The day we had been waiting for. It was finally here. 8000m worth of tape, countless course recces, many BUCs prep runs on a Wednesday, many a wristband sold and many a stressed Gregor!
The sun was out, and the runners started to arrive. The Men’s B-race got the day off to a hot start, particularly for Dan Ashwood who, sporting Tartan leggings, did a ‘banter start’ and led the race for the first 500m, much to the delight of the fans. Hundreds of Haries, new and old, took on the 8km course round Holyrood Park, and the first man home was Harie Alumni Ben Cole, who finished in 8th place in 26.58. Mike Crawley finished 28th overall in 27.42 – placing Ben and Mike first and second in the alumni race. Ex-captain Alex Leutchford was 114th in just over 29 minutes.
Callum Tharme was first current Harie home, he finished in 42nd place in exactly 28 minutes, but was slightly disappointed with his run. The brains behind this whole escapade, Gregor Malcolm, finished in 58th place, just 17 seconds back from Callum – this was pretty impressive considering Gregor was at the course till 8pm the night before and there again at 7am the morning of the race – massive kudos and thanks to Gregor for all his hard work over the past year! Triathlete Nick Allen was next home, finishing in 65th position in 28.34. Next up we had three orienteers all finish within 15 seconds of each other, with Max Bloor, David Bunn and Boyan Ivandjikov in 66th, 71st and 75th place. Joe Battershill was next over the line in 79th place, 3 places lower than last year, he surprised not only himself but lots of the other haries with his run! Joe and his course-mate, Lewis Khan had a good battle, with Lewis finishing just behind in 84th place just four seconds back. Ali Thomas was next home, cracking the top 100, finishing in 96th place. Dan Stansfield, despite a slight banter start also, finished in 103rd place. Captain AJ was next up in 105th place, with Fraser Roach making a solid return from injury with a 119th place finish. Josh Liddle was next Harie home, finishing one second behind Fraser in 29.23. Alex Bell showed fine shape finishing in 145th position in just under 30 minutes, managing to hold it together well after a fast start! The boys team finished in 13th place.
Noah Howlett made his Haries debut but struggled with DOMS after doing a big gym session the day before but finished in 167th place. Alasdair Bisset was next up, finishing in 171st place, running the 8km course in 30.13. Pedley swapped maps for cross country once again, finishing in 183rd place. Triathlete Ollie Teenan was next up, finishing in 186th place. Robbie Peal made a return to running, after only running twice in January, and ran well finishing in 187th spot. Tom Bonnor, Dan Smith and Tom Corlett all finished in close proximity to each other, with Ben Murphy, Ifan Oldfield and Jackson Woodruff not far behind.
Alvaro Garrido Perez was the next Harie home, finishing in 31.29. John Macleod and Rian Cook were next home in 274th and 299th place. Andrew Carrick put in another solid performance, finishing in 307th place, as his consistent cross-country season continues. Dan Ashwood slowed slightly after his 500m of fame at the start, finishing in 324th place. Aiden Horner was next up finishing in 33.10 for 349th place. Tucker Owens had another fancy dress costume on the go today, thankfully for everyone it was duck pyjama bottoms, which covered a lot more than his Isle of Man outfit did – he broke the top 400, finishing in 397th place. Orienteer Matthew Fellbaum finished in 401st place, just one second back from Tucker. Harry McCaughey, Ben Orton and Ben Dorin battled all the way round the course, finishing in 411th, 412th and 414th place. Samy Zebda was next up, finishing in 422nd place. Calum McLeod finished in 35.27 and in 458th place and made another batch of cracking chocolate brownies for after the race! Angus Pope, Billy Franks and Matthew Pender rounded it off for the Haries in the B race.
