- Club Info
- News & Race Reports
- Race Reports 2013
- Race Reports 2012
- Race Reports 2011
- Race Reports 2010
- Race Reports 2009
- Andrew Henderson Appreciation
- Lynda Brown appreciation
- Galleries 2012
- Galleries 2011
- The Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) – 29th/30th October 2011
- H&H Cashel Handicap Race – 29th October 2011
- Amsterdam Marathon and Half Marathon – 14th October 2011
- Cabbage Patch 10 Miler – 16th October 2011
- British Gas Great Swim – Strathclyde Park – 24th September 2011
- Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie – 25th August 2011
- Bella 5km – 21st August 2011
- Devil O the Highlands – 6th August 2011
- Tour of Fife – July 2011
- Arran Relay – July 23rd 2011
- Claygate Canter 5 – 10th July 2011
- Vale of Leven 10k – 12th June 2011
- Gail’s 40th Run – 5th June 2011
- Ben Lomond Hill race – 8 May 2011
- Montane Highland Fling – April 2011
- Wray Scarecrow 10k – 23 April 2011 & Cats Bells Fell Run
- Ritchies Run – Garelochead 10 April 2011
- Cupar 5 – 26 Feb 2011
- David Spy Run – 12 February 2011
- National Masters XC – Kirkcaldy 5 February 2011
- HMS Neptune
- LSK Scottish Veterans Road Relay – Strathclyde Park – 30 January, 2011
- Devils Burden Hill Relay Race – 22 January 2011
- Devils Burden Recce – 3 January 2011
- Galleries 2010
- Christmas Hare and Tortoise – 2010
- Santa Dash 2010
- December Snow
- Dunbarton AA XC – November 2010
- West District XC – Rouken Glen
- Children’s Hospice 10k – 30 October 2010
- Amsterdam Half Marathon – 17 October 2010
- Dunbartonshire XC Relay Champs – Oct 2010
- Cashel Hill Race September 2010
- Gartocharn Dumpling Duathlon – 18 September 2010
- Mid Argyll Triathlon 26 September 2010
- Great Scottish Run – 5th September 2010
- Glen Fruin 2010
- Helensburgh Half Marathon – 1st August
- Harris Half Marathon -13th July
- Tour of Fife 2010
- Barrathon – 3rd July 2010
- Hare and Tortoise – June 2010
- Sonia O’Sullivan Evening – 17 June 2010
- Dirty 30 – Glenelg – 12 June 2010
- Vale of Leven 10km – 13 June 2010
- Dumbarton 10K – 3 June 2010
- Helensburgh 10k 2010 – 20 May
- Munich 1/2M & 10k – May 2010
- Montane Highland Fling – WHW – 24 April
- Rotterdam Marathon – April 2010
- 100 Mile Run – March 2010
- Tiso Carnethy 5, Hill Race – Feb 2010
- National XC – Feb 2010
- David Spy’s Big Run – Feb 2010
- Scottish Masters XC Champs – Feb 2010
- Scottish Veterans Road Relays – Jan 2010
- Devils Burden Hill Race Relay – Jan 2010
- Edinburgh International XC – January 2010
- Galleries 2009
- New to Running?
January – February
Cupar 5 mile Road Race – Cupar – 26 February 2011
HAAC well travelled duo Andrew & Julia Henderson joined a record number of runners taking part in the Cupar 5 mile Road Race, a classic early season warm-up race, to enjoy both glorious racing conditions and a new men’s course record as Neil Renault and Andrew Douglas fought out a thrilling dual over the back roads of Fife. Indeed all roads seemed to lead to Fife this weekend as Prince William and his squeeze Kate were joined in their return to the Kingdom by the early spring return of Andrews’ parents from their winter hibernation in Benidorm.
The Cupar 5 mile Road Race is a great way to kick start the road racing calendar and provides a reliable early season bench mark for the the effort put in over the winter training schedule and the work still to be done in weekly training sessions. The high turnout of runners was a clear indication that as the snow and darkness slowly retreats and spring starts to awaken, thoughts once more turn to the slap, slap, puff, puff & pant over tarmac. Nearly 300 runners joined Andrew and Julia on a bright, dry and windless afternoon to run the out and back course with a turn around just short of Fernie Castle.
