A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


4.2 K run

Just a short race I did in Scotland last week, at a conference in Glasgow. It was the morning after a whisky tasting session… I wonder how much effect that had on participant numbers! (Not whiskey, as I was reminded - maybe that’s because I’ve spent too much time in Ireland!)

In case you’re wondering why this race was 4.2 km (it’s an obscure reason, so you might well be): 4.2 Kelvin (4.2 K) is the boiling point of liquid helium. Until recently, almost all superconductors have used liquid helium as the coolant, in order to reach the temperatures at which they operate. Having a 4.2 km race is, apparently, a tradition at this applied superconductivity conference. That’s definitely a geeky physicists in-joke… Still, it was fitting I suppose in Glasgow, seeing as we ran the race in Kelvin park, not far from the statue of William Thomson (aka Lord Kelvin).

It was a nice Scottish morning for running, ie. damp and drizzly, but not too windy or cold. The course was all on tarmac, starting out with a few sharp turns around the park before heading out and back along the Kelvin river (yes, they seem to like the name Kelvin in this part of Glasgow!). I set off in second place running shoulder to shoulder with a fairly short man wearing a Japanese university triathlon tshirt; I forget which university now - I remembered it was Japanese though as I was reading a book about running by Haruki Murakami at the time. I quickly felt like I wouldn’t match his pace, so I dropped off a little and held a fairly comfortable pace. I could hear somebody else just behind, but I felt comfortable and was running well, and picked up the pace in the last half mile or so to leave him well behind and finish in a comfortable second place.

Results below: