It was a busy weekend for PH Racing Club with members taking part in two popular relay events – the Fife AC Devil’s Burdens in the Lomond Hills on Saturday and the Scottish Veteran Harrier Club Masters Road Relays at Strathclyde Park on Sunday.
The Devil’s Burdens is a hill relay run over four different legs with legs 2 and 3 run in pairs. Jamie Lessels took on the first leg over East Lomond and had a strong run of 49:25 before Graham McInnes teamed up with Chris Stuart to navigate their way through the second leg over West Lomond in 1:19:56.
Mark Mclean and Billy Stewart were also on form and completed leg 3 in 1:08:07, leaving it up to club coach Ben Hukins on leg 4 to run down as many teams as possible. His effort of 39:43 gave the club their best finish in the competition of 21st place.
The club have enjoyed considerable success at the Masters Relays over the last few years and this pattern continued on Sunday. PH were able to field six complete teams with both the women’s team and the men’s ‘A’ team finishing just outside the medals in fourth position and the men’s V50 team picking up a deserved bronze.
Alan Cockburn was a late addition to the V50 team but got his quartet off to a fine start with a run of 23:43. Club captain Iain Taylor was next up and he completed his effort in 23:13. Martin McNellis was quicker still (22:28) and by the time he handed over to new super vet Wright Beveridge the team were sitting in fifth. Beveridge made up a further two places with his run of 21:38 to ensure a podium position.
The ladies were lead off by Kristin Lownie, who gave up just four seconds to eventual winners Giffnock North, finishing her lap of the loch in 22:13 before handing over to Clare Graham. She had one of her strongest runs since joining the club, completing the almost 6k route in 26:50 and handing over to in-form Julie Menzies in fourth position. Menzies was unable to pick off any of the runners in front but maintained her position to cross the line in 23:39.
With the male teams made up of four athletes the top team had Andrew Wright on leg 1. He put in an excellent lap of 19:59 to hand over to Paul Kieran in fourth. Kieran ran the quickest PH leg of the day, tearing round the course in 19:29 before Ewan Taylor took over, still in fourth. His excellent run of 20:23 ensured Andy Davis began the anchor leg in third but even his superb time of 19:57 was not enough to keep David Gardiner of local club Motherwell AC at bay with PH settling for fourth. Cambsulang Harriers retained their title with Edinburgh AC in second.
The PH ‘B’ squad also managed a top 10 finish with Martin Butcher (21:29), Bryan Innes (20:51), Stuart Tite (21:48) and Graeme Doig (20:34) all putting in strong performances.
Gordon Lawson was the fastest of the ‘C’ team with a lap of 21:40. He was joined by Andy Jannetta (22:02), Joe Wilson (22:23) and Alan McGowan who timed at 22:10 on his PH Racing Club debut to bring the team home in 19th position.
Top performer for the ‘D’ team was Simon Whyte who ran 22:52. The foursome was completed by Graham McInnes, who managed 23:05 despite also racing on Saturday, Tony Quinn (25:59) and Scott Love (22:55). Following some last minute some drop outs, Ian Johnston was the solitary runner in the final team but nevertheless put in a credible performance of 25:23.
Well done to all who ran for their club across the weekend. Thanks to race organisers Fife AC and SVHC and to Iain Taylor for arranging the teams. Thanks also to Graeme Baxter, Pete Bracegirdle and Mark Mclean for the Devil’s Burdens photographs and Nicola Bryce for the team photos from the Masters Relays.