Braids Hill Race – 12/11/16

The 12th of November saw a small and intrepid group of GUHH’s partake in EUHH’s annual Hill race and social, Braids. Numbers this year from the Craic & Gold where low but that didn’t stop a 7-strong team from venturing into the depths of Edinburgh’s stronghold for patter (a word I use very loosely) either just to run the race or to make a day out of it and experience the social as well.

After the troops assembled in Edinburgh, we made our way to Kings Building House, stopping on the way for some munchies for the race. After collecting our numbers and purchasing tickets for the social, the team showed excellent prior planning by acquiring the closest table to the cake stand. After a suitable amount of pre-race craic to warm up our muscles, we geared up only to find we had forgotten face paint! At which point Iain speed of too acquire some, with Leeds and Dundee helping the face paint malnourished GUHH to tart up (cheers University of Leeds and University of Dundee Running clubs).

The 5km race saw five competitors line up in black and gold, well three of them did due to the lack of vests. Despite there being over 200 runners at the start of the race the amount of cheering was shameful so the duo of Brian and Iain saw it fit to ensure our runners were properly motivated. The 5km race saw some strong performances from the team with Alice Everett finishing in 22:01 as the 33rd woman across the line, antibiotic Andrew Wallace fresh from illness came in next running a 23:07 placing him 134th overall and first in the beanie hat race! Hot on Andrews heals came Ultra Audrey finishing in 23:17 to claim 143rd. Juliet Hill bounded over the hill to finish 170th in 24:55 followed by Miriam Kirchberger 26:45 who claimed 208th. Overall the guys did great over the busy and hilly course!

After getting in trouble from a team who shall remain nameless (E*******h) for being the only ones chanting at the start of the 10km Forest “Brian Ward” Gump and Iain Ballantyne (wearing a woman’s Vest) set off for a double dose of fun. After some encouragement from the rest of the gang on the way around Brian Ward flew across the line in 37:51 to take 50th, a bit behind and coughing his way around Iain Ballantyne crossed the line in 40:38 to claim 92nd.

Having consumed vast amounts of baked goods and tea after the race, we enjoyed a much-needed shower thanks to EUHH team captain Sophie Collins (THANK YOU) and made our way to the main event, the Drinking of course! Witnessing the numbers of Manchester university grow exponentially with the release of their sesh gremlins we enjoyed a fine selection of non-vegetarian haggis, much to the dismay of Juliet and Audrey, “did I mention she ran an ultra”. After some chance encounters and a wee jigg, we took it upon ourselves to bring the life back to the ceilidh with many others thanking us for showing them how to “let loose”.

Overall a great day was had by all! We will be back next year! Many thanks to EUHH and especially Sophie Collins for organising the race and allowing us to flood her bathroom!

Words by Iain Ballantyne