Semester One Highlights | Sep-Dec 2016

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:

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The Captains Amy and Alex show their team pride at the East District XC Relays

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 GillhamLogan 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.

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Mhairi Maclennan doing what she does best at the Scottish XC Relay Championships

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!

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The start of the 5km race at Braids XC.

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.

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Alex Luetchford running so fast at Scots Unis that his hands turned orange

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.

Stay groovy.

Alice xoxo

Scottish University Cross Country Championships: Home Turf Domination

For full results click here.

On Saturday 19th November 2016, Scotland’s finest student cross country runners took to the hills of Craigmillar Castle Park on the Hare and Hound’s home turf of Edinburgh, to compete in a grueling race for the national titles. The route, pieced together by Sophie Collins and James Dunn, had no mercy, incorporating some steep inclines, sheer descents and twists and turns through the woods – the epitome of a proper cross country course. Technical, challenging, but hugely enjoyable both for spectators and competitors.

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Not only an organisational success (nice one Sophie), the race yielded some of the most outstanding performances by those in green. For the women’s race at midday, Catriona Graves, recently having received a call up to represent Scotland, placed second. Eve Mackinnon followed swiftly behind to take bronze. A wave of Haries tailed the leaders, with Sophie Collins producing a fantastic run to finish 4th, and Amy Frankland also running like the wind to take 8th. A tight final sprint for the line between three runners saw Sarah Douglas finish 12th, and fresher Rhiannon Kirk ran a storm placing 18th. All the athletes reaping the rewards of dedicated training and hard work.

For the men’s race, a field awash with green vests also proved that the Haries dominate Scottish student cross country. Logan Rees, another athlete who represents Scotland, took gold in his stride, running tactfully so that his positioning was perfect for the final downhill dash for the tape. Alex Carcas took 3rd in the close battle for the medals. Next home was Alexander Chepelin placing 7th, Jack Leitch in 8th and Craig Campbell in 10th. James Dunn, flourishing on his home-made course finished 14th, with Cameron Young in hot pursuit placing 15th.15094235_10211099915354663_3805350057641015368_n

Overall the Haries won gold in both the Men’s Team and Women’s Team catergories. Out of a field of 60 in both races, the Haries held the court (or mud and hills). ‘Textbook domination’, as described by men’s captain Alex Luetchford. Both the men and women won the team prizes, and therefore the overall title, setting the tone for the remaining races of season, and making a very strong green mark on the university cross country scene – BUCS, here we come!

Lots of celebration pursued that evening, medals and trophies galore. It doesn’t stop there though. Monday night still saw everyone out at DVC, battling the Baltic winds, and proving why the Haries are reigning cross country kings and queens. Next up is the East District League which will see plenty of green vests travel up to Aberdeen on 3rd December to run (pretty fast) and compete for the regional titles.

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However, until then, we wish the Haries heading down to Liverpool for the European Trials this weekend the best of luck.

 

Written by Lydia Blythe

Braids XC Race 2016: Conquer the Hill

Full results: 5km / 10km

On Saturday 12th November, hundreds of runners from across the UK descended (then ascended and descended again) on the Braids Hills for our annual cross country race. Records were broken, cake was consumed, many injuries were sustained – and not just from racing. Braids is a highlight of the racing calendar for many reasons, fuelling expectations for newbies and veterans alike. 2016 did not disappoint. Amazing performances insured there was drama on the course, and boat racing at the after-party guaranteed it continued well into the early hours.

From the views overlooking Edinburgh to the energetic ceilidh dancing, it’s no wonder running clubs traveled from cities far and wide. From distant lands such as Swansea, Leeds, and Manchester, to slightly closer locations like St Andrews, Newcastle, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, the starting line was a rainbow of running vests as they prepared to conquer the course.

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The 5k race began at 13:30, and there was still a satisfactory amount of mud despite the better than expected weather. There were some excellent performances from HBT in both races, a fact encapsulated by Tom Martyn, who came 1st in 15:43. He barely had time to catch his breath before leaping straight into the 10k race too (and coming 14th) – an extra well done to everyone who took on the extra challenge of running twice! Representing the Hare and Hounds, Andrew Lawler came second place with a fantastic time of 15:58, closely followed by Rory Stead of Aberdeen University in 16:13. Amelia Pettitt, representing Newcastle University, was the first woman across the line in a time of 17:46, and close behind her was our own Georgia Tindley in 18:20, with Beth Garland of Leeds University completing the women’s top three in a time of 18:46.
14963257_1301328033244913_6492207824390677747_nThere were countless notable performances from the Hare and Hounds and HBT. Michael Diver ran two exceptional races, coming 14th in the 5k before running a sub-40 minute time in the 10k. Calum Murray finished in 17:39, putting him in an impressive 17th place.  Eilidh MacQuarrie completed the race in under 26 minutes despite sustaining a nasty leg injury, and Linette Knudsen traveled all the way from #Norway (the capital of Denmark, didn’t you know) and ran in more green clothing than we all considered possible.

