Cambuslang Harriers Men and Women enjoy a field day at the West District Cross Country Relay Championships

Junior, senior and masters athletes of Cambuslang Harriers travelled to Kilmarnock to participate in the West District Cross Country Relays on Saturday 12th October. Senior and masters men teams comprised of 4 runners, 3 for their female counterparts and 3 athletes, one under 13, 15 and 17, were required for the young male and female teams.

It was a very successful day for the seniors and masters as the senior and masters men won double gold and the female masters took the bronze medals. This was the first senior men team victory since 2012 while the masters men continued their ten year monopoly of victories. The female masters are making their own history in this event by adding team bronze to their gold medals from last year and from 2016.

 

 

 

 

The senior men quartet of Stuart Gibson, Kevan Harvey, Fraser Stewart and Ryan Thomson were comfortable winners from Shettleston Harriers and Kilbarchan AC whilst our 4th placed B team of Drew Pollock, Jamie MacKinnon, Craig Jardine and Alasdair Campbell narrowly missed out on the bronze medals. From 280 competing athletes Ryan, Fraser, Kevan and Alasdair recorded the 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th fastest times of the day. It was also impressive for the over 40 A team of debutant Stuart McGeachy, Ben Hukins, Stevie Wylie and Kenny Campbell to occupy 9th spot from 70 finishing teams and for our under 20 team of Ryan Donnelly, Chris McLew, Ruairidh MacGregor and Andrew Carey also to gain a top ten slot. Our 5th team to cross the line was also well placed in 14th position thanks to Struan Paton, Gordon Robertson, Colin Reilly and Matthew McKenna. Our 2nd masters team of Chris Upson, club president Des Dickson, and the comeback duo of Johnny MacNamara and Greg Hastie finished a creditable 34th. 2 other masters teams came home in 47th and 50th positions. The quartet of Dan O’Connell, Paul Thompson, David Stirling and Mick O’Hagan just got the better of Simon Gold, Graeme Gallie, Frank Hurley and John Kelly. There was also an incomplete team of Kai Newell who had his best cross country run to date, Iain Crawford and Kenny Finlayson but unfortunately they had no one to finish off their team due to a late withdrawal.

The quality of our masters men across the respective age groups was eye catching. Ben, Kenny and Stuart were 2nd, 3rd and 4th fastest M40s, Stevie was the fastest M45, Chris the fastest M55, Paul and Des were fastest and 2nd fastest M60s and Frank was the 3rd fastest in the M65 category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The club was able to field last year’s victorious masters ladies trio of Bernie O’Neil, Jacqueline Etherington and Jennifer Campbell who were hopeful of being in the mix for the medals. However, Garscube’s Lesley Bell showed her class on the opening leg to give her club a commanding lead which left her rivals fighting for the 2 remaining medals. Bernie in recording the 3rd fastest time by a W50 ran well to finish 6th in the W40 event and keep Cambuslang in the hunt. Jacqueline with the 2nd fastest W40 time impressively brought the club up to third place. This was an excellent country outing for Jacqueline in preparing for the forthcoming masters international event. Last leg runner Jennifer was in a difficult position with 2nd placed Troon AC a good distance ahead and Bellahouston Road Runners not far behind. Jennifer steadily started to reel in her Troon opponent but her Bellahouston RR rival was right on her tail. However, their tussle together saw them pass 2nd placed Troon in the closing stages. In the sprint to the line the valiant Jennifer just lost out on the silver medal by 2 seconds. Carole Setchell and under 20 Rachel Wardrope competed in the B team but did not have a 3rd leg runner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to the start of the school holidays a number of our younger athletes were not available to compete. The female A team of Lucy McGrandle, Abbie McLue and Susie McLaughlin combined well to finish in 7th place out of 48 finishing teams. First year under 15 Abbie was 9th fastest while under 17 Susie was an excellent 4th fastest. The B trio of first year under 13 Olivia McNicol, Eilidh Kennedy and Shona Carey were 24th with the remaining team of Amy McGoldrick, Francesca Fairweather and Peggy Nan Rodger 38th.

