Central Athletic Club’s women took the Scottish Road Relay Championship title with some fine running as they took back the title last won by the Club in 2017.
Under-20 runner, Rebecca Craig was new to the event and faced the first 3.1 mile leg and held the Central team well in contention in fourth place in a time of 18 minutes 18 seconds. Jennifer Wetton was next on the 5.8 mile long leg, with her time of 35.06 holding the team in sixth place, crucially just 1 minute 15 seconds down on the lead. This was the launch pad for Morag Millar to sweep through the leaders on the third leg with the fastest short lap of the day, with her 17.04 bringing the team into a 20 second lead. Fanni Gyurko had the last of 4 laps for the women, and held her form with a fine 34.07 leg (sixth fastest long leg). Behind her, other medal contenders shifted positions, but did little to threaten the lead with Central finishing with a 54 second lead and a winning time of 1:44:45. Despite a blustery day this was the fourth fastest finishing time in 22 years of the event, with two of these already held by Central.
Central’s Women’s B team was also stacked with experience with three of the team being previous medallists. Claire Houston led the team off with 19.59 to bring the team round in 15th place. Lauren McCulloch continued with a strong leg in 37.17 and holding 15th place. Fiona Thompson made her competitive return after a period out, running a fine 19.42 and bringing the team up to tenth place. Lyndsay Morrison returned to competition after having a baby, and provided a strong 36.52 long lap and brought the team home in ninth place out of the 32 complete teams finishing.
Central’s men faced the traditional format of 6 stages, on the same course used by the women, with alternating short and long legs. It was Iain Davies who led the team off with another strong effort to bring the A team round in second place with his 15.38 effort and the fifth fastest short leg of the day. The always reliable Michael Wright picked up the second leg challenge to keep the Club in second place with a fine 30.08 long leg. Murray MacLarty (16.25) produced another solid performance on the second of the short legs with the team slipping to fourth overall. Scott Brember (31.16) brought his experience to bear on the second of the long legs with the team now in fifth. Lewis Millar (16.14) produced a sound effort with the team now in sixth overall and it was left to Dale Colley to round off the A team’s effort as he finished strongly with 30.17 and the team finishing fifth with an overall time of 2:19:38, some 3 minutes behind winners Cambuslang Harriers.
Central’s B team featured a mixture of youth and experience with three Under-20 runners, Tom Graham-Marr, Sandy Holl and Telfer Gray stepping up to the challenge. Chris McHardy (18.12) led the team off, followed in turn by Jack Kerr (33.22), Tom Graham-Marr (16.30), Sandy Holl (31.59), Fraser Logan (17.59) and Telfer Gray (33.51) with placings fluctuating throughout, but a worthy 22nd place overall and a finishing time of 2:34:52.
Central’s C team was also the Club’s Masters team with David Eckersley (18.41), Ewan Jack (34.16), Charles Graham-Marr (20.37), Colin Alexander (39.38), Jens Subke (20.07) and Ian Dunsmore (37.30). One of the highlights from the team’s effort was a superb uphill sprint finish by Iain to ensure the team finished in 2:40:49, 44th overall and fifth Master’s team, another all-round sound effort. It was good to see Central field four complete men’s teams with some of the D team rolling back the years. Here it was Cameron Campbell (23.21) who led off the effort followed by Colin Sinclair (45.53), John Millar (27.04), Allan Gall (45.10), Raymond Milne (24.18) and Ben Noad (41.18) giving the team a time of 3:27:04 and a competent 58th place.