In a category all of his own, I’m told that our own James Jarvis ran his 100th Parkrun that morning, before running both Braids races in 20:11 and 42:48 consecutively. Bloody hell.
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Braids history was made during the 10k race, which kicked off at 14:15 as the temperature began to dip*. Kristian Jones of Swansea Harriers AC smashed the course record in a time of 30:26, which is fast for a flat 10k, never mind a muddy XC. There was almost a minute gap between him and Grant Sheldon, who ran an excellent time of 31:18 for Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers. Rounding out the top three was Marc Austin, representing Victoria Park, who completed the race in 31:38.

In fourth place was Michael Christoforou, unfortunately not in a green vest, but in an time of 31:44. Running for Central AC, Fanni Gyurko was the first woman, completing the course in 36:31. Not far behind her was Lucy Crookes of the University of Leeds, in 37:15, and also managing a sub-40 minute time was the incredible Georgia Tindley, placing third woman.

*At least it did for me on the top of the hill. Three hours and 700 calories of nuts later, I just about retained all my limbs.

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The top twenty was not without its green. Scott Stirling, anticipating that the 13+ people in front of him in the first lap went off too fast, held his nerve and finished in an excellent 7th place with a time of 32:02. Less good at pacing, but brilliant at wearing kilts, Alexander Chepelin finished 12th in 32:50. Craig Campbell completed the course 32 seconds later, managing a fantastic 15th place.

Another performance worthy of note came from Alex Luetchford, who came 31st in 36:01. It is clear that hill races are his favourite #hillreps. As a new member of the club, Anna Vesaluoma took on the harder distance and finished in under 47 minutes – exactly the kind of masochism we encourage in the Haries. Happy birthday to our dearest Calum McLeod. 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.

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Thank you to everyone to ran, marshaled, and supported this year’s race. I cannot convey how grateful we are for the continued success of this event and its high regard amongst University clubs and local runners alike. A massive congratulations to Sophie Collins for organising the race. We’re in safe hands for hosting Scots Unis on the 19th.

This was an attempt at a brief report. Apologies for not mentioning every result – there were just too many keen Haries and HBT runners. You can find full results for both races at the beginning of the post and lots of other photos on our Instagram (@eu_hareandhounds) and on our Facebook page. I will post a table of Haries results shortly (i.e as soon as my essay deadline is over.)

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A personal thank you to Sarah Douglas and Jonas Muller for running with the Go Pros for me. Your contribution to the end of year video is truly appreciated!

Braids 2015 was my first Haries event – the beginning of a crazy, green love affair. I hope some of our ‘Freshers’ (Sanni, Katie, Ciara, to name but a few) are ready for the next 2-4+ years of mud and cake. Not necessarily in that order.

See you all for Scots Unis! Alice xo

 

Photo credit: Kevin Brydon, Nairn McWilliams, and, uh, me!

National Short Course XC Championships

Written by Alex Luetchford

After a brief tarmac-based respite last week at the Allan Scally Road Relays, this Saturday saw the Haries’ cross country season continue – although this was possibly the least ‘cross country’ cross country course yet. The National Short Course XC Championships took place around some pancake flat rugby pitches that were relatively firm underfoot. It almost made Manchester Relays seems exciting (at least that has a very slight hill).

However, running 4km in these conditions meant the race was blisteringly fast and very competitive, with much of the race consisting of jostling for position with thick packs of runner. The Hare and Hounds performed admirably with some excellent results. Amazingly, the same was true of our club tent which, despite missing a pole, held itself together in the strong winds. As such, the race tested both the Haries’ speed and DofE skills – and we succeeded in both.

The women were off first, and the race was made even more exciting by the presence of Olympian Laura Muir. Our own Steph Pennycook came a very impressive 5th place in a time of 14:13. followed up by Catriona Graves in 14:59 (23rd). Eve MacKinnon and Sarah Douglas completed the women’s A team, running 15:41 and 15:55 respectively. Their collective efforts meant the Haries women were the 5th team overall. Needless to say, Muir dominated the field, but after the huge 40 second gap she created, the rest of the race was much closer.

