Sunday, 21 October 2007

Record turn-out for a Cross Country

Before yesterday's East District XC race at Broxburn the Harriers had never even managed to get a full team of 6 men out for a cross country race. Yesterday we had eight and also Cathy Tilbrook running in the women's race!

The Broxburn course is a loop of about 3km which the women run twice and the men three times. For spectators it is a great course as the runners pass the starting area 4 times during each lap. (See photos)

Cathy's race was first and after setting off at a cracking pace, she settled into a good position ahead of some arch-rivals from her orienteering activities. Although the fast start took its toll on lap 2 she hung in well and finished in an impressive time of 28.10 in 72nd out of 107 finishers.

In the men's race, after the obligatory cavalry charge down the hill followed by some elbowing and jostling as the path narrowed towards the bottom of the hill, the 228 runners settled down into a single file for most of the circuit with only a few open sections where overtaking was easy.

By the end of the first lap Phil M was leading the Harrier team with Ian Beattie and Ben Wake neck-and-neck. Next Harrier was Adrian Wake and then Gordon Morrison not far behind. Then came James Bussey while Doug Flint, worse for wear from his work leaving do on Friday night, was begining to lose his grey-green pallor and taking on a more human appearance and Peter Gaylor was also looking strong at this point.

This was pretty much the Harrier order to the end of the race although Ian pulled away from Ben and Gordon overtook Adrian with half a lap to go. Doug, meanwhile, demonstrated the restorative powers of running by finishing strongly and overhauling James in the later stages.

95. Phil Mestecky 35.49
101. Ian Beattie 35.59
134. Ben Wake 37.32
163. Gordon Morrison 39.16
168. Adrian Wake 39.38
179. Doug Flint 40.30
187. James Bussey 41.02
204. Peter Gaylor 42.16

Full results are now on the East District League site.

Well done to the whole team for turning out and running hard for the club.

Next race is Sunday 25th November at Kirkcaldy when maybe we can get double figures showing up!

P.S. Club Championship Points have now been worked out and can be found here.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Club Championship Update - Ali unassailable; Gordon takes the lead

Congratulations to Ali who, with just one race to go, has clinched the women's title with her performance at Pitlochry 10K.

In the Men's championship, it's between Gordon and Ian. Gordon has the slenderest of leads (1.7 points) but rumour has it that Ian is unavailable for the last race at Glen Clova.

Overall, we now have had 30 Harriers taking part in club championship races this year averaging nearly 3 races each (total 80). 5 people have already completed 5 or more races (Gordon, Ian, Ali, Adrian and Peter) and 3 people have done 4 (Rob, Ben and Phil T).

Current standings:

1. Gordon Morrison (8 races) 78.2 points
2. Ian Beattie (6) 76.5*
3. Adrian Wake (5) 59.0
4. Ben Wake (4) 55.1
5. Phil Tipping (4) 52.9
6. Peter Gaylor (5) 48.4
7. Rob Bolton (4) 42.4
8. Doug Flint (3) 39.4
9. Simon Wake (3) 31.4****
10. David Adams (2) 29.8
11. Allan Mooney**(2) 27.0
12. Phil Mestecky (2) 25.8
13. Digby Sym (2) 25.0
14. Jim McConnell (2) 19.2
15. Colin Glencorse (1) 13.0
16. Fred McCain (1) 12.8
17. Duncan King (1) 10.3
18. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
19. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
20. Adam Wake (1) 9.5****
21. Phil Pass (1) 4.3

* Includes West Highland Way Race as a Long category C Hill Race.
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.
****Includes Lairig Ghru as a Long Category C Hill Race.

1. Ali Manners (6) 56.9
2. Cathy Tilbrook (3) 34.4
3. Liz Mestecky (3) 25.9
4. Beth Fotheringham (3) 24.2
5. Shelagh Crighton (2) 14.3
6. Angela MacKenzie (1) 13.8
7. Wendy Duigan (1) 12.4
8. Shelagh Crighton (1) 9.8
9. Karen Pass (1) 9.0

Final race in the series is the Glen Clova 1/2 Marathon 10th November.

East District XC Relays

On Saturday, four Harriers, Digby, Ian, Simon and Colin took part in East District XC Relays which consisted of 4 laps each of 4000m or 2 1/2 miles in old money.

