Gala day at our Lindsays Masters XC . . . and Les toasts 87th birthday run

Sunday 5th February 2023

Darrell Hastie takes the finish line to win the Men’s M40-M60 race at Tollcross Park (photo by Bobby Gavin)

By Peter Jardine, Head of Communications

Online Results

With a large turnout, a bank of club tents and families along to support, there was something of a gala day atmosphere at the Lindsays Masters XC Champs.

And the Tollross Park podium bore witness to a Gala day, too, as green and white vests from the Borders claimed victory in the two V40 races.

First, Sara Green led Gala home in the Women’s w40 + M65 race over 6k before her club-mate, Darrell Hastie, added gold over 8k in the Men’s M40-M60 race.

There was a terrific atmosphere around the Glasgow venue with a Record field of 166 athletes in the women’s race – and 501 names overall – adding to that.

Photos on Facebook by Bobby Gavin


Team podiums are listed at the foot of this article (below the photo of Sara Green). Well done to all who raced with numerous clubs represented.


Making his own significant contribution was the venerable Les Nicol of Metro Aberdeen.

The M85 athlete celebrated his 87th birthday in the way he loves best: travelling south in a van with his Metro Aberdeen team-mate, racing 6k of mud and hills and cross country, before heading back north.

‘I just love running and love cross country and this is what I do now after I stopped working (at 85!),’ said Les.

‘It was quite a hilly course – up and down, up and down – but a good one. I took up running in my 40s so that’s probably 45 years or so now.’

Eddie Stewart of Cambuslang added to his multiple medal collection with M65 gold – and Les Nicol loved his 87th birthday run (photos by Bobby Gavin)

Asked about his training regime, Les replied in a magnificent understatement: ‘I don’t do too much – I maybe run two or three times a week, with one of those a track session with Metro Aberdeen. And I go to the gym a couple of other days. And I do a parkrun. I’ve just got it back under 30 minutes again which is quite pleasing . . .’

Green led home Lesley Bell of host club Garscube Harriers with Carol Parsons of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers taking third place.

The first man home and taking M65 gold was Eddie Stewart of Cambuslang.

To employ another under-statement: Eddie is no stranger to the podium.  In fact, at the Masters XC, he has now won gold at M40, M45, M50, M55, M60 and now M65. A superb achievement in terms of consistency over a quarter of a century.

Other tales abounded: like well-kent West athletes Allie Chong of Giffnock and Katie White of Garscube Harriers both running in the same race . . . as their mothers.

And what about W45 gold medallist Lesley Bell? Just under 24 hours earlier, she was on the podium for silver at the Senior Champs in the Women’s 1500m (won by Philippa Millage).

‘I just had to try and wipe out any thoughts that I had been racing yesterday,’ said Lesley.

‘That seemed the best approach although I actually feel it kind of helped me today. I love cross country anyway so didn’t want to miss the Masters XC.

‘It’s a great event and today to see hundreds and hundreds of Masters out at Tollcross Park has been great for the sport.’

Hastie for his part was an indoor medallist a couple of weeks ago, too, with CBP Masters 3000m run at 8.35.

He was in a group of three with Inverclyde’s Mark Doherty and Grant Baillie of East Kilbride for the first three of four laps of 2k or so. When Doherty unfortunately dropped out, Ewan Cameron of Edinburgh AC came through for third.

In cold but fine conditions in the east end of Glasgow, there were eyes on Spain, too, with Shettleston women and Central AC men in action in the European Clubs Cross country.

Two of Central AC’s team – Tom Graham-Marr and Calum Phillip – were doubtless checking Tollcross results: their dads (Charles and Gavin) racing for Central and Edinburgh AC respectively.

Told you it was a good day for the endurance family . . .

*Big thank you to John Bell and all the team at Garscube Harriers for their help with the course and the event. Also to our Officials, all volunteers and the Road Running and Cross Country Commission.

Gala Harriers athlete Sara Green wins the Women’s race (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Team Podiums:


1 Edinburgh AC 2 Shettleston Harriers 3 PH Racing


1 Cambuslang Harriers 2 Corstorphine AAC 3 Moray Road Runners


1 Garscube Harriers 2 Fife AC 3 Gala Harriers


1 Edinburgh AC, Giffnock North, Fife AC


Tags: Lindsays Masters XC, Tollcorss Park

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