The rest of the women also ran well. Rhiannon Kirk ran 16:29, joined by Lydia Blythe in 16:55, Rosie Wright in 17:47, and Christine Irvine in 18:14. Next was Lise Theron (18:33), Katie Hall (19:11), and Georgia Freeman-Mills (19:22). Rachel Stewart  finished in 21:35, looking sassy as always.*

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With over 360 runners on the start line, the Men’s race was was densely packed and very competitive. Much of the race was spent fighting through crowds In an exciting battle for first place, ex-Harie Captain Ben Stevenson powered through to win gold, in 12:05! Scott Stirling came through just 14 seconds later in 5th place. He was closely followed by Mike Christoforou (gone but never forgotten) in 12:27, wearing white vest that looked suspiciously like it belonged to an Edinburgh AC athlete. Also running in non-green vests (grrrrr…) were Logan Rees and Euan Gillham, who were 3rd and 4th U20, and each ran 12:33 and 12:37 respectively. The second Harie to cross the line in the correct vest was Andrew Lawler, in 12:55. Callum Symmons came in swiftly after, in 13:00 dead, and Alexander Chepelin completed our Men’s A team in 13:04, meaning that the men placed 4th overall! The Harie lads continued to finish thick and fast, with Alex Carcas (13:12), Cameron Young (13:15), Ewan Davidson (13:21) and Jack Leitch (13:26) all running exceptionally. Myself and Ben Remnant rounded off the men by each running 14:09 and 14:31. Sadly Tom Otton had to drop out mid-race due to back pain – get well soon!

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All-in-all it was a solid racing performance from the Haries. Although there was a disappointing lack of medals, Tesco has roast chicken from the hot deli reduced to £1, as well as 40 donuts for the same price – so I think it’s fair to say everyone in the minibus left feeling content. Tip-top running from everyone!

*But not as sassy as I did wearing her vest – the continuing vest-shortage saga meant that an unorthodox vest-swap had to take place as soon as she crossed the line, and I sprinted over to the Men’s start feeling tight for both time and lung capacity.

Edinburgh University Win First Ever National Relay Title

Written by the fabulous Amy Bristow

On a mild, autumnal day in the scenic town of Cumbernauld, history was made for the Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds. A group of strapping young Haries survived a train ride to Croy, and Rachy Stew eventually found somewhere to park her car. The tent made it out of the bag, and by some miracle also made it back in at the end of the day. Good work all round.

The tent was pitched, if a little lopsidedly, by some helpful men, whilst the ladies began to warm up for their race: for the first time this year, the women’s teams were also made up of four counters, matching the usual format of the men’s race. The 4k course was undulating, though less undulating than James Dunn would have led us to believe with his fear-mongering pre-race chat, and boggy enough that my spikes were full of water after about 1km. What a great sport running is…

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The women’s race set off at 13:20, and the Haries A team dominated from start to finish. After an incredibly-timed final kick from first-leg runner Steph Pennycook, which saw her bring the team home in first place, the Haries’ lead was never rescinded.  Second-leg runner Catriona Graves put in a stormer of a run to hold the team comfortably in first, before handing over to the ever-reliable Louise Mercer on the third leg, who made sure that the lead was in no doubt when Mhairi Maclennan set off as the fourth and final runner. Despite the attempts of the race commentator to try and panic us that Mhairi was being caught by the Gala Harriers and Central teams behind her, this proved to be, quite frankly, untrue: Mhairi held strong and fast to bring the team home for a truly dominant victory in a cumulative time of 56:28. As the title of this report suggests, they won the University’s first ever national relay title! Many congratulations girls, we’re all very proud, and the result is a great reflection of your hard work as a team both in training and on race days.14693720_910012442465917_812438599281672192_n

Whilst our A team of course deserve ample praise for an outstanding result, the Haries in fact had three and a quarter women’s teams who completed the course: another amazing example of our strength and depth. The B team was made up of freshers Lydia Blythe and Rhiannon Kirk, who were accompanied by the friendly faces of Sophie Collins and Sarah Douglas, who has finally stopped running in that terrible pink and purple vest… Together they put in some gutsy runs and climbed up the standings runner-by-runner: Sophie put in a particularly quick run as she continued her recent good form. The team ultimately finished a very respectable 15th place, with a team time of 1:04:22. Our C team on the day consisted of Iona Evans, Rosie Smith, Amy Bristow and Leda Olia, running in that order. Despite ‘not feeling too good’, Iona ran a cracking first leg, and Rosie put in a similarly good time, before unfortunately handing over to myself on the 3rd leg. I tried really hard though, and Leda rounded us off for a 25th place finish in a time of 1:10:04. Due to some last minute drop outs our D team consisted solely Rachel Stewart, who quite frankly has enough sass and good-looks to carry a whole team. Due to a cock-up both by the committee people in charge of entries and Scottish Athletics (but almost 90% our fault) Rachel’s run wasn’t able to be timed. However, let it be known that it was fab.

