I overheard some St Andrews boy, probably called Tarquin, saying he reckoned Edinburgh were vulnerable this year. Yeah mate, course, they said something similar about Stalingrad.
So Saturday was a big one, the historic Allan Scally race in Glasgow, doubling up as the Scottish University Road Relay Championships. Our first University Championships of the year, and not a title we’re going to give up lightly. Or at all.
The story begins on the M8, where Scott pushed the minibus to its limit (67mph), to overtake a convoy of Hearts fans. Not sure why this was so exciting, but it really was. We arrived safely, sorted teams, pinned numbers, I got quite badly lost on a warm-up jog. Did about 6km. And then we gave Glasgow’s pavements a trampling.
First leg were off with Scott leading the charge. I talk about him too much, so it’ll suffice to say neither ego nor bank balance had a bad day. Thank God for Tewoldeberhan Mengisteab and Tsegai Tewelde. JT made light work of the course because he’s a good runner and has nice hair. Sophie Horrocks, fresh off her Original Mountain Marathon adventure, smashed it. Third fastest lady of the day and the temerity to say she couldn’t pay travel fare with a pocket full of prize money. This, and my harsh response, ruined our friendship. Iona managed to give herself a pretty nasty cut on the hand as she guaranteed a healthy lead for both our ladies’ teams over Strathclyde or Aberdeen or someone.
With Scott finishing somewhat high-ish I guess, Calum had a pretty lonely second leg, but he still made running look easy. Leon put in a great performance along with Sophie Collins and Bryony. At this stage I scratched the ‘E’, ‘D’ and’ ‘I’ onto the trophy using a safety pin.
We looted triathlon talent for leg three, as Sam put one third of his expertise to excellent use. He insisted on wearing a helmet for the first 30 metres. Our men now occupied a very tidy second overall team. Kumar was one of our debut-makers in green, making a fine start to life in Edinburgh. Franko and Eliza were on hand to bring our ladies home as first and second uni team. Shame it doesn’t work like that (it’s one team per university), but what domination?! A real show of strength in depth.
The Lawler theatrics of last year weren’t required this time around. But he ran really quickly anyway because #yolo. Shettleston weren’t quite in reach, but second men’s team overall is pretty sweet. And obviously first university home by a decent margin. There was just time for Matty to get a disqualification threat as Scott chased him to the finish line. That lady was no fun at all.
And that was that. We continue our reign of terror. Lawler bought us phallic-like ice creams which were funny because we’re children. Cash prizes, medals and a trophy were gathered up, and the tunes on the journey home were absolutely banging. As always, thank you so much to everyone who came and represented. Titles may be won in a matter of minutes, but all of our successes are underscored by dedication to training, spilling pints and shouting inarticulate slurs of encouragement. And this falls on each and every Harie being brilliant, wonderful and sexy. As for the year to come, I summate by the unlikely words of Donald Trump: “We will have so much winning… that you may get bored of winning”.
You may notice a distinct lack of race details here, sorry, Shettleston run faster than they publish results. Also, I shouldn’t really be using other people’s photos without permission. Thank you kindly, Kenny Phillips.
Love youse long time.