Alan Scally Road Relay

The sun was shining down on the East End of Glasgow for the 46th Alan Scally – a race that also plays host to the Scottish University Road Relay Championships. The Glasgow girls were out to defend the title they won last year with the boys hoping to build upon their bronze medals. The race was a 4.8 mile loop with teams consisting of four male or three female competitors.

First year OM Mairi Gilmour lead the way for the women’s team running an excellent leg of 34:38 to leave the ladies in 4th place University. Sean Robinson opened the account for the men’s B team battling with the wind to complete his lap in 31:59. Meanwhile Grant Boyne covered the distance in 26:15 leaving the A team in a strong position to push on as we narrowly trailed our fierce rivals Edinburgh by 14 seconds. Alice Everett was next up for the women’s team completing her lap impressively in 34:30 making it hard to believe it was only her second ever race! After a good run at Cumbernauld the previous week Ross Martin (34:59) took over from Sean to produce another solid performance on his comeback from injury. Club Captain Mark Sutherland, who had phenomenally completed an ultra marathon the previous week, showed he still had plenty left in his legs to finish his lap in 28:31 leaving the men in 4th Uni. Despite being a little nervous before her leg Lisa Christy (32:53) provided another excellent run to secure a bronze medal, a great result with Edinburgh Uni securing gold. Rory McMillan made his debut for the Hares and Hounds in emphatic style as he finished in 28:51 for the B team while Tom Callan (28:24) extended his early season form while representing the A team after his impressive run the previous weekend. Simon Gardner ran the final leg for the B team in a time of 30:51 ensuring a strong team placing. The fastest Glasgow Uni lap of the day was run by Alastair Thurlbeck (25:49) as he secured a 4th place finish for the A team. An excellent run from the final leg Edinburgh runner secured their double victory over a strong St Andrews team.

Luckily we managed to get back before the rain really started and the days racing has left us all raring to go for the Scot Uni’s Cross Country which will be held in Dundee on the 22nd of November.

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Dunbartonshire XC Relays

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.

National 4k XC relays

The weather was typical of an average Octobers day in Glasgow – wet. However this did not stop a group of enthusiastic Hares and Hounds making their way to Cumbernauld to compete in one of Scottish Athletics biggest cross country events of the year. 3 women’s and 2 mens teams set out to do battle against the elements and damp hilly course.

Skye Dick lead the way for the Women’s A team building on some good early season form completing her lap in 17:50, she was closely followed by Lisa Christy who had a great run in 18:21 with Christine Deng (21:11) not far behind that for the C team. Laura Muir took over from Skye and overtook several opposition with a strong run of 15:12. Freshers Katrina Ballantyne and Katherine Mitchell ran well for the B’s and C’s with times of 19:03 and 20:01 respectively. Nicole Gruszczynski was left to complete the race for the A team and done so emphatically in a time of 17:34 securing 16th place. Orla (19:30) and Penny (20:21) both finished the challenge excellently in such a strong field of runners.

In form runner Alastair Thurlbeck (THOR) opened the race for the mens A team in an incredible time of 13:52, opening up a solid gap on the Edinburgh Uni team in the process. Neil Wilson lead the way for the B team finishing his lap in a respectible 16:52 – just imagine what he could do if he wore socks! Aishan Patil (16:00) built upon his impressive midweek 5k for the A team and the ever improving Alistair Little ran well completing his lap in 16:32 as the rain began to batter the competitors. Grant Boyne took over from Aishan and clawed back some places completing his run in 14:20 for the A team while Tom Callan displayed some excellent talent running a superb lap of 15:03. Myles Bax (14:29) was careful not to wander off course and ran impressively to secure the guys a 19th place finish. Ross Martin (20:11) made his debut in the famous ‘Black and Gold’ to bring back the bacon for the B team.

All that running left a few of our athletes with a thirst which the GU more than happily quenched. Tom went on to prove that running was not the only thing he is fast at as he let out his inner fresher by asking what a ‘strawpedo’ was. A good night was had by all and the days racing has left us raring to go for the Allan Scally Road Relays next weekend.

