It was another victory for the club but this time in the world of virtual competition. After the success of the Shettleston Hill Runner’s virtual relay, the team was eager to showcase their lockdown finesse this time on the national stage… and we did not disappoint!

The challenge set by Scottish Athletics seemed simple: gain as many vertical metres as possible in 30 mins (with the rules requiring a max of 100m for each ascent and the same start/finish point). However, as the race weekend drew closer, discussions of tactics became more complex and extravagant as the competitiveness of Team Shett meant everyone was keen to work out the optimum location for both elevation gain and runability. The regular training ground of the hill running team at Queen’s Park proved to be a popular race track as well as a steep section of steps on the Cathkin Braes. Further embracing the lockdown racing spirit were several of our ‘long-distance’ members who were more than happy to tackle their local slopes which led to an impressive total of 27 Shetts competing!

Runs were recorded on Strava and submitted to Scottish Athletics

Indeed, Shettleston’s performance at the Hill Challenge demonstrated both quantity and quality. We took the overall team title by gaining an impressive 10,000 + metres elevation in total. Putting it into perspective, that is higher than Mount Everest and more importantly enough metres to hold off rival club Bellahouston Road Runners who had 54 runners submit results. This rendered Shettleston’s team win an even greater triumph considering we clocked up more height gain than Bella with half the number of runners!

Myrtle Breckenridge and John Connaghan take on the Queen’s Park Hill as part of the 30 minute virtual challenge during Covid-19 lockdown

There were some fantastic individual performances that deserve a big shout out:

Well done to Joe Symonds who placed 2nd (M) overall and 1st (M) Shett- clocking up an impressive 590 metres. Coming second only to GB International fell runner Andrew Douglas who gained an outstanding 620m.

A fantastic performance too from CJ Mc Phail who was 9th (F) overall and 1st (F) Shett with 390m. The winner of the race overall was Jill Stephen of HBT with a superb 550m.

It was also great to see some of Shettleston’s Youth and Track team taking to the hills with a brilliant performance from Theo Carter taking 3rd place in the U17 (M) category with 332m. This was despite earlier in the day doing the 15 minute challenge only to get home and realize he should have done the 30 minute one to count towards the overall club total.

Myrtle descending Queens Park
John nearing the top of Queen’s Park hill with Glasgow in the background

And finally, to the team results which were practically a clean sweep for the club!

Men’s Team Results:

1st Team: Joe Symonds (2nd, 590m) and Ally McLeod (5th, 580m)

2nd Team: Ryan Stewart (9th, 559m) and Ross Gollan (23rd, 508m)

7th Team: James Thompson (29th, 495m) and Matthew Sullivan (30th, 494m)

11th Team: Calum Oates (49th, 447m) and Matthew Low (65th, 425m)

21st Team: Daniel Lowe (83rd, 405m) and Lloyd Clayburn (164th, 303m)

Women’s Team Results:

2nd Team: CJ McPhail (96th, 390m) and Bryony McLeod (130th, 390m)

10th Team: Victoria Leiper (169th, 297m) and Myrtle Breckenridge (317th, 204m)

Master Men’s Results:

2nd Team: Kenny Richmond (15th, 525m) and John Connoghan (20th, 512m)

6th Team: Jethro Lennox (35th, 485m) and Alistair Pringle (69th, 420m)

14th Team: Stephen Winter (80th, 408m) and John Duffy (87th, 396m)

26th Team: Coach Malcolm Patterson (127th, 350m) and Rodrigo Reis (134th, 341m)

30th Team: Bill Breckenridge (148th, 323m) and Peter Mackie (159th, 306m)

And whilst not managing a Junior or Masters (F) Team and having an odd number of runners, a big well done to Theo Carter (140th, 332m), Susan Breckenridge (332nd, 197m) and Walter Henderson (197th, 271m).

Overall an excellent performance from all, proving that lockdown life has not affected Shettleston’s team spirit and fierce competitiveness. Bring on the next challenge!

Race report by Myrtle Breckenridge

Susan Breckenridge adding more metres to the club total
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