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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.
Over the last few weeks members of Cambuslang Harriers have performed with distinction in road, track, hill and duathlon events.
The London Marathon attracts not only elite, club and fun runners but also those wishing to raise funds for their own particular charity. Nine Cambuslang members were participating this year in the event. Scottish Half Marathon Champion Fraser Stewart had been given the honour of an elite entry and he fully justified the offer he was given by setting a pb of 2.18.34 and finishing 3rd Scottish runner. This gained him an individual Scottish bronze medal in the incorporated Scottish Marathon Championships and he led team mates Steven Fitzpatrick and Iain Murphy to Scottish team bronze medals. Both Steven and Iain had the double satisfaction of setting new pbs of 2.32.29 and 2.54.05. Iain Nicholl although recording his 2nd fastest time ever just missed out on the 3rd counting spot by a mere 45 seconds. Julie Reid, Kathryn King and club coach Iain Crawford were all delighted to lower their best times to 3.33.45, 3.39.55 and to 3.44.25. Dan O’Connell overcame his recent injury to dip under the 4 hours mark to raise funds for his chosen charity. Frank McGowan in his role as a carer was involved as part of a 4 person team to assist wheel-bound Sam Perkins around the course to boost funds for his MND Charity, Stand Against MND. Sam was also helped by 4 times World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington. The team did an excellent job in completing the course in just over 5 hours.
There followed a rapid succession of road races over the half marathon, 5 miles, 10K and 5K distances. At the nearby Monklands Half Marathon Iain Hodge finished runner up in a time of 76.44 with the 2 Marks, Gallacher and King, filling the first 2 M50 slots. Tom Adams lowered his pb while Alan Anderson and Paula McCabe enjoyed good workouts. Also at Coatbridge Gary Lyon took 4th place in the Scottish Masters 5 Miles Snowball Race. On the same evening at the Troon 10K husband and wife Callum and Kirsty Wright posted pb times of 39.12 and 39.47. Twenty four hours later 10 Cambuslang athletes lined up for the Babcock Helensburgh 10K. The first club athlete home was 9th placed Steven Fitzpatrick (34.28) who edged out leading M40 Stuart McGeachy by 12 seconds with Gerard Higgins next to cross the finishing line. The club also provided the first male athletes over 50 and 60 along with the first W60 courtesy of Chris Upson, Dave Thom and Erica Christie. Kevin Farmer dipped under 39 minutes ahead of Callum Wright, 3rd M60 Des Dickson and Kirsty Wright. The club was also awarded the 3rd male team prize.
The club had an excellent turnout of 30 athletes for the Scottish 5K Road Championships held over the fast popular Edinburgh Course at Silverknowes. The Cambuslang senior women’s team of Eve MacKinnon, Lesley Blackwood and Hannah Addison and the senior men’s trio of Gavin Smith, Callum Tharme and Chris McLew lifted both team bronze medals. This was another historic achievement for the Cambuslang ladies who had never previously medalled in this national event. M60 individual bronze medallist Dave Thom continued his return to form. Incredibly 19 of the club participants posted pbs which speaks volumes for our athletes and coaches. 4th placed Gavin Smith was the first club runner home in a time of 14.28 and was followed by Callum Tharme (14.45), returning to competition after injury, and Chris McLew who shared the same time as Kieran Cooper with Colin Reilly only 1 second adrift. Although both Kieran and Colin just missed out on a team bronze medal, they had the consolation of recording pbs. 4 other runners were inside the 16 minutes barrier namely Andrew Carey, U20 Lewis Roddis, club captain Richie Carr and Steven Fitzpatrick. Both Lewis and Steven had the satisfaction of lowering their pb times significantly as did U17 athletes Finlay Robb (16.15) and Zach Seenan (16.19). U20 Theo Carter with a pb of 16.52 just missed out on defeating his dad Justin for the first time ever by 2 seconds. A 17.19 clocking by M50 Brian Douglas was his fastest time since 2016. Eve Mackinnon (17.31) led the female charge over the line with Lesley Blackwood (18.04) and Hannah Addison (18.09) backing her up in the team contest. Iain Murphy (17.40) squeezed in between Eve and Lesley and Hannah’s finishing positions as all 4 produced pbs. Iain Nicholl (18.01) and Dave Thom were separated by 1 second only. W40 Jacqueline Etherington underlined her return to full fitness in achieving a pb of 18.36 and 6th spot in her age category. Chris Campbell’s pb of 19.01 was sufficient to hold off a sub 20 minutes female trio of Nathalie Brohan, Kirsty O’Brien and Catriona Bain who also bettered their previous best times as did David Scott (20.00) and Rachel Wardrope (20.16). Scott Hunter finished 17 seconds later pursued by coach Iain Crawford (22.05) and 4th placed W60 Erica Christie (22.38). Cameron Smith had hoped to compete in this event but was unable to do so because of work commitments. However, he posted a 6 seconds pb of 14.24 the following day in the Leicester Podium 5K Event.
