MEMBERSHIP NOTES 10th August 2015
I regret to report that 2 of our life members have died recently. Bill Stoddart passed away on 10th August, aged 84. He had been a member of SVHC since 1971 and was made an honorary life member in 2003. Bill was profiled in our April 2014 Newsletter. We send our sympathy to his wife Betty, their son Donald, daughter-in-law Josephine and grandsons Jack and Tom.
Our Hon Life President Bob Donald passed away on 16th August, aged 88. He was 1 of the original SVHC Members.
Welcome to the 29 new and 9 reinstated members who have joined or re-joined since 10th March 2015. 57 members did not renew their subs. As of 20th August 2015, we have 473 paid up members .
For those who have not already paid or set up standing orders, subscription renewals are due in October for 2015/16.
Any member not wishing to renew their membership should send me a resignation letter by post or email.
NEWSLETTER The electronic version of the Newsletter is now the preferred option. Any member who would rather receive a printed Newsletter must contact David Fairweather (djf@ dfairweather.plus.com), if they have not already done so. Please inform David if you add or change your email address.
Please send photos, news, letters, articles, etc for the next issue To: COLIN YOUNGSON TOMLOAN, SANQUHAR ROAD, FORRES, IV36 1DG e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01309 672398
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.
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.
Please ensure, if possible, that the next payment date is set for 10Nov2015, and annually thereafter.
Vests can be purchased from Andy Law for £18, including postage. (Tel: 01546 605336. or email email@example.com)
NAME JOINED NUMBER TOWN
Alastair Beaton 13-May-15 2246 Inverness
Suzanne Boyle 28-Jun-15 2256 Glasgow
Anya Campbell 18-Jul-15 2263 Galashiels
Justin Carter 21-Jul-15 2264 Glasgow
Sean Casey 13-May-15 2247 Cumbernauld
Alison Dargie 12-Aug-15 2270 Gosforth
Anne Douglas 26-May-15 2251 Balerno
Cameron Douglas 24-Mar-15 2244 Dumfries
Brian Douglas 16-Aug-15 2271 Glasgow
Agnes Ellis 31-May-15 2250 Glasgow
Mark Gallacher 15-Jul-15 2262 Motherwell
Deirdre Hoyle 22-Jul-15 2266 Glasgow
Robert Keenan 13-May-15 2248 Cumbernauld
Margaret Keenan 24-Jun-15 2254 Cumbernauld
Karen Kennedy 07-Aug-15 2269 Dunfermline
Stephen Leek 25-Jul-15 2258 Livingston
John Macaskill 10-Jul-15 2261 Isle of Harris
Kevan McCartney 24-Jun-15 2255 Inverkip
Eddie McKenzie 21-Jul-15 2265 Turriff
Sharon Muir 29-Jun-15 2257 Glasgow
David Nightingale 23-Jul-15 2267 Galashiels
Jennifer Reid 24-Jun-15 2253 Campbeltown
Gordon Reid 13-May-15 2249 Coylton
Graeme Scott 14-Apr-15 2245 Wemyss Bay
James Smith 14-Mar-15 2243 Motherwell
Hylda Stewart 27-Jul-15 2268 Newton Abbot
Colin Thomas 08-Jul-15 2260 Glasgow
Neil Walker 05-Jul-15 2259 Kilmaurs
Neil Young 28-May-15 2252 Leven
Michael Dunn 16-Aug-15 2155 Greenock
Jim Hogg 22-Jun-15 1997 Renfrew
Craig Johnston 01-Jun-15 1973 Falkirk
Peter Laing 13-May-15 1692 Prestwick
Craig McBurney 25-Mar-15 1887 Edinburgh
Gwen McFarlane 07-Jun-15 868 Ayr
Danny McLaughlin 16-Aug-15 2166 Greenock
Robert Porteous 12-Jul-15 1138 Glasgow
Charles Thomson 06-Aug-15 1756 Clydebank
David Fairweather Membership Secretary
SCOTTISH VETERAN HARRIERS RUN and BECOME RACE SERIES 2014/15
The Run and Become Race Series is nearing completion, with just 2 events to go.
Current leader in the women’s event is Frances Maxwell 60.3 points followed by Ada Stewart,58.8 and Pamela McCrossan, 51.2.
Leading the men’s competition is Andy McLinden 72.9, with Colin Feechan 2nd on 69.6 and Willie Jarvie, 68.0.
For those who are new to this competition, each runner’s best 8 performances from 16 selected races are involved with age grading utilised to allocate points won. For those who complete more than the required 8 races an additional 1 point is awarded.. Over £600 worth of prizes are available along with trophies and competition is always keen. Check the SVHC website for regular updates.
The 2 remaining races are: –
06/09/2015 Moray Marathon Elgin
04/10/2015 SVHC Half Marathon Champs Kirkintilloch
GREAT SCOTTISH VETERANS: DONALD MACGREGOR
Donald Macgregor (born 23rd July 1939) is one of Scotland’s most distinguished athletes. He won five Scottish titles (6 and 10 miles on the track and three marathons), ran for Scotland in the International Cross Country Championships, and represented GB with distinction in several important marathons, including Kosice (Czechoslovakia), Karl-Marx Stadt (East Germany) and Fukuoka (Japan).
Donald ran for Scotland in two Commonwealth Games marathons; Edinburgh 1970 (8th) and Christchurch 1974 (6th in his fastest-ever 18.104.22.168).
In 1970 he ran 23 miles 971 yards in two hours on the Pitreavie track – only 100 yards less than Jim Alder’s World Record.
However his finest achievement was (aged 33) in the Munich Olympic marathon in 1972. In preparation for the Maxol Marathon British trial, as well as averaging ninety miles per week, he tried two consecutive 120 mile weeks, a month before the race. In addition, this was his second attempt at the carbohydrate depletion/loading pre-marathon diet. In Manchester it worked perfectly – he passed thirteen International athletes during the second half and finished third (second Briton) in 2.15.06 to secure a surprise place in the British Team.
Having recovered quickly, he managed ten 100 mile weeks, mainly at 5.30 per mile, and spent three weeks at altitude in St Moritz, coming down to sea level ten days before the Olympic Marathon.
In Munich on Sunday September 10th, he paced himself very well and came through fast, moving from 30th at 5k to 8th at 40k. Ron Hill wrote in “The Long Hard Road”: “I glance round and get the shock of my life: there, head on one side (the left), black-rimmed spectacles, grimacing face, it’s Macgregor … He’s ungainly but Christ he’s travelling, he’s like a man possessed.” They passed Jack Foster of New Zealand; then Hill’s desperate sprint on the Olympic track left Donald to cross the line 7th in 2.16.34 – a very fine achievement and one of which the modest Macgregor is rightly proud.
While Donald’s excellent record as a senior athlete thoroughly deserves much more than the above summary, this article will focus on his career after he became a Veteran runner at the age of 40.
In 2010 Donald published a fascinating autobiography “Running My Life” and he has kindly permitted me to select material from this book.
His first target was the 1979 IGAL World Veterans (nowadays Masters) track and field championships, which included a marathon, in Hannover, Germany.
In the 10,000 metres “I covered the first 5000 in 15.10 or so. By that time I had a clear lead, and sped up gradually, finishing 53 seconds clear of Aldelagala (Portugal) in 30.04.2, my best for fifteen years.” In 2015, as far as I am aware, Donald’s time remains a Scottish Masters record.
“In the marathon a few days later (2nd August), I decided to take it reasonably easy, and coasted along in the leading bunch for about 10 km, then headed off by myself. No one came with me, and I waited for John Robinson (NZ) who had been far behind me in the 10,000m and whom I had last seen before the Christchurch CG marathon in 1974.
