(Please follow the links below to see slow-mo vids of the mens and ladies races which I loaded onto you-tube)
Thousands of fit runners from across Scotland with their family and supporters filled Callendar park on what can only be described as a glorious Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining hard and with no rain all week it made for prefect XC running conditions. Thinking I was going to find it hard to find my Westies posse amongst such a crowd I easily spotted John Q standing next to the Westies tent. Chatting away to Pat, John Q and Gwyn I looking around and I started to pick out the familiar rivals; a Carnethy top, Glasgow Uni. top and what the hell had HBT constructed for the occasion … a giant native Indian mascot!? I’m impressed at the effort but confused at what the connection is. Made me wonder what the Westies mascot could be……
Pat and Lorna had already changed into their singlets and headed off to warm up with 25 minutes to go. Cat arrived and started to get ready. Knowing the pace would be fast I found myself a quiet spot and did a proper warm-up with drills. Back at the tent Claire had arrived and that was us Westie Ladies assembled and ready for the race! Westies go!! So we headed over to the pen. Getting into the spirit of the race we did a few strides before lining up. I got a bit giddy in amongst the other racers and then the gun went off. The runners surged together, elbows inches apart and we all headed towards the first grassy slope. On the slope I bumped into another runner and was horrified but then settled into my pace and so did the other runners around me. I saw Lorna and Cat up ahead but then they disappeared after easing into their faster pace. The first circuit seemed so long but I enjoyed (thanks to the Monday reps) the wee slopes as I was able to pass runners on the climb. The circuit was superb for a hill runner. I think I scared the bejesus out of some of the runners as I flung myself up and down a very short steep section with my arms spinning like crazy. I loved the last section of the race which had two wee slopes followed by a straight 200m section to the finish. I was able to pass runners on the slopes and hold them off with a sprint at the end. I finished with a huge smile on my face. I loved it. All the Westie ladies had a great race on a tough course and both Loran and Cat both got fantastic times.
The men’s race was a sight to behold with about a thousand runners in the pen. I swear the ground vibrated as they set-off and as they ran past me it looked like a battle scene from a movie. I could almost see the swords and Viking helmets. I went over to the hill near the end of the first circuit and I was amazed at the speed of the front runners. They hadn’t slowed down. What is a mad dash at the start for most is their normal pace all the way round. The leading ladies were also the same and just flew around the course in an impressive time. 1st lady finished in 29:45 (8km) and 1st guy in 40:02 (12km). Impressive!!! I’ve posted some of the results below.
1st Elizabeth Potter – VP Glasgow Ac 29:45
2nd Fionnuala Ross Shettleston Harriers 30:35
3rd Rosie Smith – HBT 30:59
2nd Edinburgh AC
3rd Fife AC AC
1st Adrew Butchart – Central AC 40:02
2nd Andrew Douglas – Inverclyde AC 40:17
3rd Mark Mitchell Forres Harriers
1st Central AC
2nd Corstorphine AAC