Birnam Hill Race and Road Relays

Despite semester 2 coming to a close, the Haries are definitely not winding down, testing their mettle against across the country in another weekend crammed full of racing.

We start off down at Cramond, where only one brave harie took on the high winds for parkrun this weekend, Richard Purkis taking 5th on the day in a time of 17:33.

From Cramond, we head north to Perthshire for the Birnam Hill race. This wee race, nestled within the Tay valley, hits hard, climbing 323m in 2km with gradients over 30% on the way up (Before someone references what Scottish hill racing say it is (535m climb), Strava says they are dirty wee liars).

4 Haries ran this one, however results aren’t up yet so I’ll update this bit once they are.

Moving onto Sunday and the Scottish Road relay championships in Livingston. The day was a blustery one, interspersed with rain showers. We did however get 2 men’s teams and 3 women’s teams out to race, with 3 other Haries running for their home teams. The race itself consisted of 4 legs (2xShort (3.1miles), 2xLong (5.8miles)) for the women’s race and 6 legs for the men (3xShort, 3XShort)

Being a road race, it was a mass start for both men’s and women’s races, with Sam Woods (A), Ewan Davidson (B), Ellie Buchan (A), Iona Evans (A) and Amy Bristow (A) leading out on the 1st short leg.

Sam Woods was back first, posting a time of 16:22 in 6th, placing Ben Stevenson in a good position for the 10km. Ewan Davidson was 32 seconds back in 16:54 and 13th, (not bad for just being back from injury) and handed over to Callum Shaw. Ellie Buchan was next to put the women’s team 8th going into the 10km leg in a time of 19:06. Sophie Horrocks took over from her. Iona Evans wasn’t far behind in 20:40, handing over to Bronagh Wishart in 15th place. Amy Bristow was next in a commendable 22:57, putting Hazel Murray in 28th going into the long leg.

Going back to the Men’s race, Bens Stevenson ran a blistering sub-30minute time of 29:59 to maintain the A teams 6th place overall, Handing over to James Dunn for the 2nd short leg. Callum Shaw ran well to complete the long leg in 37:08, handing over to Christopher Fife.

Sophie Horrocks ran even better in her long leg in a time of 36:37, passing the gauntlet on to Steph Lawrie for the pen-ultimate leg of the women’s race in 12th place overall. Bronagh Wishart also has a great crack at the long leg, finishing in a time of 37:32 to maintain the B team’s 17th place, handing over to Sophie Collins. Hazel Murray put in a great team performance, lifting the C’s 9 places into 19th place, running a time of 39:27 and handing over to Eliza Cottington.

James Dunn managed to pull a place back to put the A team in 5th, completing the 2nd short leg in 16:32, handing over to Scott Stirling. Christopher Fife, also just back from injury, put in a solid effort to run 17:19 and put the team 8 places higher in 26th, Fraser Drummond taking over for the long leg.

The women’s race entered its final stage at this point, with the A’s moving up another 4 places thanks to a stellar run from Steph Lawrie (19:37 for the short leg), putting Sarah Douglas in a strong position of 8th place going into the last leg. The trend of rising standings continued, with the B team rising 2 places in the standings to 12th thanks to a 20:30 performance from Sophie Collins on the short leg, handing over to Amy Frankland. The C’s also exceeded the pace around them, Eliza Cottington running 21:12 to move the team up two places to 17th, with Christine Irvine in the C’s last leg.

Things were also beginning to hot up in the men’s race, With Scott Stirling running putting in a sterling effort of 30:54 to maintain our 5th place and give us a 3:10 minute lead over 6th placed Shettleston harriers, passing onto Calum Murray for the last of the short legs. Fraser Drummond finished the long leg in 34:26 for the B’s despite having run Birnam the day before, picking up 2 places to move the team into 24th, handing over to Tim Gibney for the short leg.

Moving back across to the women’s race, Sarah Douglas ran the 11th fastest long leg time of the day in 35:20 to move the women’s A team up another two places, meaning they finished 6th overall, just behind our Alumni club, HBT.

The B team also finished strongly, Amy Frankland pulling back a place with a time of 38:54 to take 11th overall. Christie Irvine also ran well in 44:21, surrendering just one place for the C’s to finish in 18th overall.

Massive shout out performances to all those in the women’s team, who took home 5 of the quickest times on the day:

Short loop fast times:

  1. Ellie Buchan Edinburgh University H&H (A) 19.06
  2. Stephanie Lawrie Edinburgh University H&H (A) 19.34
  3. Sophie Collins (FU20) Edinburgh University H&H (B) 20.30

Long loop fast times:

  1. Sarah Douglas (FU20) Edinburgh University H&H (A) 35.20
  2. Sophie Horrocks Edinburgh University H&H (A) 36.37

Well done to Steph Pennycook (Fife AC on the day) and Mhairi Maclennan (Inverness Harriers) who helped their teams to 2nd and 3rd place overall, as well as posting the two quickest short leg times of the day. (Steph in 17:55, Mhairi in 17:59)

The women’s race may have been over, but the men’s was most definitely not.

Calum Murray held off the Shettleston charge, putting a further 2 seconds between the teams with a time of 17minutes flat. This meant Andrew Lawler just had to hold off Paul Sorrey in the final long leg to maintain 5th place for the A’s

The B’s were also jostling for places, with Tim Gibney pulling back another spot with a time of 17:57 to move the B’s into 23rd. Caleb Hia was last leg for the B’s.

True to his word, Andrew did manage to hold off the Shettleston team, running an identical time of 30:30 with Paul Sorrey to take 5th for the Haries, also making ground on those ahead of us to finish just 25 seconds behind Costorphine AAC. Caleb Hia also ran well to pull the B’s up a further 3 places with a time of 34:10, despite having done 8miles prior to the race!), meaning the B’s finished a well-earned 20th overall.

Again, well done to all the lads that came done, with 3 of the fastest times on the day:

Short loop fast times:

  1. Sam Woods Edinburgh University H&H (A) 16.22
  2. James Dunn (MU20) Edinburgh University H&H (A) 16.32

Long loop fast times:

  1. Ben Stevenson Edinburgh University H&H (A) 29.59

Special mention to Kyle Maclellan, who despite running in the w(Ron)g vest (get the pun), put in a great effort to post the 13th fastest long leg time (29:52) helping Ronhill Cambuslang to 3rd place.

Well done again to all who raced this weekend! Any races I missed/ am unaware of please do come forward

Next weekend is IoM 2k15 (woooo!!!) so get excited for that if you’re coming.

In my finest Manx,

Aarlaghey dy gheddyn feiyral,

James