MEMBERSHIP NOTES 4th September 2012


Welcome to the 15 new and 7 reinstated members who have joined or re-joined since 18 Apr 2012. 54 members have not renewed their subscriptions, so we now have 444 paid up members.

If you have not set up a standing order, renewal subscriptions are due from the AGM date 21st October. Please pay promptly. Annual subscription is still £15. Men o/65 & women o/60 £12.


The massive increase in postal charges has forced us to change to an electronic version of the Newsletter as the preferred option. Any member who wishes to continue receiving a printed Newsletter must contact me, if they have not already done so. Please inform me if you add or change your email address.

Please send photos, news, letters, articles, etc for the next issue to: DAVID FAIRWEATHER 12 POWBURN CRESCENT, UDDINGSTON, G71 7SS e-mail: Tel: 01698 810575

If any member would like to take over the editing of the Newsletter, I would be very happy to hear from them.


Stewards/marshals are required for club races. The club appreciate all members & friends who volunteer to act as stewards/marshals. If you are not competing just turn up and introduce yourselves to the organisers. Thanks to all those who have already helped out.

BRITISH & IRISH CROSS COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL I have reserved 25 twin/double rooms at the Europa Hotel for Fri/Sat 9/10 November 2012. These are rapidly being taken up, so I might have to apply for more. The race will be held at Stormont.


Thank you to the members who have set up standing orders for membership subscriptions. Please remember to update the amount payable, & keep me informed if your membership details change (especially email addresses). If any other member wishes to set up a standing order please contact me.


SVHC running vests can be purchased from Molly Wilmoth for £15 (Tel: 0141 7764941).



Stephen Allan 24-Aug-12 2099 Cumbernauld

Rhona Anderson 10-May-12 2086 North Berwick

Gordon Barrie 08-Jun-12 2088 Invergowrie

David Black 20-Jun-12 2092 Whiting Bay

John Blair 27-Jul-12 2096 Edinburgh

Howard Elliott 03-Sep-12 2100 Kirkintilloch

Mark Foster 08-Aug-12 2098 Swanston

Greig Glendinning 07-Aug-12 2097 Johnstone

Patrice Jumelle 08-Jun-12 2087 Edinburgh

Alasdhair Love 26-Apr-12 2090 Aberdeen

Stewart Mulholland 12-Jul-12 2095 Govan

Robert Phin 23-Jun-12 2093 Renfrew

Michael Tanner 17-Jun-12 2089 Romsey

Robert Watson 04-Jul-12 2094 Kildrum

David Watson 17-Jun-12 2091 Penwortham

Beverley Chalmers 08-May-12 1863 Bearsden

Alexander Chalmers 08-May-12 1860 Bearsden

Caroline Lawless 01-Jun-12 1129 Polmont

David MacIntosh 19-Aug-12 528 Glasgow

Mike McErlane 20-Jun-12 1884 Bowling

Ken Moncrieff 21-Jul-12 1875 Stirling

Ludwig Ramsey 20-Jun-12 1993 Granton

David Fairweather Membership Secretary



With one race remaining in the 2012 Run and Become Series the leading contenders are Stewart McCrae, Gerry Montgomery and John Gilhooly in the Men’s competition and Fiona Matheson, Pamela McCrossan and Phyllis Hands in the Women’s competition.

There has been a slight change to the scoring this year with more emphasis being placed on the Age Graded Tables element. Merit points will in future only be gained by athletes who finish more than the counting 8 races, an additional point being awarded for each race beyond race 8.

The remaining race is:

Sunday 7th October BMAF Championship/ Neil McCover Memorial Half Marathon Kirkintilloch

The first race of the 2013 Series is the SVHC 10,000m at Coatbridge Track on Sunday 21st October, immediately before the AGM. (See the important note about this race on page 13 of this Newsletter.)


Olympic Torch – Derek Fraser

I was informed that I had been nominated to be an Olympic games torchbearer last Autumn. I had to wait a few months until the organisers had made their decision. I finally got the phone call from LOGOC that I was to carry the Olympic flame through Selkirk on day 27 of the relay 14 June 2012 as part of its journey to London.

On the morning of the Borders leg I met up with the other Torchbearers including Alan Wells, and Chris Paterson Scotland’s most capped rugby player.

After our briefing the shuttle bus took me to my designated exchange point.

With hundreds of onlookers it was my moment to shine carrying the torch. I had a metropolitan police escort beside me as I ran and it seemed like the whole town had turned out. There really was a buzz in the air and I got a real sense of the occasion.

I think it showed what the Olympics is all about bringing communities and people together to celebrate.

We ended up at Netherdale in Galashiels where a mini-mascot Olympic Games took place in front of a crowd of two thousand.

