Balloch Castle Country Park was the venue for the DAAA Cross Country Championships on 24th November and constituted the third round of the 2018-19 Merit League.

A fantastic 6 junior and 10 senior harriers represented the club in what turned out to be a good set of conditions for cross-country running – almost dry weather for all races, pretty good underfoot with only the odd marshy area plus the steep climb at the far end of the course held up well.

The course for the seniors was slightly different to last year and constituted 2 full laps for the women and 3 full laps for the men. This made it approx. 0.16 miles shorter than last year.After the ‘off’ it didn’t take long for the field to thin out and everyone settled into their own pace. After half a lap Rory came past myself and Finn and looked on-form – his fluorescent new spikes (whilst later delivering some nice blisters!) were doing their job. Rory finished 14th male in the end – a cracking result, well done. As the race progressed ex-club XC champion Andrew S overtook Finn and held his position to the finish. Straight to the top of Finn’s Santa list go fell shoes or spikes as the grip on his shoes weren’t delivering on the course and made for some frustrating slip-sliding. That said Finn’s all-out sprint for the line to catch the runner in front was awesome – the marshal had to call it and reckoned the other runner got it (although they were both awarded the same race time). Racing right through the line – it’s how we roll! With Kenny H unable to run due to illness James and Chris battled it out behind Finn – James came home ahead of Chris and both ran well (those longer ultra-training miles are already proving their worth!).

For the women Lynsey had another great run and was first female harrier home in 30th position, in the process bagging her third straight maximum 30 Merit League points. Next home was Linda, only six places later. Margaret had a strong run and was next home (and quicker than her run on the same course a couple of years ago) followed by Caroline – a pretty close grouping of the club’s female harriers and great to see Caroline racing in blue for the second time this season. The combination of those longer runs and Mick’s speed/hill work is paying dividends (at least we didn’t have to run up the steep hill backwards!).

Many thanks to the organisers and all marshals as well as Kenny S for his shouts of encouragement out on the course.

The first male was Martin Hayes (CPCOG AC) in 31.08. 62 male runners finished.
The first female was Katie White (Garscube Harriers) in 22.29. 46 female runners finished.

14th Rory Clark 34.45
22nd Craig Perrie 36.47
37th Andrew Stevenson 38.31
41st Finn Boyd 38.50
59th James Prior 46.48
60th Chris Hever 47.36

30th Lynsey Parker 30.36
36th Linda Sinclair 31.52
40th Margaret Peebles 33.03
44th Caroline Hever 35.50

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