Their male team A counterparts took 12th spot thanks to Hamish Gardiner, Fearghus MacGregor and Michael Black. A fast last lap by under 17 Jack MacKinnon after runs by Chris Black and Jay Gallacher moved the B squad up to 23rd position. Lewis Cook and Brodie McDonald ran in an incomplete team.

The club appreciate the invaluable assistance given by the coaches, officials and parents on the day and would also like to thank Dan who transported the large tent and Colin for capturing the athletes on camera.

David Cooney

A BUSY WEEKEND FOR CAMBUSLANG HARRIERS

The main domestic event of the weekend was the Great Scottish Run which offered 2 races namely at 10K and the Half Marathon.  The Half Marathon incorporated the Scottish Championships and the Cambuslang Harriers trio of Stewart Gibson, Fraser Stewart and Kevan Harvey packed well to take the bronze medals behind Shettleston Harriers and Fife AC.  Only 31 seconds separated the 3 sub 70 minutes Cambuslang athletes with Stuart (69.08) only 5 seconds outside his pb, Fraser’s time of 69.39 was a 46 seconds pb and Kevan on the same time made an impressive debut at this distance.

The club has contested 4 Scottish Championship Events on the hills, trail and road in the last 5 weeks and is the only club to have finished among the male team medals in all 4 national competitions winning 1 silver and 3 bronze  medals which is a testimony to the club’s strength and versatility.

The next 4 local athletes home were in the M40/45 category and they all recorded excellent times.  Kenny Campbell in setting a pb by 3 minutes and 16 seconds of 71.24 just edged out club captain Iain Reid (71.40) in the closing stages to lift the M40 bronze medal.  Kenny is now getting back to his best after a prolonged period of injury. Iain enjoyed a good workout as part of his preparation for his late October Marathon. M45 Stevie Wylie, another athlete on his way back after injury, can be pleased with his 73.01 clocking while fellow M45 Kerry-Liam during a quiet racing spell recorded exactly 74 minutes.  Two other Cambuslang athletes comfortably broke 80 minutes. Vice captain Ritchie Carr’s time of 75.29 took 39 seconds off his pb and Andrew Anderson ran a solid 77.48. The final 3 athletes to finish were M40 Iain Nicholl (81.22), James Smith (88.37) and club president and M60 Des Dickson (89.05) in his half marathon debut. This was to be a happy and successful debut for Des as he was awarded the bronze medal in his age category.  This was his first national individual medal and a just reward for his consistent training with club members.

Cambuslang fielded 6 runners in the 10K race with Craig Jardine the first finisher in 9th place in 32.35 in spite of suffering from a cold.  Craig was followed home by U20 Andrew Carey (35.09), U17 Michael Black (35.49) and M40 Willie Fairley (43.58).  Paula McCabe (47.16) and U20 10K debutant Rachel Wardrope (58.56) represented the Cambuslang Ladies.

On the same day Iain McDonald and M45 Justin Carter took part in the Berlin Marathon and both ran fairly close splits to record pbs of 2.44.10 and 2.48.07.  Also abroad in Italy Colin Donnelly showed his class by winning the M60 World Mountain Running Championship by over 1 minute from his nearest rival. While Colin also has a good pedigree at cross country running his forte is on the hills where he has won individual Scottish, UK, European and World medals throughout his long career.

While Colin was racing on the hills in Italy Alasdair Campbell was doing likewise in the 2 Breweries Hill Race in the Scottish Borders over a distance of 18 miles with almost 5,000 feet of ascent.  Competing against many of the top Scottish hill runners Alasdair ( 2 hours 49 minutes and 54 seconds) had possibly the best hill run of his career to finish less than a minute behind the renowned hill running internationalist Tom Owens.

The club is now looking ahead to the cross country season.

David Cooney

CAMBUSLANG HARRIERS AT HOME AND ABROAD

Cambuslang Harriers had a good representation at the Scottish Masters Cross Country Trial for the forthcoming British and Irish Masters Cross Country International.   The trial was held over an undulating course in Tollcross Park and athletes were competing for Scottish selection in 5 year age group bandings from the ages of 35 to 75.  Athlete selection for the various Scottish age group teams is based partly on performance in the trial race and also on results in other recent events.