We ran along happily, and as we got into the last few miles I suggested that we should just run in together. I thought he had agreed, so was a little disgruntled when he took off with about 100 metres to go and sprinted to the tape, subsequently denying that we had agreed to anything. I wasn’t very annoyed as I had my gold medal and had no problem with them being shared out. However, I swore that in 1980 in Glasgow, where the IGAL road 10km and Marathon championships were to be held, I would have his guts for garters. The newspapers back home printed the story about my having lost out in the marathon (we only ran 2.22.50), with a photo of Robinson and me. My superior effort in the 10,000 was ignored.”
“A year went by, and I prepared carefully for this ‘grudge match’.” On race day “It was a bright sunny morning. I went through the routine of a very short jog, then lay down to talk myself into a positive frame of mind – in my imagination I was back in Tentsmuir forest, coasting along with not a care in the world. I wanted to run. I was here to do my best. Then I got up, jogged around a little and went to the start (at 8 a.m. on 20th August.)”
“The race was over a pretty flat lap which we had to cover three times. We lined up in wide Bellahouston Road, and would finish in Pollok Estate. I’m not sure how many starters there were – in the hundreds perhaps – but there was a group of very evenly matched contenders for the title, including Derek Fernee (England) and the winner from Hannover, John Robinson.
A leading group of 12 formed early on, and stayed together till around halfway. I was always in or around the front, but about 32 km Robinson got away and built up a lead of 100m.
I thought I had lost it but, encouraged by the shouts of supporters – many of them friends and rivals from the past decades – I pulled myself together and ate away at his lead. It was hard work, but after a few kilometres the lead was clearly diminishing, and when we left the streets and entered Pollok Estate with about 3 km to go, I was at his back and accelerated to pass him.
He fell away a little, and I crossed the line in 2.19.23, just 13 seconds up, absolutely delighted to have won – on home soil, and against the man who had sneaked the win in 1980.
He said afterwards that he had developed a sore leg with a few miles to go, but who listens to excuses? Derek Fernee was 3rd in 2.19.41, a mere 3 seconds behind the New Zealander.”
“On the podium, I was presented with the trophy by a Glasgow bailie, accompanied by organiser Bob Dalgleish. I was also handed a bottle of champagne, and in true Grand Prix style I shook it up and sprayed it over all those around, though I don’t think Bob Dalgleish liked it falling on his blazer!”
Donald mentions that “The world champion tag got me some kudos in Scottish veteran running circles” and mentions Davie Morrison and Bill Scally particularly enjoying his win.
Almost three years (and seven marathons) later, on April 24th 1983, Donald lined up for the inaugural Dundee Peoples Health Marathon. He was determined to do well in the race and had trained seriously – averaging 70 miles per week over the late Winter and Spring.
“Bang! A group of a dozen rapidly formed, going at quite a good pace – all the predicted favourites. I stayed in the group for five miles, taking it cautiously, then Richie Barrie and I found ourselves breaking away from Terry Mitchell, Sam Graves, Murray McNaught, Rab Heron, Craig Ross and the rest. Richie told me he would keep going till 15 miles and in fact kept up his helpful pacemaking role as far as 16, when he drew to a halt.
Then I was on my own and had ten miles of mental concentration to go. I don’t think runners who are aiming to run four or five hours for a marathon realise how great is the concentration required to run under three hours, let alone 2.20. You have to stay focussed all the way. It’s possible to exchange remarks for a second or two, but best not to stop. Better to take sponges and drinks on the run, snatching a cup of water or juice and in some cases a special drink from the tables, and pour the water – but not the juice – over your head, wiping head, neck, face, arms and thighs with a well-filled sponge or two.
I got to the top of the big hill at 21 miles with an effort, but after that my cadence became more fluent; I was able somehow to run more smoothly and on the downhill my stride lengthened. Gradually the lead over Terry Mitchell, who had moved into second and had been catching me, increased. At the finish it was over three minutes.
On the video of the race, made by members of Dundee Road Runners, I look to be flying down from Lochee past the Dundee Royal Infirmary entrance, round the roundabout and round the shops into the finishing straight. The crowds had been out in force round nearly all the route except the areas north of the Kingsway, and thousands thronged the last 300m behind the barriers. A colleague, art teacher Sandy Cuthbert, told me he couldn’t believe I had run 26 miles at that speed. I hadn’t, but the pace over the last five or six miles was close to 12 miles per hour.
The photo-finish under the gantry was crossed at between 2.17.23 and 2.17.24, the latter being the official time. It was the fastest time by a veteran in the UK that year. Terry was 2nd in 2.20.50, Rab Heron 3rd in 2.21.26.”
Donald Macgregor’s time remains the fastest by a Scottish Veteran. Only Aberdonian Dave Clark (who moved to Southern England after leaving Aberdeen University) can compare, with his 2.17.30 as 1st Master in the 1983 New York Marathon and a win in the 1985 World Masters 25k road race.
Macgregor continued to run very well for several years, winning Dundee again in 1984 and the Loch Rannoch event in 1985. He completed an impressive 21 marathons as a veteran, and of course was 1st Master in nearly all of them, including Glasgow, Aberdeen, Road Runners Club, Wolverhampton, Essonne (France) and Westland (Holland).
Donald, as is well known, holds the Scottish record for running marathons faster than 2 hours 20 minutes. He completed 24 in all; seven as a veteran, including two after the age of 45.
In 2015, his 2.17.24 is sixth in the runbritain all-time M40 marathon rankings; and the 2.19.01 (achieved when 6th in the 1984 Glasgow Marathon) is top of the M45 lists – four minutes faster than the second man!
In cross-country, Donald won the Scottish Veterans M40 title in 1980 and 1983, M45 in 1985 and M50 in 1991 and 1993 – the latter event taking place in his home town of St Andrews and featuring a battle with old rival Mel Edwards.
He kept on running, jogging and occasionally competing until very recently – but is still engaged in coaching with his beloved Fife A.C.
Back in the early 1980s, Donald Macgregor was President of the Scottish Cross Country Union and then SAAA event coach for the marathon: younger runners were very lucky to benefit from the friendly, crystal-clear advice of this intelligent, droll, self-deprecating man, who had so many years of top-class experience.
QUESTIONNAIRE: BETTY GILCHRIST
[Betty (W70) achieved clear victories in both the 2014 British and Irish Masters Cross Country International at Nottingham; and the 2015 Scottish Masters CC at Kilmarnock.]
CLUB: Ferranti AAC (a friendly and supportive club).
DATE OF BIRTH: 20 -9-44.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN SPORT: I lived in Saudi Arabia for over 20 years and met Ian Wilson who invited me to join his group.
HAS ANY INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP HAD A MARKED INFLUENCE ON YOUR ATTITUDE OR INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE?
Ian was a fantastic coach who really encouraged us and is still coaching very successfully in Ireland.
WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU GET OUT OF THE SPORT?
Keeps you fit and you meet some friendly people at races – and living in Edinburgh we have great running routes on our doorstep – hills, river paths, canal paths or along the shore.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR BEST EVER PERFORMANCE OR PERFORMANCES?
Hard question but my favourite five races would be: Bahrain Marathon Relay; Brampton to Carlisle; Midnight Sun; Porty New Year’s Day; and of course Parkrun (great for us older runners).
YOUR WORST? Haddington Half.
WHAT UNFULFILLED AMBITIONS DO YOU HAVE? To run a decent time at Haddington!!! (4th time lucky.)
OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITIES? Gym – swim – walk.
WHAT DOES RUNNING BRING YOU THAT YOU WOULD NOT HAVE WANTED TO MISS?
Friends around the world.
CAN YOU GIVE SOME DETAILS OF YOUR TRAINING? Don’t really do any speed sessions any more. Simply go out and run. I had a bad foot injury about two years ago, and later that year had a hernia operation, so mileage and speed have dropped but I am still happy to be out there.
Monday – 3 miles + gym. Tuesday – 5 miles fartlek + gym. Wednesday – 5 miles off-road. Thursday – 5 miles with hills + gym. Friday – 7 miles tempo for me (= steady for my running partner). Saturday – Parkrun or race. Sunday – 90 to 105 minutes Time On Your Feet; or race.
(As one of her five favourite races, Betty names The Bahrain Marathon Relay. Below is some information about this unusual event.)
The Bahrain Marathon Relay, the largest race in the Middle East, takes place at the end of October, and starts at 10 a.m. at the Bahrain International Circuit, home of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Temperatures soar to the mid to high 30s by early afternoon. The 50 km event is undoubtedly an exhausting challenge, given desert conditions, with heat and humidity. There are 16 stages, each approximately 3 km in length. There are eight runners in a team. Each athlete will run either one, two or three legs of the relay. There may be 150 teams competing.
Ian and Teresa Wilson spent over 30 years working in Saudi Arabia and, through their positive coaching methods, succeeded in training seemingly ordinary athletes up to both Olympic and World Championships levels. Teresa is originally from Stillorgan in Co. Dublin. Ian is originally from Sunderland. Eventually, they decided to retire and settle in Co. Laois, Eire, at the end of 2013. Their company is Nuparc Wellness, a business established to assess health and wellbeing of individuals in large corporations. Ian is a UK Level 4 endurance coach; and Teresa a UK Level 2 endurance coach. Even in semi-retirement, they have taken Irish teams to Bahrain.
The Bahrain Marathon Relay, for which the Wilsons have prepared many teams, was first run in 1981 and has grown to the point where the event attracts a large number of teams and athletes ranging from Olympic standard to those who just enjoy a healthy jog and the camaraderie of taking part. It has become an important highlight not only for Bahrain and its neighbouring countries but also for countless runners who fly in from all over the world to compete. There is a good deal of corporate sponsorship and almost two million dollars has been raised for charity, during the 27 years of the relay.
Roads through the desert, camel trains, extreme heat, rainstorms, sudden hot head- or tail-winds – all these aspects add to the uniqueness of this event. The full history of each race makes fascinating reading.
Scottish athletes who have taken part include Phyllis O’Brien (HBT); Ivie Rennie and Gordon Reid (Kilmarnock AC); Janice Madsen, former British Marathon International Lynn Harding, and David, Betty Gilchrist’s son. Betty herself holds the record for most appearances by a woman in the Bahrain Marathon Relay, having run 22 stages. Teresa Wilson and Jackie Newton tie with 18.
QUESTIONNAIRE: IAN LEGGETT
(Ian Leggett, pictured in a 1960s Nigel Barge road race, is one of our most durable SVHC runners. He made his debut for Clydesdale Harriers in 1963 as a senior and quickly became a first team runner. Clydesdale won team gold medals in Dunbartonshire Cross-Country relay championships.
Between 1966 and 1969, Ian emigrated to Australia but returned to run Stage Six of the Edinburgh to Glasgow in the latter year.
From then up to 1973 he was at his fastest, running particularly well in the Midland (West) District CC (4th) and the National (31st).
In the 1969 Scottish Inter-Counties CC he had perhaps his best-ever race, finishing second to international athlete John Linaker.
In addition he ran well on the track, won long road races and tackled severe challenges like the Mamore Hill Race and Ben Nevis.
Of course, he was awarded several Clydesdale Harriers championships, for example the 3 and 6 miles track events, and other club trophies.
Ian Leggett raced a great deal more than nearly all athletes nowadays.
As a Veteran/Masters runner, Ian won Scottish middle distance track titles and ran for Scottish Veterans in the annual British and Irish CC International, winning team medals.
His long fight to win a Scottish Masters CC title seemed to be making progress in 1986 when he was second M45 behind the aforementioned John Linaker. It was the same one-two (M50 this time) in 1990. Ian picked up two more silver medals (M60); and a silver and bronze in M65.
At last, in 2011, Ian Leggett won a very well-deserved gold medal in the M70 category, and followed that with, guess what, a silver the following year.
As the article below makes clear, he is not only a role model for ageing SVHC members, but also quite a character!)
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE MAD TO BE A RUNNER BUT IT CERTAINLY HELPS
By Ian Leggett
I don’t usually reply to questionnaires as they usually result in cold calls about PPI or more questionnaires but in this case I felt I was safe enough.
My Name is Ian Leggett, appropriately enough for a runner born and raised in Maryhill, Glasgow, where my allegiance to the famous Partick Thistle (JAGS) was formed. Married to Cathy for 52 years and blessed with 7 sons and 3 daughters (before we purchased a television set).
CLUBS currently Lothian Running club, prior clubs Livingston, Clydesdale, Whyalla Harriers South Australia.
OCCUPATIONS Ex Postman and admin worker.
HOW DID I GET INVOLVED IN THE SPORT? During National Service played football and was drafted into athletic involvement – anything to dodge drilling and cookhouse duties.
HAS ANY INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP INFLUENCED YOU?
My first connection with athletics came as a result of following the Jags around the Glasgow Sports at Ibrox. In those days 5 a side football tournaments were highly contested summer events, but the highlight of that day was an Aberdeen runner by the name of Alastair Wood in the 3 mile race – left the other runners in the field for dead and made a lasting impression on me. He went on to win marathons but probably his finest achievement came in winning the famous London to Brighton race in 1972 and breaking the record.
Another was Brian McAusland and the Clydesdale Harriers team of the 70s. We had great team camaraderie and absolutely fantastic changing facilities down in the basement of Clydebank Baths, with heated pipes and showers, where many a Bothy ballad rung out on a cold winter night after a training session.
Martin Hyman and the Livingston club of the 80s was another group which kept my momentum going in the sport.
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT OUT OF THE SPORT?
Lots of friends, healthy wellbeing and, through Masters events, travelling to many places around the world I would probably have missed i.e. Finland, Denmark, France, Italy, Slovenia, Australia – and even England.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BEST EVER PERFORMANCE?
The last race I ran.
Undoubtedly, as a novice runner, running the second leg of the Edinburgh to Glasgow relay. I was completely unprepared for this type of contest. The second leg usually featured the cream of the best runners and I ended up shell-shocked at the end of the leg and almost called it a day there and then.
WHAT UNFULLFILLED AMBITION S DO YOU HAVE?
To run overseas in a Scotland vest, instead of having to run as Team GB.
OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITIES?
My 13 grand children help me fill up my time outside the sport.
TRAINING DETAILS? No secret! Arthur Lydiard processed the ultimate training schedules. It’s just adjusting your lifestyle to suit whatever your personal ambitions are.
Group therapy suited me best, with the old version of pack runs, adjusting to the season of either track, country or roads – we were all very versatile in those days. There weren’t as many races on the calendar as there are today. When there was a free weekend without a race, there was a culture of going visiting other clubs to have a run and buffet afterwards.
I remember one trip in particular as Clydesdale visited Greenock Wellpark but we had a lot of call-offs on the day. The buffet was enormous, with more than enough Scotch Pies, and we were obliged to eat more than our fair share so as not to offend our hosts. I never thought I would be sick of the sight of a Scotch Pie in my life but that day was pretty close.
