Queen’s Glasgow – when Crumble met Charlie

Don’t worry I’ve not gone off the rails and started the drugs. This is a love story!

It’s great to be back parkrunning again after a few weeks off.

The human abandoned me two Saturdays in a row as he swanned off to Burgess parkrun in London two weeks ago (at least he didn’t do Barking parkrun or it would have been endless puns all week) and then the Amsterdam marathon last weekend (think he’s quite chuffed with himself as he wore the finishers T-shirt for the third time this morning – I just hope he washed it in between).

All is forgiven though as he promises he’s got a few parkruns lined up for me over the next few weeks.

So many new parkruns have popped up over the last few months so we had many to choose from. Dean Castle Country Park and University of Stirling look like great options and Oriam (at Heriot Watt University) starts next week. We did think about going to Mount Stuart in Bute but Stuart decided he didn’t like the sound of that so fair enough I suppose….

We decided it was time to venture over to the Deep South to try out Queen’s parkrun Glasgow in Queen’s Park. They must have known that labradoodle royalty was going to be visiting when they named this parkrun. It’s the second Queen’s parkrun in the UK, with Belfast’s equivalent now in its 8th year. A free Crumble factoid for you.

This was week two there and we had heard glowing reports about the inaugural event and enjoyed the brilliant video of the event by Douglas and the gang and read the rave Scottish Running Guide review. Yes of course dogs can read! We weren’t going to be put off by a few hills were we?

It was an easy decision really since we knew that Laura and the awesome Charlie were on duty today. I’ve been flirting with Charlie on the parkun dogs Facebook group for a few weeks now so it was time to go for our first date. Would they call it puppy love?

On arrival Charlie was there at the gates to welcome me and we got on like a house on fire. Charlie is a handsome young cockapoo and he was on marshalling duty today. We had a little play and carry on in the leaves. It was great fun.

I then went for the customary off-lead warm-up up to the flagpole, the park’s highest point. The views were amazing and it was a perfect morning.

We then headed back to the start area for the briefing. There were a lot of the human’s “running friends” there today including Barb, Murray, Craig, Jez, Keith, Michael, Stuart, another Stuart, Ewan and some of the Jog Scotland Milngavie gang.

Charlie and I said our hellos again at the start then I got my parkrun head on and focused on the job in hand. I knew it wasn’t going to be a fast one today between the hills and the human’s marathon legs but we decided to see how close to the magic 25 minute mark we could get knowing that 27 minutes was more realistic.

The course was a real workout and put us both through our paces. A different sort of hilly route compared to Drumchapel and Ruchill, there were plenty long steady climbs and some nice downhills with some awesome volunteers to keep us all going. A bit of a rollercoaster ride. Some of the views from the highest points were amazing. I made sure I was looking bashful and running effortlessly each time we passed Charlie’s marshalling point, fortunately he was stationed at the end of a long downhill. Result!

There were a handful of other dogs though I was a bit gutted that none of the corgis seemed to be allowed out to stroll in the Queen’s Park. Maybe they’re all up at Balmoral this week.

We had a wee bit of competition for first dog this week with a black lab leading the way for the first two of the three laps but we managed to overtake it towards the end and finish a comfortable 50m or so ahead. We just broke 27 minutes so happy enough with that.

They even had water and doggy biscuits at the finish area making this one of the most dog-friendly events ever so I was a very happy dog munching away at the end very contentedly… I’m pretty sure I heard Charlie say I’ll have what she’s having.

Once the standard puparazzi photo shoot was done it was time to head home and check our Strava stats. Is it just me being all vain or does the course map look like a sleeping dog’s head?

A big doggy high five from me to the core team. A challenging but absolutely cracking new parkrun. We’ll definitely be back. Thanks Charlie, Laura, Sarah-Jane and the rest of the gang.

Next week I think I’m off to University!

I’m now away to chill for the rest of the day. I’m definitely going to enjoy the extra hour in my bed tonight. Don’t forgot to change your clocks!

Hanging out with my new bestie Charlie
The pupparazzi shot – blanking the photographer
The stunning views towards the Campsies
The pre-run briefing
Play time
The finish area featuring doggy biscuits and water
Maybe not as obvious as the Ruchill whale but can anyone else see a dog?

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