wobble in 2013 when the event nearly didn’t go ahead. I campaigned furiously with the running community and local councillors to ensure the event continued. The Men’s 10k is the only event on the calendar aimed solely at men, and promoting men’s health issues. New organisers were brought in, the Edinburgh Men’s 10K was added in 2015 (which I will hopefully complete this year) and there was talk of a London event; I think this would be an amazing addition to the running calendar. I was the official starter for the Glasgow edition in 2016 which being a Glaswegian myself was a great honour and a fabulous experience.

I am now a father to a beautiful 4-year-old son, which adds an extra something to the Men’s 10k as it is always held on Father’s Day and Tyler-James is there to greet me at the finish line. My eye condition has deteriorated to the point where I can no longer see his cheeky wee smile, and the drawings and pictures he brings home from nursery.

I now require a running guide to participate in events but haven’t let this stop me. I aim to represent my country at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and recently completed my first marathon in Stirling, where I met my running idols, Liz McColgan and Zola Budd. Men’s 10K Glasgow 2017 will be my 100th race, all wearing my kilt. I travel around the UK to compete in events raising awareness of my condition, and funds for the private treatments necessary to hopefully help me see my son again.

To donate visit: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jaycruz

To follow my progress, follow me on social media: facebook.com/JayCruzSemple/

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Men’s 10K Glasgow to mark number 327 of Dunbartonshire man’s 365 10Ks challenge for Dementia Charities

Men’s 10K Glasgow to mark number 327 of Dunbartonshire man’s 365 10Ks challenge for Dementia Charities

Maurice Donohue from West Dunbartonshire will run the Glasgow Men’s 10K on Father’s Day, Sunday 18th June as part of an incredible challenge which he embarked upon last summer. Maurice pledged to run 365 10K races and 27 Half Marathons in 365 days, in a bid to raise funds and awareness for the Sporting Memories Network and Race Against Dementia which offer support to dementia sufferers and fund research into a cure for the condition, respectively. His decision to raise for these charities is part of a tribute to two Dunbartonshire-born sporting legends: Formula 1’s Jackie Stewart who has seen his wife suffer from dementia in recent years, and Jackie’s namesake Lachie, who won Commonwealth Gold in the 10,000m for Scotland at the 1970 Games in Edinburgh.

Maurice commented: “I am particularly passionate about two things; sport and helping to tackle dementia. My first love is distance running and helping people to get active. As a proud resident of West Dunbartonshire, I wanted to honour my sporting heroes Lachie and Jackie Stewart. I hope the challenge I’m taking on will help raise awareness of dementia, get people physically active and support the fight against dementia, celebrating the role that sport can play in this battle.”

Maurice, pictured above after his 289th 10K in Dumbarton this week, is firmly on track to achieve his target having also completed six half marathons to date. The Glasgow Men’s 10K will be 10K number 327, pushing Maurice ever closer to his pledge, which has also been officially passed by the Scottish Parliament with their best wishes. To add an extra sprinkling of startdust to proceedings, Maurice will also be joined on the Glasgow start line by MSP and Olympian Brian Whittle who raised the motion referenced above and is fully in support of Maurice’s #RunWithMaurice campaign.

You can find out more about Maurice’s fundraising and make a donation here.

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Men’s 10K Edinburgh returns with a bang

Men’s 10K Edinburgh returns with a bang

The Men’s 10K staged its second event of 2016 in Edinburgh on Sunday 6th November, after the Father’s Day event in Glasgow back in June.

An eager army of men flocked to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on a crisp November morning, ready to tackle this beautiful city-centre 10K. Each of the runners, knowingly or not, helped in some small way to create a positive impact not only on their lives, but on the lives of others.

The 10K route took them past many of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks including the Scott Monument, Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Park, before heading up through Grassmarket and onto a grandstand finish at BT Murrayfield Stadium.

Around 1,200 men crossed the finish at the home of Scottish Rugby, each with their own reason for running and their own story to tell. Whether they were running for personal reasons, for a loved one or for a cause close to their heart, we salute them for being part of the Men’s 10K movement.

Among the finishers was 32 year old Mark Howell, who was running for Down’s Syndrome Scotland and more specifically for his beautiful daughter Lucy. Lucy was born six weeks early and had to be resuscitated several times in her first few days, it became apparent that she had Down’s Syndrome early on, and Mark was put into contact with Down’s Syndrome  Scotland who have been a constant pillar of support for Mark and his family since.

mark-howell-m10k-edinburgh

Mark said: “We are so lucky to have had the support of Down’s Syndrome Scotland, they have helped in so many ways, helping us understand Lucy’s condition and putting us into contact with families in similar situations. Lucy has turned into such an amazing, happy and beautiful child, and has brought so much happiness to everyone’s lives. We know there will be times when she is challenging but that is the same as any other child and we genuinely would not change her for the world.”

Elsewhere, 19 year old Rory Barraclough crossed the line at the end of his first ever 10K. Rory was raising funds for The Yard, which is a purpose built adventure playground in Edinburgh for children and young people with disabilities; Rory works with disabled children and often takes them there and sees the great work they do.

rory-barraclough

He said: “The kids absolutely love going to The Yard, they provide such a great service. They very much rely on charitable donations to keep their centres running and to keep costs as low as possible for parents and carers. I know that any money I raise will really make a difference so that has kept me motivated. On a personal note, it was great to have the Men’s  10K to aim for as it kept me fit and gave me something to train for.”

Event Director Neil Kilgour said: “The Men’s 10K plays such an important role in Scotland, inspiring thousands of men of all ages and abilities to think about their health and decide to make a positive change. We’re delighted that the Edinburgh event has been so welcomed by everyone in the Capital, and we’re looking forward to continuing to build on this success.

“The bottom line is that these men have stepped up and are in a better place as a result of participating today in the Men’s 10K, whether that be in Glasgow, Edinburgh, or both. They did not say I could, I might or I wish, they got up, put their trainers on and made a positive difference to their lives.

“The decline of men’s health in the UK is not inevitable, if others can look to the men who ran today as an example, they too can be encouraged to take positive steps to shape their future.”

While every man that made it to the start line achieved a personal win just by getting there, first across the line was Peter Avent of Shettleston Harriers in a time of 30 minutes and 35 seconds,, second home was Patryk Gierjatowicz of Hunters Bog Trotters in 32 minutes and eight seconds, with Duncan Coombs, also of Hunters Bog Trotters taking third spot in 32 minutes and 15 seconds.

In addition to today’s event, the Men’s 10K ‘Man Cave’ has been located on Mound Precinct over the days preceding the event, just off Princes Street in Edinburgh. The Man Cave Dinosaurs and cavemen braved the elements to distribute over 1400 man bags filled with information from the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Prostate Scotland.

Event Director Neil Kilgour added: “We are delighted to have been able to reach out to normal guys on their lunch break or on their way home to put valuable health information in their hands – this is what the Men’s 10K is all about. A huge congratulations to everyone who took part today – you all fully deserve your finisher’s medal and T-shirt and should wear them with pride. Walk tall knowing that what you have achieved today that will shape your future for the better.”

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