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.
Words by Tom Callan