It was so fantastic to be involved in the Olympic torch relay in the Borders a privilege and an honour as well. It will give me treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

I got to keep my Olympic Torch and it has a good place in my home and will remind me of my big day. I hope the Olympics will inspire a generation to take part in sport.


 WHY DO WE RUN? – Young Kate Todd

Do we run to keep fit, less time to do housework, keeps the weight off or are we just NUTS?

We Veteran runners are indeed a breed of our own. Let’s all proudly admit to it, we welcome running with open, sweaty arms, ugly toenails, and firm hamstrings not to say anything of our butts.

Some have been known to take lengthy showers in new Gor-tex suits to test its water resistance- you mean you have not? Well maybe I am NUTS.

We know every cure for an injury from our big toe, calf, knee hamstring etc. Take Ibruprofen, ice, WD 40 (loosens the joints), but never never REST.

We even have a language of our own, we talk about hitting the wall, runners’ high, carbo loading and fartleking .

We over-train, inadequately taper for a race, we unflinchingly violate every present day rule of proper race preparation. Who else would be exhilarated by sheer Exhaustion?

A few simple facts: If you run hard enough, you will be tired, if you run long enough you will be tired if you do both you will be tired, however I am sure when you recover there is nothing like the feeling of the runners’ high.

Who else would get up on Sunday morning at 6am to run 20 miles in the pouring rain and howling wind and enjoy it?

I am sure we all have our own reasons for running, I run because I enjoy the challenge, the freedom and mostly all the friends/people I have met and continue to meet at my club and races.

What drives us to train, race, sometimes with success, more often disappointment, only because we put pressure on ourselves to run faster, have a P.B.

It was once said ( I think it was Yeats) “Personality was born out of pain.” If that is accurate then runners must be quite a personable bunch of characters.

I RUN therefore am I Nuts?. Enjoy your running.



SVHC Proposed Name Change

Firstly, thanks for the Newsletter.

Turning now to the Club`s title, I feel it would be more relevant to members if you would concentrate on having the entrance fee to our Track Champs reduced from the extortionate £9.50 per event to a more reasonable charge in line with other Vets` Associations in U K and Ireland.

Most veteran competitors enter 3 or more events and, in my case usually 5, so the cost is really becoming very expensive when you include travelling etc.

Additionally, if you are good, or lucky enough to win a medal then all you get from S A L is a cheap and tatty medal which must cost them all of 20 pence, if that (and then you only get them if they remember to take enough medals with them to the meeting!!!!).

I remember when SVHC dished out medals that you were proud to compete for. For the first time ever I am really in doubt about entering our own Champs as I feel we are being treated like second class citizens and I know I am not alone in feeling this way.

Can you not prevail upon the S A L to reconsider their stance on both entry fees and quality of medals for the future?

I also feel very strongly about the T&F Champs always being held in Pitreavie or Edinburgh now. Both Inverness and Aberdeen have excellent facilities and they should be considered in the future.

Going back to the Club title, after some considerable thought, I feel the title should remain as at present. Personally, being called a veteran athlete has always sounded better than a master which was forced on us by the Americans.

The S V H C has a long and proud tradition and this should be protected and cherished for as long as possible as well as looking to ensuring all disciplines within our sport are fairly treated and not disadvantaged in any way under its auspices.

Trevor Madigan Aberdeen AAC


 The Comrades Marathon – Joasia Zakrzewski

The “Comrades Marathon – the Ultimate Human Race”……those words, or a few bars of the “Chariots of Fire” music, is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end if you have ever taken part in this awesome event. If you have, this article may bring back a few memories, and if you haven’t, then it may inspire you to enter next year.

The Comrades Marathon is the world’s biggest ultramarathon, with up to 24,000 people on the startline, all having run a sub-5 hour marathon to qualify. It has been fully live-televised nationally in South Africa for years and may be followed on-line worldwide.

It first took place in 1921, with 34 runners starting outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg, and has occurred annually ever since, skipping the war years of 1941-45 so that this year was the 87th. It has grown in popularity year on year, so it is now an event that captures the imagination both of the entire nation (you will hardly meet a South African who has not either run it, dreamt of running it, or had a family member/friend run it), and of runners worldwide (with British, US and Russian winners to mention a few).

The race alternates direction every year, with an “up run” going from coastal Durban to Pietermaritzburg at an altitude of 650m (>2000′) with about 2000m (6,600′) of ascent and 1400m (4,700′) of descent, and a “down run” doing the opposite.

There are five major hills (known as “The Big Five”) en route, with many other unnamed hills and other points of interest also negotiated.

The total distance varies slightly (between 87 and 91km) from year to year, depending on roadworks and road closures, and due to the fact that both races start along wide roads and finish in a stadium, which means that the course cannot be simply reversed as each race requires a different start/finish area.

