CLYDESDALE Harriers’ gruelling task of winter training is in full swing and for many of the club’s athletes this will continue over the festive season, so it was with good humour and festive cheer that athletes of all ages joined in the fun of the annual Christmas Club Handicap.
It was with pride that the coaches of Clydesdale presided over the event at Milton Mains, which saw more than 60 children take part.
The race was divided into three categories. First to run were the young ‘novices’ all of whom were born after August 2001 on a course which was approximately one mile long.
Teigan Breen was the fastest girl and finished in a time of 4:12.
She was followed by Jade Milne 4:17, Nicole Clark 4:21, Molly McQuillan 4:45, Libby Simpson 4:48 and Kimberly Allan 5:16.
The fastest boy was Cairn Wallace who completed the course in 4:09 and was followed by Luke Lindup 4:14, Jack Dolan 4:16, Stuart Aird 4:17, Aaron Belkevitz 4:20, Ryan McKell 4:25, Kieran Goggins 4:29, Josh McAndlish 4:27, Nathan Kerr 4:42, Reece Pritchard 4:45, Andrew Donaghue 5:24, Aaron Boyle 5:32 and Grant Sloan 5:35.
Having completed the course the youngsters gathered to cheer on and encourage the intermediate runners whose birth dates ranged from September 1999 to August 2001.
The length of the course was doubled for this group, and they were more than up to the challenge.
Fastest girl home was Iona Allan in 8:35 followed by Lucy McKenzie 8:46, Niamh Thomson 9:21, Natasha Shaw 9:23, Sarah Goggins 9:30, Chloe Allan 10.0, Zubi Koffi 10.04, Caitlin Stuart 10:17, Niamh Keenan 10: 33, Cara Jordan 10:58, Aimmee Abbott 10:59, Anna Haddock 11:01, Danielle Walsh 11:01, Rachel Meehan 11:22, Sophie Hassan, 12:21, Emily McKay 12:30, Hannah Lindup 13:08, Danielle Cardino 13:10 and Penny Donaghy 13:25.
The third group was a mix of experienced runners and new members who were born after 1999.
They consisted of long distance runners, middle distance runners, hurdlers, sprinters, throwers and high jumpers and they each ran it in the spirit in which it was intended.
Fastest girl was Emily Paxton 8:27, followed by Charlotte Ross 8:29, Erin Denny 8:43, Erin Ball 9:32, Yasmin Koffi 9:44, Karyn Glen 10:45 and Louise Milne 11:39.Fastest boy was Lewis Priest 7:21, followed by David Campbell 7:25, Lewis Hay 7:55, Andrew Hunter 8.0, Pat McCloskey 8.0, Darrin Dolan 8:16, Brian Aird 8:17, Phil Allan 8:18, Luke Smith 9:39, Declan Boilen 9:51, Vishal Meehan 11.02 and Tobi Akinkumni 12:21.
The senior members of the club were also in action just before the junior races with an excellent turnout for the handicapped race of 2.74 miles.
No less than twenty-four turned up in various guises as Santas and festive garb.
Fastest over the distance was Kevin Farmer (16.50), followed by Gerry Montgomery (16.56), Iain Robertson (17.26), Stuart Allison (18.02), Alistair Greig (18.03), Ryan Nelson (18.12), Alan Dick (18.20), Pamela McCrossan (18.26), Hugh Laverty (18.42), Marina McCallum (19.07), Anne Murray (19.11), Paul McKendry (19.15), Gerry Kane (19.34), Yvonne Green (20.47), Claire Reid (20.58), Paul Broad (21.21), Christine Duncanson (21.28), Chris Ryan (21.47), David Mitchell (21.51), Stephen McKee (22.18), Trisha Stevenson (23.36), Marie Rippon (23.59), Billy Weaks (27.21), Evelyn McKee (27.58).
Harriers juniors were also in action again in the Scottish Athletics Indoor League in Kelvin Hall where they fielded thirteen teams, from under 11’s to under 20’s.
This was the second of three meetings in this competition where more than 30 clubs are battling it out for a place in the finals in February.
Harriers enjoyed considerable success both in terms of points and by the growing numbers of athletes who are turning out for competition.
First out were the under 11 boys. Stuart Aird battled courageously despite the withdrawal of team mates due to injury and finished in joint 15th place with Ayr Seaforth and Beith.
The under 13 boys entered two teams and finished a credible 14th and 17th respectively.
They were Aiden Fergie, Ronan Ross, Aaron Smith Kieran Goggins, Thomas Hearns and Luke Lindup.
The under 15 boys demonstrated their athletic versatility when they stood in for team mates who could not attend on the day.
Brian Aird, Stephen Kane, Lewis Hay, Lewis McLeod, Vishal Meehan and Lewis Priest all gave convincing performances to take their teams to 10th and 13th in the overall standings.
Congratulations to Lewis Priest - the Clydesdale lad has been chosen to represent the West District in the Inter Districts event in Edinburgh on January 5.
The under 17 men, who finished in second place after the first meeting and have their eye on the final were determined to keep to the task, despite the organisers decision to remove the 400m race from the competition.
The team had scored maximum points from this event and omitting it from match two would have consequences for the boys and tough decisions to be made by manager Phil Dolan.
Following some tactical changes, they did not let the pressure affect their goal of reaching the final, and the determination of Todi Akinkumni, David Campbell and Andrew Hunter was such, that by the end of the second meeting they lead the table in joint first position.
Well done to Pat McCloskey in the under 20 men events who worked tirelessly to finish in the top ten.
The girls events saw a mixture of experienced young athletes compete with some who were new to the competition circuit.
Sarah Goggins, Chloe Allan, Natasha Shaw, Penny Donaghy, Jade Milne, Carly Wishart and Caitlin Stuart represented Clydesdale in the under 13 cat.
With the teams finishing well in 9th and 13th place they will go into the last match with the confidence to improve their standings overall.
The under 15 girls fielded two teams in a field of twenty nine teams.
Rachel Campbell, Rachel Meehan and Iona Allan fought each race with confidence to finish match two in eleventh position, while Aimee Abbott and Charlotte Ross, reduced to a team of two battled with determination to finish in a credible joint 17th position. Well done girls.
The under 17 girls worked confidently and tirelessly. Karyn Glen, Emily Paxton and Louise Steele Milne covered all events and completed the days work in joint fifth position.
There was no doubt about the winner in the under 20 women’s events with Clare Reed carrying the flag for this category and finishing the outright winner in first place.
Match three in January will be held in the new Emirates Stadium and the line-up for the finals will be decided then.