A number of Cambuslang athletes looked to have gained automatic selection by finishing in the first 2 places of their age group.  In the men’s competition M35 runners Stuart Gibson and Iain MacCorquodale finished comfortably in first and second place, Kenny Campbell took the 2nd M40 spot, Stevie Wylie and Justin Carter filled the first 2 M45 positions and Chris Upson headed the M55 runners.  Others such as M65 Frank Hurley and M75 David Fairweather who occupied 3rd place in their respective age groups will have to wait for confirmation of their selection or not.  Dave Thom, Peter Ogden and Billy Mitchell also gave a good account of themselves in the M55, M65 and M70 categories.

The club’s attention switched the following weekend to the “Hamilten” 10K.  Kevan Harvey forced the pace from the gun to stretch out his rivals and was rewarded with a pb when he crossed the line first in the good time of 31 minutes and 56 seconds.  Next home for Cambuslang in 4th place was Robert Gilroy who took the M40 prize.  It was great to see the enthusiastic and bubbly Robert taking part in his first competitive race after a prolonged period of injury.  The unfortunate Richard Carr officially finished 7th but had actually been in 4th position when he lost ground due to a stewarding misdirection.  David Marshall, another Cambuslang athlete making a comeback after an even longer injury spell, ran strongly to take 19th place and to secure the 3rd M50 prize.  Newly elected club president Des Dickson also made the podium as 2nd M60 behind the redoubtable Andy McLinden of Hamilton Harriers.  Dan O’Connell and Gary Miller were involved in a close tussle with Dan prevailing by 3 seconds.  M50 Jim McLaughlin also produced a solid run.

There was a parkrun victory and age group course record for M55 Chris Upson in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while Alick Walkinshaw also secured a win in the Lanark parkrun.  Mick O’Hagan and Justin Carter were both 3rd at the Drumpellier and Tollcross parkruns with Iain McDonald just behind Justin.

Cambuslang Harriers 10K Scottish Road Champion, Grant Sheldon, was competing for Great Britain in the ITU Triathlon World Cup Race in China where he excelled again to take the bronze medal.  Grant is now making up for a slow start to his triathlon season due to injury.

David Cooney

GRANT SHELDON SMASHES HIS 10K ROAD PB TO REGAIN THE SCOTTISH TITLE

Apologies for the report being a week late, webmasters fault, not Dave Cooneys.

Cambuslang’s Grant Sheldon was one of the pre race favourites to lift the Scottish Men’s 10K Road Championship at Stirling having been victorious in 2017 and runner up in 2019.  The quality of the assembled field of over 600 runners was enhanced by the inclusion of teams from the English Midlands and Northern Ireland.  Normally in this event a large group of athletes will run together for the first 3 to 4 kilometres before someone attempts a breakaway.  However, this year Omar Ahmed, an Ethiopian running for the East Midlands, sprinted into the lead from the off.  Only Grant and his co-favourite for the Scottish title, Jamie Crowe of Central AC, went with him.  The 2 Scots grimly hung on before Jamie dropped off the pace at 3K and then Grant at the 4K mark.  This order was maintained to the finish with Omar breaking the course record in the superb time of 28 minutes and 53 seconds and Grant taking the Scottish title in a time of 29.27 seconds thus taking 64 seconds off his pb.  The Scottish silver medal went to Central’s Jamie Crowe and with his club mate Alastair Hay in the bronze medal position and 3rd counter Conan McCaughey in 9th spot it was no surprise that the team victory went to Central AC ahead of Fife AC and Cambuslang.  Fraser Stewart and club captain Iain Reid helped to clinch the team bronze position.  The ever improving Fraser’s excellent time of 30.51 was a pb by 30 seconds and Iain’s solid 32.24 clocking showed that his training was on schedule for hopefully a good performance in the October Berlin Marathon.  In achieving team bronze Cambuslang Harriers extended their distinguished record of now having won 10 consecutive team podium medals – 3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze.

Scottish Athletics Scottish 10k Championships 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

There was also a number of other good displays by the harriers including in order of finish  Craig Jardine only 3 seconds off his pb, M45 Stevie Wylie, U20 Andrew Carey, U17 Michael Black with a 61 seconds pb, M45 Richard Cooper, M60 Des Dickson, M40 Graeme Gallie breaking 40 minutes for the first time and club coach Iain Crawford.

