RESULTS: Glasgow University Road Race 2018

Huge thanks to everyone who came out to support today’s 5 mile road race. A full race report and photos to follow, but in the meantime please enjoy today’s full results:

Special thanks to all out timekeepers, marshals and huge numbers of alumni who came out to support the race today, it wouldn’t have been possible without you!

BUCS Cross Country Championships 2018

bucs18

This weekend saw 7 of Glasgow’s finest make the long journey down to London (thanks to Alastair for driving the minibus) for the annual British Uni’s and Colleges cross country champs. Hosted by Brunel Uni the course was “proper” XC with hills, mud, rain and a river crossing which claimed at least a few athletes over the course of the day, see:

Some runners having a tough time at BUCS Cross Country Champs 2018.Credit: Sport Imperial

Posted by Rian McCawley on Sunday, 4 February 2018

First up was the Women’s race with Alicia Paton and Izzy Rayner representing the mighty Craic N’ Gold, faced with a two lap, 6.5km course that even made Callendar park seem like well…ehm… a walk in the park. Izzy set the early pace opening up a 50m gap over Alicia by the halfway point of the first lap at the river and maintaining the lead for most of the race, until Alicia showed her track pace on the finishing straight to close down Izzy and pass her on the line, before skidding through the mud at the end (yet still stay the cleanest out of the team). Alicia and Izzy finished 256th and 258th respectively out of a massive, high quality, field of 718, with no less than 9 GB runners and many more top-class athletes making the finish line. Two great runs, which bode well for the future with both girls having at least two more years to compete in what is unarguably the top cross country race in the country, and set the guys up for their chance to take on the challenging course.

The boy’s race was over 10km, including the same challenges of the girl’s. With 5 runners in the ‘A’ race we were guaranteed a team finish, as long as at least 4 of us finished. In the end none of us succumbed to the rain, cold and mud, all finishing – having thoroughly enjoyed the racing over such a challenging course. Getting the early pace right was the key to success on the energy sapping course and all 5 judge their efforts well, in particular returning former captain Alastair who chewed up the 2nd lap to breeze by the opposition and close in on his teammates to ensure an exciting finish. Buoyed by the girls support around the course in the miserable, rainy conditions (so much for the sunny London weather) this led to a brilliant team finish, which saw Tristan come 27th, Finlay 76th, Martin 97th, Alistair 113th and Gregor 183rd. Such a strong team performance resulted in us coming 14th overall! Encouraging signs for the upcoming national xc champs in Falkirk where we’re sure to see strong performances once again from this team, with all but Alastair competing in the u20 race, with Thor continuing his return to fitness and going up against the best senior men Scotland has to offer on the 24th.

Post race the team headed back to their accommodations to chisel away the mud and freshen up for evenings events. Once energy was restored the boys headed across to Izzy’s house where the Rayner family had prepared a banquet fit for the queen, appropriate since her majesty was such a close acquaintance of theirs (photo evidence was supplied). The food was delicious, good chat was had and the hospitality was very much appreciated. Since we’d travelled so far it also seemed a shame not to experience the local culture and there was no better way than the local pub. It was then on to the main event, the after party at Brunel union, minus Gregor who was being educated on various conspiracy theories, ranging from the titantic secret coverup to extra-terrestrials impact on modern day technology, from a local clearly in the know. Meanwhile at Brunel, 1000 plus student athletes descending on the multi-story club was always (never) a recipe for a civilised night, especially when rowdy Loughborough runners are thrown into the mix. The highlight was the silent disco with an impressively multi-talented DJ.

The following morning, with legs fresh and minds clear, the team re-grouped at Windsor Park, after a successful rescue operation to retrieve Finlay from the den of said Loughborough athletes. The team were treated to a running tour of the Queen’s back garden, to help ease the pain of the previous 24 hours. The team then completed the return journey back up north with credit to Alastair for getting us all home safely.

Race report by Martin “techno” Lynas, Finlay “thrown out” Todd, and Tristan “Fife4lyf” Rees

Welcome back!

Freshers run 2017

Welcome back to our seasoned runners and welcome along to our new members! Coming up this Fresher’s week we have some great events for you to all come and get involved with:

Tuesday 12th September 1000-1700 and Wednesday 13th September 1000-1600 – come down and meet the friendliest (and cheapest!) club on campus! Find out what we’re all about, our new jogging group, meet some of our keen members in their shortest shorts and see if the rumours of delicious home baking are true!

