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