Scottish Athletics Scottish 10k Championships 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

On the same day U20 Ryan Donnelly won the 3,000 metres Lanarkshire Track Championships at East Kilbride and  U17  and U15 ladies Susie McLaughlin and Eva Ritchie set pbs in their 800m and 1,500m races while U20 Kai Newell equalled his 800m pb.

At the same time a Cambuslang quartet of Ritchie Carr, Iain Nicholl, Chris Upson and Peter Ogden competed in the Millport 10 miles event in which Ritchie was 6th overall, Chris the first M50 athlete and Iain the 3rd M40.  There was also a ladies marathon victory for Jennifer Campbell in the scenic Mull of Kintyre event.  Cambuslang runners were also prominent in a number of 5K Parkruns.  Kerry-Liam Wilson and Dave Thom recorded victories at Girvan and Rothesay, Kevan Harvey with a pb finished runner up at Strathclyde Park where Robert Gilroy also ran after a prolonged period of injury and John Kelly also clocked a pb.  M50s Mick O’Hagan and Dan O’Connell were 2nd and 3rd in their age category at Coatbridge and Tollcross.

David Cooney

CAMBUSLANG HARRIERS CAPTURE NATIONAL MEDALS ON THE HILLS, TRACK AND TRAILS.

Cambuslang Harriers made a rare but successful appearance as a team in the recent Scottish Hill Running Championships at Broughton and came away with team bronze medals thanks to hill specialists Alasdair Campbell, Iain MacCorquodale and Justin Carter. This was the club’s first ever national team medals on the hills. Icing was added to the cake when Justin was awarded the M40 Scottish title and our 4th runner Craig Jardine lifted the U23 bronze medal.

One week later attention turned to the Scottish Masters 10,000M Track Championships at Carluke and the club was rewarded with 3 gold medals. Stuart Gibson competing in his first Masters Championship as a M35 won his age category with multi Scottish medallist Stevie Wylie taking the M45 category and prolific racer and no stranger either to Scottish medals Chris Upson lifting M55 gold.


The following day both Alasdair and Justin led Richard Cooper and Chris Upson to team silver in the Scottish Trail Running Championships at Falkland Estate in Fife. Alasdair and Justin also medalled individually with Alasdair taking the senior bronze and Justin the M40 silver while under 20 Andrew Carey gained individual bronze in his age category. Both Richard and Chris were delighted with their team silver as this was Richard’s first national medal and Chris had raced and medalled the previous day in the Scottish Masters 10,000M Track Champs. Willie MacRury eased himself back into competition after a long injury spell and coaches Simon Gold and Iain Crawford also completed the gruelling course.


The under 15 girls and boys were also on the medal rostrum. The female trio of Abbie McClue, Eva Ritchie and Fiona Hay secured team gold with Eilidh Kennedy in support, while Fearghus MacGregor, Zack Haggerty and Brodie McDonald were in silver medal position. Under 17 athletes Susie McLaughlin, Shona Carey, Aaron Grew and Zak Povey participated in their age group event but unfortunately did not field a 3rd runner to finish a team.

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There were also development races for under 11 and under 13 girls and boys. Emma Ritchie and Katherine McNicol performed well in 4th and 5th place in the under 11 event with under 13 boys Sam M’Carthy 7th, Dylan Stephani 11th and under 13 girls Lucy McGrandle 7th and Olivia McNicol 8th. All our young athletes gained valuable experience which will stand them in good stead. A special thanks is due to our coaches and parents who gave support on the day.

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On the same day Cambuslang and Rutherglen’s Sportswoman of the Year, Kirsty O’Brien in spite of carrying an injury, won double bronze medals in the Scottish Standard Distance Triathlon National Championship. Grant Sheldon has been making a successful comeback in recent weeks after a lengthy injury. He finished 3rd in the Scottish 5,000M Track Champs and followed this up with a podium bronze placing while competing for Great Britain in an ITU World Triathlon event in the Czech Republic.