Some of my fellow Dumfries Running Club clubmates and I made the trip last year as novices for our first “up” run, and I was lucky enough to be invited back this year to run for Nedbank International in my first “down” run (Nedbank is one of the biggest South African running clubs).

Everybody I had spoken to prior to the trip told me to treat up and down runs as completely different races, but there are some constant features that characterize a Comrades marathon.

The numbering/bib system, for example, is unique to the event, and bibs are worn front and back so all runners and spectators can see them. First timers, foreigners and locals have different coloured bibs to make them easily distinguishable to the massive crowds.

As an international runner, your blue bib (which also gives you access to the international tent afterwards for free food and beer) states your name and country of origin.

 I was entertained along the route last year by people trying to say my name in encouragement and then just switching to “Go Lady”, and also by runners with strong Afrikaans accents who, on reading “Scotland”, attempted to speak to me with a Scottish accent.

Previous winners and those who placed in the top 5 in the preceding year, wear their name on their bibs instead of a number.

This year my number was orange to signify that I was going for a “back-to-back” medal, awarded to runners who complete their first up and down runs in consecutive years.

There is also a “green number club”; green numbers are for those who have completed at least 10 Comrades (or won 3 times, or gained a gold medal 5 times – more on medals in a minute), so it is a great honour to become a member of the club and means that you may keep that number forever, so nobody else will run Comrades under that number.

Runners wear a yellow bib on their first attempt at a 10th run, so they get extra support and encouragement along the way, as everyone knows they will then earn their green number on the finish line.

 A green stripy number is then worn by a runner on their 20th run (going for a double green) etc.

Medal categories (6 in total) are also fixed from year to year (though there are obviously separate up and down records), and are earned as follows:

MEDAL Gold Wally Hayward Silver Bill Rowan Bronze Vic Clapham

Gold Silver-centred surrounded by gold ring

Silver Bronze-centred surrounded by silver ring

Bronze Copper


Top 10 men and top 10 women

11th position – sub 6hrs (only men qualify though women are theoretically eligible)

6hrs – sub 7hrs30

7hrs 30 – sub 9hrs 9hrs – sub 11hrs

11hrs – sub 12hrs

Anyway, enough of that and on to the actual race.

You will NEVER forget the start of your first Comrades. It’s chilly in the floodlit pre-dawn blackness (the race starts at 5:30am), you’re nervous, you wonder if you’ve tapered enough, you wonder if you’ve trained enough…..but mostly you wonder what you’re doing there.

Suddenly a hush descends and the air becomes electric with expectation. Thousands of voices then take up the words of the local song Shosholoza (the song sung at the end of “Invictus”) and it is sung with great emotion and intensity. You think of what lies ahead of you that day, and wipe away the tears you find running down your cheeks. The music then changes to the iconic theme from Chariots of Fire, which you will never hear the same way again.

The last note dies away, you hear a cockerel crow to signify the start and you’re off, trying to hold back as adrenaline urges you to run fast even as your head is reminding you how far you have to go.

The closest thing to which I can relate the start, is a controlled riot. It is dark, everyone is wearing a black liner over their coloured vests (given to you at the expo so you can try to keep warm at the start of the race), and then suddenly there is a surge of thousands of runners all heading down the main streets of the city.

Start pens are now seeded on qualifying times, but as with every race, there is a melee of runners going various speeds, jostling each other and leaping over discarded black liners, until they settle into their rhythm. The top runners have “seconds” along the route, who are friends/team members/supporters that they have arranged to meet at specific points on the course, to get drinks/gels/sunglasses/food/anything else they might require along the way.

There is strict drugs testing before the gold medals and any prize money is released, so these athletes will only take drinks/nutrition from people they recognize to avoid any chance of doping.

There is a strict “stand and hand” rule enforced so that seconds are not allowed to run on the course for any distance.

For ladies, the rules can be even more strict, as they can be disqualified if seen to run with a specific man for a period of time, as they are then thought to have been paced.

The vast majority of runners do not have “seconds”, though family and friends (and complete strangers) will be along the route offering support.

They run using the “tables” – 47 refreshment stations along the route, spaced about 2km apart. It seems crazy when you watch people jostle to get to the first table, as they’ve only run 2k of the course. All the tables offer water and energade (or whatever the sponsored drink is), which are served in rectangular sachets. This is a great idea as you can easily pick up several from outstretched hands and then either run with them in your own hand, or bite off the corner and drink from them.

 There is actually no need to run right alongside the tables (which stretch along both sides of the road) as a runner between you and the edge will pass you sachets without you even having to ask.

Further along the race, the tables start to offer other goodies, such as chocolate, cookies, coke, and my own two favourites – cold, salted pieces of boiled potato, and portions of banana. That may sound like a very strange thing to like, but when you’ve been running and perspiring for hours, there is nothing like a salty bit of solid (non sweet) carbohydrate washed down with a sachet of water.

