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

Freshers Week 2015

Our Freshers Run is on Thursday the 17th. We’ll be meeting at 5.30pm just outside the Stevenson Building (the gym). We’ll have 3, 5 and 7 mile runs suitable for all abilities. All the runs will be led and back marked by club members, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.

We’ll also be at the Sports Fayre so stop by for a chat to find out more about the club! The Sports Fayre is held in the Stevenson Building from 10am – 5pm on Tuesday the 15th and from 10am – 4pm on Wednesday the 16th.

 

Dumyat Hill Race 2015

Stirling University hosted the Dumyat Hill Race and final round of our ‘Des Gilmore Cup’ on Wednesday the 6th of May bringing a close to the Hares and Hounds running calendar for the academic year.

Gage Willox kindly drove the minibus despite not racing and provided some much needed moral support along with Alastair Thurlbeck and Des Gilmore.

The race that incorporates the Scottish Universities Hill Race began with a mixture of road and trail before the challenging 1,280ft ascent to the top of Dumyat. The burning in the calves was soon replaced by adrenaline as the runners charged down the hill with a few slips and slides on the way. Gage and Alastair were given some high quality entertainment as everyone ‘pinballed’ their way off the trees and down the steepest part of the course. First to cross the line was Grant Boyne (38.24) in 13th position overall and 6th university runner followed by treasurer Tom Callan (39.24) in 22nd and 10th uni. Mairi Gilmour (50.20) was the first female in for Glasgow after a fantastic downhill to overtake Lisa Christy after she lead the uphill (51.26). Mairi was 13th female, 5th Uni with Lisa 16th female and 6th uni. Duncan NG followed shortly after (52.03) to shave minutes off his time from last year showing constant signs of improvement. Audrey Ayres and Stephanie Breunig both ran exceptionally well on such a challenging course to finish close together in 66.05 and 66.35 respectively.

Dumyat

Grangemouth 10k

The weather did not look promising as a keen group of Hares and Hounds ventured out of the library and into the scenic streets of Grangemouth for the annual ‘Round The Houses’ 10k. There was an eager sense of anticipation to see what colour the famous t-shirts would be with some pre race betting taking place before the nerves began to kick in.

The gun went and everyone set off strongly, including Isle of Man ‘team girl’ and prize winner Katrina Ballantyne, however the energetic bounce in her stride seemed to prove too much for the timing chip that was left behind on the start line.

The flame glowing from the oil refinery resembled Mount Doom as the hobbits (runners) battled through the final few kilometres. Grant Boyne was the first of those wearing black and gold to enter the stadium and cross the line in a PB of 34.12 followed by Lauren Wilson making her debut at the distance in a very impressive time of 37.13 as she finished 10th woman. Designated driver for the day Richard Kelly was hot on her heels finishing shortly after in a time of 37.16. Adam Stark (38.22) put in a strong performance after a busy couple of semesters at uni followed by Sarah Laverty (39.47) who claimed third U20 woman. Ross Martin had a great run and proved that hard work pays off after he recovered from his start of season injuries to put in a time of 40.42. Duncan NG (41.07) followed up on his Isle of Man PB with an even better run as he shaved a minute and a half of the prior week. New women’s captain Lisa Christy (41.26) put in another typically impressive run and Orla Chapman, in possibly her final run for the club, broke 43 minutes to improve on her first year time by 10 minutes!! Ceilidh McConnnachie built upon her good run at Clydebank to come in shortly after in 44.09.

Although those green Haries deservedly won the SSS awards, the t-shirts were blue and the banter was #craicandgold. Special thanks to Richard for driving.

Grangemouth

National XC 2015

On a very wet and windy (Ideal running conditions) Sunday the 22nd of February 2015, a cohort of the Hares and Hounds made the journey to Falkirk’s main tourist attraction Callender Park. The under 20 women won a bronze medal (Sarah Lavery, 10, Katrina Ballantyne, 18 and Lisa Christy 19) in the 4.8 Kilometre race. In the senior races Alice Everrett and Rory Macmillan nursed their hangovers from the night before and ran well, claiming 90th and 130th positions in their races respectively. Alastair Thurlbeck ran exceptionally well and came 6th in the Under 20 Men 8 kilometre race, followed by Mr enthusiastic himself, Tom Callan, in 26th place.
Come on Glasgow!!

Words by Katrina Ballantyne

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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