David Cooney

CAMBUSLANG HARRIERS HOST THEIR ANNUAL DOWN BY THE RIVER RACES

Cambuslang Harriers Down by the River 10K and 3K Road Race Races, staged entirely on the Clyde Walkway apart from the initial and final 200 metres, attracted 128 and 33 competitors respectively.  The club is extremely grateful to our 10K sponsors namely achilles heel, our kit partner, Macdet Hygiene Services, a family company started up by former member Jim Fitzpatrick now sadly deceased and club member Barnie Gough and to our 3K sponsor City Building Engineering Services.

In the officially measured 10K race the hosts dominated the male prizes while the ladies prizes were more evenly spread out.  Cambuslang took the first 3 race places in the men’s event thus ensuring team victory.  Fraser Stewart successfully defended his title to record an impressive time of 31.49 which broke his own course record by 41 seconds and secured him a bonus prize courtesy of Barnie Gough.  Last year’s 4th finisher Colin Reilly (32.46) was a comfortable runner up with club captain Iain Reid (33.07) in his first race since the London Marathon securing 3rd place 4 seconds ahead of fellow master athlete David Millar of Irvine AC.   Iain received the 3rd individual award with David taking the M40 race prize.  Cambuslang athletes also took the under20, M50 and M60 prizes thanks to Andrew Carey (34.50) with a massive pb, Mark King (37.33) and Des Dickson (39.53).

 In the ladies event Mary McCutcheon of Giffnock North was first home in a time of 39.35 followed by Cambuslang’s Kirsty O’Brien (42.02) and in 3rd spot was unattached runner Debbie Comer (42.25).  The 4th lady to finish and recipient of the W50 prize was Bernie O’Neil (42.54) of the home club while Evelyn Struthers (43.08) of Hamilton Harriers was awarded the W40 prize and unattached Erica Christie (44.15) the W60 prize.  Morgan Beaton of Calderglen Harriers lifted the under 20 ladies prize.  Lesley McArdle, Cambuslang’s 3rd female counter clinched team victory for the hosts. Both male and female race winners, Fraser and Mary, were presented with the Jimmy Sands Memorial Shields in honour of former member Jimmy who won a Paralympic gold medal in 1988.  The inaugural Jim Fitzpatrick Masters Memorial Shields in honour of a former long standing member and patron of the club went to Iain Reid and Bernie O’Neil.

Cambuslang had further representation in this race with Shaun Butler in his first race for some time placing 7th followed home by Andrew Anderson, Ian McDonald, Paul Kernohan, a recuperating Brian Douglas, Mick O’Hagan, Graeme Gallie, Frank Hurley, Dan O’Connell, John Kelly, Paula McCabe, Sandy Eaglesham and Jim McLaughlin.

 

The 3K race was a predominantly young athletes’ event which provided a number of young athletes their first race experience.  Cambuslang Harriers supplied the first 3 male and the first 2 female finishers.   U17 Aaron Grew crossed the line first in the new record time of 9.50 with U17 Robbie Woods 4 seconds adrift also inside the former course record while U20 Kai New finished 3rd in 10.16.  U17 Niamh Riggins (11.26) had a close tussle with U15 West District 800m champion Abbie McLue but prevailed by 4 seconds with Garscube’s Summer McDonald taking 3rd spot in a time of 11.36.  U17 Cambuslang runners Zac Povey (10.45) and U11 Jamie McCarthy (11.23) finished 4th and 5th which was an incredible run from young Jamie.  Next in line came U17 ladies Fiona Hay and Peggy Nan Rodgers who shared the same time of 12.05 followed followed by Brodie McDonald, Susie McLaughlin, Gavin Kelly, Reece Duncan, U11 Olivia McNicol, Chris Black, Lucy  McGrandle, Eilidh Kennedy, Dylan Stefani, Holly Brock, Michael Black, Jay Gallagher, Francesca Fairweather, Rachel Wardrope, Freya Fairweather, Amy McGoldrick, M70 Billy Mitchell, Minnie Wood, Keira Gallagher, Ellen Wood and Stuart Sturgeon.

