It is many congratulations to Central AC’s endurance athletes once again after the club did the men’s and women’s double at the scottishathletics 6 and 4 Stage Relays at Livingston.
And Derek Easton’s squad set the fastest time since 1999 over the six-stage event with 2.13.48 thanks to a terrific team effort.
Central AC won that race from Ronhill Cambuslang with Corstorphine AAC taking home the bronze medals.
With the likes of Andrew Butchart and Robert Russell in fine form, it was left to Alex Hendry to bring it home for Central as Cambuslang’s Robert Gilroy gave chase. Central’s other three athletes were Dale Colley, Scott McDonald and Tom Watson with their winning margin eventually being 63 seconds.
Andrew Butchart was the fastest on the long legs in the men with 28.03 for the 5.8mile course and he will soon head for America to chase the Scotland qualification time for the 1500m.
‘I enjoyed that today and it is always good for the club to pick up the golds,’ he said.
‘I didn’t worry about it too much, just went out as fast as I could and tried to keep it going. We’ve a very good squad now at Central Ac.
‘I am heading to California in a couple of weeks and will get a couple of races there. I am chasing the 1500m qualification time of 3.42.20 and with my PB at 3.44 then I do think it is possible.
‘With Chris O’Hare already selected and the likes of David Bishop and Kris Gauson there, as well, then it will be very tough to make the selection but at the moment I’m just looking to try and make the time and see if that is enough.’
Ronhill Cambuslang had the top two fastest on the short legs of 3.1 mile in Josh Lilly at 15.07 and Ian Rawlinson at 15.20.
It was a good deal tighter in the women’s race with Central AC winning by 11 seconds from Fife AC.
That one came down to a really good contest between last leg runners Jennifer Emsley and Megan Crawford. Emsley had been preceded by Morag MacLarty, Catriona Buchanan and Lyndsey Morrison to clock 1.45.07 with Fife timed at 1.45.18. Edinburgh University athletes took third place.
Emsley was the fastest woman on the long legs by a single second from Crawford with 33.34 while Edinburgh AC’s Laura Dunn was quickest on the short legs at 17.07.
That women’s race featured the second and fifth fastest times on this course by women’s teams.
If Cambuslang were disappointed by the men’s outcome then they did have some consolation in the older age male categories.
Their vets team of James Healy, Jamie Reid, Scott Hunter, Kerry Liam Wilson, Mick O’Hagen and Greg Hastie won golds from Kirkintilloch Olympians and Shettleston Harriers.
And their team of Ross Arbuckle, David Thom, Frank Hurley and Colin Feechan took the M50 title with Cambuslang so strong in that department.
In the Women’s Vets race, there was a win for Gala thanks to the efforts of Jenny Forbes, Rachel Fagan, Gillian Duncan and Fiona McLeish. Edinburgh AC took the silvers with Bellahouston third. The Women W50 winners were Central AC thanks to Jane Waterhouse, Hazel Dean and Trisha Milne.
Scottishathletics would like to thank West Lothian Council for their help in staging the event. Clubs who helped with marshals included: Edinburgh AC, HBT, Corstorphine, Edinburgh Uni, Lothian RC, Garscube H, Motherwell AC and Bellahouston Road Runners.
With 68 full teams finishing that was five more than last year following a record entry of 135 teams – further encouragement for the Road Running and Cross Country Commission in Scotland.