Braids 15

2015 saw the return of Braids to our racing calendar. Sign-ups were strong and we managed to get our biggest turnout for a race this year with around 30 heading through for either the race or social with most doing both.

Neil’s instagram game was stronger than his navigation skills as he managed to veer Rory’s tanker off course while on route to Edinburgh Universities Kings Buildings. Meanwhile alumni member Dean McNaught was 2 pints of Fosters down as he began his 2016 Isle of Man training programme. After collecting our numbers and purchasing some ceilidh tickets we trekked up towards the race start.

The 5k race commenced to a chorus of “We love you Glasgow” which seemed to motivate our runners but not as much as Alastair Thurlbeck had hoped for. 8 minutes after the 5k started he stated that he expected the runners to be coming towards the finish soon. Despite not falling within Alastair’s 10 minute expectation Tom Callan did manage to finish in the top 10 with a storming run as his knees held out on the testing course. Lisa was first in for the girl’s closely followed by Mikaela Hannam who had a great run! There was a consistent stream of returning Glasgow runners with everyone doing brilliantly on the hilly and muddy course.

After singing a few songs about how much more craic we have than Edinburgh the gun was fired and the 10k runners were let loose. Sporting some fine face paint the Glasgow boys and Mairi Gilmour started to regret their choice of the 10k race as the second ascent painfully reminded us of why we love running. Grant Boyne lead the way for the lads with Mark Sutherland hot on his heels after making up considerable ground on the second lap. The rest of the troops weren’t far behind with Mairi finishing as 24th female.

We enjoyed an excellent bake sale and some fine team showers before heading to our various accommodation locations. Those of us staying in the Edinburgh Uni flat had a toiled experience like no other. Full details are almost too explicit to post on the page but an image that needs no words can be found on Duncan Ng’s Facebook page. Our social convenor Will made an investment that even T-Money himself could be proud of as he purchased a 70 pint keg that would rehydrate the team for the remainder of the night. There was some excellent ceilidh dancing on display throughout the course of the evening. A pause in the dancing lead to a game of “baggo” which escalated into “lights off baggo” and generated a large amount of craic. Thanks to Neil and Tom for making this possible and Rory for his well timed flicking of the switch. A couple of quotes from an Edinburgh runner: “I have never seen baggo played with such passion” and “the song that you were singing at the start of the race is true… Glasgow do have great craic”. To think the poor guy could have been one of us.

Special thanks to Lisa and James for hosting some of our runners, Alastair for his support and Rory for driving.

Braids

National 4k Champs – 07/11/15

At the start of the term we were blessed by dry and mild conditions. Being in Scotland, and more specifically Glasgow, we knew it couldn’t last.

And so it came to last week when it rained an awful lot, then rained some more. A once pleasant Bellahouston park was swiftly transformed into what resembled a marsh, with swathes of standing water and tape lined avenues of mud.

Armed only with our 2 man popup tent and our feeble enthusiasm, the Hares and Hounds bravely descended on the park and raced.

A 2 lap, 4km traverse of Bellahouston park would never be our most exciting run, yet in light of the awful conditions it was surprisingly satisfying and enjoyable.

The adrenaline of the race soon led to a group photo shoot in the mud (below). All smiles quickly evaporated as we endured the grim task of getting changed at the side of a path in the pouring rain.

Massive well done to everyone who raced, full results are available here.

Alan Scally Road Relays – 31st October

The Allan Scally Memorial Road Race, or “Scallies” as it is affectionately known by the Glasgow running community is a long standing institution and a big part of the city’s running heritage. Allan Scally himself was an internationally distinguished Shettleston runner and, amongst many other achievements, held the world 10 mile road race title for a number of years in the early 30’s. After his competitive career was over he continued to be heavily involved with the development of talent for Shettleston Harriers. After he tragically passed away in 1964 his family and friends decided to host an annual race in his memory, to allow his legacy to live on.

Fast forward to October 31st 2015, Halloween, and the 44th edition of Scallies. In recent years the race has played host to the Scottish Student Sport road relay championships and thus, when coupled with the friendly folk of Shettleston Harriers, leads to a competitive yet relaxed race day atmosphere. The race is contested over 4.8 mile legs winding there way through the suburban paradise that is Ballieston.

Sixteen Hares and Hounds made there way to the race, with three mens teams and a womens team, plus Juliet who kindly helped a team out who were short of a runner.
Come two o’clock and wearing the black and gold on the start line were Alastair Thurlbeck, Duncan Ng, Maxim Yan Muk and Mairi Gilmour. Off they went, with all four looking strong as they disapeared into the distance down the first hill. Part of the novelty of Scallies is the wait, relatively long relay legs that never come back past the start/ finish make for a tense wait in the autumnal sunshine. Before too long the wait is over and the freakishly long legs of Thor come striding into view as he storms over the line in 4th place, releasing El Capitan onto the course. The sight of Thor bent over bringing his bagels back up is a triumphant one, a stunning first leg effort from our beast in residence.
A couple of minutes pass and then the multiple gurns of Duncan Ng round the bend and as he cruises over the line Adam Stark sets off. Hot on the heels of Duncan was Mairi Gilmour with a look of steely determination on a usually smiling face. Worth it though as she passed over the line two minutes quicker than last year. Lisa Christy headed off into the distance, and Maxim appeared. Maxim was making his debut in the Black and Gold and did us proud with an excellent lap. As he crossed the line another debutant, Murdo Trail, strode into battle.

