Local runners hit peak in Rollercoaster race

Pauline McAdam of Teviotdale Harriers during the Rollercoaster Hill Race
Pauline McAdam of Teviotdale Harriers during the Rollercoaster Hill Race

Favourable conditions saw a complete set of four record times at the Francos’ sponsored Cademuir Rollercoaster hill races hosted by Moorfoot Runners on Saturday.

With the underfoot terrain ideal male and female records fell in both the three and the six kilometre events.

First year junior Thomas Otton of Gala Harriers was first home in the 6k in 26.00 minutes, slicing 50 seconds off Don Naylor’s record from 2014. Clubmate Darrel Hastie set a strong pace in the early stages but it was another Gala runner Gavin Bryson who led on the main summit.

Down and up the second climb the lead inter-changed again and Otton had established a 40m advantage as the lead runners returned into view for the 500m run down to the finish. But the race wasn’t over yet and a determined challenge from Bryson saw him closing in again. The line came just early enough for Otton to win by two seconds. Hastie held on for third in 27.23 and the first veteran home, in seventh place, was Colin Williams from the host club in 30.14.

Working in London has restricted the recent hill running opportunities for Scotland internationalist and former Snowdon winner Catriona Buchanan from Ochil Hill Runners. But she was still good enough for sixth overall and a new women’s record time of 29.53, eclipsing local runner Sue Ridley’s previous best by one minute 29 seconds, when winning the senior female section.

Sue herself, hampered by injury this year, was fourth woman this time and first veteran in 32.59. In between were GB orienteerer Kirstin Maxwell from Gala Harriers who was second in 31.24, and Scottish Under 17 cross-country champion Laura Stark from Kilbarchan who was third in 32.15. Moorfoot Mairi Wallace, still only 14 years old, was a commendable fifth in 33.29.

In the earlier 3k race, Moorfoot’s own Ethan Elder took his third victory in 11 days following wins at North Berwick Law and Philiphaugh, sneaking inside the previous best time by five seconds. Scottish Schools U14 800m champion Nuala McCheyne made the trip through from Inverclyde worthwhile with a new girls’ best in 14.15.

Moorfoot Runners would like to thank the landowners Cademuir Farm and the Wemyss and March Estate for their kind permission to hold the race, Franco’s Italian restaurant for sponsorship, Tesco for help with the post-race refreshments, and all the officials, marshals and volunteers who gave up their time in to make the event happen.