 

MacAndrews 5k Road Relays

The Hares and Hounds started the season of in familiar fashion with a trip to Scotstoun for the MacAndrews 5K Road Relays. The undulating course always proves a tough test for stiff legs at the start of the season. The Woman’s team was an all fresher affair with Mairi Gilmour, Katrina Ballantyne and Christine Deng making their first appearances for the club. Mairi led the team out with a storming 22:22 before Katrina and Christine matched each other with 25:23. The Men’s A team was a mix of youth and experience with veterans Simon Gardener and Vitalijs Brejevs joined by new members Gavyn Chalmers and Tom Callan. Gavyn showed his potential with the clubs quickest time of the day in 18:10. William Bryant made an impressive debut in the B team alongside returning members Sean Robinson, Aishan Patil and Anton Ward. In the C team Brendan Chadwick showed he still had the speed despite an injury plagued summer, blasting out A 18:20. Mark Sutherland also ran a quick first leg to put the C team surprisingly high up the field. Very surprising for Club Legend Gage Willox as the ex-captain missed the start of his leg. Oli Seglah completed a solid C team effort and provided some pro photography too.

The highlight of the day came in when we found out there was free tea and cake, including the worlds biggest muffins!

Spirits are high and legs are fresh going into another exciting season of racing!

macandrews_6x4Words by Mark Sutherland

Great Scottish Run

On Sunday the 5th of October a large group of Hares and Hounds consisting of several new faces joined the hardened veterans including Adam Stark in completing his 5th Glasgow Half Marathon. The weather looked as appealing as the St Vincent Street climb that opened the race, however we were fortunate as the rain politely held off until the end of our runs. Star man Lachlan Oates ran a fantastic race completing the course in 67 minutes and 41 seconds finishing 13th overall winning the scottish unis half marathon championship in the process. Myles Bax returned emphatically from injury to run the course in 73 minutes and 21 seconds followed closely by Alastair Thurlbeck who incredibly improved his personal best by over 20 minutes. New member Nicole Gruszczynski ran a strong race crossing the line not long after the 90 minute mark with Orla Chapman and Lisa Christy hot on her heels with both looking to be in good shape for the start of our cross country races. Congratulations go to everyone who for completing the run and well done to those who set some nice new PBs. Next up are the Dunbartonshire XC relays.

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Edinburgh Marathon Festival

It was great to have so many HnH runners at the EMF on Sunday! Particular shout outs to Anton who ran the full marathon in a time of 4:02:14. Mercy was first to finish for the girls followed by Skye in a time of 1:30:22 and Lisa in 1:35:25. For the guys, Sean was first in 1:30:57, Alistair Little finished in 1:31:03 and Ben in 1:31:37. Thanks also to Caroline and Ben for letting people stay over, and Oli who came through to spectate! Hopefully we’ll have even more entering next year.

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The Des Gilmore Cup 2013/14 – Race Series Review

Braid Hills

The first stage of the series saw 24 brave Hares and Hounds take on the Braid Hills outside Edinburgh. The race is best described as a “very hilly” cross country, most likely due to the actual hill situated in the midst of each lap. After the distressing two lap affair that was the men’s race, Grant Boyne was first in for Glasgow with a comfortable lead over 2nd finisher, Myles Bax. Ruben Lopez took third, while I took fourth having sneakily attacked Chris Clarke in the run up to the line. In the women’s race Lauren Quee finished 1st, again with a healthy lead to our 2nd finisher, Neah Evans. Lisa Christy and Ellie Waugh finished a mere second apart, taking 3rd and 4th respectively. Harriet Whitby-Tillot finished soon after to take 5th.

SSS XC Championships

The second stage saw us journey up North to Aberdeen, for the Scottish Student Sport cross country. It’s likely it was the appeal of a particular post race event and the following night out that made this our most popular race of the race series, with 26 entrants making the trip. Myles took 1st finisher, however Grant was close behind in 2nd, leading to a joint first place position in the overall series. Peter Bowman made an appearance to take 3rd, with Ruben taking 4th. Chris was back on form, leaving me in the distance as he secured 5th. Lauren ran a fantastic race to take first women overall, along with her second 1st place finish for Glasgow. Kathryn Pennel was not far behind, taking 6th overall and 2nd finisher for Glasgow. Neah also ran a strong race to take 3rd, whilst Mella Slattery took 4th. Harriet maintained good form to secure 5th. Unfortunately for Adam Stark, the additional post race event is not part of the race series.