A number of Cambuslang members participated as guests in the Dick Wedlock Memorial 5 Mile Event promoted by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. The club has a lengthy link with the Scottish Fire Service through Peter Ogden and Sandy Eaglesham, both former firemen themselves. Cambuslang Harriers supplied the leading M50, U20 and M60 runners thanks to Mark King, Zack Haggerty and club president Des Dickson. They were joined in the race by Alan Anderson, Dan O’Connell, Greg Hastie, Chris Paton, Sandy Eaglesham and Peter Ogden.
Chris Upson’s recent exploits on the roads at parkruns are worthy of a mention. Although close to moving into the M60 category he has managed to achieve M55 course records in his last 4 outings at Queen’s Park, Erskine, Drumchapel and Elder. Knowing Chris, he will soon be targeting a host of M60 records.
Scott Hunter made an early start to the outdoor track season in early April at the Linwood Open Graded Meeting although the weather conditions were somewhat wintry. He was narrowly pipped for first place in his 800M heat. The Scottish 10,000M Track Championships took place a few weeks later at Crownpoint Stadium. Cambuslang athletes lifted 2 gold and 2 bronze medals and 5 personal bests were set. M55 and M60 athletes Chris Upson and Dave Thom won their respective age category titles while Colin Reilly and Justin Carter achieved bronze medals in the M35 and M50 age groups. Colin had the double satisfaction of significantly reducing his pb to 31.37.15. Fellow M35 runners Stuart Gibson and Richie Carr were involved in a close tussle to the line with Stuart holding off his club captain by 2 seconds. Richie’s time of 32.53.65 was a 70 seconds improvement. In spite of losing out on the senior bronze medal by 0.14 seconds Ryan Thomson can nevertheless be pleased with his pb time of 30.02.41 especially as he had missed out on 3 months of training over the winter due to injury. Andrew Carey in the same heat made a promising 10,000M track debut of 32.21.41 as did Georgia Freeman-Mills (41.04.38). Six of the club’s younger athletes attended the Grangemouth Open Graded Meeting to race over 1,500M. U15 Daibhidh Kinnaird clocked an outdoor pb of 4.31.43 while U17 Gabriel Murphy posted a promising debut time of 4.41.4. U15 Euan Reid (4.44.73), under the watchful eyes of his dad and coach Iain, sliced a healthy 40 seconds off his pb. U13 Ewan Kennedy and U15s Rory Barclay and Jack Gillon ran their first ever 1500M and recorded the excellent times of 5.00.89, 5.05.84 and 5.11.79. All 6 have now set down a marker to build on for the rest of the track season. M55 Chris Upson (4.40.89) used the meeting to sharpen up his finishing speed.
In the Whangie Wizz Hill Race Alasdair Campbell and new master Iain MacCorquodale took the individual senior and M40 prizes. It was good to see both athletes back in action again.
Jacqueline Thomson bounced back from injury with a vengeance to claim the runner up spot in the W60 Age Group Category in the World Duathlon Championships held in Ibiza.
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