I was very lucky to have a good friend from Durban seconding me this year – he knew every shortcut on parallel roads that he needed to take to keep turning up ahead of me, as he is a true veteran of the race, having both run and supported runners countless times. I got a couple of gels from him, and my sunglasses as the day started to heat up, but the main thing was the joy of seeing a friendly face with encouraging words. I chose to have my friend second me, rather than the official guys from Team Nedbank, as I much prefer to see someone I know (and who knows what I need to hear) but it was very useful to hear the distances to the girls in front from the Nedbank Chief.

I did, however, mainly use the tables to keep me going, as this is a big part of the race for me……and how I longed for that first potato before I got it.

The only problem with the overwhelming friendliness of the other runners, was trying not to offend male runners who tried to help me by picking up sachets and passing them to me. I had to refuse politely and grab my own, in case it appeared that they were “assisting” me.

Even on a “down” run, the descent is mainly in the second half, so you really need to be conservative and save your quads for later; thus the aim at first is to run “comfy” and enjoy the ride.

Initially, the main thing is not to trip over cats eyes in the road, or get stuck on poor surfaces as the road can be crowded and it is still dark.

After descending the first steep hill, it starts to get light, but this means the temperature also plummets (partly as you are down in a pocket, but partly as it is just pre-dawn), so another thing to beware of is not to throw away extra clothing/gloves too soon.

People camp alongside the road with fires and barbecues even at 6am, and then go along picking up discarded clothing. As a lady running further up the field, many people start to use you as a pace maker, so you sometimes feel as if you are driving one of the famous “buses” (these are groups of people running together to make a certain finish time, led by a very experienced Comrades runner – the bus “driver”, eg the 11hour bus). Being treated this way gives you quite a special feeling and also means that you can have great chats along the way with people from all over the world, if your breathing permits it.

The race is not marked in a way that is familiar to most of us, as the Km markers count down the distance to the finish, but once you get your head around this, it actually works very well as you can split the race up and imagine differing race distances as you go along, though I did find myself thinking once on the up run, “just 3.5x10K races to go” as I passed the 35K sign.

I had moved into the top 10 by the halfway point and was feeling really good at this point, but had to stay relaxed as I’m not a very strong/confident downhill runner and I knew this was all to come. I’d been told many stories of people at the sharp end of the field having to walk up the hills and then walk down the later hills backwards, and I certainly did not want to have to do this.

The race distance just passes you by without you realizing it, and you start to enjoy the atmosphere more and more. Schoolboys line up outside their school to cheer you on, dancers and singers appear, and members of a school for the disabled come out to “high five” you as you pass (story has it that some runners jump into their swimming pool, swim a length and then carry on).

Many local women encourage you with “Do it sister” as they ululate alongside you for a few metres, and the closer you get to Durban the noisier it becomes, the number of people ever increasing to the extent that it sometimes appears hard to find a way through.

I found myself enjoying the hills and to my surprise, heard myself whispering “only a half marathon to go now” when I caught sight of the sea by Durban.

I completely surprised myself with how well the race went – I was just enjoying it and picking off a few runners the whole way, but expecting some of the more experienced ladies to come by me down the big hills and especially on the long run through downtown Durban.

The last 2Km must have been some of the longest kilometers of my life. I was running alone as I could see a man about 100m in front of me, and I refused to look back, convinced another lady was bearing down on me. All I wanted to do was stop and walk, but again the crowds were several deep on the pavements cheering me along so I realized there was no way I could give up in front of them.

The stadium entrance was such a welcome sight! As I turned in, I was handed a single red rose, which at first I proudly held high. (Roses are handed to the top 10 finishers to run in with signifying their positions to the watching crowds – apart from the race winner who is given a scroll to carry as a message of friendship from the mayor of the start city to the mayor of the finish city).

Unfortunately, there was still a way to run, past a screen, round corners and under gantries. At every corner my arm dropped lower and lower, but then finally I could see the line and I knew I’d done it. I raised both arms and crossed the line with a smile on my face, proud in the knowledge that I’d put injury niggles behind me and completed the course over 40minutes quicker than the up run last year, and in 4th position overall.

It was an amazing feeling, and both the Nedbank Team and Dave, my brilliant second, were there to greet me, while I knew my friends and family at home had been watching it online.

The great thing about the event is the atmosphere and experience – last year was special as it was my first Comrades, and I ran with friends, so we could cheer each other in (the international tent has a huge screen showing everyone crossing the line), and this year was special in a completely different way.