After the excitement of the ladies’ race was over, we turned our attention to the men’s race. There were some world-class names in the men’s field, such as Falkirk’s Ben Stevenson. He gave me his autograph. In a repeat of the successful, if controversial, East District Relay victory, Scott Stirling was off first for the Men’s A Team. He held his own in a field that included some really top runners, to bring the team home in 5th place. However, the Haries had four star runners where other teams only had one, which would come to prove the deciding factor over the course of the race. Logan Rees took over from Scotty and immediately stormed past some of the now-weakened teams to move up into second place, which is where the Haries remained throughout. Logan handed over to Andrew Lawler, who has been making quite a comeback to racing recently: second place was held comfortably, and the ever-relaxed-looking Euan Gillham took over to bring the team home in a team time of 48:43. Although some tanned Olympic-boy was too far ahead to catch, Aberdeen were left languishing in third place, and  the men’s team were safe in the knowledge that their success was valid and by-the-book, even if they forgot to run in their Stormzy masks #Justice4Mike. Before this weekend, the Haries had never medalled at the National Relay championships, so to come home with a gold AND a silver medal is really something to be immensely proud of. Also I think it’s worth mentioning that we are of course a University team, and so for both our women’s and men’s teams to be beating runners with up to 20 years more experience in the sport is incredible, and points to bright futures for all!

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No rule breaking the day

Once again, though, the men’s B  were out to prove that group training makes for many a strong runner, finishing in a great 12th place out of a field of 68 teams. Fresher Cameron Young, now recovered from an injury that kept him out of the ED Relays, led the team out, before handing over to Thomas Otton, fresh from last weekend’s Fell Relays. On the third leg was our favourite ‘Mr. Miles’ Jimmy Dunn, before the team was completed by Alex Muir for a cumulative time of 51:31.

Overall it was an incredibly successful day out for everyone’s favourite team in green, glittery green faces were enjoyed by many, and the Garscube Harriers charity bake sale was really greatly appreciated. Until the next time we run around a muddy field for fun – be true to your green selves.

Lots of Love, Amy.

Full results below:

http://jscms.scottish-athletics.co.uk/media/fixtures/19090-1477154429/teamresults-scottishxcrelaychampionships(seniorwomen).pdf

http://jscms.scottish-athletics.co.uk/media/fixtures/19090-1477154515/teamresults-scottishxcrelaychampionships(seniormen).pdf

East District XC Relays 2016: The Haries Make History

 The last time our men won the District Relays was in 1967.

When you combine a summer of training* with the enthusiasm of runners, both new and experienced, the conditions are just right for Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds to smash one of our own cross country records in our first official race of the year. Arguably the greatest aspect of running is its ability to transcend the boundaries of both team sport and solo performance. It tests our personal endurance and determination while also being a social activity. This balance could not be more apparent than in the East District XC Relays.

Held in Livingston on Saturday, 8th October, the races were the perfect way to kick off the highly anticipated cross country season. We quickly discovered that the Haries are happy to run for medals, but less interested in running to catch trains. Our social secretary Ben described the course as “exceptionally pretty” under the soft autumnal sunshine. Poetry. There was the usual gender segregation – women running in the first race and men in the second – but what made the event especially interesting was the relay aspect. So often our runners compete alone, and this gave the Haries the perfect showcase for our strong team work. You need only to look to the fact that most Haries are dating eachother to see how well we work together.

 

Our women were up first. A strong force of seven teams, made up of three people running separate legs of the 4km race,  readied themselves at the start line. It was fantasic to see so many new members taking part: Alex Tendler and Anna Vesaluoma joined forces to both run sub-18 minutes times respectively, and Josie Lewis teamed up with Eve Sealy and Eilidh MacQuarrie (who was awarded Harie of the Week for her performance on the day) to add another brilliant run to the club’s results. More fresh talent came from Ciara Newell, who ran an excellent combined effort with club regulars Leda Olia and Rosie Wright – who was also a member of a team with Eleanor Moccatta and Christine Irvine! That’s dedication to the cause.