Next up was the women’s B-race, first home was Amy Frankland finishing in 8th position overall and first place in the Alumni race – green still suits you best Franko! Cat Graves finished in 19th place in 23.45, which is great to see after a long struggle with injury. Katie Lowery took the mud and water jumps in her stride, finishing in 26th place in just over 24 minutes. Niamh Carr was next over the line, just 15 seconds behind Katie, covering the 6.4km course in 24.23, helping the girls to a 7th place finish overall. Polly Edwards was next home and finished in 36th place, in her last BUCS as a Harie. Rhiannon Kirk continued her fine form, finishing in 48th place. Captain Lydia was next home, finishing in 74th place, smiling her way round the course in just over 25 and a half minutes. EUOC Captain Laura King was next home in 91st place and was followed closely by Katie Rourke and Carly Cameron. Rosina Graham was next across the line, in 102nd place. Alex Kiltie wasn’t far behind, she finished in 110th place, which is very impressive, especially considering she ran with bronchitis! Abi Plowman swapped mountains for cross country, finishing in 132nd place in just under 27 minutes. Alexia Preston, who is here from America for the semester, got to experience BUCs, and finished in 137th place. Sally Stewart wasn’t far behind finishing in 139th place, and Niamh Hunter finished in 141st place.
Georgia Freeman-Mills finished in 149th place in 27.16 and orienteer Mairi Eades finished just two places and one second back. Josephine Edmunds made the trip back from her year abroad to run and finished in 157th place. Eliza Cottington was next up in 159th place. Arianne Holland finished in 165th place and Helen Ockenden was following closly in 185th place. Tara Chintapatla cracked the top 200 nicely, finishing in 197th place. Meera Al Omrani, Roanne Lilley and Marine Soudais finished in 223rd, 235th and 244th place, and were all within 21 seconds of each other. Louise Adams was next to cross the line in 282nd place and Freya Shepherd made her Haries debut finishing in 326th place! Sophie Jacobs was next up finishing in 332nd place, in just over 30 minutes. Edinburgh local girl, Caitlin Beagan, was next up in 343rd place and Marina Abello was just 12 seconds behind her. Tara Kursinsky, Naomi Duran, Andrea Fehrman and Lucy Haines rounded it off in the B race for the Women.
The next race was the Woman’s A race, who were racing the same course as the Men’s B – 8km. The race got off to a quick start, with Danish runner Anna Moller taking a commanding lead, making it fast from the start. The course was getting very muddy now, so that certainly added another element of challenge for the girls. Quick shout out the Edinburgh AC athlete Eloise Walker, who, running for Glasgow Uni, finished in 8thplace, in her first ever BUCs and qualified for the GB team at World Universities cross country! Holly Page was first Harie home, finishing in 18th place, almost matching her 17th place last year, but arguably in a stronger field this year – as well as outkicking her clubmate from back home! Harie but not Harie Holly Little finished in 27th place, covering the course in 31.52. Zoe Pflug was left disappointed after a tough run, but still finished in 34th place, again almost matching her placing from last year. Rebecca Johnson finished in 51st place in just under 33 minutes. Ella Revitt rounded off the girls A team, after a last-minute call up due to Constance Nankivell sadly picking up an illness. Ella did great finishing in 80th spot, after an injury-stricken winter. These performances gave the girls a 10th place finish overall!
The last race of the day was the Men’s A race, which was set up to be a cracker. It was now ridiculously muddy, but the boys were ready for battle. Sasha Chepelin took the race on from the start, putting in a 20m gap to the rest of the field after about 500m, which got the fans going. Sadly, Elisha de Mello wasn’t quite fully healthy after struggling with illness, and dropped out.
Jack Leitch continued his unreal cross country form this season, finishing in 12th place, covering the 10k course in just over 33 minutes. This performance has put him first reserve for the GB team at World Universities cross country. Sasha didn’t quite manage to hold onto his lead but he did run well, finishing in 24th place just over 30 seconds behind Jack. Mudskipper Alex Muir continued his fine form, finishing in 37th place in 34.20, another class and consistent performance from the PHD student. Eddie Narbett struggled from 2k to 8k, but managed to get a second wind, which helped him catch Alex Carcas, setting up for a delightful sprint finish. The results say Eddie came out on top, but Alex, Eddie and all of the spectators beg to differ! They finished in 59th and 60th place in 35.01. This helped the guys to a 5th place team finish, improving upon their 8th place finish in 2019.