Start of the Women’s race at Livingston (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Our preview for the National Road Relays on these very pages contained a raft of information ahead of the latest event at West Lothian – and details of the ‘defending champions’ in each of six categories.
It proved prescient reporting and a recurring reference point through Saturday afternoon’s action at the familiar venue at St Margaret’s Academy in Livingston.
No fewer than four of the six clubs who celebrated success 12 months earlier were to celebrate title success once again and repeat gold medals.
In the Men’s division, in fact, all three races had the same winners as 2022 with Central AC successfully defending their Senior title; Corstorphine AAC retained the Masters M40 championships; and Cambuslang Harriers were once again winners at M50.
In the Women’s division, Edinburgh AC retained their title in the W50 category.
Shettleston Harriers, taking the golds in the Senior Women’s race in fine style, and Garscube Harriers, winning the Masters W40 race, were our ‘new’ winners for 2023.
Shettleston’s 1:43.49 team time is a new Women’s Course Record (beating Central AC’s 1:43.54 from 2017). That was helped by fastest lap times for Fionnuala Ross at 32:04 on the long leg and Lynn McKenna at 17:08 on the short leg.
Title winners . . . Central AC savour Senior Men’s golds (above) while Shettleston Harriers won the Women’s race as both clubs repeated the success they enjoyed at the Lindsays National XC (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Guided by (non-running on this occasion) captain Avril Mason, Shettleston’s women are enjoying an excellent winter.
A first appearance in Spain at the European Club XC Champs was followed by topping the podium at the Lindsays National XC so Livingston and the National Road Relays completed a nice double.
Fionnuala Ross led the way in terms of the fast times on the long leg after Lynn McKenna, a recent recruit, gave the blue and yellow vests a fine start. Holly Morrison and Ruth Joss completed the team effort to see the team home in that Course Record 1:43.49.
Behind Shettleston, there was a real battle for the silver medals with Aberdeen thankful that Hannah Cameron was just able to hold off Edinburgh AC on the finishing straight. The teams were separated by just seven seconds.
Garscube for their part won the Women’s Masters race from Gala Harriers and Kinross Road Runners. The winning Garscube team featured Lesley Bell, Mary Senior, Jill Blee and Katie White. Gala had been the winners last year.
Edinburgh AC won the W50 race from Giffnock North AC and our host club for this event, Lothian RC. Edinburgh’s winning trio featured Karen Dobbie, Janet Dunbar and Julie Wilson.
The Senior Men’s podium as Central AC take the win from silver medallists Cambuslang Harriers and bronze medallists Glasgow Uni Hare and Hounds (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Just as Shettleston in the women’s race repeated Falkirk success, so it was for Central AC in the men as they added the National Road Relays to the golds gathered at the Lindsays National Xc.
It always looked a strong Central team but Glasgow Uni Hare and Hounds carried the fight, certainly in mid-race, as they took the lead for a spell.
This after an opening leg run from Ben MacMillan of 14:58 had equalled the course record for the short legs (another detail within our preview – courtesy of Alex Jackson).
Calum Philip and Matthew Sutherland ran next and Tom Graham-Marr came up with a big performance on leg four to put Central back in control. Alastair Marshall, coming back from injury (like Matthew Sutherland) and Hamish Hickey saw it home in 2:14.03.
Cambuslang Harriers had replaced Glasgow Uni as the closest challengers on leg five with the Glasgow club taking the silver medals this time – 43 seconds behind – as the Uni had to settle for third.
Falkirk Victoria Harriers athlete Scott Stirling was fastest over the long legs with an excellent run at 28:11.
Corstorphine AAC celebrate their golds in the Men’s Masters race (photo by Bobby Gavin)
It’s six to count in the Men’s Masters M40 race and Corstorphine AAC were once again untouchable here as they won thanks to the efforts of Malcolm Laing, Allie Brockie, Tom Ferrington, Chris Poxton, Chris O’Brien and Ian Hutchison.
Metro Aberdeen made the journey south and headed home with silver medals – as Gala Harriers took the bronzes back to the Borders.
The M50 race has been really popular at Livingston since being introduced only a few years ago. The clubs who took the top three places are no strangers to these podiums – Cambuslang winning this time thanks to runs from Brian Douglas, Justin Carter, Mark Gallacher and Stevie Wylie.
Corstorphine were second in this one with Cumbernauld AAC taking third.
*Huge thank to all our Officials, Lothian RC and other club volunteers and our superb Road Running and Cross Country Commission.
Garscube Harriers won our Women’s Masters tile thanks to the efforts of Katie White, Lesley Bell, Mary Senior and Jill Blee (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Start of the Men’s race at Livingston with Central AC’s Ben MacMillan on his way to 14:58 (photo by Bobby Gavin)