Our juniors are better than your juniors

I’ve always tended towards the view that apostasy should go unpunished. Scott is forcing me into a rethink.

With 2015 coming to a close, there was time for one last outing: to Livingston and the East District Cross Country Championships. Between revision and exams and that, a pack of Haries made the trip west and into some poor at best weather. But we had spirit and a tent and the matter of deciding spike length to keep ourselves occupied, and soon things kicked off.

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The junior ladies were first up with 5100m of undulation to deal with. Haries made up over a third of the u20s, so this one was always likely to be a bit like Gallipoli; only going to be one winner and everyone had damp feet. Steph led from the front and ran outstandingly to take yet another title in 17.44, just a shame she accidently put the wrong vest on that morning. Emily added to her medal tally with a fine run to bronze in 18.10, followed by Bronagh in fifth in 19.43. Franko, Jennifer, Fay and Eliza packed the field occupying 7, 8, 9 and 10 and Rachel finished off a great team performance in typically gutsy fashion. Gold will do very nicely. Excellent work, ladies!

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Repeating things in the senior women’s 6400m was always going to be a challenge on account of Charlotte going solo. In a tough field, she put in a great shift to came through 23rd in a time of 25.33.

On to the men, and three u20s were given the task of doubling the gold tally. Happily they’re all fast. Euan’s early gap grew all the way to the line, covering the 8000m in a stunning 26.19. Lawler followed up in fourth in 27.40 and Sacha made a strong return from injury to ninth in 28.31. Another individual and team gold in the bag, and no runners to spare. Winning and winning efficiently. I saw Callum Symmons having a little cry in the treeline afterwards because he wasn’t wearing green.

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Without juniors to call upon, injuries, and the fact that our exams actually matter, the senior men weren’t quite as thin as the ladies, but still thin. Scott didn’t help by choosing this weekend to have a fling with his old lover, Falkirk. So a depleted line up for the 9600m, but there was some good news. Unlike the Daily Mail, we don’t exercise disturbing contempt against newcomers to our community. Since Mike’s arrival to these northern shores, he’s brought top chat to training and top results to races, only advancing the argument that we should embrace the benefits brought by those seeking a better life among us. He ran a cracking race to eighth in 32.11, just edged out by morally-terrible Scott. Jimmy Dunn took 22, Sam Woods 30 and JT and his thuggish new look took 41. Further back, Matty was relieved not to get a response from Purkis as he retook with half a lap to go. Calum came home next before Lusko was able to sneak away from Bryson, as a fierce rivalry was rekindled in the wake of loads of injuries.

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And with that, the Haries’ racing is over for 2015. I count that to be shouting ‘Harieeeees’ 24 times, 10 team titles to our name and a mantelpiece teeming with silverware on Dalkeith Road. Congratulations Haries on a fantastic semester of racing, and there’s plenty more to come. 2016 kicks off with an East League fixture in Broxburn. See you there!

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