Livingston was the place to be for the third instalment of the East District League cross country, incorporating our very own BUCS A team trials. The girls set off first, on a two lapped 6.4km course through a bit of grassy trails and then through a wooded trail – where Scotland’s most famous UFO sighting occurred!
The gun went and they were off – a Metro Aberdeen runner set off flying, putting time into the field right away, leaving the pack of haries behind. After some thumbs up and smiling for the camera Zoe Pflug went to the front of the race along with Holly Page and Becca Johnson. It was neck and neck the whole way, with Becca falling behind towards the end of the first lap. Zoe and Holly battled it out, both knowing BUCS A team selection was secured and Zoe powered on to victory, with the help of all her little Gala Harriers cheerleaders, in 23.41. Holly was just 4 seconds behind – I hope Holly enjoys her forfeit of eating a banana! Becca rounded off a Haries 1, 2, 3, finishing just over 20 seconds behind Holly. The BUCS A team was rounded off byConstance Nankivell, who covered the 6.4km course in 23.45, finishing in 6th place on the day. Despite eating 5 packets of strepsils pre-race, Ella Rivett made her return to cross country – first time in 2 years – finishing 11th in 25.14, well done Ella!
Orienteer Helen Ockenden finished in 33rd spot in just over 28 minutes. Eliza Cottington finished in 39th and Mairi Eades wasn’t far behind in 41st. New Zealander Alexia Preston made her haries debut, finishing in 50thplace in 29.14 and I’m sure the highlight of her day was trying Telfer’s battered Sausage. Louise Adams was next across the line in 63rd place and in 30.05, taking over two minutes off her time from last year! She was followed closely by Roanne Lilley, who was three places and 13 seconds behind. And rounding off a great day for the girls was Laura Chiron who finished in 74th position and in 30.49. The girls won first team on the day by a wide margin, over Fife and Gala Harriers.
As for the boys… well we needed a miracle – to finish 1st-6th – if we had any chance of retaining our league title. Sadly, that wasn’t to be today, but 2021 – it’s coming home, along with club of the year ;).
Sasha Cheplin lead the boy’s home, despite wearing a Carnethy vest. He covered the 3 lap, 9.6km course in 31.22 and was followed very closely by our much loved Elisha De Mello – he managed to not tie his laces correctly and then ran into a cone but other than that he was well chuffed with his run and podium finish. Alex Carcas was next up, finishing in 7th place in 31.50, Alex had a look behind him with 100m to go and it was great to see how much securing his spot on the A team, for the fourth year in a row, meant to him! After much pre-race stress about spike length for the race, Eddie Narbett was next home in 9th position, sneaking under the 32-minute mark. Mudskipper Alex Muir was next home, one spot and 11 seconds back from Eddie. Next in was Callum Tharme, finishing in 32.38 and 14th position; finishing 4 places better than last year. Boyan Ivandjikov was next up and he actually stopped for a poo during the race, so major kudos to Boyan for keeping going and finishing in 20th place! Gregor Malcolm, sporting a stunning headband, was next home in 33.44, running nearly exactly the same time as last year – 3 seconds out! David Bunn had a great run, finishing in 34th place in just over 34 minutes. He was closely followed by Josh Liddle, who was 9 seconds behind in 34.18. Fresh from his big performance at EUOC Xmas Weekend, Kai Hugtenburg was next across the line in 41st place. Captain AJ was next home in 46th place and 34.56. American Jackson Woodruff had more suitable footwear for this visit to Livingston this time around and finished in 84th position in just under 37 and a half minutes. Tom Corlett produced a magnificent sprint finish, outkicking everyone, to finish in 90thplace in 37.58 and was followed closely by Andrew Carrick, who finished in 97th spot. This resulted in a second-place finish for the boys on the day, and a second place finish for the boys in the league. Don’t worry, its coming home in 2021.