ADVICE TO ANYONE IN THE SPORT?
Respect your body, because injury is the hardest obstacle to overcome.
AW RA BEST, IAN LEGGETT
One was a race organised by the notorious Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow to raise funds for HIV testing units within the prison. We arrived at the main gate and were ushered into our changing room which was, the warden who escorted us took great pleasure in pointing out, where the last hanging had taken place.
The race itself consisted of 5 laps inside the prison. The head warden, who was a 6 foot 6inches Texan, started the race with a klaxon (no gun).
A few personalities, including Terry Butcher, a couple of Celtic second-string players, a well-known Glasgow boxer and some privileged prisoners, helped to make up the 50 starters.
The privileged prisoners were conspicuous by their orange plimsolls, white tops and black shorts. At the start we were surprised by a few of the orange plimsolls flying off around the first corner. Then, at the second corner they were leaning against the wall, having a fag.
As the rest of us raced round we were greeted by the rattling of tin mugs against the bars of the windows – it was like a Japanese prisoner of war movie.
After the race we were given a slap-up meal with the prisoners and enjoyed their company. It was an enlightening experience but I gave a sigh of relief as the big double doors slammed shut with me safely outside.
Another race for the archives was in Broxburn, organised by BELL’S distillery, not so much the race itself but the finishing drinks were thimbles of whisky and the prizes consisted of bottles of the amber nectar. Can’t say if it was beneficial to after-race recovery but certainly an enjoyable warm down! By today’s drink -drive regulations we would have been very close to the limit.
Similarly the Broughton Brewery race at the New Year where the first prize was a crate of the local ale, second was half a crate and 3rd was 6 of the best; and a bottle to each finisher warmed the cockles of each heart.
My club was fortunate enough to finish 3rd in a prominent Glasgow road relay and the prize was 4 trouser presses. Not long afterwards, at the annual club Christmas handicap race, nicely wrapped up, were 4 very distinctive trouser presses.
If any readers would like to share details of any race that they found quirky, just send the information to Colin on the back of a twenty pound note!
(Ian’s friend and former Clydesdale Harrier team-mate Brian McAusland added the following. “On a two-hour plus Saturday afternoon run down through Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven and back home via The Boule – going out through Dumbarton he switched on his transistor radio (for the Thistle result later on), and there was Victor Sylvester’s music, so he grabbed me round the waist and ballroom-danced me for fifty or sixty yards up the High Street. Wasn’t even legal at the time!
At a Scottish Marathon Club dinner in Glasgow the first course was served, the staff scattered around the room waiting to clear the tables. When they got the nod from the heid bummer, they swung into action immaculately. Leggett grabbed the table numbers from our table and the one beside it, held them up and called out ‘Seven point six!’ a la ice dancing, gymnastics etc.”)
CROSS COUNTRY TRAINING WITH PURPOSE – A PERSONAL VIEW
By Brian Gardner
(Brian has enjoyed considerable success in Masters’ contests – on track and road but especially country. He is a deep thinker about the sport, as the following advice on training will prove. Hopefully, the article will provide inspiration for readers keen to represent Scottish Veterans in mid-November in Dublin!)
What’s the point of training? Is it to maintain health and fitness and to remain competitive in later life? Or is there more to it than that? Do we want to be the best that we can be, given our limitations? If so, when do we want to be the best that we can be? And that’s the point of this article. It’s a personal view of how Masters cross country runners can plan effectively to peak at the right time.
Planning the Year
It’s a well known planning technique to start with your most important competitions and work backwards. But which competitions are the most important? Serious masters could have the Scottish or Regional Masters Cross County Championship in February, the British equivalent in March and maybe the European or World Championships, too. So, that’s simple, isn’t it? Work backwards from March.
But wait a minute, the British and Irish Cross Country (Home International) event is in November. How can we be at our peak at the beginning of the season?
But is it the beginning of the season? Not if we divide our year into three seasons:
Cross Country 1: peak for the Home International in November and/or the National cross country relays and, in Scotland, the short course championship; work backwards – start training in August 2.
Cross Country 2: peak for the National (or Regional) championships in February and/or March plus possibly the Europeans or Worlds; work backwards – take a short break after Cross Country 1 and start training again in mid-late December.
Track: peak for the British championships in July, taking in the Scottish or Regional championships along the way; work backwards – take a break at the end of Cross Country 2 and start training again in late March/early April
Objectives An old swimming coach introduced tiered objectives: rather than set a goal which is too high and end up disappointed, or set one which is so easy that we don’t stretch ourselves, set objectives in three tiers:
- Should – get the training done and we should achieve this objective e.g. top 20 in our most important race
- Could – put the extra effort in, stay focused and we could achieve this e.g. top 10 3. Just might – in a perfect race this is the dream outcome e.g. get a medal
This way we aim high but it’s not ‘all or nothing’: we have alternative goals to fall back on and can still feel proud of our achievements.
Progression To give us the best chance of achieving our objectives at the right time, the training has to be progressive. And that’s not always about increasing mileage, although that’s important, too.
We want our running to be of the highest possible quality in the most important races. So, we need to improve quality throughout the season.
How? If our most important races are cross country, then our most important training sessions should also be cross country.
And now we come to my own favourite session: cross country reps. Find some fields, preferably with hills, twists, turns and mud: just what you’d expect to find in a race. Try out a lap and estimate the distance e.g. one mile; the exact distance is not important as long as you repeat the same distance on each rep.
At the beginning of the season we might run 4 reps with 90 seconds recovery. The next session in a couple of weeks’ time could be 5 reps with the same recovery or 4 reps with a shorter recovery i.e. alter only one variable at a time.
Approaching the climax of the season we could be running 6 reps with 45 seconds recovery.
Getting really close to the peak race we’ll taper e.g. 3 reps with 2 minutes recovery. Time taken to run each rep should be about the same within a single session but our times might get slower from session to session as conditions worsen throughout the winter. It’s the effort that really counts.
It’s a good idea to have about three different settings for our reps sessions: the courses in our races will vary, so our training routes should vary, too. The above principle applies equally to hill reps.
Weekly Schedule A typical week could look like this: Monday: steady/recovery Tuesday: cross country reps Wednesday: steady/recovery Thursday: cross country reps or hill reps Friday: rest Saturday: race Sunday: long cross country run
An ‘intermediate’ session such as a fartlek (speed play), a wind up run (multiple laps with no recovery, gradually winding up the pace) or a differential run (out steady/back fast or steady/fast/steady) could replace one of the steady runs.
The confusingly named ‘cross training’ could also play a part e.g. swimming or cycling; as could resistance training such as weights, circuits or core stability, all of which should also be progressive. But that’s a subject for an article quite different from this one…
Variation So, that’s Cross Country 1. Cross Country 2 is similar but it’s a shorter period of time, so how do we keep it fresh, rather than regurgitating Cross Country 1?