Not sure of his exact level of conditioning and race fitness the redoubtable Mr Henderson decided to run without the hindrance of a watch and take on the course by feel and judgement alone. Julia easing herself back into top flight racing had set a personal target of a top ten placing in a strong field of women runners. The large field of athletes were matched by an equally large and enthusiastic band of supporters as the race set off at a cracking pace to loud cheers of encouragement.
At the half way point Julia had set well judged conservative pace and was well placed in the main pack. On the return loop she gradually upped her effort and dropped a few competitors drafting behind her with ease whilst at the same time overhauling several athletes ahead. Andrew, meanwhile shouted encouragement as she flashed passed on her way home. Julia completed her efforts in 31.45 mins to claim a top 10 spot. Andrew feeling strong in the final mile home picked up the pace to hold his place and finish in 39.47 mins, some 30secs faster than last year. Neil Renault streaked home in an impressive time of 23.52 mins to claim top spot, the glory and a new course record. Results & Pictures & Here
Kirkintilloch Olympians 12.5k – Kirkintilloch – 20 Feb 2011
Funny distance, funny place, not quite in the country not quite in the city all a bit of an enigma. However, this event now in its sixth year, is testament to the fact that following the herd is not the only route to take. The course is a challenging jaunt set on country roads, comprising a circular route from Gartconner to Gartshore, passing Stoneyetts, on to Wester Bedcow and through Fauldhead to finally return to finish at Gartconner School.
Taking the challenge for HAAC on this occasion was Euan Crumley who has recently been deep in marathon training and eager to set a benchmark time over a shorter distance. With a smattering of snow on the Campsie fells and a typical grey west coast sky as a dramatic backdrop, over two hundred runners gathered in the outskirts of Kirkintilloch, the self proclaimed “Canal Capital” of Scotland to test their skills and put their fitness to the test.
Clearly in sharp racing form Euan settled early into a fast race pace and positioned himself just behind the leading runners. Feeling his way around the undulating country course Euan held his own with some ease as the Kilometer markers passed by with impressive rapidity. Holding his form all the way into the finish line for a superb time of 48.39 mins Euan crossed the tape in a brilliant tenth place. Results
RAF Kinloss to Lossiemouth Half Marathon – 20 February 2011
This early season Half Marathon race on the scenic Moray coast often results in a clutch of good times as competitors tackle the marginally downhill point to point course. Hoping to speed along the route as fast as one of the Tornado jets base at RAF Lossiemouth was HAAC`s oven Ellen McVey.
For many runners a half marathon is a seriously long race but for ultra marathon specialist Ellen the 13.1 miles was a mere warm up compared to her more usual 50 miles plus events. Not that she took the race lightly; the run was specifically designed to sharpen her speed for longer runs later in the year. Ellen completed the event in an excellent time of 1.47.51hrs, finishing in 100th place. Results
Scottish National Cross Country Championships – Callendar Park – Falkirk – 19 February 2011
The Scottish National Cross Country Championships are the grand finale of the winter cross country season, and are one of the major events in the Scottish Athletics calendar. By this time in the season a few of the regular competitors are nursing injuries and so getting a full team out can be problematic. HAAC did manage to muster a full female team, but only half of a male team so they had to content themselves with running for individual glory!
Another potential problem for the event in Falkirk on Saturday 19th April was the dire weather forecast. However on the day, as snow was falling in the Burgh, that part of central Scotland fortunately missed the snow, and although the weather was rather dreich it was not even that cold making conditions suitable for running.
Prior to the starting gun in the women’s race, team anxiety was showing and there was a prolonged debate about whether trail shoes or spikes were the most appropriate footwear. At one point some of the team were actually wearing one of each, still undecided! Finally trail shoes were decided on and fortunately after the race all agreed that was the right decision.
The women’s race was won by Freya Murray, Edinburgh AC who represented Scotland in last year’s Commonwealth Games in the 5000m and 1000m. Helensburgh women’s were 15th team, and led in by Michelle Hetherington in 81st place in 35.59 for the 8k course. Next across the line was Erica Cromer in 37.22 108th place, closely followed by Maria Dye in 37.24,111th place, and finally completing the team was Jan Fellowes in 39.02, 132nd place. In all there were over 200 finishers.