The Amy dream team, made up of Captain Frankland and Treasurer Bristow, took the course by storm. Iona Evans, Lise Theron, and another fresh-face Helen Jones made up one of three teams to get into the top twenty with a combined time of 52:48. Coming in 11th place was Sophie Collins, Sarah Douglas and Katie Hall in an incredible 49:14. And finally, after a nailbiting race in which the fierce competition didn’t allow anyone to relax for 43 minutes and 2 seconds, our team made up of Steph Pennycook, Louise Mercer and Catriona Graves came an incredible second place! A result to be proud of.

14612367_1772103536397032_8185066498196567164_oAfter the success of our Women’s  teams, the anticipation for the Men’s race was felt across both the runners and the enthusiastic crowd. The Haries entered four teams for this race, this time made up of four runners each – although the short (but sweet) distance remained the same. With a combined time of 1:00:23 was our team made up of Jack Luscombe, Lyle Griffin, Ben Murphy, and Alex Luetchford (who was making his racing debut in those fetching Captains shorts). Cracking the top 10 ranking with the combined time of 53:37 were orienteers Ali Masson, Alexander Chepelin, and Ewan Davidson, who had been lured out of the hills to join fresher Ben Remnant to complete a fantasic race.

In a Harie record breaking moment, two of our men’s teams dominated the medal rankings: in third place was the team made up of Elisha de Mello (who isn’t on FB so no point congratulating him), Callum Symmons, Andrew Lawler and and James Dunn in a ridiculously good time of 50:44. And with a final sprint that made me almost drop my camera, Euan Gillham secured FIRST PLACE along with Logan Rees, Scott Stirling and Michael Christoforou – no matter what anyone claims. Under a sky of blue, the medal line up was a sea of green. An incredible achievement from everyone (especially me, for managing to squeeze in such an tragically obscure Beatles reference). This was the kind of quality performance that reminds everyone just what an effective team of athletes the Haries are.

Tweet of the Week

“Heads up @ScotRail, there seems to have been a signal failure on the yellow train. Alternative green line recommended.” – @EUHareHounds

Captain Amy Frankland shows us what team pride really looks like. See: polkadot socks.

After the race, we descended on Captain Amy’s flat for a decadent potluck that made several members slip into a food coma. Special shoutout to Anna’s carrot cake. Top effort.

Congratulations to everyone who took part. The racing calendar has only just begun! Stay tuned for excitement from across the country – on road or across grass, up hills or down the coast.

Stay groovy, Alice.

 

*Or in my case, crashing my bike down a ravine. Wish I’d put it on Strava, pretty sure I’d be top of that leader board.

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Dumyat! Ascent up a hill and descent into admin error…but a celebration

Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in’

– Confucius

Sadly, as I gasped for breath at the summit of Dumyat hill after 2.5 miles of running (read: run/walking), I received neither roast duck nor other tempting food stuffs. Or respite. Or water. It is debateable whether I would have felt like roast duck given the glorious sunshine and sweat inducing temperature, but a longer break may have been nice to appreciate the stunning view which Dumyat hill race is set amidst. So thank you, Confucius, for providing enlightening hill running wisdom.

Given the stunning weather, it was hard not to get excited about the prospect of racing in such unusually nice conditions. Mike Diver kindly drove a minibus to the start which avoided having to look at Stirling campus much longer than necessary, as is the case when we normally walk there from Bridge of Allan train station. Some talk of exams and their needless infliction of pain on our lives happened at some point.

Upon arrival, race numbers were collected and then a very brief ‘warm up’ consisting of a couple of strides and dreaming of sunbathing happened. Personally, even a combination of saunas, sunburn or hot yoga would not have ‘warmed up’ my legs enough for the pain of continual ascent. Franko, Iona and Alice all headed up the course to provide much needed support. I am sorry for giving you dirty looks when ‘running’ past, hills and I have a tempestuous relationship.

The start was pretty crammed and folks jostled for position amongst a narrow, gradually ascending trail. As soon as the woods cleared, the vast stunning scenery was laid bare, but so was the rest of the necessary climb. I seriously questioned my life choices at that moment.

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I lost sight of most of those running, but the men in particular ran incredibly well, gaining a fast start and holding onto it for the entire ascent and descent. Notably, ex-Harie James Waldie came second overall, an astonishing feat. A group of Harie men were soon to follow: Scott Stirling, who has had a really phenomenal season of racing, placed 7th, quickly followed by Elisha de Mello in 8th. Elisha had previously told me there “aren’t many hills in Rugby” so wasn’t sure how he would get on…Callum Smith, Will Rigg, Alex Leutchford and Andrew Lawler all followed in quick succession, placing 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th respectively. Leutch also sacrificed his hip for the cause by falling over and cutting himself, repeating last year’s self-harm through unnervingly fast descent. Jimmy Dunn and Mark Purkis swiftly followed suit, placing 19th and 27th. Mike Diver also ran very well, placing 32nd.