I had not known much about the dramas going on at the front of the field – the first South African winner since 2005 (with the 3 pre-race favourites finishing 5th (the record holder), 6th(the winner of the previous 3 years) and a DNF), and the amazing battle in the ladies’ field between the eventual Russian winner (her 7th win) and a good friend and amazing runner Ellie Greenwood (British, living in Canada) – but at home (after massage, drugs testing, food and drink) you can watch the TV coverage to see exactly what had happened ahead of you, and also watch the finish cut off with the bouncers rugby tackling the first person not to make the 12hour gun.

Comrades is a race I would recommend to every runner, as words fail to convey the emotions that surface just thinking about it, and for me it stands head and shoulders above every other race that I have done.


Scots Decathletes Take On A Few Challenges – Ken Moncrieff

Over the weekend of 4/5th August three Scottish Masters Decathletes (Ken Moncrieff – FVH, Colin Christie – Montrose & District, Ian Paget – Shettleston) made the journey south to compete in the UK BMAF multi-event championships at the Horspath Stadium, Oxford.

This particular competition had the added zest of incorporating the biennial Transatlantic Trophy match between GB & USA.

Unfortunately, this year the USA put up a relatively small team to be matched by age group and performance against the UK entrants.

None of the Scots competing were required to line up against a USA competitor but each played their part in encouraging the highly entertaining competition which took place over the 2 days and ten events.

A notable element of most multie-event meets and particularly Decathlons is the comradeship and mutual support which develops through the competition.

Ken & Ian gladly brought down several vaulting poles for the USA team and welcomed the constructive feedback from various competitors on their techniques!

The 3 Scots entered a mini competition amongst themselves and after day 1 only 102 points separated the trio, with Ian leading Ken by 18 pts.

Colin’s long jump of 5.40m yielded a satisfying 637pts whilst Ian notched up 729pts for his day 1 best performance in the same discipline.

Ken announced he was saving his powder for day 2 – a risky strategy given the rain, thunder & lightning which gave all the competitors, officials and audience a few soakings on day 2!

Undoubtedly inspired by the amazing gold performances by Mo, Greg and particularly Jess on the Saturday night, Ken came out and ran a pb in the 100m Hurdles setting up a strong 2nd day performance – as promised!

Perhaps impacted by having to travel to another stadium to undertake the pole vault or maybe it was the torrential rain, Colin again threatened but failed to clear 3.00m; next time perhaps.

Ian meanwhile achieved the creditable vault of 3.40m to win his M35 category in front of the wonderfully named USA participant Jefferson Souza.

The day wore on and as the javelins fell to earth all Decathletes’ thoughts turn to that final wee jog – 1500m.

This was particularly true for Ken as he knew he needed to yet again give all he could to defend his category lead.

The rain stopped and the sun came out as the tenth event was completed, finally, by all ~50 competitors across the various age groups.

The statisticians used their abacus and worked out the final scores.

GB won back the Transatlantic trophy despite several strong individual performances by the USA and as far as the Scots trio were concerned the long trip home was eased by the sight of 2 gold and a silver medal and listening to more Olympic performances.

Name Age Total Points Result Age Adj.Points  

Ian Paget M35 5272 Gold 5729

Colin Christie M45 5056 Silver 5187

Ken Moncrieff M50 5244 Gold 5800


2012 Outdoor Track & Field Update from Mike Clerihew

BMAF Pentathlon was held in Oxford on 27th May. Three Scots competed with Jon Ross (Edinburgh AC) recording the best performance of the day in winning the M70 event with a total of 3311 points. Ken Moncrieff (Falkirk Victoria Harriers) placed third in the M50s with 2583 points an event won by Allan Leiper, a Scot competing for Southern Counties Vets, with 3035 points.

BMAF Weight Pentathlon was held at Hendon 1st July. Two Scots took part with Claire Cameron (VP-Glasgow), the only SVHC member, winning the silver medal in the W50 category with a total of 3001 points, well up on her 2759 from 2011. Highlight of Claire’s competition was her new Scottish Masters best performance of 11.21m in the weight throw. Claire has since improved to 11.39m at a meeting in St. John’s, Canada. The other Scot was Ian Miller, competing for Eastern Vets, who won gold in the M75 category with a total of 3478 points.

Scottish Masters Track & Field Championships: Pitreavie 24th June.

