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.
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.
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…
Words by William Bryant, Photos courtesy of Duncan Ng