Our Sunday breakfast was interrupted by the sounds of bagpipes under our windows, reminding that this year’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run 10K was about to reach Clyde Street. Runners started their route at George Square, snaked through two bridges crossing the river and now there was only 1K left to the finishing line at Glasgow Green.
I grabbed my camera and rushed downstairs, looking forward to soaking the atmosphere of sportsmanship and capturing candids of the run participants and their supporters.
In our family John always dreamed of living somewhere near the water, a sea or a river. I, on the other hand, always wanted to live in a central location where documentary photos could be be found on my doorstep. We are finally both happy – John with his river and bridges, me with interesting shots just as I come out of the door.
I was still changing the settings on my camera when Max Milarvie, the future winner of the 10K race, passed me but I managed to photograph Richard Mair and Thoas Cornthwaite who came second and third. I also captured Gemma Steel who would be the first woman to cross the finishing line at Glasgow Green.
All along, I tried to focus on genuine human stories – great expressions on the faces of the athletes of various age groups and abilities as they strain along the route, touching messages of support and encouragement from the loved ones, fancy dress fun. I also captured perseverance of those who chose to run/part walk despite their age, anguish of the ones who gave up, volunteers looking after the ones who fell…
Of course, as I am an urban photographer, Glasgow landmarks featured prominently in my shots as the runners passed them.
The 11th Great Scottish Run 10k route was laid along the magnificent St Anrew’s Metropolitan Cathedral reflected in the nearby modern glass-panelled office building, past the graffiti walls of the Clutha bar and the giant Mackintosh mural above, the old crenellated turrets and cast iron parapets of City Union Railway Bridge/St Enoch Viaduct, through the weathered stones of McLennan’s Arch and near the colourful 2014 Commonweath Games logo sculpture.