Glasgow International Marathon: 1981

By 1981 the race was back to mid-October and the numbers had increased as shown in this brief preview from ‘The Scotsman’.

The race was held, 101 runners finished the race, 5 inside 2:20, another 12 inside 2:30 and runners from all over Scotland from the Shetland Isles to the Cheviot Hills.  The detailed results below were provided by Colin Youngson who was first Scot to finish and Scotland won the team race on countback.   With only two to count, the home country had three in the first six finishers

Colin’s medal for the race is shown below – even for a good athlete like Colin, it had special value since the race was an international and there were so few of them for road racers (but more international contests did take place, at Glasgow and Aberdeen, during the imminent ‘marathon boom’ years). 

That it had been a successful event, there was no doubts but the Glasgow Sports promotion Council had bigger plans yet.   Ron Marshall in the ‘Glasgow Herald’ comments on the race but looks ahead to the city’s plans for 1982.   He writes:

Did the Council’s plans for a bigger event in 1982 come to fruition?   Elsewhere in this website Joe Small who ran in the ’79 and ’80 versions of the race says:   “Following on from the success of large marathons such as New York and London, the race this year was the first “Scottish People’s Marathon” with a new course taking in much of the city, starting on the Saltmarket, via George Square taking in Byres Road, Dumbarton Road, the Clydeside Expressway, the Broomielaw, Bellahouston Park, Pollok Park then through the south side and finishing at Glasgow Green.   From the hundred or so starters in previous years a huge total, 7100, set out on Scotland’s first mass participation “people’s” event.”   See the picture below if any evidence is required.

It was a pity that the Glasgow International Marathon had to go.   It was a very good race over an interesting course that was a success by its own lights.   The day of the mass marathon was upon athletics by the 1980’s and the new race was maybe an even bigger success – the sheer numbers, the new athletics enthusiasts that it brought into the sport, the rise in the numbers of sub-2:20 runners was high, the rise in sub:2:30 higher and the number inside 3:00 hours would have been unbelievable at any point in the past.