Track performances were badly affected by the windy weather with gusts of over 5 m/sec blowing in the faces of athletes in the home straight. However Fiona Matheson (Falkirk Victoria Harriers) still managed to set new championship bests in the W50 1500m and 5000m as did Susan Young (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers ) in the W35 400m and George Hunter (Pitreavie AAC) in the M65 800m. In the field 14 new bests were achieved and one equalled with Bob Masson (Aberdeen AAC) achieving 3 in his first championship outing as an M65 with wins in the pole vault and discus, both also Scottish Masters bests , and javelin. Jimmy Christie (VP-Glasgow AC) set new Scottish Masters bests in the M80 shot, discus and javelin, the latter also being a championship best. The 6th Scottish Masters best was set by Janet Lyon (Aberdeen AAC) in the W50 pole vault. The SVHC Ladies trophy for the best age-graded track performance by a female SVHC member was won by Fiona Matheson for her time of 10:22.45 in the W50 3000m equating to a 95.68% grading. The equivalent trophy for male members, the Jubilee Trophy, was won by Alastair Dunlop (Stornoway Running & AC) with his M55 800m time of 2:17.20 equating to 90.55%. The Century Cup (Female) awarded for the best age-graded field performance by a female SVHC members was won by Janet Lyon with her 2.60m vault in the W50 category equating to 71.43% and the Century Cup for the best male performance going, for the fifth year running, to Bobby Stevenson (Ayr Seaforth AAC) for his M55 triple jump of 10.73m equating to 80.97%. The Steedman Shield awarded to the Scottish club with the highest overall points total was won by Aberdeen AAC with a total of 66 points from Edinburgh AC with 45 points. This is the 10th year running and the 12th in the 14 year history of the shield that the award has gone to Aberdeen. The Masters Combined Event Championship held over 23rd and 24th June attracted only two athletes but produced a very exciting decathlon competition with Colin Christie (Montrose & District AC) edging out Ken Moncrieff (Falkirk Victoria Harriers) by a mere 16 points. The competition was tight throughout with Ken actually leading by 16 points at the end of day one. (For details of the BMAF Decathlon Championships see Ken’s report elsewhere in the Newsletter).

B.M.A.F. Track & Field Championships: Derby 21st /22nd July.

A total of 23 SVHC members competed in the event, in much better conditions than those experienced at the Scottish Masters, with some very notable successes. Although I competed in the event when it was last held in Derby in 2003, I could remember little about the venue and was pleasantly surprised by the facilities on offer and the helpfulness of the stadium staff. I was Clerk of the Course on the Saturday and spent most of the day driving around on a golf buggy transporting implements – perhaps we should encourage stadiums in Scotland to provide automated transport. Successful thought it was in Derby it is likely that the event will return to Alexander Stadium, Birmingham in 2013.

Top performances came from Fiona Matheson with gold in the W50 1500m, in a British record time, and the 5000m and Claire Cameron with three gold and one bronze medal in the W50 throws when a guest competitor is excluded. Other gold medal winners were Fiona Davidson in the W35 triple jump, Janet Lyon in the W50 pole vault, her 2.60m clearance equalling her own Scottish Masters best, Ken Moncrieff in the M50 high jump, Ludwig Ramsay in the M50 800m, Jim Sloan in the M65 javelin and George Hunter in the M65 800m. Top of the ‘other Scots’ was yet again Rosemary Chrimes, competing for Midland Masters, with four golds and a silver in the W75 age category.

 European Veterans Championships: Zittau (Germany), Hradek (Czeck Republic) and Bogatynia (Poland): 16th – 25th August.

A total of 3936 athletes from 38 countries entered a total of 7812 events in the championships staged over the three neighbouring countries. Only nine SVHC members and three other Scots competed winning a total of seven medals. Economic conditions and low profile locations clearly had a significant impact on the number of Scottish competitors, as numbers were much lower than I can recall at any European or World Championships outdoors over recent years. Susan Young from Dundee was easily our most successful athlete winning individual silver in the W35 200m and bronze in the 400m then adding gold in the 4 x 100m relay and silver in the 4 x 400m relay. Will MacGee won bronze medals in the M40 200m and 4 x 100m relay and Alastair Dunlop won silver as part of the M55 4 x 400m relay team. There were several other notable performances with Alastair narrowly missing out on medals placing fourth in both M55 800m and 1500m as well as the 4 x 100m relay, Sharyn Ramage finishing fourth in the W50 1500m, Eddie McKenzie fourth in the M50 throws pentathlon and Allan Leiper fourth in the M50 decathlon.



Over the years the Track 10,000 metres Club Championship has proved to be one of the most popular events on the SVHC fixture list. With over 40 runners in last year’s race it was the best supported event of its kind in Scotland. And with this popularity comes a problem for the organisers, that of recording laps.

In order to reduce the problems on the day, for this year’s race, to be held as usual at Coatbridge Outdoor Sports Centre on Sunday October 21st it will be necessary to enter in advance. Entries should be sent, preferably by email, to – Alastair Macfarlane at to arrive by Friday 19th October.

The entry fee is £2 but that will be collected on the day.

This will again be the first race in the 2012 / 2013 Run and Become Series.

In addition, we would ask for volunteers to come along and assist as lap scorers. If you intend to run bring someone along with you to help, no special skills are required, just the ability to count to 25!

Please note that this event is followed by the AGM. If you are interested in the future of the Scottish Veteran Harriers Club, please make an effort to attend.

