Last weekend was the first major racing weekend for the Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds Running Club (Haries).
On Saturday October 4, the team was involved in a parkrun, which was celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Parkrun events are free timed 5km race that takes place across the UK every Saturday. With two weekly events in Cramond and in Portobello, there is plenty of opportunities for new runners to get involved with the team.
Six Haries descended on Cramond last weekend, and posted some impressive times, including a few personal bests. Richard Purkis ran well, recording a brilliant time of 16:51 and clinching first place. In close pursuit was team mate Matthew Rallison, who fought off fierce competition to take fourth place with a time of 17:19. Alex Luetchford, Fraser Drummond and Huw Vaughan-Jackson all set times under the 19 minute mark and clinched 11th, 12th and 17th respectively. Sarah Henderson brought the team home with a time of 22:33. This was an impressive week for the Hare and Hound club and bodes well for the future.
On Sunday, the team took part in the Great Scottish Run, which included both a half-marathon and a 10km race.
This year, the HM race included a ‘University Challenge’, meaning free entries were given out to a number of students to compete for their Uni. This provided the club with the perfect opportunity to reaffirm themselves as the main powerhouse in Scottish University running and show everyone – particularly arch rivals the University of Glasgow – that they will be difficult to beat in November’s Scottish Universities Championships.
Three Haries took part in the 10km race. John Creamer finished in the top 100 with a time of 38:41, while Christine Watson and Harriet Mills recorded impressive times under the 45 minute mark.
The 10km was swiftly followed by the half marathon. Seven Haries competed in this event, showing their mettle on what was a challenging course on a chilly day in Glasgow. The race started with the much-anticipated climb up St.Vincent Street. The route from here went over the Clyde to Pollok Country Park, over to Bellahouston and Ibrox, before heading back over the Clyde and along Clyde Street to the finish in Glasgow Green.
Ben Stevenson pipped Ex-Harie Pat Gie to lead the way in terms of Edinburgh’s performances, almost catching Great Britain representative Susan Partridge in the process! James Dunn finished 30 seconds behind the team leaders. Iwan Smith finished impressively with a time of 1:20:39. With the Snowdonia Marathon next weekend Smith seems to be hitting great form at the right time. Ryan Ramsey brought up the rear for Edinburgh’s men with a brilliant time, just under the 90 minute mark, with 1:28:20.
Edinburgh’s girls put in a solid performance. Sophie Horrocks finished with a time of 1:24, while Georgia Cottle and Bronagh Wishart rounded off the weekend with brilliant runs, achieving times of 1:26 and 1:34 respectively.
The weekend demonstrated Edinburgh’s potential and has lifted belief in the idea that they will complete one of their best seasons to date.