Thursday 14th September 1730 we will be meeting at the front of the Stevenson building for our very first run of the year! As ever, we will be running 3, 5 or 7 miles and will front and back mark every route so no one gets lost. All abilities are welcome and the weather forecast is even looking good!

Monday 18th September will mark the start of our first week of training. For our first two weeks we will stick to “easy miles” (3, 5 or 7 mile runs, with front and back marking) as well as the introduction of our new and exciting jogging group every Monday! As ever, find us at the front of the Stevenson building at 1730 Monday – Thursday.

Sunday 24th September we will be having our freshers bbq, hosted by our kind sponsors Record Factory on Byres Road. Before this everyone is very welcome to attend our taster trail running session. Keep an eye on the facebook group for more details about this!

Road Race Rescheduled, Entries Reopened

The Glasgow University 5 Mile Road Race will now be held on Saturday the 18th February at Garscube Sports Complex, with the race now starting at 11am.

Entries have now been reopened on entrycentral here. Online entries will be open till the 15th February, with entries available on the day from 9.30am – 10.40am at registration within Garscube Sports Complex.

A course map is available here.

All existing entries for the postponed November race will be automatically transferred to the new date. The existing entries will not appear on entry central, however you are still entered in the race. Due to the change of date, all entrants to the orgininal race date are entitled to a refund. Anyone wishing to receive a refund and withdraw from the race should contact:

treasurer-handh@gusa.gla.ac.uk

The race was originally scheduled for Saturday 26th November 2016 but was postponed due to a sheet of ice on part of the course.

Feel the Burns – 15/01/17

Stories of snowy trails, stunning vistas and a haggis feast drew a record 10 Hares and Hounds to the Feel the Burns Hill Race in bonnie Selkirk. An eclectic mix of seasoned hill runners, race veterans and hill running newbies ensured we would pepper ourselves throughout the field. Amazingly, everyone arrived with all the required kit. Unbelievable!

The weather the week before looked promising to match the winter wonderland that has treated this race for the past two year. On the morning of the race however, a freakish heatwave transformed the course into a mix of black ice, flowing rivers, deep bogs, 2ft snow drifts with some good hard ground in-between. Wise words at the race briefing of “look where you’re going and you’ll be grand” … sound advice.

After some quick team photos – later poached by the local press – we gathered on the start line in a muddy field. Something that I can’t quite remember happened, a gun or a hooter or someone shouted go, and we started madly running across the muddy field. The first challenge is getting out the field across a particularly muddy section on a brutal camber, primed to wipe us out like skittles. The next mile is on a firm forest track with sneaky patches of black ice and snow to catch out the unaware. For a brief moment myself, Tom and Alastair held a three man lead but this was not to last. After crossing a cattle-grid a sharp right hander took us off the main path and onto the well flagged first climb. Partly on sheep track, partly on quad track and partly on no track this brutal climb is in the grey area between runnable and walkable. Glorious views across the Scottish borders treated us at the summit before a quick heather bashing downhill and drag back up took us to the iconic Three Brethren. From here the route undulates along gorgeous trails on a broad ridge to the turning point at around 6.5 miles. “The best downhill in the world” stretches from around mile 6 to 9 and this year was made even better by running in a stream surrounded by snow for a good mile stretch. After this comes a fierce reality check. The downhill ends abruptly in a freezing crotch deep burn crossing followed by: a long drag on a farm track; slippy steep woodland trail; shoe eating monster bog and finally the last horrendous hands and knees crawl up the last hill. From the summit – after you wipe the tears from your eyes – it’s a tremendous flying two miles to the finish. Unless your Alastair, then it’s a nice wee detour to look at a pond and Jacob Atkin robbing you of a tattie.

Tremendous post-race feast put on by the organisers (plus Mairi’s flapjacks/not-flapjacks) left us all suitably satisfied. Great run, great food and great craic and gold.

It was a great day out and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves! Tremendous runs all round with some great performances that left local running legend Graeme Sutherland suitably impressed, although smug at pipping Duncan and Katherine at the finish! I managed to grab myself a win, CR and some prizes rich in poisonous gluten, which I have since eaten and suffered the consequences. Myself, Tom and Alastair also picked up the first team prize! Which was suitably consumed later that evening. Special mention to Audrey for heroically stopping and staying with an injured runner until help arrived, sacrificing her own run. Top medic!

