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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.
Apart from the Inter District Cross Country Championships January tends to be a quiet month in the athletics’ calendar.
Nine Cambuslang athletes had earlier qualified at the West District Championships in December to represent the West in the Inter District Match at Renfrew. Unfortunately senior athletes Katie Clubb and Gavin Smith and U17 Zach Seenan were unable to take their places due to injury and illness. U13 Brooke Walker kicked off the proceeding followed by Ewan Kennedy who was a counting member for the victorious U13 boys West team. In the U15 boys event Daibhidh Kinnaird and Euan Reid helped the West to the silver medals when finishing 3rd and 6th counters. John Frood , who had represented Law and District in the December qualifier but has now joined Cambuslang, was the 5th counter for the West with an identical time to Euan. Entry was also open to other athletes and U15s Angus O’Neill and Jack Gillon took the opportunity to participate. U17 Sam McCarthy ran in the colours of the West District U17 team while Chris Black competed in the club’s familiar red and white colours. Seonaidh MacInnes, who as a first year U20 athlete was eligible to race alongside his younger opponents, finished strongly.
West District champion Eve MacKinnon continued her rich vein of form to capture 4th place overall in addition to collecting an Inter District Individual Silver Medal and led her West team mates to the silver medals in the team competition. Catriona Bain, Marie Kane and Rachel Wardrope took the opportunity to gain further experience on the country. It was left to the senior men to bring the curtain down on the proceedings. Jamie MacKinnon although hampered by a cold just failed to make the counting spot in the West team by one second. U20 Zak Povey who has been training consistently well crossed the line in 10th position in his age category. Next home for the club on what was an exceptionally flat course was hill runner Alasdair Campbell who would have preferred a more testing one. The club fielded 2 other U20 athletes namely Finlay Robb and Joel MacInnes. Chris Upson and club president Des Dickson filled the first 2 M60 positions and were followed home by M55 Dan O’Connell.
The 2nd meeting of the West District Cross Country League at Bellahouston Park provided athletes with another competitive outing on the country and U11 girls Sophia Ewart, Julia Vallance and Monica Smith along with U113 boy Aiden O’Connell took advantage of this opportunity.. No other young club athletes participated as they were involved in an intensive cross country training session instead. I5 Cambuslang athletes, 11 males and 2 females, lined up for the combined male and female U20, senior and masters event. At the finish there was not much distance between fellow M50s Justin Carter and Jamie Reid and senior man Kyle McLellan. It was good to see the latter 2 athletes racing again in a red and white vest. Senior Tom Adams had a solid run just ahead of the current M65 European and British Masters M65 champion Colin Feechan. Next home for the club were M50 Brian Douglas in his first race after injury, U20 Ross Noble and triathlete Lewis Anderson. Club captain Kirsty O’Brien and club president Des Dickson had a close tussle throughout with Kirsty maintaining a slight lead. Going into the final stages any hope that Des had of overtaking Kirsty evaporated as he felt a twinge in his hamstring. However, Kirsty had been aware of the possible challenge and was keeping something in reserve for the final sprint. A frustrating period of rest and recovery now awaits Des. They were followed by M50 Gary Miller, senior Kevin Farmer and M50 Dan O’Connell. Erica Christie was the first W60 athlete across the line with M50 Chris Paton in her wake.
3 club athletes were engaged in trail and hill running. M60 Chris Upson travelled to Gran Canaria for the Pilancones Trail Race which involves 34 kilometers of running and 1800M of ascent. In spite of tiring in the later stages in the unaccustomed heat he still secured the 3rd M50 finishing spot. Unfortunately there was no M60 award. Closer to home M45 John Speirs returned to competition after recuperating from his 2 back to back marathons in late October and early November in Frankfurt and New York where he posted a pb time of 2.44.39 in the former event. John achieved 3rd spot overall and first master in the Strathearn Half Marathon Trail Race. In the highly competitive Feel the Burn Hill Race Scottish half marathon road champion Fraser Stewart finished a good 5th. He was lying 3rd until the final climb but was forced to give ground to 2 hill running specialists. Nevertheless, it was a useful endurance build up session for the road season ahead.
Stefanie Tucker who gained her first Scottish vest at the Liverpool Cross Country Event in November and is shortly to represent Scotland again in the Armagh International 3K race recorded an encouraging 3000M personal best of 9.24.32 at the Sheffield Indoor Track Meeting.
4 Cambuslang athletes took to the roads in the historic Nigel Barge Race. Fellow M40s Stuart McGeachy and John Speirs placed 5th and 7th in their age category while M50 Mark King secured the 2nd M50 spot. Senior female Georgia Freeman – Mills acquitted herself well in 6th position in her event.
The annual LSK Masters Road Relay held at Strathclyde Park in very windy conditions rounded off the January competitions. A well balanced M50 team of Mark King, Justin Carter, Richard Cooper and Mark Gallacher had an impressive victory over Cumbernauld’s A and B teams. The female masters team also secured a podium place thanks to Nathalie Brohan, relative newcomer Marie Kane and Kirsty O’Brien who captured 3rd place. The B team of Debs Comer, Julie Reid and Erica Christie was well placed in 7th spot from 19 finishing teams. The M35 quartet of Ian Hodge, former club captains Iain Reid and Richie Carr and Steven Fitzpatrick came home 4th. The 4 members gave their all especially Richie who in spite of being visibly unwell from early on managed to stay the course when it would have been easier for him to have dropped out. For the record Ian Hodge made his debut in the 40 category the previous day when finishing 3rd overall and first M40 in the Buchlyvie 10K. Other club athletes to participate in incomplete M35 and M50 teams were Gary Lyon, Kevin Farmer, Iain McLachlan, Colin Feechan , Dan O’Connell and Chris Paton. Barnie Gough deserves a special mention for acting as a volunteer steward at a crucial part of the course.
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