28th November 2009
Maryhill Park was a quagmire by the time the senior men and women squelched forth into the first of their 3 or 2-lap races. 5 Westies men and 4 women took part in this challenge with our local club rivals, with Garscube, Helensburgh, Kirkie et al fielding plenty of runners too. Oor ain Dave Calder was officiating, and Cap’n Chris had dragged himself along to take photos and wheeze encouragement despite his raging yak flu.
Dave the Snake led the men home, chatting with us plodders for a short time before loping off easily into the distance. Steffen started brightly while Don, John Quinn and I swapped places during lap 1. This lively contest brought me closer to Steffen at the end of lap 1, and I made a rash move to pass him early on lap 2. Nursing a stitch for my troubles, I dropped back, while Don endured a torrid second loop and lost a lot of time.
The battle with Steffen took us up to Stevie Bell, in his alternative Helensburgh plumage today, and while the big German powered past, I stuttered by after a half-lap of inconsistently-paced racing.
By this time, Ellie was leading the Westies women home (6th overall?) and had enjoyed a fine day’s running, collecting Don on her lap 2 adventures. Pat, Helen and Pauline were also out battling through the Maryhill mud.
The men headed off for a third lap, with Dave out of sight at the sharp end, and Steffen still holding me off by a short distance. There was no change after the last plummets and climbs, which left us slogging it out across the middle of the park. Steffen fired a burst in with perhaps quarter of a mile to go, and I held on until the last turn into the finishing field where I could unleash a sprint to edge it at the end. John Quinn came in after Steffen, with Don not far behind after a much-improved final lap. I actually enjoyed my day out, in contrast to my previous XC experiences at Cumbernauld, and am now keen to try more!
So it’s "get well soon" to Cap’n Chris and to John Quinn, who sustained a nasty cut from a metal spike after going for a skite in the glaur. Hope everyone has recovered by the time we go to Irvine next Saturday.