 Special thanks are due to our members, parents and supporters who assisted in the pre race organisation and on the day itself and to Colin Stephen who vividly captured on camera both races. 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/131646731@N07/albums/72157708726579404/page1

David Cooney

CAMBUSLANG HARRIERS UNDER 20 MEN STEP UP TO THE CHALLENGE

20 athletes from Cambuslang Harriers lined up with over 460 others to compete in Friday evening’s Scottish 5K Road Championship held over a flat fast course along the promenade at Silverknowes Edinburgh. Conditions were windy and surprisingly cold for this time of the year.

Run & Become (inc SAL 5k Championships) May 3rd 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin – Byeline Must be Used

Cambuslang’s main hope for a team medal lay with the U20 men in spite of the late withdrawal due to injury of top runner Gavin Smith. The club’s aspirations were realised as an inspired trio of Drew Pollock, Jamie MacKinnom and Andrew Carey took the silver medals only 4 points adrift of Edinburgh University. First finisher from the club, Drew, continued his excellent recent form to finish 4th individual in his own age group and 15th overall in a star studded field. His time of 15.06 took an incredible 88 seconds off his pb. Jamie, with a 10 seconds pb, was only 5 seconds behind in 6th U20 spot and 3rd counter Andrew Carey came of age to record 16.10 and to smash his pb by an impressive 1 minute and 57 seconds. Struan Paton was unfortunate to twist his ankle after the first kilometre and could not continue.

Run & Become (inc SAL 5k Championships) May 3rd 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin – Byeline Must be Used

The seniors were not expecting team medals as a number of key runners were not participating. However, with the U20 men also able to count as senior team members our 2 leading U20 men assisted by senior Colin Reilly took an excellent team bronze behind Edinburgh University and Corstorphine. Colin came through strongly in the closing stages to pip Ritchie Carr for the vital third club finisher with both athletes just outside their recent pbs set in February in the Armagh 5K.

Run & Become (inc SAL 5k Championships) May 3rd 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin – Byeline Must be Used

On an individual level Kerry-Liam Wilson (15.44) was narrowly pipped for the gold medal by one second and Kenny Campbell (15.48) was denied the bronze medal by the same margin. Kerry-Liam has an incredible history in this championship event having laid claim to 6 gold and 2 silver medals. Michael Healy achieved 8th M40 position with a 26 seconds pb of 16.13. Cambuslang would have comfortably lifted the masters team if there had been such an award. Michael Barker’s time of 17.12 was only 1 second short of his pb. Charlie Thomson, the current Cross Country M50 champion, added another national medal to his impressive collection when finishing 3rd in that age group with a time of 17.21.

Run & Become (inc SAL 5k Championships) May 3rd 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin – Byeline Must be Used

Next home for the club was M40 Iain Nicholl who only a week after his London Marathon pb of 2 hours and 48 minutes continued his run of pbs and broke 18 minutes for the first time with a 17.44 recording. Club secretary Dave Thom (18.35) set his fastest 5K time for a number of years while M40 Kenny Finlayson’s 18.51 effort took 23 seconds off his pb. M40 Scott Hunter on the comeback trail after injury dipped under 20 minutes. U15 athlete Niamh Riggins good time of 19.53 saw her finish 3rd in her age category. Lesley McArdle’s consistent training paid off for her as she reduced her pb by 41 seconds down to 20.19 with F40 Jennifer Campbell (formerly Reid) only 15 seconds adrift. M40 David Stirling (21.49) clocked his fastest time since his knee operation. The final club athlete to finish was club president David Cooney in his first race for 8 months and his first in the M70 category in a time of 24.38. In spite of an ongoing right ankle problem David managed to get round the course and took the M70 title albeit he was the sole competitor. There have to be some benefits in growing old!

Run & Become (inc SAL 5k Championships) May 3rd 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin – Byeline Must be Used

The Cambuslang runners appreciated being cheered on by coaches Mike Johnston and Robert Anderson along with his wife Sheila, daughter Fiona Pollock and Carol Anne Thomson. The club would also like to thank the organiser Adrian Stott of Run and Become and the Scottish Athletics team and volunteers for delivering such a well organised event.

