Giffnock North AC claimed two team titles, a team silver and two bronzes at the Lindsays National XC Relay Championships in a wet Cumbernauld last Saturday, along with a best-ever placing of fifth for the Senior Men and sixth for the Senior Ladies.
YOUNG FEMALES’ GOLD AND BRONZE
On a day of drizzly dreich, Giffnock North’s XC squads lit up proceedings from the word go. Our Young Female teams took their 3 X 2.5k event by the scruff of the neck, with Eilidh Caldow, Millie Boothman and Holly Simpson the first-leg Under 13s who came home in the first five to give Freya Campbell, Scarlett Wilson and Freya Scobie a flying start on their U15 laps. Scottish international hill runner Esme Dougal, Emma McLennan and Ruth Walsh accepted the challenge and powered home an impressive first, third and fifth to dominate the podium. Team East Lothian were a strong second, Falkirk Victoria fourth.
Let me apologise now for not mentioning every Giffnock runner – we started nearly 20 junior mixed-age teams of three, which is a phenomenal turnout – and every last athlete deserves applause for tackling one of the hilliest, skiddiest, drenchiest courses anywhere. We can be proud of them all. Provisional results: MYLAPS Sporthive Event Results
YOUNG MALES’ SILVER AND BRONZE
Next up on the start line were our Young Males and they didn’t hang about either, banging five teams into the top 13. Never ones to respect alphabetical order (or their coaches’ sanity), the B Team of Ethan Scobie, Tristan Robin and Oliver Macdonald raced home for silver just ahead of their A Team club-mates Louie Muir, Matthew Shaw and Alasdair Nugent, who won bronze. The fastest U17 lap of the day by Aberdeen’s Hamish Mackay, in a blistering eight minutes 17 seconds, took the gold north. A notable sixth place went to our C team of Finlay Laskey, Thomas Reay and Glen Griffiths.
LADIES HIT A SIX, V50s CATCH A CROWN
Katy Brown led out the Giffnock Senior Ladies foursome on their 4 X 4k race, handing over in ninth to Yvonne McNairn, who took us into eighth. Rhona Mowat ran a strong third leg before Hannah Ryding posted the 4th fastest ladies’ overall time of 14:10 to claim a fine team sixth. B Team Nicola McBeath, Caroline Munro, Kiara Meiklejohn and Frances Lowrie raced home 37th of the 76 squads.
Allie Chong delivered the quickest V50 Ladies time of the day (16:06) to fire her team of three into pole position over the 4k loops, and Sheila Lewis and Hilary Carswell never looked back (well, maybe once or twice: an ominous Edinburgh trio were doing a bit of looming) as they earned a memorable national crown.
BEST EVER SENIOR MEN
Final event of the day was the always keenly contested Gentlemen’s 4 X 4k, over a course well churned by the previous races and hundreds of athletes. Ross Good – in his first cross country race – led us out with a fighting top-twenty placing, to hand to Reuben Macdonald who raced us into ninth. Conan Harper followed up with a 12:34 lap to go into sixth. Try as he might, GB international Duncan Robinson had to settle for fifth after a gripping 12:31 performance on the looping rollercoaster of a senior course.
Up ahead, the hard core of two Central AC Teams, Kilbarchan and Inverclyde simply refused to let us in, but note that our guys were just 64 seconds behind the winners – we can definitely see them from there! Fifth is our best Senior Males performance in this event yet – great shift, gentlemen.
Our Mens B Team of Ross O’Brien, Calum Young, Josh Adams and Conor Drummond flew round in 55 minutes for 23rd out of 122. Kieren Mooney, Sandy Nimmo (hello again Sandy!), Alastair Stables and Ruairidh MacLean brought the C Team round in a tad over 57 minutes for 35th.
Hats off also to our muddy Masters Cris Walsh, Andrew Campbell, Rob Crusher and Garry Sturgeon (9th Mens Masters division) and David Shaw, Andrew Mostyn, Ewan Wallace and Mark Sutherland (15th of 30).
Grand days out in the countryside with your chums don’t happen by accident, so let’s hear it for every runner, the officials, starters, time-keepers, coaches, tent wranglers, social media ninjas, bus bookers, families, friends, fans, safety-pin providers, timing chip lacer-uppers, biscuit offerers, burgeristas in the van, and possibly most of all for the endlessly patient Team Declaration IT Wizard Sophie of SA who serenely put up with me shuffling myriad (okay half a dozen but it felt like more) Boys’ teams as the cut-off time sped towards us.
Onwards, team, to the Short Course XC Champs in Kirkcaldy on 5th November – let’s light the blue (and amber) touchpaper for yet more fun fireworks over the furrowed fields. We should note the Short Course Champs are for U15s & up to Seniors & Masters
Report by Croy Thomson
Photos by Bobby Gavin and Parents on the day at Cumbernauld.