We had plenty of representation from the club racing on the hills and fells over the weekend and earlier in the week.
First up was the midweek Bog & Burn series race at the Kilpatricks on Wednesday night. This year’s race was run over a new shortened course due to forestry operations. Still, a tough little route over some rough ground packing in 372m over the 6.8km course.
Gregor Stewart of the hosts, Westerlands was 1st home in a time of 28.58 with Kieran Cooper closed behind in 2nd. Kieran was followed home by the Shettleston train of Alistair Thurlbeck, Grant Boyne and Kenny Richmond taking 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. Kenny took the MV40 prize. Good runs from Walter Henderson (19th) and Andy Jackson (21st).
On Saturday, Ross Gollan and Ruth Joss were on national duty after both having call ups to represent Scotland at the Home Internationals and European Trials in Sedbergh. We also had a third internationalist with Ryan Stewart competing for Northern Ireland. With the mist descending on the North Yorkshire Dales, there could have been some panic amongst the ranks. Fortunately it was a fast and furious lapped course so there was less chance of getting lost or requiring to navigate round. Although maybe there is some truth that Ryan is indeed followed around when racing by a big black cloud.
The field was stacked and the win went to Andrew Douglas of Inverclyde in a time of 46:55. Chris Arthur for England (Bowland) and also Nick Swinburn England (NFR) were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Ross had a great run to finish 7th (3rd Scot) just 10 seconds behind Ewan Brown (Knavesmire) in 6th. Murray Strain (HBT) was 8th and James Espie (Deeside) 13th. The Scottish lads missed out by just one point to the England squad to take the silver team prize. Ryan Stewart had a fine run finishing in 26th overall and 3rd counter for the NI team. The ladies race was won by in-form, Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley) and she was followed home by Emma Gould (Birchfield) and Sarah McCormack (Ambleside). Ruth Joss had an excellent run to finish 12th overall (2nd Scot) not far behind Georgia Tindley of (HBT). A great result for the trio doing their club and countries proud (team photos below courtesy of Scottish Athletics and Nimra).
On Sunday, we had the 2nd instalment of the SHR Championships down in the Scottish Borders hamlet, Kirk Yetholm. We nearly had some team navigation issues getting to the start, luckily the damsels in distress were spotted at the side of A68 and were safely chaperoned down. A medium counter, 12.6km with 762m of climb over rolling hills. The route traverses along the Scottish and English border although you could have been anywhere really. Similar conditions to Sedbergh, close, muggy and visibility sketchy in sections. At least there were plenty of stone dykes and fence lines to keep you right. Pity about the rutted sections and giant pot holes.
Tom Owens had originally been in the travelling Scotland squad for the Home Internationals but was freed up during the week. Not having done the race before appeared to cause Tom no harm, who took to the front from the off. A battle ensued with Eoin Lennon of Carnethy but Tom found enough extra gears to take the victory in a time of 01:03:45. Eoin was 2nd a minute behind, with Jonny Crickmore of HBT 3rd. Robert Simpson had a grand return to racing following a spell on the side-lines due to injury to finish 5th, Al Anthony of Ochils just getting the better of him, taking the MV40 win. Just think what might have happened if Robert had tied his shoe laces properly. John Connaghan worked hard to finish an excellent 9th (3rd MV40 behind last year’s vet champion, Dessie Flanagan of Carnethy). I got dropped on the climb by the old boys, Manny Gorman (Westerlands) and Jamie Thin (HBT) and despite rinsing myself on the run in, could only manage 15th (6th MV).
There was a steady stream of Shettleston vests with super runs from Steve Winter (20th), Iain Pender (24th) Walter (26th) and Ross Cruikshanks (29th) all finishing well up the field in the top 30. Never shy of the camera, looks like Walter took a detour to the finish and missed the opportunity for a snap. Either that, or he was just too fast! Graham Ramsay also had a sterling run despite a lingering chest infection. The team did enough damage to take the victory ahead of HBT. The travelling team can be seen below.
Hill Captain, Bill Breckenridge and Alastair Pringle had also made the long trip to the Isle of Lewis to compete in the LAMM (Lower Alpine Mountain Marathon) a gargantuan two day navigational challenge covering 58km and 3,800m of climb over Friday and Saturday. For once, the fine weather was actually a detractor and the heat ended the guys attempt at completing an A Class round over the two days early.
Good to see Ali McLeod also winning at Pen Y Ghent in blue and gold, albeit for his new club, Leeds.
Some photos, courtesy of Norham Runners, at Yetholm below.
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