Little did we know back in March as we organised and delivered the highly successful 50th anniversary Allan Scally Relay this would be the last event in Glasgow until November!
Times have been hard but the delight on the faces of all the competitors and officials as we delivered the Interclub Event on Saturday was obvious to all.
Alexandra Park has had to wait even longer for an event to return to it. December 1887 was the setting for an inter club run between Edinburgh Harriers and West of Scotland Harriers in the East End Park which was opened in 1870 by Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the future wife of King Edward V11. After finishing and using Dennistoun Baths for washing both clubs retired to a Glasgow restaurant for a smoker event – How have times changed ! This park was also use by Frank Clements (5th in the 1976 Olympic Montreal 1500m) along with a host of top middle runners in the 70’s and 80’s as a training base.
Events cannot take place without helpers and the club is grateful to the Alexandra Sports Hub and the host of helpers from all the clubs involved. Special mention must be given to Alex Mackay, who made sure we followed all the COVID19 regulations and John Duffy and his team who set a testing course for the athletes.
It was great to renew our close links to the clubs and these interclub events which were the feature of athletics until the 50’s when more races appeared. Improved Transport links then meant it was easier to travel around the country.
The six-race programme featured some of the best talent in Scottish athletics cross country with a mixture of youth and more senior athletes.
The U/11 race was won by Connor Campbell of West End Road runners. His club featured at the Scottish Athletics Virtual Conference. Garscube Harriers are one of the strongest young athlete’s club with winners in U/13, U/15 and U/17 races – James Alexander, Charlie Trehame and Finlay Davie. One athlete to watch for the future was Louise Brown (Garscube H) in the U/17 event in her first race after switching from Swimming during lockdown. There was an excellent run from Katie Woods (Shettleston H) in the U/13 Girls event.
The senior men race featured three international athletes from Shettleston Harriers -Lachlan Oates, Jamie Burns(U/20) and Ally McLeod (GB Orienteer internationalist) and a full complement of 30 athletes from Glasgow University , Strathclyde University, Garscube H and Kirkintilloch O. Lachlan returning after injury powered away in the first lap of the 6km followed by Jamie Burns with Ally McLeod close behind .The final positions did not change over the last few km’s. James McLeod M40 (Garscube) just held off Brian McGarrity (Shettleston) to take the first place in the Masters section.
The ladies of Shettleston who have claimed medals in the National Cross-Country team championships and claiming a record 8 victories in the last 9 years at district level featured at the front of the ladies’ event. Kayleigh Jarret taking first in front of her club mate Ruth Joss. Avril Mason, who is part of the Robert Hawkins marathon project, taking 3rd place and first master.
The club looks forward to more of these events. Planning is already under way to host another event at Alexandra Park in the New Year.
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