Results:

  • 1: Mark Sutherland: 1:33:30
  • 4: Alastair Thurlbeck: 1:37:38
  • 6: Tom Callan: 1:39:06
  • 61: Mairi Gilmour: 2:05:42
  • 102: Alice Everett: 2:16:26
  • 137: Duncan Ng: 2:32:13
  • 140: Katherine Mitchell: 2:33:27
  • 149: Elie Waugh: 2:37:45
  • 155: Juliet Hill 2:39:34
  • 167: Audrey Ayres: 2:46:55

Words by Mark Sutherland

Unaware of the suffering to come...

Unaware of the suffering to come…

Mark on his way to a win and a CR

Mark on his way to a win and a CR

Braids Hill Race – 12/11/16

The 12th of November saw a small and intrepid group of GUHH’s partake in EUHH’s annual Hill race and social, Braids. Numbers this year from the Craic & Gold where low but that didn’t stop a 7-strong team from venturing into the depths of Edinburgh’s stronghold for patter (a word I use very loosely) either just to run the race or to make a day out of it and experience the social as well.

After the troops assembled in Edinburgh, we made our way to Kings Building House, stopping on the way for some munchies for the race. After collecting our numbers and purchasing tickets for the social, the team showed excellent prior planning by acquiring the closest table to the cake stand. After a suitable amount of pre-race craic to warm up our muscles, we geared up only to find we had forgotten face paint! At which point Iain speed of too acquire some, with Leeds and Dundee helping the face paint malnourished GUHH to tart up (cheers University of Leeds and University of Dundee Running clubs).

The 5km race saw five competitors line up in black and gold, well three of them did due to the lack of vests. Despite there being over 200 runners at the start of the race the amount of cheering was shameful so the duo of Brian and Iain saw it fit to ensure our runners were properly motivated. The 5km race saw some strong performances from the team with Alice Everett finishing in 22:01 as the 33rd woman across the line, antibiotic Andrew Wallace fresh from illness came in next running a 23:07 placing him 134th overall and first in the beanie hat race! Hot on Andrews heals came Ultra Audrey finishing in 23:17 to claim 143rd. Juliet Hill bounded over the hill to finish 170th in 24:55 followed by Miriam Kirchberger 26:45 who claimed 208th. Overall the guys did great over the busy and hilly course!

After getting in trouble from a team who shall remain nameless (E*******h) for being the only ones chanting at the start of the 10km Forest “Brian Ward” Gump and Iain Ballantyne (wearing a woman’s Vest) set off for a double dose of fun. After some encouragement from the rest of the gang on the way around Brian Ward flew across the line in 37:51 to take 50th, a bit behind and coughing his way around Iain Ballantyne crossed the line in 40:38 to claim 92nd.

Having consumed vast amounts of baked goods and tea after the race, we enjoyed a much-needed shower thanks to EUHH team captain Sophie Collins (THANK YOU) and made our way to the main event, the Drinking of course! Witnessing the numbers of Manchester university grow exponentially with the release of their sesh gremlins we enjoyed a fine selection of non-vegetarian haggis, much to the dismay of Juliet and Audrey, “did I mention she ran an ultra”. After some chance encounters and a wee jigg, we took it upon ourselves to bring the life back to the ceilidh with many others thanking us for showing them how to “let loose”.

Overall a great day was had by all! We will be back next year! Many thanks to EUHH and especially Sophie Collins for organising the race and allowing us to flood her bathroom!

Words by Iain Ballantyne

ROAD RACE CANCELLED

After a course inspection earlier this evening, we have decided to cancel the race tomorrow. The race will be postponed to a later date in the new year.

Whilst the majority of the course is safe to run on, the pathway between Dawsholm road and the Kelvin is blocked by a huge ice sheet. This ice is several centimeters deep, stretches the full width of the path and affects around 50m of the course. As there is no way around this section, and no alternate route, we have no choice but to cancel the race due to the obvious safety issues.

We will try to set a new date for the race as quickly as possible, and pre-entries to tomorrows race will be carried over to the new date. However if anyone requires a refund, we will be able to arrange this in due course.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Jedburgh 3 Peaks Ultra Marathon – 29/10/16

We might not have mentioned it, but a few of us did an ultra. On the 29th October, myself, Audrey and alumni member Jackie set about the 38 mile Jedburgh 3 Peaks Ultramarathon and to sum it all up… we smashed it! Here’s our stories of how the day unfolded.

