Sunday, 8 February 2009

Scottish Masters Cross Country

7th February 2009, Irvine
Results | Photos (women's race) | Photos (men's race)

After photographing the Pollok Park 5k in the morning, I drove down to Irvine in the afternoon for the Scottish Masters Cross Country, with stunning views of snow-covered Arran.

The Westies 'team' consisted of me, David Riach and Don Reid. The weather was bright and sunny with a cold wind, and firm conditions underfoot.

I watched the women's race which is 2 laps of the 2-mile course. Megan Wright forced the pace at first, but was eventually caught and passed by Jennifer MacLean who came in a clear winner in the end.

The men's race is about 6 miles, with 3 laps of the course. The runners each have their 5-year age bracket pinned to their back, so I was trying to keep track of how many V45 runners were in front. When Billy Coyle caught me early on I was fairly sure we battling for 3rd V45, so I tried to stick with him for the first lap, which I was just about managing until Lewis Lawson flew past near the end of the first lap, so I gave up slightly knowing I was no longer in the medals.

Going into the 2nd lap I was closed down by Jeff Farquhar and John McMillan who always give me a good run for my money, so I ended up battling the last 2 laps never more than a metre or 2 from Jeff and John. Near the end of the 3rd lap I started running out of steam, and Jeff, John and Michael McQuaid were all pulling away slightly but when Craig Grieve of Teviotdale caught me as well enough was enough so I let rip in the final 50 metres and closed Jeff, John and Michael right down again and all 4 of us finished more of less simultaneously in 35:01, although I was last of the 4 in 29th place.

David Riach took it at a more leisurely pace finishing 52nd in 36:34, whilst Don finished strongly in 81st place with a time of 38:30.

The race was won by Bobby Quinn in the insanely fast time of 31:12.

Irvine Masters race location Irvine Masters race course Snow-covered Arran in the background Matching Billy Coyle at the start Chasing Damian McAuley David Riach Don Reid David Riach Don Reid

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