Well, the pace varies in cross country races, and there are many ways to replicate this in training: a) Vary the distance of the rep e.g. half-mile x2, 1 mile x2, half-mile x2 b) Vary the recovery, even when the rep distance is constant e.g. 90 seconds after rep 1, 75sec after rep 2, 60sec after rep 3, 45sec after rep 4; 30sec after rep 5; stop half way through rep 6, take 10sec rest and complete the second half flat out – it’s different! c) Hill reps are always followed by a long recovery jog back down – right? Not necessarily: why not stop for a short recovery at the top of the hill then run down fast? We can make up a lot of ground in races by descending quickly, so let’s practise it in training. We could also run ‘ladders’ or ‘up the clock’ on a long hill: running further up (and down) the hill with each successive rep. d) Combine cross country reps and hill reps e.g. 3 x (5min rep/90sec recovery/ 3min rep/ 90sec recovery/6x20sec hill/ jog back) x 90 seconds e) And a variation of (d) is: 4x30sec hill in set 1, 6x20sec in set 2 and 8x15sec in set 3
Although this article is about cross country, there are of course many road races including championships, with dates that are not always the same from year to year.
With three peaks throughout the year, there’s a good chance that we’ll be at our best when some of them come around. And then there’s a track season, but that’s another story…
Summary So, there you have it: purposeful (or masterful) cross-country training. We began by questioning what we’re running for. Assuming we are targeting important races at different parts of the year, we worked backwards from them. We split the year into three seasons and planned sessions which are progressive in quality throughout each season, ending with a taper in the final period before the Big Race.
This article is based on personal experience and, to paraphrase ‘How They Train’ from Athletics Weekly, it won’t suit everyone. But I hope it’s been interesting. Your comments via the editor are welcome. Enjoy your cross country training and racing!
QUESTIONNAIRE: CHRIS UPSON
(Chris has of course run for Scotland in the Annual British and Irish Masters Cross Country International; is currently racing better than ever; and has a long, distinguished history as a dedicated hill-runner.)
CLUBs. Ronhill Cambuslang (previously Westerlands 2000-2014).
DATE OF BIRTH. 08/08/1963.
OCCUPATION. Naval Engineering at BAE Systems.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE SPORT?
Very gradually… From 5 years old I knew I wanted to run on the hills and explore wild places. Teenage years were spent exploring the English Lake District on foot and bike. Mid 1980s I caught the Munro-bagging bug, and have since climbed all the Scottish Munros and Corbetts. In 1989 I had a near fatal climbing accident that broke my ankle and crushed a lumbar vertebra. In 1990 I came back more determined and climbed Mont Blanc, then Elbrus in Russia in 1993.
I then spent 10 years rock climbing around Britain, Europe and the United States, before thinking about trying a couple of hill races in 2000 with Glen Rosa and Borrowdale.
Since then I’ve completed more than 800 races, plus visiting Nepal 6 times and hiking across the Pyrenees 2 and half times. Races have ranged from 800 metres at the Emirates, to the 10-stage Everest Sky Race in Nepal.
HAS ANY INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP HAD A MARKED INFLUENCE ON YOUR ATTITUDE OR INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE?
Recently, the stalwart veterans at Ronhill Cambuslang and SVHC Masters have inspired me to keep working hard. Uncompromising runners like Paul Thompson, Colin Feechan and John Thomson show that you can still perform at a high level as a V55. I guess that growing up in the 1970s I’m inspired by keeping things simple, and remembering the importance of physical discomfort.
WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU GET OUT OF THE SPORT?
A sense of belonging. A sense of purpose.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR BEST EVER PERFORMANCE? Best performance: 1st M50 at Scottish Masters Cross Country at Kilmarnock in January 2015.
YOUR WORST? I don’t remember any worst performances. I think all performances are part of the learning process.
WHAT UNFULFILLED AMBITIONS DO YOU HAVE?
Sub 2:50 marathon. Possibly a World Masters track medal.
OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITIES?
Playing violin. Playing with my 3-year old son Benjamin.
WHAT DOES RUNNING BRING YOU THAT YOU WOULD NOT HAVE WANTED TO MISS?
That gut-churning sense of excitement before every race. The sense of relief and peace after the race.
CAN YOU GIVE SOME DETAILS OF YOUR TRAINING?
Quite ad hoc. At present, just lunchtime runs and weekend races. Occasionally more structure leading up to a marathon.
Career Highlights in hill-running. Won the FRA Long Distance Award in 2003 for Lakes24, a new route in the Lake District that bagged 24 Marilyns in 24 hours.
Favourite Races. My favourite race of recent years is Defi de l’Oisans in France.
My favourite Scottish races are probably Two Breweries and Pentland Skyline.
MOST MEMORABLE RACE Inter Lacs 2003. Restonica Valley, Corsica. 2-Stage event. Very rugged spectacular scenery. Ben Nevis is the most challenging and memorable Scottish race.
OTHER INTERESTS. I also occasionally take photos for the Geograph project; and sometimes play my violin with the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra.
FAVOURITE HILL RACES: MEL EDWARDS
[Aberdeen’s Mel Edwards (M.B.E) is a local legend. He was a top class runner in cross-country, track and marathon; then spent many years racing on the hills; and also became a successful veteran athlete and coach. Here he recalls events which took place long before Chris Upson took part in similar events. Chris reckons that “although the Scottish hills will be much the same, I imagine the flavour of the sport has changed a fair bit, especially over the last ten years. There has been an explosion in popularity of some of the key hill races.” Look up the website scottishhillracing.co.uk for lots of fascinating detail on the current scene.]
THE 6 CAIRNGORM TOPS. 40 MILES AND 12,000 FEET ASCENT
It was on 13 July 1985 (at the age of 42) that I, Dave Armitage and Phil Kammer attempted this epic with the aim of completing it in less than half a day!
We set off from Glenmore Lodge at 7am. Good conditions.
Our first stop was at 1 hour 30 at Faindouran Lodge where Eddie Butler had food and water for us.
Then off along the good track along Glen Avon to the footbridge immediately north of Ben Avon. The ascent of Ben Avon was very heathery and we reached the summit at 3 hours, then ran most of the way over to Beinn a Bhuird (3 hours 45).
Then it was back down to Glen Avon, across the river and along the track to Fords of Avon hut where Eddie, his wife Kath and my wife Kareen were waiting. I didn’t feel like eating, and paid for it shortly after with a touch of glycogen depletion.
We reached the top of Cairngorm at 5 hours 45 for another stop (Steve and Sheena Wallace).
Then it was across the Macdui plateau, where I began to perk up a bit, and we reached the summit of Ben Macdui at 6 hours 45.
Then down the Taillear Burn which was quite tricky, to the Lairig Ghru. (Keith Adams).
I had some Nestle’s milk and a banana here and was quite strong most of the way up Cairn Toul (8 hours 35) helped by pumping Dextrosol!.
At Braeriach (9 hours 35) Willie Munro was waiting and this was our final stop. I began to feel strong on the descent, and up the horrendously rough Chalamain Gap.
Then it was on to Glenmore Lodge. The final steep hill up to the lawn was tough but I managed to jog it through sheer determination. 11 hours 39 minutes and 4 seconds. Yes!! Under half a day.
So, a summary. An extremely tough test of endurance, and I have to admit I was the weakest of the three of us physically but I couldn’t fault my mental approach. The glycogen depletion was almost certainly due my inability to eat much when running. Next day was a rest day!!
(With this performance, Mel, Phil and Dave broke the record for this particularly arduous route. In 1999 Alex Keith of Inverness finally set a new mark. For more history, see the website shr. uk.com long distance records.)
BORROWDALE FELL RACE. 17 MILES AND 6,500 FEET ASCENT.
In 1983 I was chasing points for the British Vets hill running championship and on 6th August headed for Keswick to try to get “long one” points. I was accompanied by wife Kareen and my mother Joy. My father had passed away suddenly at the age of 80 two weeks previously and Kareen and I thought the break would be good for Joy.
