Gala Harriers produce excellent XC form

Enthusiastic athletes from Gala Harriers were among those who visited Livingston to mark the start of the cross-country season.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 24th October 2019, 3:50 pm
Gala Harriers runners - Julie Johnstone, Sara Green, Eileen Maxwell, Lindsay Dun and Kirstin Maxwell.
Gala Harriers runners - Julie Johnstone, Sara Green, Eileen Maxwell, Lindsay Dun and Kirstin Maxwell.

In the first race of the day, the Gala Harriers trio of Erin Gray, Isla Paterson and Anna Fairclough competed in the Young Females race with each runner completing a 2.5 Km lap. The Gala team did exceptionally well in a strong race to finish 10th team.

In the women’s race, featuring three laps of a 4km course, the Gala team of Julia Johnstone, Lindsay Dun and Eileen Maxwell competed fiercely to earn a placing of 28th overall and fifth in the Masters team placings.

Sara Green and Kirstin Maxwell had both run strongly, with individual lap times in the top 30 of the race, but, unfortunately, lacked a third team member to ensure a placing.

Three Gala teams featured in the men’s race consisting of four laps of four kms each.

The ‘A’ team of Darrell Hastie, Lewis Tharme, Ian Maxwell and Fergus Johnston battled hard all the way for 29th overall.

Likewise, the ‘C’ team of Graeme Hendry, David Nightingale, Billy McCulloch and Tim Brus showed good early-season form for a team placing of 60th.

However, on the day, it was the B team who travelled back to Gala with some hard-earned medals.

The quartet of Brian Aitchison, Tim Darlow, Jamie McGowan and Gary Trewartha ran to a team placing of 30th overall, which was enough for a third place in the Masters competition, behind teams from Corstorphine and Metro Aberdeen.

Aviemore 10K – Anne Purves was the sole Gala Harriers representative for this race. In a large field of over 600 runners, on a perfect day for racing, Anne ran well to finish in a time of 58:44.

Great South Run – Keeping the racing momentum going, Anne was back in action at the Great South Run, a 10-mile race centred on Portsmouth. Anne stormed to a new PB at the distance of 1:49:55.

Manor Water Hill Race – Featuring an out and back route of approximately 10 miles and 670 metres of climbing to the summit of The Scrape, above the tranquil Manor Valley, the Manor Water Hill Race is traditionally the first of a two-race series paired with Pentland Skyline.

James Purves continued an intensive season of racing, coming home in 1:50:14 for 36th overall.

Pentland Skyline – In a route covering 16 miles and 6200 feet of total, climbing the Pentland Skyline Hill Race is a highlight of the hill running calendar. Well done to Rory Campbell for 78th place overall from 248 runners in a time of 3:29:10.

East District XC League 1 (senior races) – The grounds of Stirling University were the venue for the opening match of the three-race East District XC league series, this year featuring matches in Stirling, Broxburn and Livingston.

The Gala Harriers Women’s team ran superbly well, with excellent individual and team placings the well-deserved outcome.

Sara Green was the stand-out performer, with a fourth-place finish overall, but was very well supported by Julia Johnstone (22nd), Eileen Maxwell (60th), Angela Jewitt (68th) and Jan Brown (78th).

It was a super effort, which gave Gala fifth place in both the main competition and the Masters competition.

In the men’s race, the Gala team fought hard for each place.

In his first race of this distance at senior level, Lewis Tharme ran impressively and was first Harrier over the line in 58th, followed by Gary Trewartha (69th), Fergus Johnston (155th), Magnus Inglis (168th), Ian Maxwell (169th), Neil Christie (181st), Bob Johnson (205th) and Sam McKinnon (212th).

This solid team effort resulted in 16th place for Gala in the main competition and a top 10 placing in the Masters competition.

Yetholm Border Sheperds Hill Race – Darrell Hastie was the clear race winner of the recent Yetholm Border Sheperds Hill Race with a finishing time of 33:57. James Purves also ran strongly to finish as 3rd MV60 and 15th overall in 47:41.

Masters XC International – Congratulations to Sara Louise Christie Green and Darrell Hastie on another selection to the Scotland team for the British & Irish Masters XC International. The Gala Harriers will represent their country in the race taking place in Southport on November 16.

Amsterdam Marathon – Well done to Grant Dilasser, who ran strongly at the Amsterdam marathon to register a sub-four-hour marathon time, crossing the line in 3:58:45.