The Scottish Road Relay Championships saw both Central Athletic Club’s men’s and women’s teams defending their 2017 titles in this event. For the men, Central having achieved either first or second place over the past 10 years there were both high expectations and reputations on the line. For the 17th year, the event took to the car-free paths and underpasses of Livingston, with short legs of 3.15 miles alternating with long legs of 6.2 miles and 4 legs for women and 6 legs for men.
As expected, Central were close to the front from the start of the men’s race with Murray MacLarty giving his all to put Central in early contention with a 16min 14sec effort over the first short leg. Cameron Milne was given responsibility for the next long leg and here came home in 29mins 31secs to put Central into first place with the fastest long leg of the day. Matthew Sutherland’s third leg of 16min 25secs saw Central maintain their lead with Corstorphine AAC, Edinburgh AC and Shettleston Harriers all in close pursuit.
The fourth leg showed a shift of fortune as Corstorphine AAC moved through into first in spite of Michael Wright’s strong effort of 31.26 on his long leg. Dale Colley’s determined fifth leg chase of 16.23 saw the gap grow to some 45 seconds and it was left to Alastair Hay to try and pull back this deficit over the final long leg. In the event the challenge proved too much for the experienced Central runner as he completed a 29.56 leg some 67 seconds behind Corstorphine, after almost 2 hours and 20 minutes of running, but 2min 32secs ahead of Edinburgh with Shettleston in fourth so continuing Central’s record to eleven years.
It was a very new Central women’s team, with only one of the quartet having the experience of being in one of Central’s previous podium teams. Fiona Davies set off in fine style on the short leg, to bring the team home in 16th place amongst 44 starting teams with a time of 20mins 45secs. Claire Houston was pleased with her long leg time of 39mins 44secs taking the team forward by 2 places. Natalie Stewart then put in a fine run of 19mins 26secs for the next short leg to bring team to 10th place. Lauren McCulloch completed the team strongly with a final long leg with a time of 40mins 4 secs and 11th place.
Central Men’s B Team of Fraser Logan (17.07), newcomer Ian Elliott (38.41), David Lindsay (18.30), Donald Shaw (37.55), Iain Dunsmore (20.52) and Colin Alexander (40.44) acquitted themselves well. An Over-50’s Men’s Team tackled a four stage challenge through David Eckersley (18.37), Charles Graham-Marr (40.23), Hugh Buchanan (20.57) and Colin Sinclair (48.02) all sticking well to the task throughout. A somewhat decimated Over-50’s team of Cameron Campbell (24.15), Allan Gall (47.34) and Raymond Milne (22.52) all had good runs but had to finish as an incomplete team while Mark Logie was the sole finisher in the second Over-40 team finishing his leg with 23.09.