National XC 2016

The twenty-four strong Glasgow University “Hares and Hounds” running team travelled to the Scottish National XC, discovering an old stomping ground at Falkirk on the 27th February 2016 .The weather was almost as stunning as Neil Wilson’s Instagram account! The passengers of Alastair Thulbeck’s car were fortunate enough to see the prolific Grangemouth Industrial estate, courtesy of Will Bryant’s outstanding map reading skills.

The U20 girls took their race by storm, Sarah Laverty, maintained her marvellous form continued from BUCS, to lead the GU in positions, securing 7th place, comfortably in the top ten. Mairi Gilmour and Karina Ballantyne, helped one another along, finishing 22nd and 24th respectively. Their efforts were rewarded with third place in the team category, which now belongs to the best club at Glasgow University. Billie and Emily performed well on their debuts for the club, gliding round the course, finishing in 42nd and 43rd place respectively. Juliet Hill, as committed as ever, ran well to acquire 46th place.

U20

Flat day out for the U20 girls.

Mairi National XC

Mairi grafting like a boss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following some cheering and chanting for the lads, it was time for the women to step up after a ‘bit of a result’ in the U20 Women’s race. The Women’s captain, Lisa Christy led by example, tip toeing to 66th place in a busy field of 378, making it look too easy, typically smiling all the way round, giving the fans exactly what they wanted. Audrey , Lauren and Ellie worked hard to get around the 8km course as a three, extolling the values of the club, working well as a team. The lovely Hannah had a cracker landing at 151st place, doing our club proud.

The U20 men saw four fine young men take to the starting line. The Thurlbeck effect was felt in full at Falkirk, Alastair flew, achieving 9th place, characteristically starting from the back, never to be seen again by those he passed. Tom Callan, who missed the Chunder mile due to being cold, arrived for the race, where thankfully, the weather was warm. He enjoyed the regular inclines dotted around the course, deploying the same tactics as Alastair, cruised to a very respectable 23rd place. Both Will and Rory, raced well, supporting the sterling performance from the rest of the Team.

Thulbeck

The Thulbeck effect

u20 team

All hail the mighty G

The Senior men, were led by the ‘Captain of our Ship’, Grant Boyne who steamed on ahead, as usual, holding on for dear life to get 55th place, only just missing out on the glory of the top 50! Gavyn Chambers, who forgot his spikes, slipped into 71st place, a remarkable effort from the soon- to- be doctor. Meanwhile, Mark Sutherland was enjoying the many hills on offer for his lovely legs, climbing through the field, crossing the line in 101st place. We all enjoyed watching Roy Keane (Chris Lamont) take on all 12km with sheer excitement and optimism shining through every bone of his body.

Our crowd of twenty-four left Falkirk with our heads held high. Yet again, we had easily been better “craic” than Edinburgh. When we arrived back in paradise, we knew what had to be done. The night in HIVE is but a distant memory. Until next time…

National XC team

The Squad

Words by William Bryant, Photos courtesy of Duncan Ng

BUCS XC 2016

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.

Mark Guns

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).

Katrina BUCS

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.

Lyle BUCS

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”.

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

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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Stirling Freshers XC – 14/10/15

We had a great turnout for our first cross country of the year, with 20 runners making their way to Stirling for the freshers’ cross country!!

Well done to everyone who took part, especially all the new runners. Thanks to the drivers, Grant and Skye, for getting us all there and to Molly Adams and Lisa for providing some post race snacks to keep the morale high.

Despite Duncan missing the start, all of the boys ran really well. They made quick work of the cross country with Grant Boyne leading the way to finish in 4th place, followed closely by Gavyn Chalmers in 6th. Matthew O’Brian also ran really well in his first race for the club to secure the boys’ team their second place.

For the girls Annabel ran amazingly to finish 2nd, Skye Dick followed close on her heels to finish in 4th place and Lisa Christy finished in 6th. Combined they won the first team prize. The rest of the girls followed close on their heels, with all 13 finishing in fantastic times!