The men’s competition had a new champion in Kilbarchan’s Derek Hawkins, who won by a significant margin. First Helensburgh man home was, as usual, Paul Thompson who ran a very good race beating many younger opponents over the longer 12k, three lap course. His time was 46.29, placing him in 113th position, out of 451 finishers. Stevie Bell, not feeling 100%, ran 53.55, 292nd place and running well in only his 2nd ever Cross Country race was Matt Mackie in 1.00.40, 406th place.
Understandably there was plenty of celebrating back in the Burgh, to bring this part of the running season to a close, as competing runners were joined in the Commodore by other team members who had competed in earlier season events.
Not to be outdone by the efforts of the seniors, coach Hamilton mustered an enthusiastic group of juniors to take part in the Falkirk event. The Club’s Under 13 Girls Squad continued the excellent form they’ve shown over the winter. Bronze medallists in the County Championships they went on to place seventh in the West Districts. Lining up at Falkirk with the cream of Scotland’s young talent, and with four to count in the scoring team against three at County and District level, they did the Cub proud in taking eleventh team place.
As she’s done all season, Megan Robertson lead the team home, achieving her highest-ever position in the “Nationals”. Racing over an undulating two mile loop, boggy enough in places for some runners to lose a shoe, she clocked 15:47 to take 26th place in the field of almost one hundred. Morag Paterson is in her first year in this age-group and didn’t have that many other first-years ahead of her as she finished just nine places and nineteen seconds behind Megan. Caitlin McAllister was third home for the Burgh, 75th in 17:41, with Melissa Robinson completing the team just two seconds and two places behind.
Calum Wilson made a successful return to Cross-Country after a knee injury, contesting the Under 15 Boys race over two and a half miles and clocking 18:47 for 99th position. Full Results
Carnethy 5 – Hill Race – Penicuik – 12 February 2011
Having had no car, time or mojo for running for at least 6 weeks, Sarah Walker was reluctant when Iain suggested that they hire a car to get over to the Pentlands for the Carnethy 5 hill race. As usual they decided to throw caution to the wind and joined Iains siblings for a full family assault on the 6 mile 2,500ft course. For Sarah the usual pre-race preps of diving behind the nearest wall were thwarted when she turned round, after the deed was done, to realise that a niftily placed gate meant her behind was in full view of all motorists and gathering runners coming along the A701 Penicuik bypass… and also the crew and cameras of the Adventure Show who will hopefully decide that kind of viewing unsavoury for before the watershed.
Unperturbed Sarah and Iain lined up and soon were charging over the bogs to the first gate and the long climb up Scald Law. The sheer size of the field means that passing other runners is energy sapping as you have to go off the track into deep heather. Once up the top the next three summits come fairly quickly though the ascents fry the legs and the descents are fast and steep. By the time the last long climb up Carnethy comes the fatigue has set in and the false summits are not funny. The last descent is the steepest and through thick heather which covers big rocks and holes, theres no good way to do it quick (apart from just hoping for the best, so thats what Sarah did) and eventually after dragging herself across the huge bogs and using one guy, who had fallen in just before her, as a stepping stone Sarah crossed the line in a new PB time.
To round off the day Sarah and Iain recieved leg massages, a school dinner and Iain managed to retain his’ first forces home trophy’, they also discovered that the new Scottish Hill Runners calendar is out, rather embarrasingly sporting none other than top Burgh hill girl Sarah Walker as the ‘cover girl’…… (they may regret that decision after the Adventure Show footage), but Sarah managed to revel in the limelight for a wee while when someone asked her to sign their copy!! Results (pic Bob Marshall)
David Spy Memorial Run – Luss – 12 February 2011
Now that it is firmly established as a late winter training fixture on the HAAC calendar, some 24 members and friends completed a variety of routes that ensured all participants found their way back to Luss and the excellent Coach House Coffee Shop for soup and cake at the conclusion of their not inconsiderable efforts. This year David even managed to negotiate some sponsorship for the event from outdoor specialists Tiso. In all five separate routes were taken by runners matched to their own particular training needs and stage of fitness.
