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

Scottish National XC Relays – 22/10/16

On Saturday the 22nd of October a contingent of runners made their way to the scenic Cumbernauld for the Scottish National XC Relays. Conditions were ideal and the 4km course was suitably challenging and there was an Olympian or two – the makings of a good race. There was a full men’s team, two full women’s teams and incomplete men’s and women’s teams gracing the course.

It is common manners to let the ladies first so it was down to the girls to “soften” the course for the men (i.e. make it nice and muddy for them- they wouldn’t want it too easy). The first women’s team came home in 1:02 claiming a respectable 11th place overall- first leg runner Annabel Simpson being the 6th fastest woman on the day! Taking over from the ladies the men’s team – Alastair Thurlbeck, Rory McMillan, Gregor Gillespie and Gavyn Chalmers finished in a combined time of 53 minutes putting them in 22nd place overall- not shabby at all gents.

Well done to everyone who ran. Sorry I can’t mention you all but you all put in a craic-ing effort! Hopefully the next race will be just as successful.

Words by Katrina Ballantyne

DAAA XC Relays – 15/10/16

On Sunday 16th October, GUHH headed to a somewhat soggy Helensburgh for the DAAA XC relays. Despite pelting rain Ellie Waugh, Brian Ward and Andrew Wallace started proceedings with 2 laps of what was essentially a short (3.6KM), sharp ascent of the hill, wheezy decent and ‘tricky burn crossing’ which turned out to be a small stream with an enormous tree branch lying right across the middle. Luckily no ankles were broken.
Brian put in an incredible run, coming 2nd in the first lap in a time of just 14.15, closely followed by Andrew for our mixed team (17.27) and Ellie for the women (18.07). Michael, Gavyn and Alex came next for Men’s A, all putting in fantastic laps in 15.03, 13.02 & 15.05 respectively and despite the initial concern that Alex might burn out half way round due to being ‘SO, SO PUMPED’ all was well and the Men secured 3rd Men’s Team overall. And despite his ridiculously long limbs and quick lap, annoyingly, Gav missed out on fastest lap by just 15 seconds. Rebecca ran second for the women, putting in a strong performance in just 17.25 and true to form El Capitan herself brought home a speedy final lap in 16.30 to win 2nd Women’s Team overall. Juliet and Maggie put in great runs for the Mixed team despite the awful weather in 20.14 and 19.17 respectively and GUHH acquired a new friend for the day in the form of Central runner Melissa Robinson who ran a strong final lap in 17.40 – cue much cheering and try and warm ourselves up.

Overall, a great day for the Hares and Hounds, winning medals for both men & women’s teams as well as the U20 prize for ‘Fastest Women’ going to Katrina.
Lessons learnt – running up hill, however small the hill is unpleasant, large branches should be avoided and down jackets, however warm they may be, do not withstand pouring rain, turning a once bubbly social secretary into a soggy sponge. Oh, and WE HAVE MORE FUN THAN YOU. Brilliant runs all round were rewarded by beer & burgers, proving that friends who run together, get fat together too.

Words by Ellie Waugh

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Stirling Freshers XC – 12/10/16

On the afternoon of 12th October, 16 of our keenest Hares & Hounds headed to Stirling for the annual Fresher’s Cross Country and first official race of the season.

For anyone old enough to remember BUCS 2014 (i.e. only Ellie and Alastair) this is a course that insights flashbacks of mud baths, pain and tears. To anyone else is it a fairly straightforward, undulating 2.8km loop with nice views of Dumyat hill & the Wallace Monument – or at least that’s what they all thought when we walked the course.

Our boys kicked off proceedings with Martin Lynas absolutely smashing his lap to make 10th place in just as many minutes (in 10.01 to be precise) maintaining his lead on his chaser from Strathy who came in just 1 second later. Next came Guinness Gillespie in a strong 10.09 for 13th place and our very own Forrest Gump, Brian Ward bouncing across the line in 10.18 and 16th place.