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Georgie Cottle then stormed it and finished as first woman, and 34th overall! All those consecutive Pentlands runs evidently make you good at running hills/very good at enduring pain. Shortly behind her were Charlotte Watson and Calum McLeod, running home to place 43rd and 44th. A general theme of Harie hill racing dominance ought to be becoming apparent by now…

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James Bryson then ran home and placed 66th. Which, by the laws of physics and physical stamina, was before Jack Luscombe…Ben Murphy also ran well, but for Strathearn Harriers, placing 68th. As future social sec, I hope more green vest wearing may happen next year, Ben…

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Katie Reynolds, running her last race for the Haries (insert sad weeping noises here) finished one place ahead of Jack: Katie in 76th place, Jack in 77th. Next through the line was Sophie Collins, who chose to spend her 20th birthday with the most amazing people, this being us lot (ok by amazing I mean sweaty, green and a bit weird for wanting to run up a hill); I’m sure she had the best time of her life ascending that hill. She respectably placed 134th. This would have ensured bragging rights for any club entry that night, surely…Eliza Cottington, who has been training hard and performing very well after a year out last year, ran home to secure 150th position.

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I came 183rd. More importantly I didn’t collapse at any point and actually completed my last Harie race. That’s good enough for me. Winning. Behind me was apparently Florence Haines; I didn’t see you at the race but I’ll trust the results (a risky strategy) and finished in a very respectable 241st. After Florence was Hazel in 249th, who rightfully pointed out that people didn’t have to cram and try and save 3 seconds when we had to cram through a narrow archway and steps. Preach. After Hazel was Jess in 285th, who bravely ran in long tights (normally it is the other way around, ‘bravely’ meaning running in shorts), as she forgot her shorts. I honestly don’t know how you didn’t melt over the course.

Post-race chat and birthday malteser cake thing was consumed, thank you Sophie! People were also very good at the catch a starburst in the mouth game, especially Franko and Scott. Hoping to see more of that talent on Harie Holiday.

We then waited for an inordinate amount of time to be told the wrong results. But instead of dwelling on that little saga, suffice it to say we are SCOTTISH HILL RACING CHAMPIONS! Again. A stupendous effort all around: from those who ran, supported, took pictures, baked, drove, or became injured in the process of running and walking a hard hill race.

It has been a phenomenal year of racing, training and socialising. The stunning weather of Dumyat and support for each other throughout the race really reiterated how fundamentally brilliant the Haries are and will continue to be. Bring on Harie Holiday; summer; and a future full of running, green, top people and top friendships.

‘It is one of the blessings of friends that you can afford to be stupid with them’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Xoxo

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*As a post script… in terms of results, placings rather than times seem more apt, due to the inaccurate nature of the chip timing results (resulting in a marshal initially winning the hill race, an impressive feat of phantom running and persuasive hypnosis…). It therefore seemed fairer to runners to state where they placed as opposed to the time they got. For timings the results are up on files on the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/150756404955116/files/

Scottish 5k Road Champs

Report by Alice Florence Orr

‘A PB’s a PB, No Matter How Small’

‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.’ – Dr Seuss

Out of all the moments in our lives, it is clear some are more important than others. Starting primary school; handing in final dissertations; our first Garmin. There are others, while less momentous, that are still significant, like my discovery that the majority of Dr Seuss quotes are highly accurate for university runners. Friday’s race was one of those occasions – although not high priority on the running calendar, the conditions and energy of the day led to force of PBs and memorable performances, and not least from Elisha getting his photo taken.*

The 5km course took place on Cramond Beach promenade, a picturesque spot made even lovelier by the group of green vests preparing to run the greatest 3.107 miles of their young lives. Everywhere I looked, there were men and women much fitter than me. Yet I stumbled up to the start line content in the knowledge that every finisher received a medal regardless, which wasn’t the only reason I signed up, promise. The winds were calm. The road was flat. And everyone ran the absolute green eggs and ham out of it.

    Scott Stirling flew around the course, coming 5th with a ridiculously fast time of 14:50. I’m pretty sure he’d finished before the back of the group had even made it off the starting line. Steph Pennycook, running for Fife Athletic Club, ended with a personal record of 16:34, making her 1st fastest U20 female. An incredible achievement echoed by Elisha de Mello, who’s result of 15:03 made him 3rd fastest U20 male, and ensured we had to stand around for half an hour after the race for him to get his special medal. It was worth it however, as he, Callum Symmons (who was 3rd Harie across the line) and Ali Masson (who ran a personal best) turned out to be 1st U20M Team, snatching it from the grips of Central AC when they were incorrectly announced as the winners. I can’t say we didn’t enjoy that.

