Almost 230 runners competed in the Glasgow University 5 Mile Road Race held in North Glasgow at 2pm on Saturday, November 7. The numbers were down slightly from last year but the quality of running was definitely up, as last year's winner Chris MacKay illustrated by taken 22 seconds off of his time to retain his trophy in 24:02. The 25 year old Inverclyde runner held off a strong challenge from Central's Alistair Hay, the UK's top ranking U23 over five miles, who claimed second in 24:09. Kilbarchan's Ross Tool took 33 seconds off of his PB to earn third place with 24:40, ahead of the first student, Glasgow University's Matt Gillespie who celebrated his recent 19th birthday by taking an impressive 73 seconds off of his PB to finish in 24:47. At the other end of the scale was Kilbarchan's 42 year old Tom Hearle who finished 9th overall and won the veteran's race with a time of 26:10.
In the women's race it was Toni McIntosh, returning to form after failing to finish in the recent Dublin Marathon who collected gold. In what might be one of her last races representing Ayr Seaforth, the diminutive athlete completed the undulating two loop course in a season's best of 28:24. Local runner Kirsty Husband was the first veteran across the line and earned second place with 29:41. The Garscube Harrier celebrated her recent 44th birthday by taking 18 seconds off of her 2007 time. Glasgow University's Women's Captain Ruth Joss finished in third place and first student. The 20 year old shaved 7 seconds off of her PB to finish in 30:51. Third prize went to Edinburgh University's youngster Stephanie Davis who impressed with a time of 31:07. Claire McCracken of City of Glasgow/Victoria Park took first female vet with a 32:03.
The race was closed by Law and District's Willie Drysdale (V70-75), the Scottish Veteran Harriers' Secretary finished 227th with a time of 53:21.
Folk Begin to Tak the Gate
In an otherwise well organised event, which starts and finishes in the impressive Garscube Sports Centre, the race was marred by a repeat of last year's 'gate problem'. Although one or two of the front runners may have been unimpeded, the vast majority of runners had to stop and queue to go through a pedestrian gate as the road was closed by a locked double gate a few hundred metres after the start. It may be an idea to move next year's start to the other side of the gate.