Alastair Macfarlane


British and Irish Masters Cross Country International 2012 Saturday 10 November 2012, Stormont Estate, Belfast

Teams: Women 35-39, 40-45, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65+ 4 to run, 3 to score

Men 35-39, 40-45, 45-49, 50-54 6 to run, 4 to score

Men 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+ 4 to run, 3 to score

Men up to M60 will run 8km; all women & M65, M70 will run 6km

As there will be little opportunity to assess fitness in cross country races before the event we thought we should make prospective team members aware of the selection criteria.

These are – 1. A previous record of achievement in cross country races

  1. Current form in 5km and 10km races and similar events prior to the selection date, which will be 4th October.
  2. Performances in SVHC races

SVHC makes a contribution of £40 to each competitor towards travel and accommodation expenses.

The selection committee is: Ada Stewart – Women, Alastair Macfarlane – Men 35 – 49, David Fairweather – Men 50 +

We have made a block reservation for 25 twin rooms for Fri 9th Nov & Sat 10th Nov 2012 for the Scottish Veterans team at the Europa Hotel, Belfast, where the evening reception is also being held. These will cost £90 per room per night including breakfast. Anyone wanting to stay there should contact David.

Alternative cheaper accommodation is available at Jury’s Inn, Days Inn and Ibis Hotel, which are all in the same area of Belfast, but you should make your own arrangements if you don’t wish to stay at the Europa.

All hotels are about 10 – 15 minutes from the CITY AIRPORT and there is a bus stop by the Europa hotel.

The International Airport is about 20 miles away. Many regional airports fly to the City airport.

It is also possible to travel from Edinburgh & Glasgow by bus/ferry to the Europa bus terminal. The hotels are about 4 miles away from Stormont estate so buses have been booked to provide transport from Belfast City Centre to Stormont on the day.

The course is flat parkland with only a few inclines.

Those wishing to attend the Saturday evening reception should inform David Fairweather and include any special dietary requirements. Tickets cost £28 and will have to be paid in advance.

If you require a Scotland running vest please state size.

Work has already begun on selecting the Scottish team, but If you are an SVHC member (or wish to join SVHC) and feel you are worthy of consideration, please contact the appropriate member of the selection committee.

SCOTLAND TEAM JACKETS Fully waterproof/windproof. Order with £44.00 (payable to A.Jenkins) required NO LATER than 24th October to: A.Jenkins, 8 Meadow Riggs, Alnwick Northumberland, NE66 1AP Including name, address, email address and size.

Last year most of the men ordered medium and the ladies small. Check the product out on the FASTRAX website (Team Allan). Further information from


 Experiencing the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – Robert Rogerson

Was it the best Olympics ever? Will it leave a legacy and inspire a generation?

Both of these are difficult to answer in the immediate aftermath and euphoria of what has been a summer feast of sport at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

What I can say with certainty is that the four days at the Olympics was one of the best sporting moments I have ever experienced.

My wife and I had the luck (and forward planning) to get tickets for seven sessions – ranging from the football at Hampden before the Olympics started in London and then athletics, hockey, beach volleyball, fencing and tennis during the middle week of the 14 days of sport.

Being at the first morning of athletics in the stadium was special. As 80,000 rapidly filled the venue by 10am on Friday morning, there was an air of anticipation and a buzz that we were in somewhere special. And then the events started. The qualification rounds for the long jump, the shot put, and the men’s hammer all took place during that morning and between times, the eyes of the crowds were focussed on these.

But these were, unfortunately for the athletes involved, side shows. There was only one main show that morning – the first two rounds of the heptathlon.

The 100m hurdles started it all off. The first heat got off to a blistering start with a winning time of 13.22 giving Karolina Tyminksa more than 1000 points.

As the stadium commentator said, “we knew the track was fast but more than 1000 points is superb”.

Then in heat 3 all of the runners surpassed 1000 points, including Louise Hazel!. Wow. And in heat 4, Katarine Johnson- Thompson participated, equalling her PB. The welcome she received was incredible and clearly shocked her.

But that was nothing to the cheer when Jess Ennis took her place in the last heat. Unbelievably 80,000 could make even more noise a few moments later when Jess set a world best time for the event – all of East London must have known the outcome.

And from then on, Katrina Johnson-Thompson and Jess Ennis captivated the audience. Every time they participated in the high jump, the other events came to a halt. No one could compete with the absorbing, inspiring and awesome performances, which had the audience on their feet repeatedly.

This set the tone (and volume) for the rest of the session. Lee McConnell and Christine Ohuruogu both got the ‘crowd treatment’ and as Lee told me afterwards it was astonishing – nothing from previous Olympic or Commonwealth Games could prepare her for this.

And as we know it got even better over the rest of the Games as Team GB rose to the challenges set and netted more and more medals, PBs, SBs and some world records.

