I’m not sure why I decided to do this but the end of my first week of training was a 75 minute “easy run” so I thought I would try to run from Ibrox to Celtic Park. Looking at this on Google Maps though I saw this was going to be too short a route so I thought I would chuck Hampden in there as well, this was my mistake, Ibrox to Hampden seems to have plenty of hills!
Kirsty dropped me at Ibrox at 10am. Rangers are playing today and there were already supporters about the place with the scarf and flag sellers, Ibrox catering staff and some of the burger vans were getting parked up, I love burger vans. I decided to do a lap of Ibrox first, a really impressive stadium. Last time I was there I saw Morton draw 2-2. I have also been to a couple of Old Firm games, some Rangers Champions’ League games when my brother was in Spain and a Scotland game or two. It was here I heard the loudest noise I’ve heard at a football match when Morton played there in 1995, I think it was Paul Gascoigne’s competitive debut and the roar he got literally did make the air seem to crackle. Pity he elbowed Derek McInnes in the face and Paul Blair missed a sitter but there we go!
I did stop briefly to take this picture, I really like that main stand, from inside the stadium under the floodlights it looks pretty cool.
I plodded my way through the South side of Glasgow towards Cathkin Park, home of Third Lanark. I think they went out of business in the 1960s.
I was a little bit lost at this point but there was a set of stairs that were undeniably football stairs leading up a banking so I thought this must be it, the sign below confirmed it.
I know very little about Third Lanark other than they went out of business and were called the HiHi as a nickname. I think football historian Bob Crampsey may have supported them. I liked this peaceful little piece of Glasgow. I think someone is trying to fix this park up and get a Third Lanark team playing there again, I really liked the terracing and I reckon it would be a great place to watch a game on a warm summer’s evening, not so much in the winter maybe though.
Then I made it to Hampden surprisingly quickly. I really had no idea Hampden was so close to Cathkin Park. Kirsty met me here to make sure I was alright and to take a picture.
Hampden is the home of Scottish football, the SFA and SPFL are based here and it was recently confirmed Scotland would continue to play here, Murrayfield in Edinburgh put in a bid for all the big games to be played there instead. I think my first visit to Hampden was in 1986 for Aberdeen v Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final, Aberdeen won 3-0 and Walter Kidd was sent off for Hearts. I also went to the under 16 World Cup final, Scotland against Saudi Arabia in 1989 where many questioned if the Saudi Arabia team were actually under 16! When Hampden was refurbished a few of my friends and I drove up from Dunoon to see Holland beat us 1-0 with a goal from Brian Roy in the game to mark the re-opening. I think these details are correct, I am going google-less for this!
The run itself was pretty tough up until that point, Ibrox to Hampden is really steep in parts but I passed through a really nice part of Glasgow along Nithsdale Road. Next, I set out to Celtic Park, it must surely be nice and flat?
As I left Hampden I passed Toryglen football centre where I used to play 7 a sides on a Thursday evening. A few minutes later I passed Shawfield Stadium where we had a football night out, I had an uncanny ability to bet on the dog that finished last in something like 7 of the races. Shawfield is a greyhound track now but Clyde used to play there until they started shifting about, they now play in Cumbernauld. This part of the run was flattish and my speed was picking up a little despite me being at the 7km mark, I can run on the flat for ages but hills are tough! Kirsty met me here and I checked the next part of my route, it seemed to drag on for ages but I was pleasantly surprised to see Celtic Park looming before me relatively soon.
Celtic Park is Glasgow’s biggest stadium and the venue of one of my happiest nights as a Morton fan, when we beat Celtic 1-0 in the cup with a Dougie Imrie penalty. I have also seen us lose here a few times. It is a really impressive stadium and can be seen from a long way off. I was at a Scotland v England game here a few years ago and would love to go to a Celtic European match, the atmosphere always seems amazing.
A new addition to the Glasgow sporting scene is the Emirates Arena, ideally I could have went in and ran a lap of their athletics track. There is also the Chris Hoy Velodrome which I would like to try and, of course, it is the home of the Glasgow Rocks basketball team.
At last I was done. I chose to run from Ibrox to Celtic Park and not the other way around because I wanted the wind at my back most of the way. In truth I didn’t feel much wind and next time I would do it the opposite way around so I didn’t have those brutal hills at the start.
As you can see, it wasn’t the fastest time ever but my splits below kind of show that I was managing ok once it came to the flatter areas. That was an enjoyable morning and it was great to see such iconic venues from a different perspective.
Thanks for reading. If you have made it this far and want to sponsor me for running the London Marathon for the RNIB then you can do so at this link here
You can also text SMTR76 £1 to 70070 (or £2, £3, £4, £5, £10) to give that amount.
Please feel free to share this if you want, I enjoyed running it and writing about it.