Another lovely sunny afternoon didn’t bode well for our annual classic of ‘In the Dark’ handicap race but some deity up above saw fit to start drawing the grey clouds closer to the Campsies and sure enough, by 6pm it was pissing down over the north of Glasgow. This ensured that we had a record turnout of …. eight spectating non-runners and we even managed eleven folk who were prepared to do battle with the dark, wet, slippery slopes of the Cort.

Fortunately, it had dried by the time the master handicapper and trusty timekeeper arrived so it was then just a case of getting the names on paper and seeing who’d give me the biggest bung to wangle it for them. Nobody tried to nobble me (damn) bar Dave, who pleaded his case of doing about 3 minutes of running in the last two weeks so I gave into his bleating and deducted a whole one minute from his h/cap time (Wish I had actually listened to him and been more generous, as it turned out, but then again his moaning of not running the traditional route through the churchyard scrub at the beginning deserved what he got).

So with Liz firing the starters gun and starting the trusty Timex, the runners headed off from Clachan, being in order of start, Pat, Drew, Ian, Helen, Donald, Ana, Dave, Keith, John, Steffen and Don. Fastest spectator of the night Mark McColl, was acting as club photographer but I bet he was regretting mid shot that Dave decided to flash instead of the camera and bare all to the world — well midriff that is and it certainly amply testified to his lack of running recently (Steffen, is the pic on the website yet?) Anyway, us spectators watched as high above on the Cort we could see a couple of head torches (yes, another of Dave’s gripes) do battle in the darkness, descending from the concrete hut to the road and the intermittent bouts of disappearance confirmed my thoughts that the poor sods must be falling about all over the place.

The hushed spectators wait awhile and wait some more, as Maureen shows off the latest Avon catalogue to the ladies but is it Avon or another certain catalogue that begins with A. Before we can say to Mo, ” I’ll take five of those please “, a runner is spotted and low and behold, last year’s x-country league winner is making amends for Gibby taking his crown three days ago, and Drew cruises in to take the race. Obviously the master handicapper has been on form tonight (makes a change) as Don flys in a mere 15 seconds behind. John D comes in third (this guy must have the record for h/cap top 3 finishes) then the rest of the troops over the next few minutes. All that is except Mr Calder. We wait a while, about 4 mins, and with no sign of Dave, surely he’s not re-injured himself. Keith is that concerned that he trots off back up the hill to look for Mr C., obviously 40 odd miles in the dark last Friday isn’t enough mileage for Keith. After a few more mins there is a loud rush of air as Dave’s belly dispels the air before it and he sprints for the line — all in vest and shorts. It turns out that the posing git stopped along the road to dress down to his more revealing clobber to look good for the camera, that he presumed would be at the finish again for him. How dare he complain at the start of the race about hill runners using torches when he has the audacity to flaunt a barrel that Dixter would be ashamed off, all for the sake of his 15 microseconds of fame on the Westies website.

Still, the prizegiving progressed fine with Helen being first Lady and Drew getting the 1st overall. Every runner got a prize, every spectator got a mars bar (I think), Mark got his photo’s, and Maureen should be getting her orders …. …. but we wont say what for !!

Runner Finish Time Actual Time

Drew 35:17 35:02

Don 35:32 26:32

John 36:19 28:19

Keith 36:24 29:54

Steffen 36:38 28:05

Helen 37:31 35:01

Ana 37:34 33:04

Donald 39:08 35:08

Pat 39:37 39:37

Ian 41:26 40:26

Dave 47:26 41:26

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