Before I continue, I’d like to stipulate that there was controversy with the timing system, as the results recorded by the chips are different to those that showed up on the clock (and my watch, for the record). Combined with several other factors that I could list but won’t (I’ll save it for writing to my local MP), it made for tense chat as we tried to figure out if Matthew Rallison had managed his sub-16 minute target. He did, marking a great end to his Captaincy, and joining the PB crew along with Ben Murphy (who knocked off an entire minute), Mike Diver, Rachel Stewart, birthday girl Iona Evans, James Bryson (at least that’s what his Strava told me), Sophie Collins, Craig Campbell (4th Harie to finish), and Tim Morgan. Hazel ‘Beth’ Murray, Linn Gjesdal and Catriona Graves all ran some impressive seasonal bests, and despite unfortunately having to pull out, we all know Emily Kearney will be back on form in no time, as her racing this year has been on point.

Emily R tells me I shouldn’t be too down on myself in race reports, despite the fact I tell everyone and their mum every time I improve, so I’ll quickly say that I also PB’d, which was ace and I treated myself to a Clif Bar afterwards. #sponsorusplease

On a bittersweet note, it was Kathryn Firth’s last race for the Haries. Again, I defer to wisdom greater than my own: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’

As the sun set on Cramond Beach, it also brought to a close the race season for many of our club members. For those not running Dumyat on Wednesday, I hope your year was sick and your mileage was high. And to the brave souls tackling the 5-mile hill run, Dr Seuss has my back once more –

‘Oh the places you’ll go, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!’

Stay groovy. Alice xo

*Note: these haven’t been posted on the photographer’s website. Conspiracy?

**Extra note from Sarah: The photos from the website wouldn’t allow permission for downloading; photos can be viewed via this url:

http://www.thatonemoment.co.uk/scottish-athletics-5k-championships-silverknowes

Round the Houses 10k: the Dreamers of Dreams

“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.” – Willy Wonka, probably while running Sunday’s course.


Approaching the imposing grey towers of Grangemouth, a small but high spirited group of Haries travelled in style to the 50th Annual Round the Houses 10km Road Race. The clouds of inevitable climate change that flumed upwards from the chimneys were like a dystopian Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The delicious golden coins we won turned out to be made of metal. And I tried my best to think about Johnny Depp’s face rather than focus on our less than inspiring course.


The mixed race kicked off at 12:30pm. The weather was ideal, the roads as flat as I expect my abs to be after one session of Alistair’s circuits, and there was a genuine possibility we would dominate in several categories despite the fact Elisha was MIA. It was prime PB circumstances, and a chance to win trophies and cash, as Captain Matty kept reminding us. #forthemantlepiece


It was a truly decent performance from everyone*. The Haries men came second in the Overall Scots Unis team result due to “black magic” and possible chemical inhalation. Not even the good kind either. However, second is ace. Everyone should be extremely proud. If only dissertations were this easy to smash. The women (all three of us) were not to be outdone and placed third overall for the Scots Unis result, earning us each a rather spangley bronze medal. I could really get used to this winning thing.


Mike Christoforou ended his phenomenal effort with a dramatic sprint finish, coming second overall by a tiny margin (literally 1 sec), in a time of 31:04. I’m told it was a photo finish. Scott Stirling secured his title as a multi-discipline Scots Unis Champion (!) with his result, placing ninth with a time of 32:25. An incredible achievement, well deserved. He also inspired me to do a sprint finish – not an easy task. Back from illness that hampered his target time at the Isle of Man 10km, Callum Symmons knocked over a minute off that time, winning first Junior and was the third Harie across the line. Fourth counter for the Men’s Overall Team – who won a sizable trophy by coming FIRST – was Matthew Rallison with a PB of 34:19. Fraser Drummond managed a cracking sub-35-minute time – we never doubted you for a second (or three, as it turned out). Hot on his heels was Alex Leutchford who set a new PB. He may have been even faster if we hadn’t head-butted each other twenty minutes before the start. Mike Diver utterly smashed his PB with his performance. Along with providing transportation, he really put in a good show. His veggie moussaka at the potluck was also notable. Despite looking pained afterwards, Jack Luscombe ran a super race, and even without a Haries vest, Euan Miles put in a great effort for us. We all know our hearts are green, even if our shirts aren’t. He also managed an exceptionally good race photo. I demand to know his secret. Ben Murphy, probably the most upbeat runner I know, did a great sub-40-minute time along with James Bryson, both running better times than their excellent IOM results. Bryson now has a faster 10km time than Captain Bronagh.

