McCaffrey Triumphs as Young Turks Falter
Dean Park in Kilmarnock is the cross-country course of legend. Mud and glaur, endless undulations and a stormer of a hill make it a trail not for the faint hearted. Holding the race on a gloomy Saturday afternoon just added to the sense of foreboding. Perfect was the collective view of the Westies old crocks.
In the women’s 6k event, Lorna was the lone Westie Wimmin and made it all look too easy as she coasted in with a fine finish, looking fresh as a daisy. Grimorr, though described neither as fresh or daisy-like, added to the feeling of optimism in the V70s event, run at the same time as the women’s race. Looking like an athlete operated by a master puppeteer, Grim nevertheless had one of his finest performances for years, finishing not too far behind Gibbie Fleming’s nemesis Bobby Young. 70 must be the new 30 for Grim as he held off a challenge at the finish from erstwhile Westie Pauline McAdam.
So it was that the ‘young’ Westie men took the field nonchalantly for the start of the 8km event. If Lorna and Grim could make it look so easy, why not them? Pre-race talk had been about whether Thurlbeck or Calder would be first Westie home, but it was Galloping Gordon McCaffrey who sped off from the gun, quickly establishing a lead over the rest of the Westies pack. First Dave Calder tried to catch him, but after a mile or so, his legs buckled in the mud and it was left to Ian Thurlbeck to take up the challenge, pulling Gordon in gradually before succumbing to the last hill. So, Gordon was first in, with Ian 15 seconds behind and a faltering Dave finishing well over a minute later. Meanwhile, Chris Furse had run a sensible and steady race, looking totally unfazed at the finish as he stayed well ahead of Don Reid, perhaps running his last race before turning V60? Don managed to stay ahead of XC Cap’n John Quinn, thereby avoiding a repeat of his Hamilton humiliation earlier in the season. John clearly found the going had; his normally cool and baldy pate was positively glowing as he headed towards the finish. Last Westie in was Andrew Fullwood, who looked like he was enjoying himself FAR too much!
A great event over a real Scottish cross-country course. Thanks to Cap’n Quinn for organising, cajoling and encouraging us all, and to Lorna, Grim and Helen Mac for cheering us all on as we battled around the bog.
6000m, Women and Men >65
Lorna Mahoney 29:59 13/32 WV50
Graeme Orr 35:12 6/7 V70
8000m, Men <65
Gordon McCaffrey 36:15 7/28 V60
Ian Thurlbeck 36:30 17/53 V50
Dave Calder 37:52 13/40 V55
Chris Furse 39:00 43/61 V45
Don Reid 41:22 26/40 V55
John Quinn 42:08 30/40 V55
Andrew Fullwood 45:54 46/53 V50
Westies Men’s Team 50-60 8th Overall