Audrey

I signed up for Jedburgh on a whim after the Edinburgh half marathon, and then put off training until three months before the day of the run, so I arrived on the start line with very low expectations.
The 10 miles to the first checkpoint flew by, as we ran along a trail through woods, over a bridge that was as wobbly as promised, and through fields, all still while the sun was coming up. Reading the race briefing, I thought it was crazy that coca cola was provided at check points, but as I arrived at the first check point just before 10am, it turned out coke was exactly what I fancied! I also discovered that you can eat a cheese and marmite sandwich while running. The next 7 miles were along the banks of the River Tweed, which I have to say looked stunning with all the autumn trees along the banks. I almost didn’t notice the pain of running up and down stairs!

Around checkpoint 2, I found Jackie and was ready to start my climb up the three peaks when disaster struck! My second cheese sandwich fell out of my packet of hula hoops, where I’d be keeping it to eat as I jogged (walked) up the hills. Happily, another runner saw it fall and brought it back to me, proving yet again what lovely people ultra runners are! Reunited with my sandwich, I ate it as I climbed, then did a bit of jogging at the top of the first peak to pose for a photographer (my nan’s Christmas present sorted). After so much climbing, it was nice to be able to run back down, and it was great to chat to some other runners on the way down. The next checkpoint at Bowden featured a quick trip round a playground and down a slide, just to get a wee extra work out in.

I made it to the final checkpoint at mile 28 in just under 6 hours, having completed my first ever marathon along the way! From here, I just had to repeat the first 10 miles back to Jedburgh. This plan worked great for the next few miles, but at mile 34 I decided I’d very much had enough. I tried to walk for about 20 metres, realised this was actually more painful than my hobble/run, and went back to running. The stairs, stiles and climbs over road barriers proved substantially more of a challenge on the return. I was very appreciative of the series of runners who heckled/cheered/encouraged me on to run those last few miles. I jogged back into Jedburgh with two ultra veterans, who challenged me to a sprint finish. My competitive side got the better of me, and I “sprinted” over the finish line to finish in 8:07:44.
I was really grateful to Gage, Foggo and Sarah who cycled round the course to cheer us on, it made a huge difference! Also to everyone who lent me kit (Duncan, Sarah and Jenna) and to Mark and his family for hosting us and feeding us (not an easy task!) for the weekend! I’m not sure anyone believes me, but I really enjoyed every mile of it! I’d definitely recommend it, and I know if I can get a place in the ballot, I’ll be back to run it next year!

Mark

Although this was my 3rd time at Jedburgh and 4th ultra it doesn’t make the lead up to the race any easier. The week before is spent panicking about every niggle, sniffle, meal, drink, sleep … I felt somewhat un-prepared this year having only managed a long run of 15 miles in training. However, I was confident I could manage the distance and since I was hosting two ultra-newbies, Jackie and Audrey, for the weekend I tried (unsuccessfully) to hide my stress.

In my first two running’s at Jed I started of slow and steadily got faster, working my way through the field and finishing strong but last year was left wondering, “what if?”. So, this year I went for the well thought out plan of “flat out and hang on”.

A confused band of locals had stretched themselves across the path to send us off but they quickly startled and scattered as the starting hooter sounded and 300 runners charged their way. Within the first mile I formed a leading group of 4 ultra-runners and a relay runner. The 10 miles to the first checkpoint and Maxton were truly special in the rising sun and stunning autumnal leaves. Two runners stretched ahead and I settled into a good rhythm weaving along the 1st class single-track trailporn chatting to fellow Westie Stan. Before I knew it, I was in Maxton, 10 minutes ahead of last year, either smashing it or ******* it.

I pushed on towards the next CP up and down the steep slopes and steps along the banks of the glorious River Tweed and managed to stretch out a gap ahead of Stan (thanks to a small navigational error on his part). After turning away from the Tweed the course drags steadily uphill towards the base of the Eildon’s and it was a great lift to get cheered on by Sarah, Gage and Foggo as we crossed the main road. Checkpoint 2 was in chaos and I made the foolish decision to abandon my drop-bag, something I regretted deeply later in the race. I was a silly 24 minutes ahead of last year but was still feeling strong so pressed on in pursuit of the leading pair.

