Conditions today were very similar to a fortnight ago at Maryhill Park. Lots of mud, wee bit of ice/frozen ground, few less hills, and fairly decent weather. It actually felt quite mild before the start of the race in comparison to the weather we’ve had in Glasgow.

I arrived with about 15 minutes to spare, having thought the men’s race started at half two. I still had time for a short warmup, which let me see if my ankle had recovered from the moonlit run we did last Wednesday.

With my ankle feeling okay, I thought i’d go for it straight away. After a very quiet starting whistle, we were off. Lots of tape and plently of well positioned marshalls meant there was no need to worry about what way to go this time. There were also plenty of people to follow as there were a lot of fast runners leading the way.

I started strongly and kept a steady pace until the first patch of frozen ground, about a quarter of the way round lap one. At this point, I realised I could hurt my ankle if I wasn’t careful, and I also worked out I had eaten too much before the race. The experience wasn’t pleasant and I had to slow down.

Jon and Niall passed me towards the end of the first lap and were the first two Westies home. I tried to stick with them as much as possible, but the conditions underfoot made it difficult – lots of small patches of thick mud, seperated by longer sections of muddy grass. The only place that seemed to have no mud, was the wee hill at the back of the course. You get the picture…

Towards the end of the race, I tried to close in on Niall, which didn’t really work too well, but made sure I caught a couple of runners in the process, and made me feel a little bit less disappointed with my pacing at the start of the race. Also meant I wasn’t under any pressure from Johnston, who had another strong performance and was the next Westie home after me.

All in all, another great cross country race, and a decent performace all round, from the eight or so men who raced, and from Claire – flying the flag for the ladies.

Derek Hawkins (Kilbarchan) – 33.55
Elspeth Curran (Kilbarchan) – 22.02

Women’s Team
65 Claire Larravide – 33.57

Men’s Team (10th of 17; 9th of 19 Veteran teams)
33 Jon Slowe – 40.13
41 Niall McAlinden – 40.46
46 Gregor Stewart – 41.00
57 Johnston Orr – 41.43
143 John Quinn – 48.26
185 Gibson Fleming – 54.25
Don Reid – DNF
Owen O’Neill – DNS
(200 finished)

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