Blood & Guts at Renfrewshire XC
Report by Neal Gibson

RenXC2015-1Something special is happening amongst the Giffnock North AAC Seniors. With or without blue shorts,
we are becoming a team, and dare I say it? Quite a good one!
At recent events there has been an obvious bond between members new and old. Those that can’t run, turn up to support (even at training sessions!) and a real sense of camaraderie is forming. This has never been more obvious than at the Renfrewshire AAA Cross Country last weekend in Gourock. It might not have been our biggest turn out, but those that were there shared a certain bond that a wet, hilly, muddy, multiple lap cross country course at the start of November seems to enhance.

There were a few late cancellations from the men for various reasons, including Ted Gourley who was running for Scotland in the Masters Cross Country race in Dublin, Ireland (We’ll let him off!), but five hardy souls toed the start line in high spirits and did the club proud. Greg Turner led the way home for Giffnock round the 5.5 mile, 5 lap, Tower Hill Course, finishing in a fantastic time of 33:24 for 7th place overall. Jason Steele, who has clearly had far too many ‘performance enhancing hugs’ from his girls recently, once again put in a fabulous effort to be 2nd home for the club in 35:20 despite falling on the route. 3rd home was Luke Chamberlain (36:10), who is starting to find some of his pre-injury form and looked strong throughout the race, followed by Colin ‘Drama Queen’ Wylie (38:33) who, having fallen and cut his hand, proceeded to wipe blood all over his forehead resulting in great concern from medics and spectators alike! Last, but certainly not least, was a great club XC début by Donald MacBride, finishing in 40:58. The banter post race amongst the men was further evidence of the spirit of the Amber & Blue, as ‘war wounds’ and ‘what ifs’ were greatly exaggerated!

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The real celebration of the day was the performance of the Ladies team. With a bigger turn out than that of the men, the ladies took the race by storm, finishing as first team. Leading the team home over the 3 lap, 3.3 mile course, was Jill Smylie, finishing a brilliant third in 23:34. Second home, and fourth overall, was new club member Allie Chong, followed closely by Yvonne McNairn, who had clearly given her all to finish in 5th. The results show just 10 seconds between the three ladies, great team work!

Relatively new club member Heather Thompson was 4th lady home for the club in just her second XC outing in a great time of 25:32, whilst the current enthusiasm and team spirit that is growing amongst the club saw seasoned Marathoner Anne Williamson, complete just her second XC race (any excuse to buy new shoes!) in 31:00 minutes. Just 7 seconds behind her was Irene Zingone. We won’t mention her age, but she seems to get in the top three of her age group in every race she does, and always with a smile! Angela Hammond was the final ladies team member home in 33:50.

Next up in the Cross Country calendar is the West District Championships on the 6th December. With the current atmosphere amongst the club, and various people returning from injuries, who knows what we can achieve, but one thing is for sure, we’ll give our all, and we’ll have a lot of fun doing it!

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