Stirling Freshers XC

Six of us jumped into GUSA 10 on a lovely Wednesday afternoon as we prepared to set off to Stirling for the first cross country race of the semester. Tom the driver, 3 guys confusingly named Andrew, Andrew, and Drew, along with first timers Madeline and Vera.

Soon enough however, we were jumping back out again as the dashboard was signalling a braking fault. So ensued a long debacle of trying to find a replacement bus, failing to get a replacement bus, driving to the garage to see if they could quickly fix it, being taken on a test drive and performing an emergency stop to test the brakes, and then finally being told that not only were the brakes faulty but so were the airbags and other important features. It looked like all hope was lost.

But never fear. Through the grey clouds came the angelic figure of Tom with news of a replacement bus supplied by the mechanics. We were back on the road, but the ordeal wasn’t over yet. Time was against us. Leaving at 4:20 for a 5 o’clock race left no room for error and the early commuters were no help at all.

We managed to contact the organiser who would have our race numbers ready for us when we turned up, but we were cutting it very close. At 5:02 we arrived at the race HQ and everyone jumped out to make a dash for the start line.

As it turned out, the organiser had very kindly delayed the start by 30 mins just for us, so we were able to lower our heartbeats a little and warm up before we raced. A very stressful few hours were followed by some great racing by all with our boys ending up with 4th, 5th, and 11th to finish 2nd team, while Vera and Madeline came round in 37th and 48th.

A beautiful day for a not-so-Scottish cross country with no mud to be seen made for some fast running and sweaty faces and everyone enjoyed the experience thoroughly (aside from the bus dilemma)

Special thanks to the organisers from Stirling Uni, we were all very appreciative for the delayed start

Words by Andrew Merry

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