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Cambuslang Harriers, since its formation in 1948, has become one of the premier cross country and road running clubs across all age groups in Scotland. We also have a very talented girls and ladies group who now regularly win major team honours.
During early October the focus was on road running with members of Cambuslang Harriers participating in the Glasgow Half Marathon and 10K as well as the London, Loch Ness and Chicago Marathons. In the Glasgow Half which incorporated the Scottish Half Marathon Championships the club won team silver in the ladies and men’s championships along with 2 individual medals. Excellent runs by Lesley Blackwood, Nathalie Brohan and Kirsty O’Brien and similarly by their male counterparts Fraser Stewart, Stuart McGeachy and Steven Fitzpatrick sealed the 2nd team spots. Lesley, Nathalie, Fraser, Stuart and Steven all recorded personal best times. There was the added bonus of Erica Christie and Nathalie lifting the W60 silver and W40 bronze medals. While Fraser narrowly missed out on the bronze medal, he had the consolation of dipping under 66 minutes for the first time. Club member Andrew Carey, running in the colours of Glasgow University for whom he is club captain, was just ahead of Steven. Other Cambuslang Harriers to cross the line in sequence were George Pettit, club captain Richie Carr, Justin Carter, Ian Hodge, Kenny Finlayson (pb), Tom Adams (pb), Iain Nicholl, Chris Upson, Brian Douglas, debutant at this distance Theo Carter, Andrew Blain (pb), Ian McLachlan, Ian McNair, Chris Campbell (pb) Deborah Comer, Paula McCabe and Mick O’Hagan, both of whom had just completed the earlier 10K event, coach Karen Goldie, Gerry Duddy, and newcomer David Lyon. In addition to Paula and Mick 6 other members lined up for the 10K. Alistair Campbell led the red and white vests home in a time of 34.01 with Mark Gallacher, the leading M50, and Euan Duernberger both recording pbs of 34.50 and 34.54. They were followed by Mick, 2nd placed M60 David Marshall, Paula in a pb of 42.23, Dan O’Connell, Catriona Bain and Rachel Wardrope.
M40 Gordon Robertson on his marathon debut at Inverness was on course for a fast time with a halfway split of 73.20, only 25 seconds outside his pb for that distance. However, the earlier downhill stretch had taken more out of his legs than he had realized and his quads began to seize up over the final 1/3rd of the race. Nevertheless, he battled on gamely to complete the course in the time of 2.52.09. Mike Christoforou also made his debut in the London Marathon. He ran a steady first half of 72.20 but was forced to slow down thereafter. An illness in the weeks prior to the race had hindered his build up. However, he held it together as best as he could in the circumstances and finished with the respectable debut time of 2.34.29. Both Gordon and Mike will have gained useful experience from their first attempt at this distance. Club coach Simon Gold also took part in the London event and although carrying an injury he completed the 26.02 miles. Iain McDonald in his 6th marathon used his experience to run even paced splits to register a personal best, by 4 minutes, of 2.39.12 in the Chicago Marathon.
The West Cross Country Relays held at nearby King’s Park signalled the start of the cross country season. A number of club volunteers organized by president Des Dickson assisted Giffnock North with the setting up and marshalling of the course. The Young Athlete Females consisting of an U13, U15 and U17, each running a 3K leg, kicked of the proceedings, followed by the young males’ relay, then the senior and masters women with the senior and masters men concluding the programme of events. Cambuslang fielded 2 complete female young athletes’ teams comprising of Anna Murray, Olivia McNicol and Grace Ferry in the A team and Isabella Marco, Zoe O’Donnell and Lucy McGrandle in the B team with Abigail Brannan and Martha Fleming in an incomplete C team. For some of the girls this was their first taste of cross country running and the experience will stand them in good stead.
The young athlete male A trio of Rory Barclay, Lewis Cook and Sam McCarthy combined well to finish a creditable 12th and the B team of Jack Gillon, Daibhidh Kinnaird and Chris Black were not far behind in 17th position. Logan Morrison, Euan Reid and Gabriel Murphy occupied 30th spot while Kyle Morrison and Alistair McLachlan ran in an incomplete team as the club had lost the services of one of its top U17 athletes, Jonathan Dow, who was a late call off due to illness on race day.
Cambuslang ladies excelled themselves to finish 2 teams in the top 10 thanks to the 5th placed A squad of U20 Millie Nicholl, Lesley Blackwood and Eve MacKinnon and to the B trio of debutant Hannah Addison, Georgia Freeman-Mills and Kirsty O’Brien in 9th. Both Millie and Hannah got the club off to a good start and the rest of the ladies responded well with Eve on the anchor leg recording the 9th fastest time of the day. The C team of Catrriona Bain, Rachel Wardrope and Julie Reid also performed well to pip the masters’ trio of Carole Setchell, Bernie O’Neil and Erica Christie. Anne Marie Masterton and Kathmar Dow also acquitted themselves well in their first ever race on country having only joined the development squad during the Covid lockdown period.
In a very competitive men’s field the A quartet of Chris McLew, Kieran Cooper, Jamie Mackinnon and Gavin Smith all ran within 14 seconds of one another to cross the line in 5th place. The B team ably led off by U20 Lewis Roddis, Iain MacCorquodale, Stuart Gibson and Richie Carr were the 2nd B team home in 11th position. It was good to have Iain back in action again following the hamstring injury he sustained while helping the club to the bronze medal in the Scottish Cross country Championships last February. The senior C team, comprising U20 Theo Carter, cross country debutant Tom Adams and masters Jamie Reid and David Scott, was a mixture of youth and experience. It was also a welcoming sight to see Jamie, a former Scottish Marathon Champion and multi Scottish medallist on road and country, in his first competitive race after an absence of a few years due to injury. The masters A team of George Pettit, Justin Carter, Stuart McGeachy and M50 Mark Gallacher took the silver honours in the M40 veteran team contest. Although there was no M50 veteran team award Cambuslang fielded 2 strong M50 teams comprising Mark King, Chris Upson, Richard Cooper, Brian Douglas, Paul Thompson, Des Dickson, Colin Feechan and Tony McCutcheon. Sandwiched between the 2 M50 teams was a combined M40/50 quartet of Gary Lyon, Dave Thom, Iain Nicholl and Mick O’Hagan. The remaining places went to a mixture of experienced and novice runners with club tent man Dan O’Connell, coach Iain Crawford, Willie Fairley and M70 Peter Ogden being in the former category and newcomers Alan Anderson and David Lyon.
A special thanks is due to all the club coaches, team managers, supportive parents and to our volunteers who either helped with looking after the young athletes or with setting up and stewarding the course.
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