Friday the 6th of February saw 28 of GUHH’s finest runners depart for Gloucester to compete in our biggest race of the year. The drive down to the not so sunny south was almost as tedious as Alastair Thurlbecks stretching routine and even wetter than our social William Bryant.
The morning of the race went smoothly and it wasn’t long until the men’s A race kicked off. Ross Gollan lead the way for the lads throughout the opening laps with Alastair hot on his heels shortly followed by Grant, Gavyn, Euan and Mark. The weather conditions made for an interesting race on what could be considered one of the most boring cross country courses that we, as a club, have encountered. In typical fashion Alastair worked his way through the field in the second half of the race crossing the line in 89th position highlighting the quality of the competition. Meanwhile fellow Scot and UWS student Callum Hawkins was halfway up the M6 after making light work of the race and comfortably securing the win. Gavyn Chalmers (108th) flew down the home straight cruising past Grant Boyne (110th) in the final metres to separate the pair by a mere second. A highly anticipated and well overdue debut by Ross Gollan ended well as he made up the team following shortly after in 115th. Another close battle saw Mark edge past Euan in the latter stages as they both done the team proud with gutsy displays.
After some fantastic support throughout the first race the girls got themselves to the start line where the mud and puddles only seemed to be getting deeper -much to our TG Katrina’s delight. Sarah Laverty ran superbly to secure the best GU position of 53rd as she comfortably glided through the squelching mess underfoot. After a strong chunder mile performance the prior week Katrina lived up to pre race expectations and came in a little after in 145th position. Ladies captain Lisa Christy completed the women’s team finishing shortly after Katrina in 177th. The whole team ran admirably with club photographer Duncan’s photos showing that cross country can be fun as they all looked almost as photogenic as Mark Sutherland (host of the gun show).
The men’s B-anter race undoubtedly had the worst of the weather but that didn’t stop Tom Callan giving it a big one and leading the boys home in 80th place. Will was out to show his parents that uni isn’t all about buckfast and Sunday roasts as he grafted his way through the field shortly followed by Tom Hartley. Neil Wilson took a break from the club instagram account to do his part completing the B team’s four counters. All of the gents worked so hard with a special mention to the crowd pleaser Lyle for sporting a bold towel kilt.
After the brisk morning warm up it was time for the main event. Lisa Chirsty was on it from the off as she boarded the party bus and continued to giggle her way to Cheltenham. Business resumed as usual when the penny’s came out almost immediately after the meals were finished. Gage and Thor enjoyed several “stunners” before we headed to the club for the BUCS after party. From here the memories get vague but the night was a fun one.
After getting lost in the concrete jungle that is the West End we eventually made it back to the uni in time for a couple of pints at the beer bar where things got very “loose and liberal”.