As the last day of 2016 comes to an end, no one will be able to deny that the first semester of the Harie’s racing calendar was defined by two things: medals and misunderstandings. From the beginning of Fresher’s week right up to exam season, the enthusiasm from all our members never ceased. We have seen many new faces join our ranks this term, showing commitment to rival even the most seasoned Harie. The socials have been excellent, and we’re not too bad at this running lark either. Here is a look back at the last four months of racing:
The season began with the East District XC Relays, held in Livingston on Saturday, 8th October. (This was my favourite race, simply because the consequences of our “disqualification” gave me several weeks of headaches and allowed me to make my first official statement as Publicity Sec – just the sort of drama I get my kicks from.) The race itself was a team affair, something the Haries are particularly good at. After a nailbiting competition, our team made up of Steph Pennycook, Louise Mercer and Catriona Graves came second! For the men’s race, the team comprising of Elisha de Mello, Callum Symmons, Andrew Lawler and and James Dunn came third/second depending on who you talk to. A special congratulations to Euan Gillham, Logan Rees, Scott Stirling and Michael Christoforou,
for not racing, not coming first, and not being the victims of envy and bureaucracy. What was wonderful about this race was the amount of freshers who turned up to represent us in green vests. The future of the club is in safe hands.
On Saturday, 22nd October, the Haries set out once again to break records (although this time without dispute) at the Scottish XC Relay Championships. Our women put in outstanding performances, illustrated by the team made up of Lydia Blythe, Sophie Collins, Rhiannon Kirk, and Sarah Douglas finishing in an excellent 15th place. Steph, Catriona, and Louise continued their success along with Mhairi Maclennan by coming 1st! Almost as if they had something to prove, the men’s team comprising of Scott, Logan, and Euan came second having acquired the slightly less controversial Andrew Lawler into their ranks. These results were certainly one of the highlights of the semester.
There were also some good results from the National Short Course XC Championships, where Steph, Catriona, Sarah, and Eve MacKinnon ran their team to 5th place!
Up next was Braids XC Hill Race. If you were not in attendance, then quite frankly you didn’t really live this semester. Some notable performances came from the likes of Alexander Chepelin and Craig Campbell, who finished 12th and 15th respectively in the 10km. As a new member of the club, Anna Vesaluoma took on the harder distance and it was fantastic to see the familiar faces of James Bryson and Sarah Henderson tackling the hill – twice! Brown looks fetching on both of them. Andrew Lawler came 2nd in the 5km, while Eilidh MacQuarrie completed the race in under 26 minutes despite sustaining a nasty leg injury, and Linette Knudsen, this year’s ‘Hariest Harie’, traveled from Denmark just to take part. The hardest part of Braids isn’t the mud or the hills, but rather trying to condense all of the fantastic running into one concise report. The effort that everyone put in cannot be overstated.
Only a week later, on the 19th November, it was the our turn to host the Scottish University Cross Country Championships. In something that Captain Alex described as ‘textbook domination’, the Haries won gold in both the Men’s Team and Women’s Team categories. Logan Rees placed 1st for the men, and Catriona Graves took 2nd for the women. Newcomer to the Hare and Hounds Alex Carcas placed 3rd for the chaps, proving to be another fine addition to our club. There were dozens of exceptional performances, almost too many to state. So I won’t. But I will tell you that it was recently announced that 14 Haries were chosen to represent Scottish students in the Inter-Districts teams out of a total of only 24 athletes. Hot dayum. Thank you, once again, to Sophie Collins for organising both Braids and Scots Unis – flawlessly.
To see the full results of all the races or relive the cracking reporting from across the semester, click here. Once again, we are indebted to everyone who makes the Hare and Hounds possible – our coaches, the people behind the scenes, the minibus drivers, and everyone who actually pays the membership fee.
There are some exciting races to look forward to in the new year, like the rescheduled Glasgow 5 Mile, BUCS, Isle of Man, KB5, and Dumyat. There are others that are less great, like Broxburn, but that’s just a personal grudge. So strap on those running shoes, sync your Garmin and get ready for #newyearnewme.