I love the Eildon’s; steep, muddy, rocky, heathery and with views to rival anywhere in Scotland! There’s nothing like these 3 hills to wake up the legs and refresh the mind and have some fun bouncing around the heather. I saw the leading pair for the first time since mile 3 from the top of the 1st hill and could see the gap was closing. By the time we came of the last hill and hit the mandatory playpark I was hot on the heels of second place. I resisted the temptation of the climbing wall and went for the easier ladder option, stumbled across the rope bridge and my chaffed arse discovered my short shorts were in fact too short for the slide. I grabbed some water and Jelly Babies at the checkpoint and put the hammer down, moving into second place. I took the lead as we returned to the weaving path next to the Tweed. 3 miles from the last CP I started to notice I was in trouble, my food and water was almost finished and the warning shots of dehydration and hypo were firing. I decided to finish my fuel and go flat out to get to Maxton ASAP, smashing it or ******* it?

Trying to look fresh I bounded into Maxton and set about raiding my drop bag, took on some water and sprinted away up the hill. Sarah and my Mum got there just in time for me to confess to feeling ruined, however their shocked expression and words of encouragement did wonders to keeping me going over the last 10 miles. A mile out from the CP I was hitting real trouble and by 2 miles I was Jonny Brownleeing all over the trail. Without a brother to keep me upright I sought the comfort of some cold moist grass and took a lie down. After a few minutes the forest stopped spinning and my legs returned from puppet land, so I got to my feet and started a brisk walk. I have never felt like this before; the tank was empty, the legs were gone, every part of my body was screaming at me to stop, call my mum and go home for a nice hot bath… a bath bubbling with shame and disappointment.

I had a stern talking to myself and might have cried if I wasn’t so dehydrated; I wasn’t going to throw it away now! I started shuffling, that shuffle slowly turned into jog which almost reached a run. Every step hurt, but every step brought me closer to the finish. Eventually I hit the town, a brutal 1.5 miles of tarmac lay between me and the finish. I counted trees as I passed them, then lampposts, then paving slabs and hummed the Hercules soundtrack to myself to drown out the pain. Suddenly a runner pulled level with me…. balls…. Wait he’s doing the relay! Relax, breath, just keep on keeping on, the finish line comes into sight. Got to look good crossing the line; I force myself to run like a normal human, although there’s nothing forced about the smile. Smashed it… just.

I’ve never won anything before and wasn’t sure how to react, luckily this became irrelevant as I quickly lost the ability to remain upright and took again to the comfort of the moist grass. I was annoyed at myself for almost throwing it away through sheer stupidity; I have gained some valuable experience and got mighty lucky, it’s not until looking back on it I realise how much trouble I was in. I loved every step and can honestly say that I enjoyed the suffering in some strange way!

“Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. And sometimes that bad judgement can be pretty horrific!”, Val Geissler.

It’s clichéd, but, every ultra is a rollercoaster of highs and lows and teaches you a lot about yourself and your abilities. It’s inspiring to see runners of all shapes, sizes and ability conquering the distance all with a broad smile. The atmosphere and camaraderie amongst competitors is unique and special. Big thanks to Sarah, Gage, Foggo, my parents and my fellow Limpers for their support on the day. Huge congrats to Audrey and Jackie for their ridiculous performances on their first ultra.

Jackie

The weather fully did its bit in making this the picture-perfect autumn trail-porn race that I had psyched myself up for doing despite being undertrained and injured. Running through rustling leaves, nestled in a pack of clearly experienced ultra-runners, chatting and enjoying the rising sun and sun’s-out-guns-out weather made the first 17 miles the absolute best-case scenario for a first ultra. Feeling tired but good Audrey and I started the ascent of the first peak. And that’s when it got tough for me and doing the stair master seems like it would have been more appropriate training than running at this point. Having to go even slower on the downhill than up due to injury was slightly frustrating, but it was all okay when I got to the top and saw the stunning views; getting a last glimpse at the top of the third peak, bang on 19 miles (the half way point…) felt super special to me at this delirious stage. Then my Garmin battery died. The really painful walk-jog-limp journey home was only really possible due to the distraction of the brilliant playground interlude and the umpteen cheers, hugs, and encouragements from Foggo and Gage, who cycled to meet us throughout the course (heroes!). I was worried about the drawn-out finishing stretch along the road into Jedburgh, but getting dozens of honks, waves, and smiles of encouragement, even looks of respect from runners on their way home who had clearly finished hours and hours before me was amazing.

Audrey, Mark and Jackie

Audrey, Mark and Jackie