Run & Become (inc SAL 5k Championships) May 3rd 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin – Byeline Must be Used

Cambuslang 15th at ERRA National Spring Road Relays

Fresh from their victory at the Scottish 6 stage relay championship Cambuslang Harriers travelled to Sutton Coldfield to participate in the British Athletics 12 stage relay championship. This is very much the blue riband event for British Athletics Road Running clubs consisting of 12 stages (alternating 6 long and 6 shorter legs) covering over 51 miles of racing and requiring real strength in depth and commitment from the participating clubs. Cambuslang were accompanied by their Edinburgh rivals Corstorphine who had won the Scottish 6 stage in 2018.

Kevin Harvey started the race for Cambuslang and found himself in a really competitive and fast opening leg against several of Britain’s best road runners. He successfully kept the club in contention close to the leading teams. He was followed by 18 year old Drew Pollock who recorded the club’s fastest short leg of the day.  Between them they had achieved a solid 23rd place, importantly just over a minute behind eventual winners Leeds.  

Next to take on the long leg was 20 year old Gavin Smith. He produced another solid and steady performance which was becoming the theme of the day. Richie Carr then had a strong short leg that moved the team up a few places in the race so that after 4 stages they were 20th.

Two of the club’s more experienced runners Stuart Gibson and Alistair Campbell were next with Stuart producing the club’s fastest long leg time before passing on to Ali who completed the leg with his trademark sprint finish. After their legs the club had moved up to 17th.

The second half of the race again saw a number of Britain’s best endurance athletes toe the line and leg 7 featured several GB Internationals. Cambuslang’s hill running specialist, Alasdair Campbell was tasked with this leg and acquitted himself well. Although he was passed on his leg by a couple of teams he closed the gap on several clubs whom we were now targeting. Jamie MacKinnon was next into the fray and after another solid run the team was 19th.  

Over the last 4 legs the strength in depth and balanced nature of the Cambuslang team bore fruit and they steadily moved up the field. Ryan Thomson on leg 9 eased the team into 17th place which Ben Hukins preserved.  This was Ben’s 4th consecutive race but his first on a short leg. Club captain Iain Reid in final preparation stages for the London Marathon promoted the team to 16th before another ever present Craig Jardine secured an excellent 15th place ahead of several more fancied English clubs and 4 places ahead of Scottish rivals Corstorphine.

Overall this was a well balanced team effort by the club with only 68 seconds  of a difference between all 6 long stage runners and a mere 27 seconds between the 6 short stage runners.  This level of consistency helped to produce the club’s highest finish ever in this prestigious UK event and took 5 minutes and 45 seconds off the club record.  Events such as this are important in fostering team spirit and in providing athletes with the opportunity to compete at a high level.

Brendan Carey, the travelling reserve, who made himself available throughout the race in case of any problems, deserves a special mention as does the back-up support crew of Mike Johnston and Charlie Thomson.  Fiona Pollock also made the long journey to Birmingham to support her son Drew and was accompanied by her mum and dad, Sheila and Robert Anderson, who had just returned from Australia the previous day.

A GOLDEN END TO THE WINTER SEASON FOR CAMBUSLANG HARRIERS

Cambuslang Harriers brought the winter season to a spectacular conclusion by winning team gold in both the Junior/Senior Scottish 6 Stage Road Relay Championship and in the Masters over 40 Men event with the over 50 male quartet lifting team bronze.  The club again underlined its consistent performance over the years in these 3 age groups having won  6 senior gold, 8 silver and 11 bronze medals while the M40 team has amassed 8 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze and the M50s 5 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze in the 7 year existence of this age category.  There was further icing on the cake when on the same day Kerry-Liam Wilson on his 30K road debut secured the Scottish senior and masters titles at Perth. 

