There are still plenty hill races left to test the legs in this year’s calendar, the FRA Relays to name one, but for the purposes of the 2018 Scottish and British Hill Running Championships the game is over!
From a club perspective the season was characterised by some notable absences from some of the faster gents and just about any category of lady harriers you care to mention! In fact only 2 ladies, Victoria Leiper and Susan Breckenridge graced the hills for the club in the championship races in 2018. Ladies…we miss you!!
The less spotted male species was easier to explain with Messers Gollan, Owens, Richmond and Simpson amongst others opting to test themselves on the international or British scene and doing so very successfully…more of that later. Others fell fowl to injury or good old fashioned domestic duties and professional commitments.
The Scottish season started well with strong individual and team showings at both Chapelgill(short) in March and Yetholm(medium) in June. However only 3 Shetts made the long journey to Skye in July to tackle Glamaig(short) and it was track-star and relative hill newbie Lachlan Oates who led the way with an outstanding performance to finish in 3rd place. Chapeau to Steve Winter and Iain Pender for holding Lachlan’s hand.
By the time the 4th race came around it was clear that individual honours would not be coming home to the east end. However the team competitions for the men were very much alive thanks to more ‘fresh blood’ in the form of Grant Boyne and Alastair Thurlbeck who performed exceptionally well at both long-category races, Ben Rhinnes in July and Ochil 2000s in August. This kept the senior men’s team in the hunt for prizes.
And so to the final race of the domestic season, organised by Shettleston stalwart Dave ‘hill & track’ Houston …(check out Rod’s race report on the website). It was neck and neck at the top of the team table as far as the senior and vet40 men were concerned going into the last race at Ben Resipol and it was still neck and neck at the finish. Sadly it was not to be for the senior men who tied with auld enemy Carnethy on 159 points but lost out to the Edinburgh mob on countback!
However it was all toothless smiles for the old gits who emerged victorious in the vet40 category with 162 points edging out Highland Hill Runners with 159 points. Despite not picking up any points at Glamaig, consistency was the name of the game for the more mature Shetts who triumphed in 3 of the other 5 races. A special mention must go to Steve ‘baby face’ Winter who made consistency his trademark this year. Not only did he finish top Shett in the Vet 40 category in 5th place overall he also led the way individually for the club in the senior men finishing 10th overall. Not bad for a guy who’s only just started shaving!
Big fish, small pond?…maybe, but Shettleston Harriers also travel well and are no strangers to success in the bigger puddles. The British Fell Running Championships comprise just 4 races but demand even more commitment. This year’s quest began in April in Ireland and ended on The Ben in September with detours to Wales and England on route. There were some ups and downs along the way but the standout performance was a youthful one. Ross Gollan seemed to improve with every race this year, mixing it with the big boys and doing quite nicely thank you. He bossed the U23 championship winning 3 races out of 4 and in the process only just missed out on a bronze medal in the senior mens category by 1 point! Ross has a bright future, just a shame for the club it’s not in Glasgow – Good Luck in New Zealand Ross!
And it seems the old gits are partial to a dirty weekend away as well. A small but almost perfectly formed band of older brothers combined well to take second place in the Vet 40 team competition thanks to club stalwarts Kenny Richmond, Peter Mackie, John Connaghan and Steve Winter. The senior mens team finished very respectively in 6th position. Congratulations to them and all the British Champs competitors.
The Scottish Championship races for 2019 have already been announced, details here… http://www.scottishhillrunners.uk/NewsItems.aspx?NewsItemID=52563
It promises to be another exciting year and definitely one for the traveller! Looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces again in the blue and gold and hopefully some new ones as well…especially of the female variety. Remember all welcome if you fancy giving it a go!
Thank you to Bill Breckenridge for the above report
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