I had been having muscle problems for a couple of weeks so decided to take it easy and just finish. The race was quite uneventful and of the 328 starters I finished in the top 25% in 3 hours 53 minutes.
However, the drama came on the way home. After these long ones I was unable to hold down food or fluid until breakfast the next day, and was prone to stopping the car in a lay-by and lying flat on my back. I did just that and Joy was aghast, thinking she was going to lose the second member of her family in a fortnight. However Kareen put her at ease by saying quite calmly “He always does this. It’s called a lay-by lie-down”.
THREE PEAKS RACE 1978.
This was one of my favourite long hill races ( 23 miles and 5250 feet ascent ).
Starting at Horton in Ribblesdale it takes in Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
In April 1978 the conditions were horrendous. As I reached the summit of Ingleborough I was with a Blackheath and Bromley Harrier, easily recognised by the black vest. I turned at the top to descend towards the finish and noticed he was no longer there.
I finished 150th in 3.44 and on the drive home reflected on what I deemed to be a poor performance.
The following day this was put in its true perspective when I read that Ted Pepper of Blackheath had been found dead from exposure. As I left Ingleborough’s summit he must have taken the wrong route, tired and succumbed to the weather.
In 1979 I finished 17th in 3.09 and fully appreciated how lucky I was to still be around.
SIERRE – ZINAL
The Sierre Zinal race in Switzerland is one of the most famous mountain races in Europe. It starts in the town of Sierre, in the Rhone valley and finishes in the small village of Zinal which sits below some impressive mountains.
The course is a good test of all-round mountain running ability with a tough climb for the first 10km, followed by around 15km of faster running and then a steep descent into Zinal. In total the race is 31km with 2100m of ascent and around 800m of descent.
One of the best things about the race is the view of the mountains; you can see five of the Alpine 4000m peaks from the course. It is held each August and starts at 08.30.
I have done the event on 4 occasions, 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1988. In those 12 years the number of starters increased by 60% to 1530.
My positions have been:- 1977 99th in 3.22 (won by Chuck Smead of America)
1978 64th in 3.12 (Fraser Clyne finished 57th in 3.10)
1981 109th in 3.16 (won by Craig Virgil of America)
1988 454th in 3.54 (won by Pierre-Andre Gobet of Switzerland).
CAIRNGORM 4000 FEET TOPS
[The classic Cairngorms outing is the round of all four 4000ers (Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Cairn Toul, Braeriach), starting and finishing at Glenmore Lodge (25 miles / 7600 feet of ascent).
Eric Beard made his mark with an impressive time of 4 hours 41 minutes in 1963.
This record was beaten by Mel Edwards on 9th July 1979 with a time of 4 hours 34 minutes 8 seconds.
Edwards’ 22 year record was broken by Dan Whitehead of Cosmics on 13th October 2001. He completed the course in 4 hours 31 minutes 21 seconds.]
Mel remembers: “I had great navigational help from Dave Armitage. Near the end, I was so psyched up, that my spectating father was shocked by my oaths of excitement with two miles to go, as I realized that I was going to take the record!”
Mel went on to advise Kath Butler when she set an inaugural women’s record in 1988. Her husband Eddie ran with her, along with Mel, as she followed the same route as he had, from Glenmore Lodge via the Chalamain Gap to Braeriach, then Cairntoul, a 2400 feet descent to Lairig Ghru, across the Dee, then up the gully of Tailors’ Burn to the summit of Ben Macdui, before continuing to Cairngorm. Her time was 6 hours 45 minutes.
SCOTTISH NATIONAL MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS AT GRANGEMOUTH STADIUM ON 11th JULY 2015
Congratulations are due this year to Scottish Athletics organisers and officials, since this one-day event was the best Masters track and field championships for some time. Not only was the programme cleverly set out, but also all events were completed by 4 p.m., allowing everyone to travel home at a sensible time, with no need for the expense of overnight accommodation. The weather was good too – warm at times, but not excessively so, and with no more than a medium strength breeze for middle-distance athletes to cope with. The re-laid Commonwealth Games track felt very comfortable underfoot. Long may such Masters-friendly organisation continue! Hopefully the Indoors will not be on 3rd January again; or clashing with the Cross Country……
In the Women’s events, several athletes performed particularly well. In the 100 metres, the fastest competitor in any age group was Aberdeen AAC stalwart Kathleen Madigan (W45 – 13.78). However, in the 200 metres she was second to Jacqui Hodgson (Durham City – 28.43), who also finished first in the 400 metres.
The outstanding middle-distance runner on show was Hilary McGrath (W50) of Law and District, who won both 1500 metres (5.10.23) and 3000 metres (10.58.94) in fast times.
Claire Reid (W35 Airdrie H) was victorious in Shot, Discus, Javelin and Hammer. Claire Cameron (W60 Ayr Seaforth) was first in the Shot, Discus and Hammer; Jayne Kirkpartick (W40 Nithsdale AC) Shot, Discus and Javelin; and Gwen McFarlane (W60 Ayr Seaforth AC) Shot, Discus and Javelin. Patricia Elaine Phillips (W50 Kilbarchan AC) won both Shot and Discus. Fiona Davidson (W40 Aberdeen AAC) was first in both Long and Triple Jumps.
In the Men’s events, Bob Douglas (M60 Harmeny AC), James Smith (M70 Motherwell AC) and Walter Douglas (M75) won not only the 100m but also 200m and 400m.
Double winners included 100/200 for Mike Tarnawsky (M40 Dundee Hawkhill H), Ronald Hunter (M50 Corstorphine AAC) and Dougie Donald (M55 Midland Vets); 400/800 for Alan Fulton (M 65 Aberdeen AAC); and the incredible M85 Hugh McGinlay (also 400/800).
Steven Wright (M40 Forres Harriers) ran an excellent 800m in 2.03.83; although in a separate race M35 Colin Garrett (Ayr Seaforth AC) was slightly quicker in 2.02.76. Thomas Brannon (M45 North Shield) completed the 800/1500 double. Gordon Barrie (M40 Dundee Hawkhill H) produced the best 1500m performance (4.18.36).
In the 5000 metres, Robert Gilroy (M35 Ron Hill Cambuslang H), who is currently Scotland’s fastest Masters cross-country runner, achieved the clearest of victories in the very good time of 15.29.52. However, on the age-graded tables, Guy Bracken (M50 North Shield) produced the time of the day with 15.40.35. Colin Feechan (M55 RHCH) won his race easily in 17.34.14. Craig Ross (M60 Dundee Hawkhill H) recorded 19.06.70, in front of Robert Wilson (M60 Greenock Glenpark H, who went on to win the 1500m. Alex Sutherland (M65 Highland Hillrunners) found that his new spikes helped him to a fine 19.35.99; and the indefatigable Bobby Young (M70 Clydesdale H) finished in 21.07.20.
Pick of the hurdlers was probably Andrew Webb (M65 North Shield) who ran 100mH in 20.06.
Alan Robertson (M35 Motherwell AC) won the Long Jump (6.09) in front of David Carson Graham (Shettleston H) who was first in the High Jump (1.73). David Carpenter (M45 North Ayrshire AC) won his LJ age-group in 5.90. M55 Steve Wallace (Pitreavie AC) did the LJ/TJ double; and Trevor Madigan (M70 Aberdeen AAC) won both High and Long Jumps.