The patriotic spirit was infectious and at each of the venues there was a similar reception to GB competitors.

At Wimbledon, the semi-final with Andy Murray and Laura Robson capped a glorious day on the Saturday as they played twice to get through to the final the following day.

Although my knowledge of fencing or beach volleyball is limited, the crowd cheered the Italians as they won the men’s sabre team fencing bronze medal at the Excel and with the help of some informative commentary and absorbing performances, the beach volleyball won me over as I appreciated the sporting endeavour.

Beyond the sport, much has been said of the outstanding organisation of the events, the venues and the logistics of getting us all round a city which can for the visitor be intimidating and at times unfriendly.

The 2012 Games transformed London. People shared stories on the tube and trains. Signs and Gamesmaker volunteers ensured we all had a smile and made it impossible to get lost. The sun shone and Londoners embraced the world. The Olympics was the only show in town… and it was completing absorbing.

And the answer to the questions at the start? Well I am not qualified to assess whether it was best; this was the first time I had been at the Olympics but I trust the judgement of the athletes who (almost unanimously) say yes – and showed that in their performances.

Will it have a lasting legacy? As someone involved with shaping the legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games I know that much more has to happen beyond the Games themselves to generate that.

But London 2012 was inspirational and augurs well in changing sport and physical activity in the coming years. Just imagine what effect thousands and thousands of people walking for miles could have on their lives.

Getting around the Olympic Park ensured that one of the wider aims of the Olympics – getting people to engage with physical activity – could be met. Being more than a mile long, on our second day we walked well over 7 miles between venues, food stalls, along the stunning wild flower strewn pathways, and the 1.5 miles to West Ham station. Others did the same without a murmur of complaint!

Let’s hope that such engagement with physical activity and sport results in us seeing many more people of all ages taking up our sport of athletics or trying out others. Roll on Glasgow 2014 – we have much to look forward to.

Robert Rogerson is Legacy Research Coordinator for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and a member of Kirkintilloch Olympians



Honorary President: ROBERT DONALD

President: ALASTAIR MACFARLANE 7 Andrew Avenue, Lenzie, G66 5HF Tel: 0141 5781611

Immediate Past President: PETER OGDEN 16 Springhill Road Glasgow, G69 6HH Tel: 0141 7711950

Vice-President: ADA STEWART 30 Earlsburn Road, Lenzie, G66 5PF Tel: 0141 5780526

Honorary Secretary: WILLIE DRYSDALE 6 Kintyre Wynd Carluke, ML8 5RW Tel: 01555 771 448

Honorary Treasurer: Honorary Treasurer: MIKE CLERIHEW 57 Society Road South Queensferry EH30 9XP Tel: 0131 331 2412

Membership Secretary: DAVID FAIRWEATHER 12 Powburn Crescent Uddingston, G71 7SS Tel: 01698 810575

Handicapper: PETER RUDZINSKI 106 Braes Avenue Clydebank. G81 1DP Tel.0141 5623416

Committee Members:

ROBERT DONALD 3 Manse Road Bearsden, G61 3PT Tel: 0141 9422971

JOHN FREEBAIRN Colzium, Stirling Road Kilsyth, G65 0PQ Tel: 01236 821678

CAMPBELL JOSS 25 Speirs Road Bearsden, G61 2LX Tel: 0141 942 0731

BMAF Delegates Alastair Macfarlane, Mike Clerihew

SAL West District Delegate Willie Drysdale

SAL Delegate at AGM Ada Stewart

Auditor George Inglis, Stewart McCrae




Sun 7th SVHC/BMAF Half Marathon Champs, Kirkintilloch

Sun 14th BMAF 10km Champs, Ashford, Kent

Sun 21st SVHC 10km track 1:00pm. Entries to Alastair Macfarlane at before Fri 19th Oct. Entry fee £2 on day SVHC AGM 2:00 pm. Coatbridge Outdoor Centre.

Sun 28th BMAF 10 Mile Championships, Tiptree


Sat 10th British & Irish Masters XC Champs, Belfast

Sat 17th BMAF Cross Country Relays Derby [PROVISIONAL]


Sun 9th Xmas h’cap. 5.3 miles 1.30pm. Cartha Rugby Club. Pre entry Pollok Park JANUARY 2013

Sun 27th Scottish Veteran Harriers Open Masters Road Relays Strathclyde Park Motherwell 11:00am Pre entry

MARCH 2013

Tue/Sun 19/24 European Indoor, Cross-Country, Road Championships San Sebastian, Spain

MAY 2013 Wed 1st [PROVISIONAL] Snowball 4.8m road race 7:30 pm. Coatbridge Outdoor Centre. Convener Ada Stewart

Fri/Sun 24/26th EVAA Non-Stadia Championships – Upice, Czech Republic