For those racking up the miles as part of their marathon or ultra training an early rise and journey up to the Rest and Be Thankful was required. Meeting David Spy at the top were old sparring partners Alastair Wylie and Jan Fellowes. Joining them for the 17.5 mile trot to Luss were Mary Connolly, Chris Stanfield, Laura Johnstone, Rob Reid, Ellen McVey and Ivan. Of the three “friendly” rivals Alastair claimed the pre- Boston bragging rights as he zipped into Luss first and amused others with his amazing changing routine with a towel just hiding his modesty.
Getting the milage counter over 10 miles were a clutch of regular “B” groupers - Sybil Kennedy, Gail Thomas, Mike Stanfield, Anna Wylie, Bryan Grant and Andrew Henderson. They were subjected to some unwarranted kerb crawling on the way into Tarbet as Liz McHard waffted passed in her sports car, later joining the crew at Firkin point for the final 5 miles. The group sported more technology than an early space flight but can at least confirm Garmin Route details here.
New dads Gordon Howat and Dave Bailey ditched the push-chairs for the morning and were dropped off in Tarbet by their better halfs for a bit of “me” time and a 8 mile sprint for cake and soup.
Not content with tarmac as a route to Luss Paul Thompson, Stevie Bell and Julia Henderson set out from the Hill House car park and took to the verical slopes of the Glen Fruin Hills on a high level directissimo route to meet up with their horizontal clubmates. The tops were unfortunately cloaked in mist all morning and some fairly deep snow was encountered but our brave hillbillies made safe passage to their rendezvous.
Arthur Connolly, when finsished his Taxi stint for other runners, still found time to manage some 4 miles along the shores of Loch Lomond. The party was completed by Mary Lousie Rooney, Charlotte, Rachel Bailey, Freya and Emma Cummings.
In a feat of organisational serendipity everyone arrived at Luss carpark at the planned times enabling cars to be collected from the various drop off points and a jolly lunch to be scoffed at Luss Coach House Coffee Shop. So impressed was Gail with the event that she has booked the venue for a re-match as part of our June Club Run. Pictures
Scottish Athletics National Masters Cross Country Championship – Kirkcaldy – 5 February 2011
After being firmly in the grip of a concentrated storm lashing in the days leading up to the 2011 Scottish Athletics National Masters Cross Country Championships in Kirkcaldy on Saturday 5 February, the course looked as though possessing webbed feet would be a distinct advantage as the terrain to be raced over was at best marginal. However, as athletes were travelling from near and far, cancellation was not an option to be contemplated. Host club Fife AC worked hard to set up a challenging but runnable route around the tracks and farmers fields that bound Raith estate and Balwearie Golf Club on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy.
HAAC hopes this year were on individual placing rather than team glory as a seven strong party steeled themselves for a tough effort over a 6k women’s course and an 8k men’s course. Being from the west coast meant that HAAC athletes had at least the experience of being acclimatised to regular amounts of rain and accompanying tricky underfoot conditions. Another that was apparently acclimatised to the several inches of standing water that covered the starting and finishing areas was the Race Starting Official who looked resplendent in his immaculate white trousers and red jacket, striding carefully across the muddy field to orchestrate the afternoons proceedings – after all standards must be kept up, no matter what obstacles are put in the way.
The National Masters Championship is for athletes who are over forty years and enables them, if only for a brief spell, to claim the limelight from their younger opponents. Many took the opportunity to make their way to the Kingdom and this year the women’s field had a record number of entries. The women’s race was first off and they at least had the benefit of a fresh course to test themselves over. Jan Fellowes, Erica Cromar, Maria Dye and Michelle Hetherington joined some seventy six other runners at the start line. After the first 100m it was obvious that this was going to be a hard grind and whoever could get the most traction over the sodden ground would be at a distinct advantage. Michelle appeared to be coping best in the conditions by the time the pack left the first field. Next the runners were directed up the steep incline of a farm track before disappearing off into the distance towards Auchtertool and the herd of buffalo at the appropriately named Puddledub Farm. The course continued out over some horse grazing pastures and onto a disused railway line before plunging down a steep drop and the return route home. The final 500m were perhaps the hardest to cover as tired legs pushed ever deeper into the Fifeshire mud in a last effort to beat both rivals and the clock.
