Central AC added the Tru Wealth National Road Relay golds to their Lindsays National XC win at Falkirk three weeks ago (photo by Bobby Gavin)
There are few better road-signs, surely, than those that display the words ‘Caution Runners’. And those luminous yellow/green arrows to direct athletes on the right course.
Many were in evidence around the roads and trails of Livingston on Saturday.
The National Road Relays, now sponsored by Tru Wealth, made their return after a three-year absence and it felt right to be back at the familiar HQ of St Margaret’s Academy and race courses laid out by our welcoming hosts, Lothian Running Club.
When the dust had settled, it was a yellow and green combination on the podium.
Just as had happened across the mud of Callendar Park, Central AC at Senior Men and Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds at Senior Women collected the gold medals.
Neither victory was in much doubt, to be honest, with Central AC having to settle for silver in the Women’s race after previous wins in 2019 – when this race last took place – and also in 2017.
One look at a Derek Easton coached Central AC squad of Tom Graham-Marr, Alastair Marshall, Ben MacMillan, Hamish Hickey, Alastair Hay and Jamie Crowe looked ominous for the rest on paper and so it proved on the road and trail surfaces.
Their 2:31.41 winning time is the fourth fastest at this venue, and on a longer course than a couple of those previous times.
Start of the Men’s race at Livingston (photo by Bobby Gavin)
‘We’ve been saying there are good young athletes coming through in the club and there’s very clear evidence of that in today’s team,’ said Hay, who has had numerous previous successes at Livingston.
‘I understand now we’ve not won it since 2017 which feels like a while ago. With the lads that were in the team today it is getting harder (for more experienced) athletes to get in the first team for a six-stage road relay.
‘It’s good to get the golds and add this to the National XC success at Falkirk. At Central AC we pride ourselves on trying to win National Championship medals and that approach bears fruit.’
Corstorphine AAC, who won this title in 2018, were silver medallists this year with Glasgow Uni Hare and Hounds taking bronzes – apparently the Uni club’s first podium place in the National Road Relays.
Women’s gold medallists – Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds
Students were very much to the fore in the Women’s race and in the end the green-clad quartet of Hannah Anderson, Rebecca Johnson, Grace Pow and Holly Page had too much as a team for second-placed Central AC. There were fine bronze medals there for Lasswade AC.
‘We won the Senior Women’s golds at Falkirk so it is great to do a double,’ said Holly Page, who closed with a 29-second advantage over Central with the winning team time at 1:46.39.
‘What’s the secret? We’ve good athletes, good team spirit – and we done a lot of reps around the Meadows over this past winter!’
Gala Harriers savoured an excellent day in the Masters events.
The Gala women took golds from Lothian RC and Kinross Road Runners. It was good to see those medals for Lothian, given a big effort by that club in terms of Saturday’s organisation.
In the Men’s Masters race, Corstorphine AAC reclaimed a title they had won in 2017 and there were silver medals for PH Racing as well as bronze medals for Gala.
Similarly, Perth Road Runners enjoyed double podium success in the V50 categories.
Cambuslang Harriers won the M50 golds from Perth RR with bronzes for Cumbernauld AAC.
In the w50 race, there was a win for Edinburgh AC with second for Gala Harriers and third for Perth RR.
*We say a big thank you to our hosts at St Margaret’s Academy, event sponsors Tru Wealth, our Road Running and Cross Country Commission folk and Officials as well as host club Lothian RC and all other clubs who contributed marshals out on the course.
Masters Women gold medallists – Gala Harriers
Masters Men gold medallists – Corstorphine AAC
W50 gold medallists – Edinburgh AC
M50 gold medallists – Cambuslang Harriers
Track & Field