The stage was set for another epic edition of our very own race, Braid Hills Cross Country. Massive shout out to Abi Plowman, race organiser, who did a fantastic job, and thanks also to the marshals and committee members who helped out on the day.
It was a nice, crisp day, the classic route was slightly muddy and slippy underfoot, but nothing a good pair of trail shoes couldn’t handle. The 5k got underway, with 233 runners finishing the race. It was lead home by George Grassly, of Durham University, in sixteen minutes and ten seconds. It was an extremely tight battle for medals, with Tom Berry (Dundee Uni) and Sam Sommerville (Sheffield Uni) both crossing the line at the exact same time, just two seconds behind the Grassly. On the female side, Helen Thornhill, of Leeds University, lead the way finishing in just under eighteen and a half minutes. She was followed closely by ex-harie Amy Frankland and Juliet Downs (Sheffield Uni) was third in just over nineteen minutes.
On the haries side, there was a tasty battle for first fresher boy home, Robert Sparks (he may have had a funny coloured vest on) came out on top, finishing 5th in 16.36, beating Josh Liddle who finished 3 seconds later. Fourth year Ruaridh Mon-Williams made his injury comeback, finishing in 17.19 and 16th place. Andrew Lawler, of De Mello AAC, finished 18th in just under seventeen and a half minutes. Ifan Oldfield finished just two seconds behind Lawler. Matt Leitch finished in 23rd place in 17.54. Matthew Scholescrossed the line in 33rd position. Robert, Josh, Ruaridh and Ifan contributed to the haries finishing 2nd team.
Rona Tytler was first Harie girl home, finishing 49th overall and 5th female in 19.16. Ella Rivett made her injury comeback, finishing just over 20 seconds behind Rona. Polly Edwards came home just three seconds behind Ella. Carly Cameron was fourth Harie’s counter, helping the girls to victory in the team compeition.
Orienteer Niamh Hunter completed the 5k course in just over 20 minutes finishing in 63rd place. Captain Lydia had a big battle with her Dad, Colin, getting the better of him by 5 seconds! Josephine Edmunds made the trip back from France (or Spain… not sure cuz she blocked me on insta lol) to race Braids, finishing in 21.22. Mairi Eades and Helen Ockenden weren’t far behind, squeezing in the top 100. Elizia Cottington crossed the line in 114th place. Mhairi Wallace finished in 124th spot and was followed closely by Emma Hield and Caitlin Beagan. Joy Archer was next up finishing in 170th position, breaking the 25-minute barrier. Tara Kursinsky’s Wednesday Haries Gym sessions are clearly paying off, helping her to a 178th place finish. Yasmin Hitchin broke the 30-minute barrier finishing in 225thplace.
The 10k had one of the most stacked fields ever, with defending champion, GB International runner and orienteer Kris Jones, completing the course in 29.58, sliding under the 30-minute barrier for the second year in a row. National XC Medallist and St Andrews Uni student Kevin Wood finished second, just over 90 seconds behind. Ewan Brown of Corstrophine rounded off the podium finishing in just over 32 minutes. On the female side, Jemima Elgood (Leeds Uni) took the gold medal in the female race, finishing in just over 36 minutes. Jill Stephen (HBT) – a regular on the Scottish running scene – was second female just over a minute back. The podium was completed by Hannah Stroud (Manchester Uni).
Finn Lydon (Harie but not really a Harie) finished in 5th place. Elisha de Mello crossed the line just seven seconds behind Finn. Eddie Narbett finished in 9th, with Ali Masson and Max Bloor not far behind. Tam Wilson was next harie home in 21st spot, just a second ahead of Cameron Young. Fresher orienteer David Bunn had a great run, completing the course in less than 35 minutes. Thomas Otton was next back missing out on sub 35 by just 5 seconds. Elisha, Eddie, Max and Tam were the four counters helping the lads take home the team prize.
There was some more Instagram @marchmontmandem hype for the battle between Pedley and Dan Smith.Pedley took the win… just like the fans predicted, beating Dan by 23 seconds. Dan Ashwood also wasn’t far behind, running 35.59. Nick Bennet finished in 54th spot in 36.16. Joe Battershill shins held up, and he “jogged” round in 37.22. Jackson Woodruff combined the 10k with his long run for the week and finished in 102nd place.
Catriona Graves was next Harie home, finishing in 105th position and an agonising one spot off the female podium. Andrew Carrick was next home, with Calum McLeod not far behind. Ben Orton finished in 134thplace, in 41.23 and was followed closely by popular fantasy league pick Aiden Horner.
Rosie Wright finished in 154th and 14th female and last year’s race director Arianne Holland finished in just over 45 minutes and in 176th place. Joshua Fogg was next home in 189th and was closely followed by Louise Adams and Nicholas Canny. Catriona, Rosie, Arianne and Louise finished second team on the day.
Thanks again to everyone who made the visit to Edinburgh to race, see you all next year!