Michelle was first of the Burgh Babes to successfully end the struggle and crossed the line in 14th place in a time of 26.23mins, Maria showing the benefit of her triathlon training slipped over in 29.00mins, followed by a valiant effort from exiled Fifer Erica Cromar in 29.45mins. Jan Fellowes making effective progress over the ground completed in a time of 31.09mins and was just pipped for an age category medal.
By the time the men were ready to be set off by the crack of the starter pistol the course had been roughed up by the women’s thundering feet and black clouds were gathering ominously over Mossmorran and looking for a victim to dump their watery cargo on. For the good and the fast there was a chance to avoid the hit, but for the back markers additional hardship seemed unavoidable. As a measure of the seriousness this competition has in the minds of mature athletes Paul Thompson had established that whilst he had travelled a mere seventy nine miles to take part, others in his age group had travelled from London and Czech Republic to take part.
Joining Paul in the trial of mind over matter was Mike Stanfield and home town boy Andrew Henderson, who at least had the advantage of running over the course some thirty odd years ago in Boys Brigade race. Within a short few strides it was obvious to all, as the leading runners churned up the ground and those behind were left to dodge the resultant spray, that this was going to be a stern test of character. The first short loop of 3k passed by in a blur before the race order settled down. The second longer loop of 5k took the runners out into the open countryside and towards the heavy rain clouds. At the halfway mark the heavens opened and the running got that bit more challenging.
Paul putting in his usual outstanding effort finished in 34.37mins for 20th place. Mike Stanfield who is rapidly developing into a solid team player for HAAC pushed for the line in 46.35mins. Finally to the loud cheers of assorted team members and family Andrew slithered home in 51.06mins. As is traditional soup and home baking was served to the wet but satisfied runners followed by a comprehensive prize giving in the local school lying in the shadow of the hallowed Starks Park.
LSK Scottish Veterans Road Relay – Strathclyde Park – 30 January 2011
It was the job of the old crocks to bring down the curtain on the first month of racing for 2011 as two and 2/3rd teams of our athletes nipped over to Strathclyde Country Park to cover 3.8mile legs around the rowing lake in the LSK Veterans Road Relay race. The squads welcomed some newer faces to team running as husband and wife duo Mike and Chris Stanfield joined Gail Thomas for the testing race. Some old faces were also making a much welcomed return to competitive running in the shape of Julia Henderson. Forming the backbone of the teams were regular competitors Paul Thomson, Jan Fellowes, Michelle Hetherington, Stevie Bell and the redoubtable Mr Henderson.
The race was no sedate amble in the park as at this level veteran running is highly competitive and the 3.8mile legs are raced flat out both for individual glory and team pride, all of which makes for an exiting days competition. Prior to the start there was much feigning chat about “poor weather hampering training” and “not enough speed work done to shift the festive excess” but as the starter called the first leg athletes to toe the line there was a distinct intake of breathe, sharpening of focus, edgy looks left and right to pick out close rivals as a quite calm descended over the field.
Blasting out on the first leg for HAAC were Michelle Hetherington, Mike Stanfield and Chris Stanfield. Michelle running her usual gutsy effort for the `Burgh Babes handed over to Jan Fellowes for the second leg, Mike passed on the baton to Paul Thomson and Chris waved out Gail Thomas. Jan settled into a good rhythm holding off some other rival teams, Paul characteristically running in his retro headband and luminescent gloves tracked down and blasted past a number of teams and Gail demonstrated that she is coming back into fitness and form with a solid run. Andrew Henderson gratefully accepted responsibility from a cracking run by Paul. Taking up the cudgels on the third and final leg for the `Burgh Babes “A” Team was Julia Henderson who took great pleasure in passing Andrew just after the mid-way point (one wonders why not sooner!). Andrew dipped across the line just under the 30mins mark to hand final leg duties over to Stevie Bell who had just minutes before been sauntering around in his jeans. No major prizes were claimed by HAAC teams this year but all appeared to be pleased with their early season efforts and form. Times and results to follow.