Clydebank 5k

The race series’s third stage saw the Hares and Hounds descend on Clydebank for a fast, flat 5k. Changes were to be expected in the series standings with Myles out with an injury, and Ruben’s return to Spain. Grant fought with Dave Houston to take first finisher by just two seconds. With some improved form I managed a comfortable third place, however old “rival” Chris was close behind to take 4th. Adam took 5th along with a new PB, as did many other Hares and Hounds. Natalie Sharp took first finisher for Glasgow, alongside an impressive overall victory in the women’s race. Kathryn ran another strong race to take 2nd Glasgow finisher. Despite much pre-race self doubt, Karolina Kivimaki took 3rd, surpassing Harriet and Ellie for the first time. Harriet and Ellie both put in solid performances to secure 4th and 5th respectively.

Grangemouth 10k

The fourth stage was a fast, completely flat, and amazingly dull 10k. Few other races can rival Grangemouth’s awful scenery. The race organisers had titled the race “round the houses”, which it turned out was a painfully accurate description of the course. Despite the abysmal views, I managed to to take 1st and secure my dream of a sub 35 10k. As you’d expect, Grant was not far behind to take 2nd, and Chris put in a fantastic effort to take 3rd. Mark Sutherland secured a strong time to take 4th having improved dramatically since the first term. Adam put in another strong performance to take another 5th place finish. Karolina’s improvement resulted in a well deserved first finish for the Hares and Hounds runner of the year. Ellie took a convincing 2nd, while Cassie Patterson ran a great race to finish 3rd and Courtney Gunn took 4th.

Dumyat Hill Race

The final stage of the race series was the Dumyat hill race at Stirling University. Annoyingly, Andrew Foggo’s description of the race as “half rock, half grass” was pretty much spot on. Myself and Mark fought it out on both the ascent and descent, however thanks to a conveniently positioned tarmac road, I was able to stretch out a narrow lead to take first. Simon Gardner secured a strong third place finish in what was his first race series outing, likely due to Dumyat being the only race in the series vaguely comparable to orienteering. Adam took 4th, rounding off a strong finish to his race series while Ben Mclennen took 5th. Ellie ran a great race to take her first, 1st place finish of the series. Kirsten Somerville took 2nd, Fiona Mcgruer took 3rd and Sara Cameron took 4th.

Final Standings

Grant’s consistent strong performances in the first four races of 1st, 2nd, 1st and 2nd, led to a first place series standing with only 6 points. I ended up not far off in second with 9 points, largely thanks to 1st place finishes in the last two races. Chris’s strong performances throughout the year led to a third place series standing with 17 points. Mark and Adam were close behind to take 4th and 5th respectively. Ellie was rewarded for her good results throughout the year with a first place series standing. Great results in the last two races led to a convincing lead with only 12 points. Karolina Kivimaki took 2nd with 20 points thanks to her continued improvement throughout the year and stronger performances in the latter stages of the series. Harriet took third overall with 14 points thanks to strong finishes in the first three races. Lisa was only one point behind in 4th and Courtney took 5th.

Congratulations to Grant Boyne and Ellie Waugh, winners of the Des Gilmore Cup 2013/14! It’s also worth commenting on the excellent turnout to all the races throughout the series. Well done to everyone who participated, there’s just too many of you to mention in this already far too long review. I’d also like to apologise for saying “strong” around 50 times. I’ll use a thesaurus next time.

You can find the full standings of the race series here.

Words by Alastair Thurlbeck

Dumyat Hill Race- May 7th

On the 7th of May thirteen Hares and Hounds headed to Stirling to tackle our annual hill race and the last race of the Des Gilmore Cup. Accompanying the team were the president himself (Des) and the clubs temporary official photographer Oli Seglah, although after a strong performance a more permanent deal may be negotiated.

A wet and windy day had helped get the course to its muddy and boggy best. The race start of 7pm gave time for the weather to clear and we were greeted with perfect running conditions. A first hill race for many, the camp was buzzing with nervous excitement.

