Stirling Freshers XC – 12/10/16

On the afternoon of 12th October, 16 of our keenest Hares & Hounds headed to Stirling for the annual Fresher’s Cross Country and first official race of the season.

For anyone old enough to remember BUCS 2014 (i.e. only Ellie and Alastair) this is a course that insights flashbacks of mud baths, pain and tears. To anyone else is it a fairly straightforward, undulating 2.8km loop with nice views of Dumyat hill & the Wallace Monument – or at least that’s what they all thought when we walked the course.

Our boys kicked off proceedings with Martin Lynas absolutely smashing his lap to make 10th place in just as many minutes (in 10.01 to be precise) maintaining his lead on his chaser from Strathy who came in just 1 second later. Next came Guinness Gillespie in a strong 10.09 for 13th place and our very own Forrest Gump, Brian Ward bouncing across the line in 10.18 and 16th place.

As the girls watched in horror at the speed the men were completing their laps in came Euan Rose in 10.46 (21st) Nicolas Daval in 11.01 (25th), Callum Smith in 11.11 (28th) Ruaridh Campbell in 11.24 (33rd) Christopher Stevens in 11.33 (38th), Callum Ferguson 11.43 (41st) and Rhys Walker in 12.12 (45th).

This was the debut for all the guys running for the Hares & Hounds and all put in strong performances to put GUHH in 4th place over – just 6 points short of placing However, most importantly, the men did us proud, beating the Haries by a whopping 58 points.

Typically as the girls lined up the rain which had been threatening all day decided now was the time. Heather Addison put in an incredible run in 11.55 to come 4th overall and despite the fact that those sneaky Haries tried to claim her for themselves by recording her run for EUHH we can confirm that she knew the only way was craic & gold.

El Capitan herself, Katrina Ballantyne came in 8th in 12.09 swiftly followed by Izzy Rayner for her debut GUHH run in 12.42.  Audrey Ayres’ ultra-training came in handy as she made it in in just under 13 minutes with 12.54 to secure 16th place, followed by a wheezing Ellie Waugh in 13.31 (21st) and Maggie Harger in 13.59 (25th)

The girls ran well, securing 3rd women’s team overall, despite some confusion other who was running for who.

With Scotland’s very own Olympian Andrew Butchart giving out the prizes – much to the excitement of some of our ladies and one man from Stirling who asked for an autograph rather than a prize – a massive thank you is due to Stirling for hosting another fantastic fresher’s run. Also big well done for everyone who represented the club and took part, you did good!

Words by Ellie Waugh