Scottish Athletics XC 4K Championships – Bellahouston Park – 30th January 2011
Being too young to gain a berth in the Veterans Road Relay team did not prevent Chris Moses from getting a competitive outing at the weekend. The national short course cross country championships were held over the relatively flat and therefore speedy course around the grass playing fields of Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. Turning out in HAAC colours for a second time in a week Chris pitted his skills against some of the best and fastested in Scotland. Chris completed the 4K in 14.55mins for 83rd place. Results
HMS Neptune XC – Helensburgh – 27 January 2011
It’s not often that Helensburgh AAC runners get the chance to run a race in our home town that we don’t have to organise ourselves – so when the Navy based at Faslane invited us to take part in their annual cross country race, a few of us who were able to take part on a Thursday afternoon, jumped at the chance. In all there were over 70 competitors, mostly from branches of the Armed Forces around Scotland, as well as 5 HAAC members – 4 civilians and one Royal Marine- Captain Chris Moses.
It was a pleasant day for cross country, and the course consisted of loops of the rugby pitches and the trails around Duchess Woods. The women ran 6.6km and the men 10km (which was longer than advertised!). The Helensburgh competitors were certainly able to give the Her Majesty’s jolly jack tars a run for their money The winner of the women’s race was HAAC’s own Michelle Hetherington, in 29.30mins , followed by Erica Cromar in 2nd place and then Jan Fellowes in 5th position in34.15mins. This meant the `Burgh Babes were also 1st female team. Unfortunately, civilians were not eligible for any of the prizes, but at least we knew we had competed well. In the men’s’ race, Paul Thompson was 3rd (36.48) and Chris Moses 7th. HMS Neptune were great hosts with an extensive pre race briefing from the very enthusiastic fitness instructress,’Reg’, and afterwards we were treated to soup followed by curry in the Helensburgh Rugby Club.
Devils Burden Hill Relay Race – Falkland – 22 January 2011
The Devils Burden Hill Race is relay race over 20miles of rough track, grass and steep hills consisting of 4 legs for teams of 6 runners; with 2 legs run in pairs and 2 solo runners all starting and finishing in Falkland village. With three HAAC teams competing in this years DB event there was something akin to an exodus of biblical proportions from the ‘Burgh early on Saturday morning as a squad of 18 made their way eastward through the foggy darkness into a creeping Fife dawn.
Getting that many runners to commit to a race, organising transport, finding reserves and making the rendezvous arrangements was a logistical challenge in itself and if there had been prizes for this from the race organisers Iain Walker would have been a keen contender. HAAC route maps are by now well tuned at navigating to Falkland village hall, HQ to the DB and host to a number of other fine races. As the din of excited athletes in the hall increased and the start time approached those who had done the recce or had raced before spent time briefing DB newcomers on the finer points of the route and the details for transport arrangements between legs.
At 10.29am the first 3 pairs of HAAC runners took a last look up to the daunting top of East Lomond, the first major climb of the morning, and at 10.30am sharp the race upwards was underway. Chris Moses and Iain Walker set off chasing down the leaders, Erica Cromar and Maria Dye took up position mid-pack and Andrew 1 & 2 made sure that no one was behind them. The first leg of 4.4miles is very much the case of what goes up must come down. For some the up feels considerably shorter and kinder as well honed muscles and strong lungs blast them swiftly up and over the 448m peak. With calves and thighs screaming from the upward effort, pressure is suddenly let off as runners plunge down the southern slopes of the hill towards the old limekilns and across the fields to the second checkpoint at Easter Glasslie farm. A short section of road and a sharp turn left takes the snaking stream of runners down to Ballo Reservoir before a short rise past Balgorthie and the final muddy descent down the forest fire break track to Holl Reservoir. By the time Andrew Stafford pulled his calf muscle and was forced into a valiant hobble for the line HAAC’s top two teams were out of sight.