We’re all so proud of everyone who raced and made the event so much fun! Can’t wait to see more of you at the next few races!! Check out the dates for these on the fixture list!

Words by Lisa Christy

Stirling Freshers XC

Dumyat Hill Race 2015

Stirling University hosted the Dumyat Hill Race and final round of our ‘Des Gilmore Cup’ on Wednesday the 6th of May bringing a close to the Hares and Hounds running calendar for the academic year.

Gage Willox kindly drove the minibus despite not racing and provided some much needed moral support along with Alastair Thurlbeck and Des Gilmore.

The race that incorporates the Scottish Universities Hill Race began with a mixture of road and trail before the challenging 1,280ft ascent to the top of Dumyat. The burning in the calves was soon replaced by adrenaline as the runners charged down the hill with a few slips and slides on the way. Gage and Alastair were given some high quality entertainment as everyone ‘pinballed’ their way off the trees and down the steepest part of the course. First to cross the line was Grant Boyne (38.24) in 13th position overall and 6th university runner followed by treasurer Tom Callan (39.24) in 22nd and 10th uni. Mairi Gilmour (50.20) was the first female in for Glasgow after a fantastic downhill to overtake Lisa Christy after she lead the uphill (51.26). Mairi was 13th female, 5th Uni with Lisa 16th female and 6th uni. Duncan NG followed shortly after (52.03) to shave minutes off his time from last year showing constant signs of improvement. Audrey Ayres and Stephanie Breunig both ran exceptionally well on such a challenging course to finish close together in 66.05 and 66.35 respectively.

Dumyat

Grangemouth 10k

The weather did not look promising as a keen group of Hares and Hounds ventured out of the library and into the scenic streets of Grangemouth for the annual ‘Round The Houses’ 10k. There was an eager sense of anticipation to see what colour the famous t-shirts would be with some pre race betting taking place before the nerves began to kick in.

The gun went and everyone set off strongly, including Isle of Man ‘team girl’ and prize winner Katrina Ballantyne, however the energetic bounce in her stride seemed to prove too much for the timing chip that was left behind on the start line.

The flame glowing from the oil refinery resembled Mount Doom as the hobbits (runners) battled through the final few kilometres. Grant Boyne was the first of those wearing black and gold to enter the stadium and cross the line in a PB of 34.12 followed by Lauren Wilson making her debut at the distance in a very impressive time of 37.13 as she finished 10th woman. Designated driver for the day Richard Kelly was hot on her heels finishing shortly after in a time of 37.16. Adam Stark (38.22) put in a strong performance after a busy couple of semesters at uni followed by Sarah Laverty (39.47) who claimed third U20 woman. Ross Martin had a great run and proved that hard work pays off after he recovered from his start of season injuries to put in a time of 40.42. Duncan NG (41.07) followed up on his Isle of Man PB with an even better run as he shaved a minute and a half of the prior week. New women’s captain Lisa Christy (41.26) put in another typically impressive run and Orla Chapman, in possibly her final run for the club, broke 43 minutes to improve on her first year time by 10 minutes!! Ceilidh McConnnachie built upon her good run at Clydebank to come in shortly after in 44.09.

Although those green Haries deservedly won the SSS awards, the t-shirts were blue and the banter was #craicandgold. Special thanks to Richard for driving.

Grangemouth

National XC 2015

On a very wet and windy (Ideal running conditions) Sunday the 22nd of February 2015, a cohort of the Hares and Hounds made the journey to Falkirk’s main tourist attraction Callender Park. The under 20 women won a bronze medal (Sarah Lavery, 10, Katrina Ballantyne, 18 and Lisa Christy 19) in the 4.8 Kilometre race. In the senior races Alice Everrett and Rory Macmillan nursed their hangovers from the night before and ran well, claiming 90th and 130th positions in their races respectively. Alastair Thurlbeck ran exceptionally well and came 6th in the Under 20 Men 8 kilometre race, followed by Mr enthusiastic himself, Tom Callan, in 26th place.
Come on Glasgow!!

