A New Beginning for Yorkhill

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It was a week of mixed emotions at Yorkhill Hospital as they moved into the new Royal Hospital For Sick Children this week. My little grandson James was up for his last treatment in the old hospital on Tuesday and said farewell to his familiar surroundings including Clyde at the entrance to the hospital.



On Friday morning we went up for his first treatment in the new hospital and I must say it is very impressive, bright and welcoming with lots to amuse children in the main entrance area. As we went into the outpatient department the staff were still busy unpacking and familiarising themselves with their new place of work but there was an air of excitement around the place with plenty of volunteers on hand to show people where to go.

James was quick to familiarise himself with some of the new toys that were on offer and was pleased to see that his specialist nurse Aileen, had brought a box with some of his old favourites for him.

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Polaroid Vale of Leven 10k

IMG_0093This morning I completed the Vale of Leven 10k. I was in two minds about taking part in the race as I had a very busy Friday and Saturday, not getting home till late in the evening and have just recovered from Man-Flu and all the men reading this will realise what that takes out of you! All that said and done, I managed to pull myself out of bed early this morning and head for Lomond Shores, where the race started. This was the final race in the Polaroid Series and again very well organised with a big entry. The race route took us into Balloch Park with a reasonable steep climb at the beginning but then round and out into Balloch and back along the picturesque canal side to the finish at Lomond Shores. I have really enjoyed taking part in the Polaroid series and must thank the organisers for all the hard work they have done and especially the marshals at every race who were always on hand to direct us and give encouragement to everyone as they made there way round the course. I look forward to taking part again next year. Oh! It looks as although I have committed myself to keep running after my ten-race challenge raising money for the Yorkhill Childrens Charity is completed. Since I have started running, I have been buying running magazines, listening to running podcasts and reading running blogs to learn about training, injury prevention and leading a healthy lifestyle and diet. I recently read a very compelling article on the benefits of having a plant based diet but on the way back from the race today I stopped at the burger van at the top of the Rest And Be Thankful for a coffee and a bacon roll and as I munched through the bacon roll all thoughts of plant-based diets were banished from my mind. If I can go out and run a 10k, I should not feel guilty about having one of the pleasures in life! 741081_454339197964110_1164678010_oI would like to thank my sponsor for this race, Argyll Financial Services Limited for their support in helping me raise funds for the Yorkhill Childrens Charity and don’t forget if you would like to help, please go to my Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/ronniecairnsrunning

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10k Race


Ronnie’s Race Face

I had a great weekend at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Tina and I went through on Friday night, booked into our hotel, had a walk down to the start to see all the event staff busily working away setting up for the event the next morning. We then walked up the Royal Mile and went into an Italian restaurant for a meal. The restaurant was packed with runners; I knew this with the amount of Garmin watches that were on show. It was then back to the hotel for an early night as I would be up at 6.30am for the 10k race at 9pm. On walking down to Holyrood Park in the morning there was a great vibe about the place with everyone arriving for the event. I dropped my bag off and went for a warm-up and then made my way up to the start. This was the biggest race I have taken part in so far but as usual everyone was so friendly as we waited for the start of the race. 9pm on the button the race got underway and with so many runners, it was hard at first to get going but as soon as we started to climb up and around Arthurs Seat, which I did curse as it was a long climb but after a while everyone started to thin out. There were some great views across to Leith as we ran round Arthurs Seat and I took some satisfaction in knowing that I had reached the highest part of the run and it could only be downhill from here and it was but we dipped that far downhill, there was another short climb on the way back before a nice downhill run to the finish line at Dynamic Earth. Again I experienced that great feeling, when you cross the finish line, picked up my medal and t-shirt, had a chat with some fellow competitors, many who were also running for different charities and all for their own reasons. I read recently that success is making it to the start of the race and not necessary when and where you finish, so congratulations to everyone, who made the start.DSCF0212 DSCF0179   I

I would like to thank all who have donated to my fund raising so far and the Benmore Shop and Café who were my race sponsors for this event. If you would like to make a donation to the Yorkhill Childrens Charity, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/ronniecairnsrunning


Not the only dinasaur today!

Polaroid Dumbarton 10k Race

Dumbarton 10kWell that’s another race completed in my charity challenge to raise money for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity.

Last night I took part in the Polaroid Dumbarton 10k and my sponsored for this race by local company Tents and Events.

I was feeling pretty good about the race and was ready to give it a go to better last weeks time and get under that hour barrier. This race had it high points and low points, I started off well making sure not to dragged along with others runners and kept to my own pace and race plan. The course was reasonably flat with a few small rises and falls, so what you loose on the up’s you gain on the down’s, the opposite to real life I suppose! At the 5k mark I was ahead of schedule with my fastest 5k time so far and feeling that if I could just keep to a 6min kilometre pace on the next half of the race then I would be home and dry, little did I know what was ahead of me.

