Niall Fraser, Andy Bonner, Andrew Clark and Luke Traynor with Luke Chamberlain Centre
Report by Croy Thomson
RELAY, RELAY GREAT RUNNING FROM GIFFNOCK AT GEORGE CUMMINGS EVENT IN HOUSTON
“What a privilege and a pleasure to attend the George Cummings Road Relays on Saturday, to witness as fine a team effort as you’ll see from a Giffnock North AC squad.
Hats off to Niall Fraser, Luke Traynor, Andrew Clark and Andrew Bonner for a scintillating team performance to win this autumn road classic, under serious pressure over 4 X 2.7 miles from some high-powered rivals including GB marathon star Callum Hawkins. Luke’s blistering fastest lap of 12:15 (five seconds faster than Callum H) earned him an individual prize and a well-earned round of applause, but this was more than one man’s effort.
In pretty much perfect, sunny autumn conditions, Niall kept us right up at the sharp end on leg one to come home eighth (13 min 49 seconds). Next up, Luke scythed through the opposition to create a commanding lead with a 12:15 effort that was just seven ticks off the Callum Hawkins’ course record. Andrew Clark defended the lead brilliantly with 13:54 to launch Andrew Bonner on anchor leg. Andrew more than held his nerve out front to record 13:43 and hold off fast-finishing Inverclyde by four seconds at the line (it looked like more than four seconds from where I was standing, but any more of a gap would have been indiscreet, surely).
Big thanks to the Juniors’ Rhona Mowat for stepping in to make sure the GN Ladies flew the flag too. Rhona was ably backed by Catriona Gourley and Stephanie Little for 16th place out of 34 teams, with a combined time emphatically under the hour in 57:58.
Big applause to all the lads who comprised two further GN Mens teams, plus Ian Millar flying solo, though I did try to persuade him to run four continuous legs and get some extra miles in – great to see you back, Ian. Welcome home also to Sandy Nimmo, who partnered brother Harry in one of the teams, and all hail Nicholas Boyle, racing strongly in his first event as a senior. The teams: B (16th) – Nicholas Boyle, Harry Nimmo, Luke Chamberlain, Sandy Nimmo; C (27th) – Jason Steel, Craig Smith, David Ross, Chris Greenhalgh. As the organisers delightedly mentioned, the turnout of 346 athletes was one of the biggest ever, so we can look back on a job well done, in very good company.
Major congratulations to Luke Chamberlain and Ted Gourley who wrangled the teams together and fully deserved the tea and cakes afterwards at this always well organised, fully home-baked celebration of all that’s best in team sports and running. Victory in this long-established event gains us a lot of respect from other clubs, all the sweeter for the entire squad being composed of true, local club athletes, from first to last. If I have missed anyone out, apologies.
Thanks to Kilbarchan for organising the race, marshalling it, making everyone welcome and providing a dry day. Onwards!”
Congratulations from all at the Club to the athletes involved and to the coaches especially Gordon Lockie and Dudley Walker.