At the initial change over point first Dave Bailey then Lisa Walker and finally Mike Stanfield took up the baton to tackle the short 3.5mile solo leg over farm tracks and hill down into Scotlandwell. Dave Bailey had the advantage of reconnoitring the route several weeks previously, Lisa lives a mere stones throw away in Leslie and Mike was a welcome late substitute with plenty of energy. This latterly proved an unkind disadvantage as negotiating the final descent he missed a key turn adding around 1.5 miles and some 20mins to his time, a true glutton for punishment.
The second changeover point is where the true hill specialists take over to cover the 6.5miles and 563m of ascent from Scotlandwell over Bishop Hill and West Lomond to a fast downhill finish in a farmers field in Strathmiglo. Paul Thompson and Damien Theaker set off uphill with all guns blazing and finished their efforts in just over 1hr. Michelle Hetherington and Sarah Walker did no less well for the `Burgh Babes team. Stevie Bell and Steven Walker clawed back some of the lost time on the previous leg for the HAAC development team.
The glory of the last leg was left to Michael Freshour, Jan Fellowes and Bryan Grant all of whom managed to gain places over other teams on the final 4.8mile sprint through the forests to a much welcomed finish at the Falkland Estate duck pond. 105 teams took part in the superbly well organised and enjoyed event with the HAAC “A” team running as Devilishly Good finishing well up the field in 25th place and breaking the 3hr mark in a combined time of 2:58:37hrs, `Burgh Babes team finished in 77th place overall and 7th ladies team in a time of 3:46:17hrs and the development squad ended their efforts in 95th place in a time of 4:15:46hrs. The day was rounded of in traditional Fife style as the team enjoyed lashings of hot home made soup. Check out Fife AC website for more cracking races. Here Pictures & Here, Results
West District XC Championship – Irvine – 16 January 2011
The West District Cross Country Championships were held on Sunday 16th January 2011, at the often used and well liked course in Irvine. The race had been postponed from December due to the dreadful wintry weather, unfortunately as a result of this Helensburgh AAC could only field a depleted number of entrants this time around as other prior commitments hit availability. However, those that were available for the journey across the Erskine Bridge to Ayrshire made up for this lack of numbers with an admirable quality of effort in the various races.
Despite recent heavy rains and snow melt, the terrain underfoot was not the usual muddy quagmire of other venues, and was still relatively firm underfoot due to good sandy drainage. It was as blustery as one would expect on the Ayrshire coast, but the sun even shone at one point. All making for a great afternoons racing. Two Helensburgh Male Vets ran the approximate distance of 10k in the combined Vet/Senior/Under 20 race, in which there were 192 finishers. Paul Thompson ran a very strong race finishing in 49th place in a time of 34.42mins and taking a few scalps in the process. Stevie Bell was a bit further down the field than he would normally be, as he was recovering from ‘flu and so just running to get fit again. He finished in 157th place in 43.32mins.
Erica Cromar and Jan Fellowes were the two female Vets running. Erica is turning in to a formidable cross country runner despite being relatively new to any form of running (An inspiration to other beginners in their 40s). She finished 32nd, in a combined field, in 28.01mins for the 6.4k course. She beat several more well known established runners from the circuit! Jan was also running slighltly below par, but again was pleased to beat a couple of her regular rivals finishing 52nd out of 79 finishers in 30.51mins. There were also 5 under 13s HAAC athletes running in the junior race (3.2k). Megan Robertson was 18th in 14.12mins, Morag Paterson 22nd in 14.22mins and Melissa Robinson 37th in 15.11mins. The combined efforts placed the team 7th overall. The two boys also competed well, Lewis Serpell finishing 27th in a credible 14.18mins and Jacob Chown showing good form to come home in 35th place in 16.55mins. Results
Devils Burden Hill Relay Recce – 3 January 2011
With festive excess a perennial hazard and a month of difficult underfoot conditions in the ‘Burgh having made trodding the streets a distant memory, a squad of eight adventurous HAAC runners and one brave supporter made their way across to the glorious Kingdom of Fife to prepare for bigger challenges later in the month. The Hendersons set off the previous day to partake in some fine Fife hospitality (albeit with appropriate levels of intoxicating Liquor), Iain left the Walker Squad in the capable hands of Sarah and journeyed home to his roots with his faithfull companion, Jan swanked about in her new car with Paul experiencing the thrill of the very practical provision of seat heaters, Dave ” New Dad” Bailey thankfully brought our broken bones expert Michelle and a Ginster and the Intrepid Wylie duo made a late appearance with Alistair running and Anna checking out the purvey in Falkland after waving us off and bon voyage.