Star thrower was probably M60 Jim Hogg who won Shot, Discus and Hammer. Stuart Ryan (M50 Gateshead H) was first in Javelin and Shot. Rene Rogers (M40 Dundee Hawkhill H) did the Discus/Hammer double. Bob Masson (M65 Aberdeen AAC) won Discus and Javelin, as did Pete Eddy (M70 DHH). Alexander MacIntosh (M55 Kilmarnock H and AC) finished first in Discus, Hammer and Javelin. Bill Gentleman (M75 Edinburgh AC) won Hammer, Shot and Discus. The M80 throws featured close battles between Hugh Ryan, who won Discus, Hammer and Javelin; and Robin Sykes (Bellahouston H) who was second in Discus and Javelin but defeated his rival in the Shot.
WORLD MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS – LYON, FRANCE
By Alan Ramage
36 SVHC members made the short trip across the channel to Lyon to take part in the World Masters Championships at the beginning of August, leaving behind the chill of the Scottish summer to enter a heatwave that was moving across Europe.
The star of the show was Fiona Davidson (F40), SVHC’s only Gold Medallist from the thirteen days of competition. Fiona had entered both the Long Jump and Triple Jump however made the decision to skip the Long Jump and put all her eggs into the one basket. It proved to be the correct decision as she excelled in a hard battle with a Ukrainian jumper, taking the Gold Medal by a mere centimetre with a jump of 11m 35cm.
As the Scots waited for another individual medal, it was like waiting for buses, another arrived shortly afterwards courtesy of Susan Young (W35) in the 400m. Similar to Fiona, Susan, having been in the habit of doing the 100m and 200m at previous championships, skipped the shorter events this year and duly added a bronze medal to the silver she won in Brazil in 2013 with a time of 59.07 secs.
We had to wait to the final day of the championships, and the longest event, to win our third and final individual medal. Kerry-Liam Wilson (M40), going into the Marathon with the third fastest time, was hoping to upset the apple cart, and set off at a ridiculously early time of 7.30am with only one colour of medal in mind.
Having reached half way in second place, some 40 secs down, he steadily worked back to the Canadian leader and actually led the race at 24 miles.
However, catching the Canadian only fuelled the Canadian and he found a second wind, and having worked hard to get to him it was a psychological blow for Kerry who suffered over the last few miles and allowed the Frenchman to pass him just before entering the track to finish.
Having left everything out on the course, Kerry can be pleased with his Bronze medal in a time of 2.31:01.
Grant Ramsay (M40), making his debut at the championships, finishing 16th in 2.48:31, teaming up with Kerry and a fellow Brit to pick up silver in the team competition.
The Championships started off with the Decathlon where Ian Paget (M40), Derek Glasgow (M50) and Ken Moncrieff (M55) forced their bodies through the 10 events in what were very difficult conditions. Although it has to be said, that Ken only managed three events before having an altercation with the High Jump bar, and as expected came off second best, bringing his competition to an abrupt end.
Given the inadequacies of the results service the final positions for Ian and Derek were not published but both had creditable performances.
The sprints were pretty sparse of SVHC members. However, Bob Douglas (M60) had a very good championships, reaching the 200m semi-final where he finished 7th in a time of 27.53 and then went on to finish 5th in the 400m, narrowly missing out on the final with a new PB of 60.20.
In the 100m, Neil Young (M55) finished 6th in his heat with a time of 14.82. In the 80m Hurdles, Lorna Rogers (W40) made the final where she finished 7th with a time of 12.58. A regular on the International scene, Francis Cannon (M65) ran 62.5 to finish 5th in his 400m heat.
The middle distance events proved to be rather disappointing and frustrating for the Scots with only two finalists in the 800m and none in the 1500m, proving that the hardest thing at this age is staying injury and illness free in the build up to the Championships.
Pride of place goes to debutant, Yvonne Crilley (W50) who, having qualified from the heats after her daughters raced to the other side of Lyon to pick up her numbers to ensure she could run, finished a creditable 7th in a time of 2.37:32, a tremendous performance at this level.
Alastair Dunlop (M60), having won a medal at every World Championships he has competed in, failed on this occasion, finishing 8th in a time of 2.19:36.
There was encouraging performances from debutants Claire Barr (W40), Dean Kane (M40), Craig Johnson (M45) and Gerrard Starrs (M55) however there was disappointing and under par performances due to various reasons, and compared to previous championships, for a number of reasons from Andrew Ronald (M45), Alex Bryce (M55), John Thomson (M55), Francis Cannon (M65), Sharyn Ramage (W50) and Caroline Lawless (W55).
The distance events kicked off with the Cross Country with Colin Feechan (M55) running a fantastic race to finish 14th however finished second GB athlete and helped them to Gold in the team event. Colin then went on to finish 10th in the 10,000m in a time of 36.44:97, with Alan Hill (M55) finishing 51st in a time of 23.45:63.
Alex Sutherland (M60) also helped the GB team to silver medal in the Cross Country, finishing 9th in a time of 33.02 before embarking on a gruelling six days where he finished 10th in the 5,000m and then 8th in the 10,000m.
The Cross Country saw Sharyn Ramage (W50), Caroline Lawless (W55), Andrew Ronald (M45) and John Denholm (M60) finish 20th, 21st, 31st and 45th respectively.
In the 5,000m Walk, Andrew Fraser (M45) made his debut, finishing 13th in a time of 30.30:27.
The final day saw new girl, Claire Thomson (W35) flew directly in from her holiday in Crete to finish 10th in the 2,000m Steeplechase with a time of 8.13:35.
In the field events, Cameron Douglas (M65) finished 18th in the Long Jump qualifying round whilst the experienced Claire Cameron (W55) finished a creditable 5th in the Discus final with a throw of 29.36 before finishing 15th in the qualifying round of the Shot Putt later the same day. Finally, Rene Rogers finished 15th in the Weight Pentathlon on the final day of the championships.
The championships ended with the Relays and the Half Marathon. In the 4x100m, Susan Young (W35) won her second Bronze medal whilst Bob Douglas (M60) dropped down an age group to also win a Bronze medal in the 4x400m.
Fiona Davidson (W40) and Lorna Rogers (W40) made up half the 4x100m team with Sharyn Ramage (W50) dropping down to compete in the W40 4x400m team.
The Half Marathon was run alongside the Marathon and although no individuals medals were won in the Half Marathon, Colin Feechan (M55) added a silver team medal to that already won in the Team Cross Country at the beginning of the championships. Colin struggled a bit today after having already done the Cross Country and 10,000m but still finished first Brit in 8th place with a time of 1:21.04.
Also in the M55 race, Les Hill ran a solid race to finish in 30th place with a time of 1:37.49.
Moving on to the M60s, John Denholm, competing in his third race of the championships finished 37th in a time of 1:42.58, with Les’ older brother Alan, finishing 40th in a time of 1:45.33.
Going back to the younger age groups, debutant Scott Martin (M45) narrowly missed out in a team medal by 23 secs, finishing 4th Brit in 23rd place with a time of 1:18.40.
In the M50s race, Chris Upson, also making his debut, finished first Brit in 19th place with a time of 1:21.38.
Finally, our only woman runner saw Anne Douglas (W60) finish a creditable 17th in a time of 1:53.54.
To summarise the SVHC Medals –
Fiona Davidson – Gold – W40 Triple Jump
Colin Feechan – Gold – M55 Cross Country Team
Colin Feechan – Silver – M55 Half Marathon Team
Grant Ramsay – Silver – M40 Marathon Team
Alex Sutherland – Silver – M65 Cross Country Team
Kerry-Liam Wilson – Silver – M40 Marathon Team
Kerry-Liam Wilson – Bronze – M40 Marathon
Susan Young – Bronze – W35 400m
Susan Young – Bronze – W35 4x100m Relay
Bob Douglas – Bronze – M55 4x400m Relay
So as the championships closed for another year, it was great to see a number of athletes make their debut, and some old faces returning. I would urge anyone to give it a go and show the rest of the athletic fraternity how good the Masters are and I am sure if you spoke to any of the debutants they would agree that the atmosphere, camaraderie and friendship cannot be beaten.
