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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.