This Saturday, I missed the fun part of these cross-country excursions which is meeting at Waverley and queuing for the ticket machines as a team.
I was in an exam hall until 11:30 debating whether I should go to Livingston instead of concentrating on the paper in front of me. The exam didn’t go too well so I thought I’d cheer myself up with some East District cross country action.
Arriving at the course behind Deans Community High school; I caught the tail end of the U20 women’s race and Naomi Lang striding down the hill to claim an East District bronze medal for Aberdeen. This still doesn’t make it ok to wear an Aberdeen vest. Jennie Glass was first counter for the Haries in 12th followed by Rhiannon Kirk and Carolyn Cameron in 14th and 16th respectively. It was so cold, Carolyn had to get her Dad to take the pins off her vest. Thanks for the pins by the way. Arianne Holland, our newly elected freshers rep was also running but disappointingly had to pull out due to illness. Disappointing as she’s in my fantasy league team.
When I arrived at the Haries tent, Oskar exclaimed that I was “a legend” for hopping on a train to Livingstone post exam. However, I was unworthy of such legendary status as I threw in the towel after just one lap. I was very much a loser.
In the same race, Alex Carcas dominated from the gun to take his second East District cross country title. Jack Leitch, touching cloth for the duration of the race finished in an impressive 4th despite the odds stacked up inside him. Oskar Fraser Krauss was third counter for the U20 men who took team gold on the day. Not satisfied with his race, Oskar and the rest of his team followed it up with a supplementary session. Solid effort ladz. In a rare cross-country appearance, orienteer Mathew Fellbaum took 16th in a stacked field.
The terrain was still solid with no churned-up mud in sight by the time the senior races came around. The firm ‘racing track’ seemed to suit the talents of Steph Pennycook as she took a convincing win-her first in the senior women’s category. Sophie Collins was next Harie home in 14th. Eliza Cottington, Kirstin Bamford, Alexandra Morgan and Eilidh Macquarrie all enjoyed their race while Christine Irvine, known for her aptitude with puns, commented that it was “hard for several reasons”. Not quite the witty retort I was hoping for when I asked the pun queen herself for a quote.
Sasha Chepelin suffering from no post exam trauma, scored me a healthy number of fantasy league points as he finished in 14th. His flatmate Ewan Davidson, on similar flying form grabbed a tantalising top 20 finish. A prominent showing from EUOC at these champs saw Alistair Masson and Tim Morgan both running strongly. The orienteers did well considering the course was more like a “road race” according to Sasha.
I discovered another of Captain Ben’s admirable traits at Livingston: He doesn’t give up like I do. I watched him jog over to the start line; in the holds of a cold, sounding as if he was about to breathe his final breath. He used the little oxygen he had left in his lungs to complete the three laps in sub-zero temperatures. Nice one Ben! Simon Mclaren continued to prove his worth on the individual league table and showed growing aptitude for cross country.
It’s worth mentioning Mhairi Maclennan’s amazing run in more foreign but no less chilly Samorin In Bulgaria at the Euro Cross. Mhairi on her debut for the GB team won a gold team medal in the U23 race. Crazy and inspirational stuff. Congrats.