There is room for everyone, and I will leave you with this thought as we look ahead to Perth Australia for next year’s championships …….there were three over 95 year olds competing in the Pole Vault here in Lyon and the Men’s M90 200m finished in a dead heat !!!!
Who says competition is dead in the Masters scene??
LETTER TO THE EDITOR (More wanted, please!)
A Tale of Two Jaffa Cakes
In mid-March I was running quite well e.g. 21:30 for 5k parkrun. Then on 26th March I flew off on holiday to Auckland NZ to visit Big Sister. I was also looking forward to running the Cornwall parkrun in Auckland as I thought the M70 record was a bit soft. Maybe it was hilly or maybe the Kiwis weren’t so fast.
On the Saturday I drove off from the suburbs on the freeway, in a strange car in the dark at 6.30am. In Australia and New Zealand the parkruns start at 8am. Found Cornwall Park (wrong end) so had a warm-up running across a large park looking for runners. The course was quite hilly but I managed to take 44 sec off the M70 record in 23:42.
After a week or so it was off to Adelaide in South Australia to visit my daughter, who was graduating on May 1st. No records there. Last year I ran 21:21 but Adelaide is home to Peter Sandery, world-renowned distance runner. Peter, now 73, had run 19:26 as a M70! I did manage 21:23.
Another 4 weeks holidaying, with lots of eating and drinking, and it was off home.
Even though I had kept running, it was frustrating that I couldn’t get down to 22 minutes until, after the SVHC 5k at Clydebank, a ‘helpful’ friend suggested I had enjoyed the holiday a bit too much! Nonsense! But a visit to the scales indicated there were 7lbs more of me! The culprits were beer and biscuits! I would have to do something about those biscuits.
So, although my wife dutifully stocked the biscuit tin with Penguins, Kit Kats and Wagon Wheels, they remained untouched. I was off to the shops. Numerous boxes of Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes were stuffed in the rucksack.
As you well know, frequent cups of tea require chocolate biscuits. Now each cup of tea had to make do with just two Jaffa cakes (only 49 calories each).
Two and a half weeks later – and 5lbs lighter – a 5000m in 21:07 was recorded at the Scottish Masters Championships at Grangemouth, followed by 21:11 and 21:10 at parkruns.
Surely the Jaffa Cake Diet represents a breakthrough in Masters Athletic Training Techniques?
By Bobby Young, Clydesdale Harriers.
SVHC TRACK 10,000 METRES CHAMPIONSHIP
Outdoor Sports Centre, Langloan Street, Coatbridge, ML5 1ER Sunday, October 18th.
Start Time(s) – Predicted finishing time 40:00 or slower, and walkers 11:30am.
Predicted finishing time sub 40:00 1:00pm.
The Track 10,000 metres Club Championship is one of the most popular events on the SVHC fixture list. Last year 26 runners and 7 walkers finished the race.
With this popularity comes a problem for the organizers: that of recording laps.
In order to reduce the problems on the day there will be two races this year; those with a predicted finishing time of 40:00 or slower, and walkers, will start at 11:30am and those with a predicted time of sub 40:00 will start at 1:00 pm. it will be necessary to enter in advance.
In addition we would ask for volunteers to come along and assist as lap scorers. If you intend to run please bring someone along with you to help. No special skills are required, just the ability to count to 25! Entries by email to Alastair Macfarlane firstname.lastname@example.org, with predicted finishing time, to arrive no later than Thursday 15th October.
The entry fee is £2 but that will be collected on the day.
This will be the first race in the 2015 / 2016 Run and Become Series.
Please note that the club AGM will be held immediately after this event at approximately 2:00pm.
If you are interested in the future of the Scottish Veteran Harriers Club, please make an effort to attend.
By Alastair Macfarlane
OFFICE BEARERS SEASON 2014-2015
President: CAMPBELL JOSS 25 Speirs Road Bearsden, G61 2LX Tel: 0141 9420731 email@example.com
Immediate Past President: ALASTAIR MACFARLANE
Vice-President: ADA STEWART 30 Earlsburn Road, Lenzie, G66 5PF Tel: 0141 578 0526 firstname.lastname@example.org
Honorary Secretary: ALASTAIR MACFARLANE 7 Andrew Avenue, Lenzie, G66 5HF Tel: 0141 5781611 email@example.com
Honorary Treasurer: ANDY LAW Euphian, Kilduskland Road Ardrishaig, Argyll PA30 8EH Tel. 01546 605336 Lawchgair@aol.com
Membership Secretary: DAVID FAIRWEATHER 12 Powburn Crescent Uddingston, G71 7SS Tel: 01698 810575 firstname.lastname@example.org
Handicapper: PETER RUDZINSKI 106 Braes Avenue Clydebank. G81 1DP Tel.0141 5623416 email@example.com
JOHN BELL Flat 3/1, 57 Clouston Street Glasgow G20 8QW Tel. 0141 9466949
MARGARET DALY 24 Strowan Crescent Sandyhills Glasgow G32 9DW Tel. 0141 573 6572
WILLIE DRYSDALE 6 Kintyre Wynd Carluke, ML8 5RW Tel: 01555 771 448
PHYLLIS HANDS 39 Albany Drive Lanark ML11 9AF Tel. 01698 252498
STEWART McCRAE 17 Woodburn Way, Balloch Cumbernauld G68 9BJ Tel: 01236 728783
KEN MONCRIEFF 25 Princes Street Stirling FK8 1HQ Tel. 01786 474978
JOHN SOFTLEY 6 Cathkinview Road, Mount Florida Glasgow G42 8EH Tel. 0141 5701896
PAUL THOMPSON Whitecroft, 5 Gareloch Brae, Shandon, Helensburgh G84 8PJ Tel. 01436 821707
ROBERT YOUNG 4 St Mary’s Road, Bishopbriggs Glasgow G64 2EH Tel. 0141 5633714
BMAF Delegates Alastair Macfarlane Ada Stewart
SAL West District Delegate Willie Drysdale
SAL Delegate at AGM Ken Moncrieff
Website Ada Stewart
Auditor George Inglis
Sun 6th BMAF Half Marathon Championships – Oxborough, Norfolk
Moray Marathon, Elgin
Sat 12th World Masters Mountain Running Championships – Betws-y-Coed, Wales Sat/Sun 19th/20th British Masters Decathlon/Hept./Throws Pentathlon/ 10K Track + Walks Champs
Sun 4th Neil McCover Memorial Half Marathon Inc. SVHC Champs Kirkintilloch
Sun 18th SVHC Track 10K 11:30 & 13:00. AGM 14:00. Outdoor Sports Centre, Coatbridge
Sun 1st BMAF Marathon Championships – Newcastle
Sat 14th British & Irish Masters Cross Country Champs Santry, Dublin
Sat 12th SVHC Xmas Handicap 1:30pm. Playdrome, Clydebank. G81 1PA See entry form page 17
Sun 24th LSK Relays Strathclyde Park 11.00 am
Sat 30th SAL Masters Cross Country Championships Forres Moray
Tue 29th Mar –Sun 3rd Apr European Masters Indoor Championships – Ancona, Italy May 2016
Fri 20th –Sun 22nd European Masters Non-Stadia Championships – Vila Real de Santo Antonio Algarve Portugal.