A healthy PH contingent of five teams contributed to the record turnout at the Scottish Athletics National Road Relays in Livingston on Sunday. There were new club names on both trophies, with Corstorphine AAC winning their first men’s race and Fife AC doing likewise in the women’s, while there were also some excellent runs from PH.
First off was the men’s race consisting of alternate short (3.1 mile) and long (5.9 mile) laps of an undulating course with six stages for the senior men and four for the over 50’s.
The men’s A team were lead off by Michael Combe who completed his run in 18.25 before handing over to Jonathan Peebles to run 33.25 and make up 10 places on his long leg. Dan Monaghan took over in 27th position and his time of 17.32 was enough to pull back a further 6 positions. It was now the turn of Colin Somerville and his 33.24 effort allowed Robert Sellar to take over in 16th place. Robert’s time of 17.49 moved PH another 3 places up the rankings before Darren Jubb brought the team home in 12th position with a time of 33.42 on the long anchor leg.
The B team of Phil Waring, Darren Candlish, Scott Love, Wright Beveridge , Mark Mackenzie and Johnny Cassells performed well to finish in 34th place and the C team of John Crookston, Niall Balloch, Ian Johnston, Malcolm Smith, Jason Buttery and Peter Simpson also acquitted themselves well. This team was made of seasoned veterans like Ian and Peter who have run the event many times before and first timers like Niall and Jason.
In the four stage men’s over 50 race the PH team of Alan Cockburn (19.45), Dennis Howett (37.54), Ed Norton (21.23) and Ian Stewart (38.47) finished in a creditable seventh position overall.
The ladies race started later this year to ease congestion at the start and the PH four was lead off by Karen Kennedy who put in a good performance to finish her leg in 19.33. The rest of the team, Jennifer Caldwell, Lesley Mealing and Paula Frame, were all debutants in this event and it was great to see them committing to compete for the club, especially with all of last year’s silver medal winning veteran team were unavailable for various reasons.
While their club mates were taking part in the relays Roger Clark and Anne Hartmann were enjoying success in the annual Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon. Roger was awarded the 2nd V40 prize after finishing in 76.09 with Anne 2nd female in 87.05.
Well done to all PH athletes and race organisers and thanks to Bobby Gavin for the photo of the mass start at Livingston.