As I hit the 7k-mark the runner in front of me suddenly came to an abrupt halt, jerked back and fell to the ground. I managed to grab him before his head hit the tarmac but it was obvious he was in real trouble. With the help of another runner we managed to put him into the recovery position and as that is as far as my first aid skills go but luckily there was a nurse running who came to our aid. The man had stopped breathing so the nurse administered CPR, as we got someone to call for aid and an ambulance. Thankfully the runner came to and started to breath again and then a few minutes later the ambulance and paramedics arrived and took over.

As there was nothing else for me to do and although a bit shook up, I managed to resume the race with the others that had stopped to help. For some reason my personal best attempt now was of no significance thinking of that poor man. I finished with an official chip time of 66 minutes and 29 seconds so considering I had to stop for a while to help a fellow runner, I was happy with my performance and will just have to wait until another day to get my PB down.

I have learned a couple of things from this experience, firstly that I need to take a course on basic first aid as I did feel a bit helpless and it was fortunate that there were others who could assist and the need to get properly checked out by your doctor before taking up any form of regular strenuous exercise, which I had done before embarking on this challenge.

Sadly I will not be able to take part in the third of the Polaroid races at Clydebank next week due to other commitments but I am looking forward to the Edinburgh 10k on Saturday 30th May.

If you would like to donate to my fundraising efforts, please visit my Just Giving page and give what you can afford. www.justgiving.com/ronniecairnsrunning

Race Sponsor For Polaroid Dumbarton 10k

T&E logoFor my next up and coming race in my series to raise much needed funds for Yorkhill Children’s Charity, I would like  to announce that for the Polaroid Dumbarton 10k, my race sponsor will be local business Tents and Events. Tents and Events are a Marquee Hire company based in Dunoon and Glasgow providing quality marquees for all types of occasions all over Scotland and I am delighted that they have agreed to sponsor me for the Polaroid Dumbarton 10k. For more information on Tents and Events go to http://www.tentsandevents.co.uk

Polaroid Helensburgh 10k

    IMG_0015IMG_0012 I had a really enjoyable race this week in the first of the Polaroid 10k series in Helensburgh. It was a perfect night for a run, dry and sunny although there was a bit of a stiff breeze on the way back. The organisation was excellent and thanks you to all at Helensburgh ACC for being such great hosts, to their army of volunteers and marshals for their support and encouragement all the way to the finish and to the people of Helensburgh, who came out to support the runners. I was slightly nervous at the start of the race, because my new coach Derek Hawkins was also running and I new he would be looking for me to give it my best. I started well and decided that if I kept to a steady pace of 6 mins per kilometre then I had a chance of breaking the hour, which would be great. For the first 5k it went well and I was on schedule, having just run under 30mins which was my fastest 5k to date, then on a slight down hill, when I should have been making up a bit of time, I started chatting with a fellow runner which knocked me off pace slightly, I then decided to take some water on at the 6k point promptly choking as I tried to draw breath and drink at the same time. I managed to recover and realised I had to make up some time and tried a last push to the finish. As I came into the last 200m it was good to see the friendly face of Kenny Taylor from Dunoon Hill Runners, cheer me on. Kenny probably had enough time to finish his race have a shower and a drink before seeing me come in. I now knew I wasn’t even the first Dunoon runner home! I just missed out on my goal time by a minute but happy with a new PB and know it will not be long before I get that monkey off my back.


Derek Hawkins

I collected my medal and my goodie-bag and went for a change of shirt, a cool-down and stretch and have a well-earned cup of tea and a scone. Oh! How things have changed for me since taking up running. I stayed around for the presentation and was delighted to see that Derek had won the race with an incredible time of 30mins 30 secs. I went over to catch-up and congratulate him but him but he was more interested in my time and how I got on and talking about my preparation for next week’s race in Dumbarton. So that’s my first 10k completed and I can now look forward to next week, where I can do it all again raising funds for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity. www.justgiving.com/ronniecairnsrunning

Hawkins Running

Hawkins I am delighted to announce that I have teamed up with Team Scotland, Commonwealth Games and International endurance athletes Derek and Callum Hawkins, who are coaching me through my running challenges this year, to raise much needed funds for Yorkhill Children’s Charity. Both Derek and Callum have had very distinguished international running careers and although they both continue compete on an international level they are also coaching athletes of all abilities reach their own running goals through Hawkins Running. www.hawkinsrunning.com However now they have taken on their biggest challenge yet, getting me into shape to meet my targets for this year. We have been working together for the last month and I am already seeing improvements in my running and enjoying training more. Each week we review my previous weeks training and how we felt it went and they then set my plan for the following week. Over the past few months my training was all over the place, I had adopted a no pain no gain attitude to my training and Derek and Callum have turned that upside down, giving me more structure to my training, working on my endurance with longer easier paced runs with one or two shorter runs (some of which include some running at higher pace). Derek and Callum have also kindly agreed to take some time out of their very busy schedules to visit Yorkhill Hospital, in person to share with the children, their experiences in taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, which I am sure will go down a treat. If you haven’t had the chance to donate to my fund raising efforts and would like to, you can simply go to my JustGiving page at the following link – www.justgiving.com/ronniecairnsrunning

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