Thursday 19th April 2018

Round the Houses for Cross Country Athletes

On Sunday 8th April, Scottish students from across the country descended on Grangemouth for Round the Houses 10km, which also doubles up as both the East of Scotland 10km Championships and the Scottish Student Cross Country 10km Road Championships.

The race, kindly hosted by Falkirk Victoria Harriers, is flat and fast making it an ideal course to break 10km PBs and the out and back sections make it very good for spectating.

With the first 3 students in both the women’s and men’s race taking home individual honours, the student team competition was determined by the position of the first three counters from each institution for both the men’s and women’s race. With 41 students across 5 institutions competing, the titles were all to play for.

The Men’s race was won by Aberdeen AAC Athlete, Will Mackay, in a time of 31:15. Student athletes occupied the next 4 places, with James Donald of Dundee & Angus College (running for his home club Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) 2nd in a time of 31:37 and Gavyn Chalmers (University of Glasgow) 3rd in 32:36 to complete the podium. Gavyn’s Glasgow team-mates Alastair Thurlbeck (4th) and Martin Lynas (5th) came in just 1 second apart in times of 32:48 and 32:49 to wrap up the Men’s student team competition with an impressively low score of 12 points. The University of Glasgow also took the overall men’s team prize for the race, which worked off four counters, thanks to the performance of Vitalijs Brejevs, who finished 18th in a time of 34:10.

The 2nd student Men’s team was the University of St. Andrews, thanks to Stephen MacDougall (45th male, 35:44), Charlie Hillman (64th male, 36:37) and Michael Rimicans (97th male, 38:56) for a team score of 216. Completing the student Men’s team podium, in 3rd were University of Stirling’s Andrew Irvine (195th male, 41:35), Neil Galbraith Cobb (263rd male, 46:55) and Ryan White (330th male, 50:40).

The Women’s race was far less clear-cut, with some outstanding performances across the board. Stephanie Pennycook (University of Edinburgh) won in a time of 34:12 which earned her 19th overall! The next female student over the line was Stephanie’s teammate Amy Frankland in 38:19 to finish 10th, closely followed by University of Glasgow’s Katrina Ballantyne in 38:24 for 11th overall but 3rd on the podium.

The student Women’s team competition was secured for University of Edinburgh by Sophie Collins, who crossed the line in 40:43 for 20th women, resulting in an overall team score of 31. The University of Glasgow finished in 2nd, with Katrina Ballantyne’s performance complemented by those of team-mates Laura Stewart (14th, 39:00) and Audrey Ayres (51st, 46:14) for a team score of 76. The University of St Andrews took 3rd in the women’s team competition, with Gabi Frank (49th, 45:51), Isabel Remers (63rd, 47:49) and Harriet Allan (69th, 48:13) completing their team for a combined total of 181.

Well done again to all those that took part and thank you to all event organisers. The next Scottish Student (SS) Cross Country event is just under a month away in Stirling, with the Dumyat Hill Race on Wednesday 9th May 2018 playing host to the SS Cross Country Hill Running Championships. If you are interested in participating, please click here for entry information.

Cover image by Bobby Gavin of Scottish Athletics