Scottish Athletics National Road Relays 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

The senior and masters men 6 stage events consisted of alternate 5K and 5.8 mile laps with only 4 stages for the Men 50 and ladies.  Apart from the undulating and twisting terrain at Almondvale Livingston the runners also had to contend with 40 MPH winds.  The junior/senior A team got off to an excellent start with under 20 athlete Drew Pollock having his best run of the season to hand over to Kevan Harvey in 3rd place.  Kevan ran his customary gritty race to finish a close 4th.  Stuart Gibson then clocked the fastest short stage on leg 3 to catapult Cambuslang into a 31 seconds lead over Shettleston Harriers.  An isolated Ryan Thomson with the 2nd fastest long stage of this lap extended the club’s lead over Shettleston to 1 minute 29 seconds.  Going into the penultimate stage there was some concern in the Cambuslang camp as to how under 20 Gavin Smith would perform given he had been feeling unwell prior to the race.  However, Gavin dispelled any such concerns by producing a gutsy 2nd fastest time for his leg to give the Lanarkshire club a seemingly commanding lead over Shettleston of 1 minute and 51 seconds.  It was shaping up to be an exciting finale.  Could Fraser Stewart hang onto Cambuslang’s lead with 3 of Scotland’s finest distance runners in his wake – Lachlan Oates of Shettleston, Andy Douglas of Inverclyde only 3 seconds adrift of him and Corstorphine’s Calum McKenzie a further 14 seconds behind?  The danger was that while Fraser was running isolated the chasing trio had the benefit of racing each other for podium places which would help to reduce the deficit.  However, Fraser held his nerve and ran his own race to cross the line first with 72 seconds to spare over Inverclyde with Corstorphine a close 3rd only 2 seconds behind and Shettleston just missing out on the medals by 6 seconds.  Naturally the Cambuslang sextet and supporters were jubilant having witnessed a great team effort by all.  5 of the 6 had competed well in the fast Armagh 5K road race event in mid February and this gave them the confidence to draw on.

Scottish Athletics National Road Relays 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

The M40 relay was also a competitive 4 way tussle between Cambuslang, Edinburgh, Corstorphine and Shettleston Harriers.  On the opening leg John Paul Murphy did his job well to put club captain Iain Reid in a good position to chase the 3 rival clubs.  Iain’s 2nd fastest masters long stage time of the day provided an inspired Michael Healy with the opportunity to give Cambuslang a narrow lead over Edinburgh, Corstorphine and Shettleston.  The positions remained the same over the second half of the race with the experienced Kenny Campbell, Justin Carter and Ben Hukins all running strongly to post a 33 seconds victory over Edinburgh with Corstorphine taking the bronze medal.  All were delighted to retain the trophy with Justin being the only survivor from last year’s winning team.  John Paul and Michael were rewarded for their efforts with their first ever Scottish medals.

Scottish Athletics National Road Relays 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

Cambuslang Harriers also had the satisfaction of finishing the first B team which underlines their strength in depth.  Ryan Donnelly, Jamie MacKinnon, Douglas Roberts, Colin Reilly, Ritchie Carr and Iain McDonald combined well to take 11th spot.  The C team gained 43rd place thanks to Brendan Carey, Tony McCutcheon, Scott Hunter, Dan O’Connell, Frank Hurley and Kenny Finlayson.

Scottish Athletics National Road Relays 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

While the M50 men started off with the younger age groups there were only 4 legs for them.  Cumbernauld and Shettleston finished well clear in first and second position with the Cambuslang quartet of Des Dickson, Dave Thom, Mick O’Hagan and Stan MacKenzie equally comfortable in securing the bronze medals.

Scottish Athletics National Road Relays 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

The female teams composed of 4 runners ran the same course and distances as the men albeit their race started 10 minutes later. Bernie O’Neil, Jennifer Reid, Lesley McArdle and Carole Setchell all worked well to record 21st position.  The honours in this race went to Central AC, Shettleston and Edinburgh University.

Scottish Athletics National Road Relays 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

The Cambuslang young athletes had competed the previous week in the Scottish Road Races.  The under 15 boys team of Robbie Woods, Lewis Roddis and Zak Povey took the bronze medals while the under 17 male trio of Chris McLew, Aaron Grew and Michael Black had to settle for 4th spot.  The under 15 girls finished a creditable 5th thanks to debutant Fiona Hay, Shona Carey and Eilidh Kennedy.  Under 13 Abbie McClue led Mia Carmichael and Lucy McGrandle to 8th place while their male counterparts finished 14th team courtesy of Brodie McDonald, Gavin Kelly and Jay Gallacher.  Under 17 runner Susie McLaughlin finished 17th in her age group.

Scottish Athletics National Road Relays 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin

 David Cooney