National 4k Champs – 07/11/15

At the start of the term we were blessed by dry and mild conditions. Being in Scotland, and more specifically Glasgow, we knew it couldn’t last.

And so it came to last week when it rained an awful lot, then rained some more. A once pleasant Bellahouston park was swiftly transformed into what resembled a marsh, with swathes of standing water and tape lined avenues of mud.

Armed only with our 2 man popup tent and our feeble enthusiasm, the Hares and Hounds bravely descended on the park and raced.

A 2 lap, 4km traverse of Bellahouston park would never be our most exciting run, yet in light of the awful conditions it was surprisingly satisfying and enjoyable.

The adrenaline of the race soon led to a group photo shoot in the mud (below). All smiles quickly evaporated as we endured the grim task of getting changed at the side of a path in the pouring rain.

Massive well done to everyone who raced, full results are available here.

Alan Scally Road Relays – 31st October

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.

Scallys

Scallys 2

Words by Tom Callan

Scottish National XC Relays – 24/10/15

Spirits were high as we arrived in style for the cross country, only the best for Cumbernauld!
After a few pics with Laura Muir (sorry not sorry), the champion herself and Katherine Mitchell got ready for the first leg of the relay. Completely destroying the field Laura Muir finished the race 45 seconds ahead of the next runner in a time of 13:35. Second leg runner, Katrina Ballantyne continued to lead the way for half the course and finished in a great time of 17:52. Lisa Christy completed the team, which came 13th overall, in a time of 17:03.

Meanwhile Katherine Mitchell had got a great start for her team completing the course in 18:21. Emma McCrady, in her first cross country for the hares and hounds, ran the second leg in a super time of 19:14. Mikaela, also completing her first cross country for the club, completed her leg in a great 18:03. Their team finished 35th overall.

After cheering on the girls it was time for the boys race. Alastair Thurlbeck had a great race, finishing in 16th place in a time of 13:24. Tom Callan ran a speedy second leg in 14:10. Grant Boyne then took over to run the course in a fast time of 13:39. Johannes Arens brought the first men’s team home in 14:05 minutes, meaning the team finished in 19th place.

Adam Stark (15:10) and Ralph Sparks (18:51) both conquered the mud and hills of the course finishing the first leg in great times. Adam handed over to Duncan Ng, our fave photographer, who finished the course in 17:26. Ross Martin completed the course in 17:20 minutes. Tom Hartley ran the final leg for the second men’s team in an impressive time of 15:13. Their team placed 65th.

4K XC Relays

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

BUCS XC 2015 – Brighton

On 30th January a group of enthusiastic Hares and Hounds runners settled into a whole 12 hours of bus travel all because of our commitment to be part of one of the biggest races in the calendarb – BUCS cross country, which this year was held in Brighton. After our epic journey we settled into a night in our seaside accommodation before, you guessed it, another bus to the start line.

The first team to race were the boys A team of Alastair Thurlbeck, Lachlan Oates, Kerrick Hesse, Tom Callan, Alistair Little and Will Bryant. The boys coped with the hilly 12km course fantastically, and one of the most exciting moments was seeing Lachlan briefly leading in the Glasgow colours. He finished in a very respectable 30th with Kerrick behind in 49th. Alastair Thurlbeck was third home for Glasgow in 79th. An overall team position of 16th reflects a great performance from everyone in a large field of excellent runners.

The second race was a 6.4km loop for the girls who competed well, against the now even muddier course, and were led to the finish by Lisa Christy, in 147th position, with a time of 28:37. This was followed by Orla Chapman , and then close behind her Mairi Gilmour, followed by Penny Timms. Good races all round allowed us to secure 32nd position as a team. Particularly impressive was Stephanie Breunig who secured an excellent time for her first ever cross country race!

Then we came to the final race of the day an 8km Men’s B Race in which Neil Wilson and Duncan Ng competed against the most rainy weather and most muddy conditions of the day to finish with two strong performances and excellent positions of 249 and 345 respectively.

All in all it was well worth the journey. A special mention must go to all committee members who helped with the organization of the trip, not least our captain Grant Boyle who, even though he unfortunately could not run due to injury, made it all the way down to cheer us on.

Words by Orla Chapman

 

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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Dunbartonshire XC Relays

A small group of us headed out to Helensburgh for the Dunbartonshire XC relays at Duchess Woods. The course was much more exciting than a typical cross country, with a steep climb through the woods, a fast decent and a stream crossing. It was sunny, warm and surprisingly dry, so we were all pretty keen for the afternoon’s racing.

I ran first leg for the guys team, whilst Borah May led out for the girls. (18.29) After a steady first lap I attacked on lap 2, to create a lead of over 20 seconds for the guys and record the fastest time of the day. (13.31) Mark Sutherland (14.35) worked hard to keep us near the front, and after passing onto Grant Boyne (13.57) for the third leg, we were only a few seconds back. Grant ran a great leg to put us back in the lead with over half a minute to spare, then it was on to Myles Bax (16.37*) for the final leg. Myles flew off into the woods leaving our nearest rivals in the distance. By this point we were confident of our ensuing victory, and patiently waited for Myles to emerge from the woodland. Except he didn’t. Due to a few unfortunate factors, Myles took a wrong turn. After what we’ll describe as a scenic diversion, he then rejoined the course at a later point before completing his 2nd lap to finish 3rd. Despite us technically failing to complete the course the, mens team were awarded bronze with the race organisers clearly accepting we were on track for the win. Meanwhile in the women’s race, Mella Slattery (17.48) ran a swift second leg to bring the team up into 4th position. Orla Chapman (17.49) then ran an almost identical time, with the girls finishing in a respectable 5th position overall.

All things considered it was a great race and we all ran well. We and the rest of Dunbartonshire will no doubt be making jokes at Myle’s expense for the rest of the season. However personally I will be keeping quiet, having previously took a wrong turn on the return leg of the 3k on the green’s out and back course.

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.

 

MacAndrews 5k Road Relays

The Hares and Hounds started the season of in familiar fashion with a trip to Scotstoun for the MacAndrews 5K Road Relays. The undulating course always proves a tough test for stiff legs at the start of the season. The Woman’s team was an all fresher affair with Mairi Gilmour, Katrina Ballantyne and Christine Deng making their first appearances for the club. Mairi led the team out with a storming 22:22 before Katrina and Christine matched each other with 25:23. The Men’s A team was a mix of youth and experience with veterans Simon Gardener and Vitalijs Brejevs joined by new members Gavyn Chalmers and Tom Callan. Gavyn showed his potential with the clubs quickest time of the day in 18:10. William Bryant made an impressive debut in the B team alongside returning members Sean Robinson, Aishan Patil and Anton Ward. In the C team Brendan Chadwick showed he still had the speed despite an injury plagued summer, blasting out A 18:20. Mark Sutherland also ran a quick first leg to put the C team surprisingly high up the field. Very surprising for Club Legend Gage Willox as the ex-captain missed the start of his leg. Oli Seglah completed a solid C team effort and provided some pro photography too.

The highlight of the day came in when we found out there was free tea and cake, including the worlds biggest muffins!

Spirits are high and legs are fresh going into another exciting season of racing!

macandrews_6x4Words by Mark Sutherland