Pure elation was the overwhelming emotion for Edinburgh’s Serena Richardson after conquering her demons once again to complete the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run.
The 38-year-old administrator has developed a strong emotional connection with the race since she had an unexpected break up on the eve of running the half marathon back in 2016.
She pulled out of the race as a result and ran in the 10k instead, before revisiting the half marathon last year and setting her sights on targeting a new personal best in the shorter run this year.
And despite her build-up being marred by injury setbacks, Serena was delighted with how she performed on the day at an event that has now become a liberating experience for her.
“When I registered I was a lot fitter, but I’ve had some injuries and illnesses leading up to the run, so I thought anything under an hour would be quite good,” she said.
“I wasn’t quite sure whether I would be able to do 55 minutes, I thought it might be next year, so I was really stoked to get 54 minutes and it was much better than I expected.
“I’ve gone from conquering something that was a bad time in my life to actually just having pure elation when I crossed the line and I still get quite emotional with Glasgow.
“I think about the time when I did it the first time in 2016 and I now feel a lot more confident in general and you always have those memories, but it’s not about that anymore.
“I still want to keep running the Great Scottish Run, but it does feel like time and running heals wounds. I was just ecstatic when I crossed the line and when I checked my time after I felt really happy.
“I actually felt quite fresh when I crossed the line, although I don’t think I could have run much further, and it was even better after having injuries and a few setbacks.”
While Serena, who lives in Dalry, admitted she lowered her expectations before the race, she said she quickly realised she was in good shape to dip under her previous best time.
“I felt amazing and I think that’s why I kept up the time as I was tracking myself in relation to my previous PB and thinking if I went over the time it wouldn’t bother me too much,” she said.
“It just felt good in the first 2km and I started to feel it a bit more after about 5km, but I thought to myself it’s only 10km and I don’t need to hold too much in the bank.
“I just decided to go with how I feel, which is what I usually do when I run, and I think the course was quite nice – especially tackling the hills, which most people dread.”
Serena ran the Great Scottish Run as part of the Community Challenge, launched by event sponsors Bank of Scotland to help get Scotland active – with the programme in its second year.
The campaign aimed to recruit one runner from each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland to take on a ‘10 week to 10k’ running challenge, with each receiving a personalised training programme by an expert coach in the weeks leading up to the run, which took place on Sunday September 30.
And Australian native Serena, who represented her adoptive home of Edinburgh, revealed she has big plans for next year’s run as she looks to achieve a feat she has never attempted before.
“Next year I’m contemplating doing the double, so I’m just trying to see what the logistics are as I’d like to do the 10k and the half marathon,” she said.
“I’m keeping my options open at the moment as I’m down for the Stirling Marathon in April and I was contemplating another marathon, but I like the idea of the double.
“I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on the Great Scottish Run on Facebook that they have done the double and it would be a new challenge, something I’ve never done before.”
Bank of Scotland is celebrating its 10th year as partner of the Great Scottish Run.
The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run 2019 is now open for entry, offering both 10k and half marathon distances. To find out more and enter click here
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