A large field of over 340 gathered on the start line and after a quick game of “who’s not wearing Inov8s?” (courtesy of Fiona), we were off. The first 400 yards involved a mad dash for position before the course narrowed from a wide road to a thin forest track and then an even thinner hole in a wall. The wooded section provided a goody bag of steep slippy climbs, burn crossings and some flatter sections. After clambering over a stile the course opened to the boggy, rocky, open moorland of the hill. The trail weaved its way to the summit, crossing hard packed ground, stodgy bog and plenty of boulders to keep you on your toes.

Turning at the summit runners were treated to a tear inducing head wind rendering eyes almost useless for the beginning of the descent. Those near the front enjoyed a game of “dodge the poor souls still battling up”, whilst those nearer the back played “stay out of the way of the out of control eejits”. The lucky people in the middle got to play both! The decent was over in an exhilarating, sometimes terrifying flash and before we knew it we were back on the tarmac road racing to the finish.

After battling it out across the course Alastair Thurlbeck had the legs to stretch ahead of Mark Sutherland on the final straight, finishing 16th in 38:36 with Mark close behind in 18th with 38:42. Simon Gardner made up the top 3 coming in at 40:27. Adam Stark with 44:15, Ben Mclellan with 48:00, Alistair Little with 49:18, Andrew Foggo with 50:29, Duncan Ng with 1:04:32 and Kin-Kwok Lai with 1:33:16 completed the men’s team with a strong presence throughout the field!

Ellie Waugh capped of her debut year with the club by coming in first for the woman in 56:58. Kirsten Somerville completed her first race after returning from injury in 1:03:03. Fiona Mcgruer made big inroads in her time from last year with 1.11.32 and Sara Cameron defied recent injuries with a 1.13.49.

A great showing from the Hares and Hounds during a stressful exam period! Well done everyone, until the next hill race…

Adam looks even happier when he’s racing.

Scottish XC Relays – Cumbernauld

After a dominant showing at the Dunbartonshire Relays, the Hares and Hounds headed to Cumbernauld full of confidence and hungry for more success. 11 men and 5 women turned up in a wet Cumbernauld to tackle a course that past athletes described as “70% uphill but still starts and finishes in the same place”. The hills on the course did not disappoint, and the ground underfoot stayed relatively firm despite the weather.

Orla Chapman was first to tackle the 4km course for the Woman’s A with Jackie Kandsberger setting off for the B team. Orla stormed round in 18:03 thanks to a well-timed race, with Jackie not far behind in 19:15. GB athlete Laura Muir took over for the A team and immediately showed her class, setting a fastest time of the day with 13:45, making up almost 40 places. For the B’s Karolina Kivimaki windmilled her way to a solid 19:26. It was left to rookie Cassie Paterson to finish the job for the ladies, she held on well to take 25th place with an 18:59, fantastic result in such a strong field!

The Men’s A team saw just one change from that that dominated in Dumbarton. With Sam Davies unavailable Grant Boyne stepped in after his fastest junior time a week before. Peter Bowman led the team out with an impressive 13:19, setting a great platform for the rest to attack from. Champion cheerer Ruben Lopez took over and gained one place with a 14.08. Grant Boyne continued his impressive early season form with a 13:35 to claw up a further position. Myles Bax brought the team home strongly through the steadily deteriorating course with a battling 13:50 to secure 20th position for the men and 2nd University.

Men’s B team of Aishan Patil (14:07), Chris Clarke (14:17), Adam Stark (15:06) and Mark Sutherland (15:02) showed the strength in depth at the club finishing in 43rd, Aishan and Chris putting in strong A team claims.

Lewis Renton (14:22), Alistair Thurlbeck (15:06) and Ben McClellan (15:11) made up the Men’s C team, giving the B’s a close run!

A great day out for the club with fantastic runs all round. Special thanks to Captain Andrew Foggo, Courtney Gunn and Oli Seglah for coming along to support and help the athletes drag themselves over the hills and through the mud.

Next up is the Scottish Road Relay Championships in Shettleston, can the Club continue to build on this early season success?

Words by Mark Sutherland

The team post race