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.