During lockdown, our Jog Scotland group, Fit Group @ Shettleston Harriers, has kept in touch almost daily via WhatsApp. In particular, we have been setting ourselves a series of virtual challenges, offering motivation to all our runners to get out and keep active. For April, we challenged everyone to run at least 26.2 miles by the 26th of the month: 12 runners rose to the challenge, with 6 runners completing between 2 and 4 marathons’ worth of running (yes, some of the coaches got carried away!). We then tried a short-lived speed challenge which only the coaches seemed really bothered about (we’re a competitive lot), before deciding in mid-May to see how far we could collectively run in one weekend: the answer was 110 miles across 16 runs and 13 different runners. Wow.

Next, we gave ourselves two weeks to see how many parks/green spaces we could run through or past (as some were still closed off due to the lockdown). This was a great opportunity to discover new parts of Glasgow and even over into far flung places like Cambuslang to find new parks not yet ticked off the list. Eventually, we covered about 90 parks in total (it was too much like hard work keeping an exact tally of them all!).

Finally, on 21 June, we organized our Fit Group Midsummer Madness Relay, which shamelessly stole our Hill Runners’ idea of a virtual door-to-door relay between participants’ houses. We set off at 8 am from over by Linn Park on the south side and, over the next 9 hours, as we wound our way through the 17 legs of the relay (covering approx. 100k), we took in symbolic Shettleston Harriers sites such as Glasgow Green, the Emirates Arena and, most importantly, the lamppost on Carrick Drive where the Christmas Handicap sets off each December.

Over the past 3 months, we’ve acted as a virtual support group for each other through some dark and lonely times, and running has been a great way to keep our spirits up. Now that the lockdown is starting to be relaxed, we’re looking forward to meeting up in small groups of no more than 3 runners to get back out on the road once again.

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