With all the second leg runners now out on the course, the wait was back on. With the field spread out by now, there was an almost constant stream of runners and Grant Boyne was soon home and dry after yet another solid race from our ever dependant Captain. His arrival heralded the unleashing of this seasons form guy, Gavyn Chalmers. True to form he flew out of the blocks, and proceeded to run a stunning lap. Shortly afterwards Adam Stark apppeared from behind the trees to round off a solid lap. Canadian Adam Stark (Zander), a now ever present feature in the black and gold, sped off for leg three. It didn’t take long for Lisa to come into view, at the end of a spectacular leg. As ladies captain, Lisas running is going from strength to strength this season, and is undoubtably leading by example. Mrs. Enthusiastic (Katrina) bounded off to complete the Ladies trio for the day. At this point Murdo rounded the final bend, with Shettlestons Mr. Tewolde hot on his heels. If we ignore the fact Mr. Tewolde was finishing the third leg, Murdo had a stunning sprint finish against one of Scotlands finest athletes. The race went to the wire, but with the borderline manic cheering from the rest of the team pushing him on, beating Mr. Tewolde over the line in a photo finish. The ever present Gage Willox followed Murdo’s grand finale, having cycled straight from work (did someone say hero?). Almost under the radar, Juliet Hill set off for an excellent lap following her lovely temporary teammates. Juliet, like Zander, has run most races this semester so far, and is fast becoming a key member of the club with a promising future in the Black and Gold.

With all four third leg runners out on course, our scholar in residence, Johanness Arens, put down his book, climbed down from the SkatePark and unwrapped his mighty legs. As Gavyn powered over the line Johannes set off for a storming lap to bring home the bacon for the Mens A Team. Without warning the marshals called the remaining fourth leg runners to the start line, and amidst the panic Tom Callan had to slip out of his role of team motivator and drag his legs around a final lap in the dying light. Finding himself in a no mans land between A and B team times, he managed to run a minute quicker than last year to round off a strong B Team performance. In order to speed up proceedings our ringer, a young man from Bellahouston, was already out on course as Gage materialised.

It didn’t take long for the whole team to be reunited and we walked back up to the high school for the prize giving. An extremely successful day out for the Hares and Hounds, with the guys collecting 3rd Overall and 2nd Univeristy, and our lovely ladies collecting 3rd Univeristy Team. Special mention to Alastair Thurlbeck whose storming run earned him the third fastest university leg of the day. I feel we should extend our congratulations to the Haries of Edinburgh Univeristy who won both of the univeristy prizes on the day, but I am worried about them. They run some incredible laps across the board, but there is no discernable cheering, little to no craic kicking around and a distinct lack of banter.

Lets hope the Braids social changes our opinions, and bring on the Scottish Unis Cross Country in a few weeks time.

Scallys

Scallys 2

Words by Tom Callan

Scottish National XC Relays – 24/10/15

Spirits were high as we arrived in style for the cross country, only the best for Cumbernauld!
After a few pics with Laura Muir (sorry not sorry), the champion herself and Katherine Mitchell got ready for the first leg of the relay. Completely destroying the field Laura Muir finished the race 45 seconds ahead of the next runner in a time of 13:35. Second leg runner, Katrina Ballantyne continued to lead the way for half the course and finished in a great time of 17:52. Lisa Christy completed the team, which came 13th overall, in a time of 17:03.

Meanwhile Katherine Mitchell had got a great start for her team completing the course in 18:21. Emma McCrady, in her first cross country for the hares and hounds, ran the second leg in a super time of 19:14. Mikaela, also completing her first cross country for the club, completed her leg in a great 18:03. Their team finished 35th overall.

After cheering on the girls it was time for the boys race. Alastair Thurlbeck had a great race, finishing in 16th place in a time of 13:24. Tom Callan ran a speedy second leg in 14:10. Grant Boyne then took over to run the course in a fast time of 13:39. Johannes Arens brought the first men’s team home in 14:05 minutes, meaning the team finished in 19th place.

Adam Stark (15:10) and Ralph Sparks (18:51) both conquered the mud and hills of the course finishing the first leg in great times. Adam handed over to Duncan Ng, our fave photographer, who finished the course in 17:26. Ross Martin completed the course in 17:20 minutes. Tom Hartley ran the final leg for the second men’s team in an impressive time of 15:13. Their team placed 65th.

4K XC Relays

Dunbartonshire XC Relays – 17/10/15

The 17th of October saw the Hares and Hounds return to the home of the Chunder Mile – Maryhill Park. What a place. The infamous crimson red track that became visible as we approached the top of the hill entering the park, for the first of many times, brought back some good… and some bad memories.

The organisers done a grand job of making the very average park into a somewhat enjoyable cross country course.

First off was Juliet Hill who ran a strong first leg to leave the women’s team in 10th place. Sophia Garkova took over on her first race for the club and ran brilliantly to bring the team up to 8th place. The final lap was left to Katrina Ballantyne. She stormed her lap and secured 6th place while running the fastest under 20 lap of the day.

Grant Boyne lead the way for the guy’s A team leaving the gents in 4th place with some work to do for a podium place. Zander Affleck made his debut in black and gold to leave the B team in 11th getting his first taste of Scottish cross country action. Mark Sutherland showed he still has the speed in his legs despite his ultra training to put the A team up into 2nd place while Adam Stark maintained 11th for the B. Matthew O’Brien solidified 2nd place and had a belter to make it an under 20 double for the uni. Tom Hartley moved the B team up to 10th place before handing over to Will Bryant who seemed to enjoy the ‘wet’ conditions running superbly to seal 7th. Johannes Arens ploughed his way round the course to ensure that the silver medals were ours.

Well done to everyone who ran.

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