Iain was the man with the plan: 10mls, second half of leg 1, most of leg 2, leg 3 up to DB gully then a nice easy trot down the track from West Lomond to Craigmead – simples! With enough gear for an artic expedition and more Buffs than a nudist colony the recce team set off up the track towards East Lomond and the first way-mark point at the Limkilns gate. Hard packed snow, glassy ice melt and a proper east coast biting wind indicated to all that the Atlantic influenced thaw in the west had decided not to pleasure the runners this far east today. Some delightful cow waste sprinkling the rock hard snow on the drop down to Wester Glasslie was a welcome and sure footed relief. The run down through the forest fire break to the finish of leg 1 was also equally firm and mercifully sans merde de vache. As Holl reservoir was past and East Feal was reached the wind picked up some fierce pace unlike the pack of runners.
The climb up Munduff hill was more pleasant than it should have been as it sheltered the party from the icy blast for an all to short spell. Avoiding the drop down to Scotlandwell the group headed out towards Bishop hill which was reached without significant incident. On the subsequent drop down towards West Lomond a game of ten pin bowling on ice ensued with first Michelle, then Paul and finally Jan getting up close and personal with the snow as they went buttock over breast down the hill with varying degrees of skill in their Torvill and Dean Triple Salchow impressions. The climb up to West Lomond Summit saw the party split with Henderson senior accompanying Jan across a contour traverse of the hill at half height, with the remainder of the pack hitting the steep slopes to the summit.The redoubtable Mr Henderson later commented that of course he had already climbed the beast as part of the Tour of Fife race series and saw no good reason to repeat the feat in somewhat inclement weather conditions.
Our brave summiteers were unfortunately rewarded for their efforts by miserable views. Paul led Dave off the hill to sneak a peak at the DB gully and the rest continued down to the track. Alistair promptly announced that his “zip was open” and “the car keys are missing”. With much gnashing of teeth and group staring at the ground he and brave Paul were dispatched upwards into the cruel biting wind for an ultimately fruitless search for the allegedly missing car keys. Meanwhile Michelle and Julia stood around and froze their non existent bo**ock* off. The final stretch down to Craigmead car park was somewhat akin to the Cresta Run as the undulating summer track made a good contender for Fife Winter Olympic Bid. The runners being made of stern stuff, shod like mountain goats and possessing nerves of steel (very cold steel) took all of this in their stride and waltzed elegantly down the final miles to the traditional HAAC home baking and recriminations in the car-park. The final denoument saw Anna, our intrepid supporter wave us in from the slopes, Julia produce some rather fine home-made rocky road bars, Dave B produce a Gingsters Pasty, Alistair find the lost key in a pocket in his jacket in his car and Paul announce that he was heading off for a night of luxury at Balbirnie House. The writer is not sure if Jan was included in this particular treat or not!
Run For Vinnie, Braddock Heights USA – 1st January 2011
Starting the year off with good intentions, Team HAAC – Heasman Maryland Division headed a few miles west of their current home in Frederick to take part in a local
New Years Day charity run. The small town of Braddock Heights was the location …. an undulating 4 miles was the ambition! Claire, having only been back wearing her trainers for a few weeks following the birth of William in October and Paul, who had done limited (well not a lot at all!) amounts of running since the summer set their aims for the run as follows: 1) not to run into anybody else with the jogging stroller, 2) Heasman seniors to run (jog or crawl) the entire 4 miles and 3) Heasman junior to sleep for the duration of the run – time was not important! Weather conditions couldn’t have been more ideal and with Paul setting the pace and Claire pushing William in the stroller Team Heasman negotiated the ups and downs of the course and made it across the finish line in 35 and a half minutes, breathing heavy and a little weary but feeling content in the knowledge that they had achieved all 3 of their aims ……. both looking forward to their prize of a slice of lemon meringue pie that awaited them at home!