Sunday, 14 August 2016

Rollercoaster Report

Rollercoaster Prizes Head West
Saturday’s Cademuir Rollercoaster races over 6k and 3k saw three of the four race titles head west with Kirstin Maxwell from Gala Harriers holding the fort for the Borders as winner of the women’s 6k.

Despite recent drainage work on the worst of the boggy sections of the John Buchan Way, the wet week ahead of the race led to a soft and often slippery surface underfoot. And a with a stiff breeze into the runners’ faces on the outward journey, the four course records which were set in last year’s firm and fast conditions, were never really threatened.

Taking the honours in the 6k race was Iain Stewart from the Westerlands club who breezed home downhill and downwind on the closing stretch, crossing the line in 27minutes 53 seconds, nearly two minutes outside the record time. His reward was a bottle of prosecco and a meal voucher from race sponsor Franco’s. Andy Cox ran strongly for second place in 28.42 despite having to make a late dash to the start line after traffic problems, and a call ahead to make sure he could still register after the scheduled closing time for entries. Gala's Fergus Johnston was a further minute plus behind in third in 29.55 with Ben Hindley, in his Strathclyde Uni vest, 4th in 30.33. Kenny Davidson looked good in finishing 9th in 31.57 and Alan Elder stayed upright for 30th in 37.28, 40 seconds down on last year.

Andy power walks the final climb
Benefitting from a steady start, Gala Harrier Kirstin Maxwell went one better than last year in the women's race and was also rewarded with her Franco’s prosecco and voucher as first woman home (7th overall), in a time of 31.42. Again this was nearly two minutes outside the record, although she was only 18 seconds slower than her time last year. “I let the youngsters go in the early stages as I knew it would be hard into that wind and I was pleased to come home strongly to win” she said. Not far behind her were two Under17 athletes who yo-yoed throughout the race, Moorfoot Mairi Wallace gaining ground on the stiff climbs and Zoe Nicholson from Pitreavie speeding by on the descents. At the line it was Zoe who took second place in 32.10 with Mairi third, but over a minute faster than last year in 32.27. The evergreen Sue Ridley (EAC), who was racing just over the wall from her back garden, was another to improve on last year’s time, finishing just on the tail of the youngsters in 4th and first veteran in 32.35. Isabel McGorum, only recently back into running after cracked ribs, had an excellent run for 33rd overall (12th woman) in 38.30.

In the 3k race there was a double win for the Wright siblings who made the journey through from the Victoria Park club in Glasgow. Big brother Blayne, racing in the U15 category, was first across the line in 14minutes 13seconds, just over a minute outside the course record held by U14 Scottish Schools 1500m champion Ethan Elder from the host club.

Amazingly, only 16 seconds behind Blayne, first girl home and second finisher overall of the sixteen runners, was his younger sister Valencia who is still only 11 years old. Of all the four race winners, she came closest to the course record, being a mere 14 seconds shy of the mark set last year by Scottish Schools U15 800m champion Nuala McCheyne.

They're off in the 3k
First Moorfoot home was 10 year-old Angus Carlyle whose December birthday means he was only just old enough to compete. In what was his first ever hill race, Angus ran strongly for 5th overall and 2nd U13Boy in 15.41, just ahead of club-mates Elena McGorum and the fast finishing Beth Hobbs. Eilidh Mooney improved 25 seconds on her time from last year in finishing 9th. Well done too to other Moorfoot finishers Patrick Cannon (who we think took an Elderesque tumble), Holly and Megan Hobbs and Christina McGorum who all earned their jelly sweets at the end.

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