As the girls watched in horror at the speed the men were completing their laps in came Euan Rose in 10.46 (21st) Nicolas Daval in 11.01 (25th), Callum Smith in 11.11 (28th) Ruaridh Campbell in 11.24 (33rd) Christopher Stevens in 11.33 (38th), Callum Ferguson 11.43 (41st) and Rhys Walker in 12.12 (45th).

This was the debut for all the guys running for the Hares & Hounds and all put in strong performances to put GUHH in 4th place over – just 6 points short of placing However, most importantly, the men did us proud, beating the Haries by a whopping 58 points.

Typically as the girls lined up the rain which had been threatening all day decided now was the time. Heather Addison put in an incredible run in 11.55 to come 4th overall and despite the fact that those sneaky Haries tried to claim her for themselves by recording her run for EUHH we can confirm that she knew the only way was craic & gold.

El Capitan herself, Katrina Ballantyne came in 8th in 12.09 swiftly followed by Izzy Rayner for her debut GUHH run in 12.42.  Audrey Ayres’ ultra-training came in handy as she made it in in just under 13 minutes with 12.54 to secure 16th place, followed by a wheezing Ellie Waugh in 13.31 (21st) and Maggie Harger in 13.59 (25th)

The girls ran well, securing 3rd women’s team overall, despite some confusion other who was running for who.

With Scotland’s very own Olympian Andrew Butchart giving out the prizes – much to the excitement of some of our ladies and one man from Stirling who asked for an autograph rather than a prize – a massive thank you is due to Stirling for hosting another fantastic fresher’s run. Also big well done for everyone who represented the club and took part, you did good!

Words by Ellie Waugh

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Round the Houses 10k – 10/04/16

On the morning of Sunday the 10th April, 18 of our most enthusiastic Hares & Hounds set off to Grangemouth for the annual Jim Dingwall Memorial, Round the Houses 10k.

The course itself remained unchanged from previous years, a flat course circuiting the Grangemouth industrial estate and (as the name suggests) around the local houses, the ideal conditions for a PB.

Upon arrival everyone was in good sprits, with good weather and a welcome lack of hills after a heavy weekend in the Isle of Man, setting us up for an enjoyable race.

On great form as usual, Alastair Thurlbeck put in a stunning performance to secure 10th place overall in a time of 32.46. A new PB for our incoming Captain. Gavyn Chalmers, Grant Boyne and  Mark Sutherland followed closely in 24th, 25th and 28th places respectively, all coming in under 34 minutes to complete the Glasgow University Men’s A Team.

Fanni Gyurko stormed the course in 34.46, taking 3rd place for the women overall, not far behind came Annabel Simpson in Black and Gold in just 35.44 for U20 women and Sarah Laverty (running under her own name this time after the glory of being Iona Gatenby) in 36.26.

Just 8 seconds later our resident Dr, Adam Stark crossed the line and Callam Scott followed suit, coming in with a new PB at 37.41.

Canada’s finest, Zander Affleck was next over the line with Murdo Traill, Ross Martin, Duncan Ng and Maxim Yan Muk all bringing in strong finishes for the boys.

For the women, outgoing Captain, Lisa Christy was just behind Zander, finishing in 40.28 and a Soop fuelled Katrina Ballantyne kept on Team Boy Murdo’s tail to finish in an impressive 42.32. Hannah Miller put in a strong performance after an impromptu sign up, followed by Ellie Waugh, Lucy Deeny and Juliet Hill, completing the Hares & Hounds finishes.

Despite the ever looming presence of the Haries (again, we couldn’t hear them sing!) Glasgow put in a stellar performance, with Alastair taking 1st U20 male and Sarah and Annabel taking prizes for U20 women.

Not only this but Glasgow won 1st prize for both Men and Women’s University teams, demonstrating to Edinburgh that although we might be loud & obnoxious, we’re not always at the back.

Once again, a massive well done to everyone who raced, we did Glasgow proud!

Words By Ellie Waugh

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