Euan Miles at Round the Houses 2016
A very happy Ben Murphy
Mike Diver at RtH 2016

In her second ever 10km race, Sophie Collins ran incredibly well, taking 6:38 mins off her result! She is well on her way to smashing her sub-40 target we all know she’s capable of. Slightly less capable of choosing a photo filter though. Kathryn Firth also ran well, and received her first medal in her last year of running for the Haries, a really fitting achievement and nice way to go out. Another great result came from alumnus Pat Gie, who came seventh overall. A huge shout out to YP too, who came along to cheer us on. His encouragement certainly got me through that seventh kilometre. I owe the man a pint. Ben Stevenson made an appearance at the end to announce some results, it was great to see a familiar face. And finally: me. The highlight of my race being the moment I high-fived two small children, I managed to be a whole 68 seconds slower than the IOM 10k. Uninjured. On a flat course. In perfect weather. But if I forgot to mention it previously, I got a medal so all criticism is currently bouncing off me like the sunlight glinting on my well-deserved bronze disk.

Sophie Collins at Round the Houses 2016

Sophie Collins at Round the Houses 2016
Ladies who run…


After the race, a bunch of us hit up a potluck and went full Augustus Gloop on the delicious creations. A whipple-scrumptious performance from everyone, once again the Haries should be chuffed. As much as I like bling, being part of a team that’s worth being proud of is better than any medal.


Yeah, I went there.


Stay groovy. Alice xo

*Except me.

 

National Road Relays

A select group of intrepid Haries new and old ventured to Livingstone North for the National Road Relays on 3rd April. With one full men’s team and women’s team, as well as a team of two for the women’s B team (consisting of the dream team Rachel Stewart and Linn Gjesdal), the Haries put in a solid performance amidst a very strong field of relay teams. The race actually made history, as it was the record turn out for the number of runners participating since the event began 24 years ago.

Unlike the Isle of Man 5k road relay, both men and women ran relays, and started in a massed start. #equality. For the women: a team of four were to complete alternating legs of 5 and 10k. The women’s full team consisted of Sophie Collins, Emily Kearney, Holly Palmer and Sarah Henderson. Despite having Isle of Man, Northern Road relays and Edinburgh’s Toughest soreness still in the system between them, the team ran incredibly well over the undulating course, managing to place 12th out of 29 full teams. Sophie Collins ran the first 5k leg in a strong time of 20:05. Following her was Emily Kearney for the first 10k leg, completing the leg in 37:12: FGW! Holly Palmer, aka Edinburgh’s Toughest mixed team champion, ran the second 5k leg, finishing strongly in a time of 24:04. Completing the relay with the second 10k leg was Sarah Henderson, in a time of 40:39. No one threw up which was also a positive. Although not a complete relay team, Rachie Stew and Linn ran incredibly well and were the dream pairing. Plus, Rachel and Linn’s hair looked fabulous. Rachel took on the 5k and finished in a solid time of 25:56, passing on to Linn, who completed the 10k in a time of 45:09. FGH!!

The men ran well amidst some formidable competition, placing 20th out of 55. The team consisted of alternating 5 and 10k legs, as with the women, but was made up of 6 counters. First up for the Haries was Mike ’email organiser’ Diver, completing the 5k leg in 18:52. Itching to get out of the blocks next was Euan Gilham who completed the 10k leg in 29:25. Epic performance from Euan, and a time which was the 8th fastest 10k leg of the day. Just thinking about that time makes me feel physically ill. Following Euan was Fraser White under the pen name Euan Smith, running strongly with 18:54.  Alex Luetchford ran the next 10k leg in a speedy time of 34:22. James Bryson ran the final 5k leg in a solid time of 22:05, on a course becoming progressively muddier (despite being called ‘road relays’). Bringing the team home was Andrew Lawler, in a very strong time of 31:15. FGM!

Other Haries were dotted about sans green vest. Notably: Ben ‘soon-to-be epic social organiser’ Murphy ran for Strathearn Harriers; Steph Pennycook for Fife; Eve Mackinnon for Cambuslang; Amanda Louise Woodrow for Edinburgh AC; ex-Harie Kyle McLennan for Cambuslang; and Pat Gie for HBT, which had a decent turnout of ex Haries running.

Well done to all who ran: it was a tough race, especially after a hard semester of racing. Yet the Haries still put on a good show, ran hard, then went home. HFG!

xoxo