Words by Katrina Ballantyne

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Alan Scally Road Relay

The sun was shining down on the East End of Glasgow for the 46th Alan Scally – a race that also plays host to the Scottish University Road Relay Championships. The Glasgow girls were out to defend the title they won last year with the boys hoping to build upon their bronze medals. The race was a 4.8 mile loop with teams consisting of four male or three female competitors.

First year OM Mairi Gilmour lead the way for the women’s team running an excellent leg of 34:38 to leave the ladies in 4th place University. Sean Robinson opened the account for the men’s B team battling with the wind to complete his lap in 31:59. Meanwhile Grant Boyne covered the distance in 26:15 leaving the A team in a strong position to push on as we narrowly trailed our fierce rivals Edinburgh by 14 seconds. Alice Everett was next up for the women’s team completing her lap impressively in 34:30 making it hard to believe it was only her second ever race! After a good run at Cumbernauld the previous week Ross Martin (34:59) took over from Sean to produce another solid performance on his comeback from injury. Club Captain Mark Sutherland, who had phenomenally completed an ultra marathon the previous week, showed he still had plenty left in his legs to finish his lap in 28:31 leaving the men in 4th Uni. Despite being a little nervous before her leg Lisa Christy (32:53) provided another excellent run to secure a bronze medal, a great result with Edinburgh Uni securing gold. Rory McMillan made his debut for the Hares and Hounds in emphatic style as he finished in 28:51 for the B team while Tom Callan (28:24) extended his early season form while representing the A team after his impressive run the previous weekend. Simon Gardner ran the final leg for the B team in a time of 30:51 ensuring a strong team placing. The fastest Glasgow Uni lap of the day was run by Alastair Thurlbeck (25:49) as he secured a 4th place finish for the A team. An excellent run from the final leg Edinburgh runner secured their double victory over a strong St Andrews team.

Luckily we managed to get back before the rain really started and the days racing has left us all raring to go for the Scot Uni’s Cross Country which will be held in Dundee on the 22nd of November.

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National 4k XC relays

The weather was typical of an average Octobers day in Glasgow – wet. However this did not stop a group of enthusiastic Hares and Hounds making their way to Cumbernauld to compete in one of Scottish Athletics biggest cross country events of the year. 3 women’s and 2 mens teams set out to do battle against the elements and damp hilly course.

Skye Dick lead the way for the Women’s A team building on some good early season form completing her lap in 17:50, she was closely followed by Lisa Christy who had a great run in 18:21 with Christine Deng (21:11) not far behind that for the C team. Laura Muir took over from Skye and overtook several opposition with a strong run of 15:12. Freshers Katrina Ballantyne and Katherine Mitchell ran well for the B’s and C’s with times of 19:03 and 20:01 respectively. Nicole Gruszczynski was left to complete the race for the A team and done so emphatically in a time of 17:34 securing 16th place. Orla (19:30) and Penny (20:21) both finished the challenge excellently in such a strong field of runners.

In form runner Alastair Thurlbeck (THOR) opened the race for the mens A team in an incredible time of 13:52, opening up a solid gap on the Edinburgh Uni team in the process. Neil Wilson lead the way for the B team finishing his lap in a respectible 16:52 – just imagine what he could do if he wore socks! Aishan Patil (16:00) built upon his impressive midweek 5k for the A team and the ever improving Alistair Little ran well completing his lap in 16:32 as the rain began to batter the competitors. Grant Boyne took over from Aishan and clawed back some places completing his run in 14:20 for the A team while Tom Callan displayed some excellent talent running a superb lap of 15:03. Myles Bax (14:29) was careful not to wander off course and ran impressively to secure the guys a 19th place finish. Ross Martin (20:11) made his debut in the famous ‘Black and Gold’ to bring back the bacon for the B team.

All that running left a few of our athletes with a thirst which the GU more than happily quenched. Tom went on to prove that running was not the only thing he is fast at as he let out his inner fresher by asking what a ‘strawpedo’ was. A good night was had by all and the days racing has left us raring to go for the Allan Scally Road Relays next weekend.