Since the club switched its Trail Race Championship course to the current Blanefield/West Highland Way route, the weather gods have always smiled on us and this year was no exception. Despite weeks of dismal conditions, the sun appeared from nowhere just in time for 12 Harriers to take to the start line for the penultimate race in this years merit league.
The race follows a scenic path beneath Drumgoyne hill, steadily winding up before a rapid descent at the Glengoyne distillery,m and back along the notoriously challenging West Highlands Way path towards Blanefield. Runaway mens champion Rory and a few other big hitters were absent, meaning plenty of points were up for grabs, while Lynsey was back from injury to defend her ladies title from last year.
After a sudden countdown from designated timekeeper and chief cheerleader Mick, we were off up Campsie Dene Road for the first of the climbs. Craig Perrie set his intentions out early by storming ahead and never really looked back, disappearing out of sight and coming home in a very impressive 48.35 to take over 3 minutes from his 2018 time and clinch this years mens title.
I had lost sight Craig by the first mile and, after building a comfortable gap between me and the rest of the pack, I was able to enjoy myself and focus on targeting last years time. The shouts of encouragement from Mick and Joe just after halfway spurred me on to a strong finish in 51.51 and a new course PB. Ryan followed to complete the top 3, running very well in his return to racing and clocking an impressive 54.15.
The first big battle of the evening saw Lynsey ‘chick’ Alistair and grab 4th place in 55.12. A superb performance, not only smashing her 2018 time of 60.09 but all of this only weeks after knee surgery. A very well deserved victory in the ladies championship. Good to see Alistair back and continuing to run well. Chris was next in 6th with another course record, the recent hard training clearly paying dividends and putting him in great shape fot this weekends Jersey Half. He just managed to shake off Kenny H who ran well and stuck in all the way. Linda was next followed by Susan and Margaret finishing alongside each other before Heather and Kenny rounded us off. Great to have Kenny back in club colours and running so well.
A great night with some fantastic performances across the board. This race is a highlight every year and yet again it didn’t disappoint, minus the usual midges at the end!
1st. Craig Perrie – 48.35 (Mens Champion)
2nd Scott Coulter – 51.51
3rd. Ryan Gilhooley – 54.15
4th Lynsey McLaughlin – 55.12 (Ladies Champion)
5th Alisdair Kinniburgh – 55.41
6th. Chris Hever – 61.17
7th. Kenny Henderson – 62.05
8th. Linda Sinclair – 64.06
9th. Susan Gunn – 71.01
10th. Margaret Peebles – 71.01
11th. Heather Stevenson – 73.58
12th. Kenny Stevenson – 74.14