Sunday, September 24, 2006

Exploring Glasgow by Running

Entry for 24 September 2006:

Yesterday (Saturday), I did another 7.5 mi run, this time up the canal to the River Kelvin, but instead of going upriver I ran downriver along a lovely set of paths that wind along next to the River, ending up at the Botanic Garden on Great Western Road. For the first time, I got a really good sense of the way that the River Kelvin shapes the geography of that part of Glasgow, which is easy to miss because it is so built up with houses, tenements (in Glasgow, tenements are nice older buildings), and high rise towers (not so nice here).

Running in Glasgow can be quite tricky, because of the twists and turns of the road, canals, rivers, everything, so that it is very easy to become disoriented and lost. I suppose it would be safer to run with a map and a mobile phone, but I don’t like carrying the extra weight, especially on long runs. So I make do by carefully studying the relevant parts of the map beforehand, and planning my route. Still, it was very disorienting to come up in a neighborhood behind the Botanic Garden instead at Great Western Road, meaning that I was 180 degrees off. (Like my dream a while back of getting things exactly wrong!) It was only later that I realized that the River Kelvin runs parallel to Great Western Road for a ways before it makes a 90 degree right turn and crosses Great Western. I hadn't managed to internalize that part of the map!

After running around the Garden for a while, I found myself near the glass pavilions that I had seen from the bus and I was able to get back on course, heading up Queen Margaret Drive, as planned. That worked well until I realized that I had run under the canal without finding a way to get up to it and was on the opposite site from the towpath/running trail. This required reversing course and running along Maryhill Road for about half a mile until I reached Ruchill, where I knew from previous experience that there was access to the canal.

As I increase the distance I’m running, I’m learning more about the western part of the city. But what I really want to do is to run all the way to the River Clyde along the canal. It turns out, however, the it takes the canal about 9 miles, pretty much out the western end of Glasgow, for it to finally come down to the river at the town of Bowling (we have Bowling Green in Ohio, but I’ve never heard of a town just named named Bowling). This is way beyond my range, but I could run it one way. I’m thinking about running there, and taking the train back (there are direct trains between Bowling and the two stations near us, Anniesland and Westerton), but I haven’t figured out practical things like getting water, food and clothes to the far end. Hmm, I’ll have to work on Diane, but somehow I don’t think taking a train to an obscure suburb of Glasgow with a bunch of stuff to meet a reeking spouse is her idea of a fun Saturday adventure!

No comments: