The East League cross country season drew to a close on Saturday with the third and final fixture in Livingston. Overall it was another successful season for the men’s and men’s masters teams but it was disappointing that the masters did not leave with a trophy for their efforts having finished first at both Stirling and Broxburn and gone into the final race with a 19 point cushion.
On the day the first PH athletes in action were the under 17 team represented by Andrew Thomson, Aaron Bennet and John Macdonald. Thomson was the quickest of the trio finishing his two laps in a time of 25:02 and together their efforts ensured third place in the league for the season. This was an excellent achievement by our small young team which has also included Jamie Lessels in earlier races.
As mentioned, the men’s masters had build up a good lead over the first two races with the three counters having come from Robert Sellar, Paul Kieran and the two Andrews, Wright and Davis. With Sellar a frustrated spectator due to injury and Wright unavailable the PH team couldn’t quite match the Corstorphine line up and surrendered the lead to finish in a still credible second place, their best position to date. Quickest on the day was Andrew Davis who put in another superb performance to finish as third veteran in the field in a time of 34:32 with Kieran (36:23) and John Cassells (38:50) the other two counters.
With six to count in the overall men’s competition these three took the first three places for the club. The other places were filled in quick succession by PH cross country debutant Gordon Lawson, the improving Billy Stewart (both 39:56), and John Crookston who finished just behind his two younger club mates in 39:58. These runs earned the club 10th position on the day and eighth in the league, equalling last year’s best ever performance.
Not far back were Graham McInnes and Mark Mclean who put in another strong performance. It was also fantastic to see former GB cross country internationalist Andy Livingstone running his first cross country for PH while Michael Stewart also raced on the unforgiving terrain for the first time.
Well done to all who turned out to represent their club over the season and congratulations to masters champions Corstorphine. Thanks once again to Alex Jackson and team for organising such a great competition and also to Gordon Donnachie and Karen Thomson for the excellent race photographs.