In Simon's view "It was a very fast not too hilly cross country course that saw us complete in under the hour which was probably about half way up the field. All in all a very enjoyable event even more so as the pain only lasted for 15 mins or so!"

In actual fact the team made the top 20 out of 51 teams and finished in 59.34. Full results are at Scottish Athletics.

Digby led the team off with a strong run of 14.31 and 24th place, and handed over to Ian who, despite running the Loch Ness Marathon 6 days ago, ran an excellent 15.37, slipping just a couple of places to 27th. Simon ran a storming 3rd leg in 15.08 moving the team up to 26th before Colin brought the team home in an excellent 14.18 and 20th place.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Happy-ness at the Loch Ness Marathon

Five Harriers took part in this weekend's Loch Ness Marathon. Of these 2, Liz Mestecky and Shelagh Crighton, were running their first ever Marathon while Ian Beattie was running Loch Ness for the 6th time.

The weather was perfect with light winds and cool temperatures and a good covering of cloud. The picturesque course follows the south bank of Loch Ness and can euphemistically described as undulating with some significant climbs in the first 10 miles and then a real heartbreaker at mile 18.

Ian was first Harrier home having gone through half way in 1.29 he slipped a little in the hillier second half of the race to come home in 3.05.54 and 60th position out of field of over 1400. See his blog for more on his run.

Phil Tipping found the going tough but still managed a respectable 3.13.23 and 96th place.

Duncan King's time of 3.26.03 was more than 10 minutes faster than the time he set over the flat Edinburgh course earlier in the year and shows what a week running in the Atacam desert can do for you (see the blog entry for September).

Liz and Shelagh ran together most of the way until Mile 25 when the distance started to tell on Shelagh who had been struggling with a heavy cold for most of the week. Liz pushed on and finished in 4.24.32. Shelagh kept plugging away and completed the 26.2 in just under 4.30.

All in all an excellent effort and a great achievement from Liz and Shelagh who can now call themselves Marathon Runners!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Pitlochry 10k

On a busy racing weekend for the club, it was great to see a turnout of 10 Harriers for the penultimate race in this year's club championship. They were rewarded by a beautiful day and a very enjoyable race.

Conditions were ideal - flat or gently undulating course, sunshine, blue sky and a gentle cooling breeze - which helped to ensure a series of fine performances from the Harriers taking part, who included David Adams, Rob Bolton, Doug Flint, Beth Fotheringham, Pete Gaylor, Ali Manners, Gordon Morrison, Kenny Robertson, Cathy Tilbrook (and Wendy Duigan, I think).

Places and official times are not yet available, but unofficial timing suggests several PBs and some marked improvements on last year. More details to follow asap.

Some of the Harriers involved were captured above on camera before the race - apologies to those omitted (but gathering runners before a race can be akin to herding cats). Thanks to Brad and his cousin for the photography.


Official results now available on the link here confirm a series of very good performances.

Particular congratulations to Wendy - a terrific time of 40.12 and the prize for second Senior Woman - and to David Adams ,whose impressive 44.06 deservedly earned him the prize for second fastest in the MVG category.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Adrian adds the Pentland Skyline

Ade climbing Scald Law (Photo from Scottish Hill Runners)
Phil running up Scald Law (photo from Scottish Hill Runners
Ade crosses the finishing line

In his time, Adrain has taken part in most of Scotland's toughest hill races and today he added the Pentland Skyline to nhis collection.

This is a seriously tough race of 16M over 6200' of climb and taking in 17 hills in the Pentlands overlooking Edinburgh.

The weather was wonderful with blue skies and temperatures in the 60s so navigation was made easy.

Ade finished in 4 hours 19 mins 20 secs in 111st place with team-mate Phil Mestecky in 24th place in a time of 3.09.55 (more than 8 1/2 mins slower than 2006).

Monday, 1 October 2007

Gut gelaufen!

Congratulations to Jim McConnell on his run of 3.57.36 in the Berlin Marathon at the weekend. That made him finisher number 13031 out of a huge field of over 40,000 runners.
Hopefully more detail to follow from Jim, either here or on the forum.