The Allan Scally 4.8 Mile Road Relay (Incorporating the Scottish University Road Relay Championships) celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday, October 31. Although this year's course had to be changed the event proved as successful as ever with 52 full teams participating. The new trail took the runners around the Mount Vernon and Sandyhills areas of Glasgow and finished very near the old Shettleston Harriers clubhouse.
Shettleston were triumphant on the day, going into an early lead as Tsegai Tewelde sprinted over the line after running the 4.8 miles in 23.08, the fastest time of the day. Amanuel Hagos maintained their early lead, completing the winding course in 23.41. Paul Sorrie couldn't keep up with his Eritrean club mates but his time of 25.36 was enough to ensure that they kept the first position. There was no way that Tsegezeab Woldemichael and Teweldeberhan Mengisteab were going to lose the lead and they finished in 23:29 and 23.20 respectively to complete the relay in a total time of 1.35.43 and thus ensure that the host club became the first record holders of the new course.
With Shettleston finishing more than four minutes ahead, the race for second place and the Scottish University title created more excitement as the lead changed between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Glasgow's Thomas Fay finished the first leg in ninth place with a time of 26:18, however after an excellent second leg from Derek Hawkins (23:56) they climbed to third place, just behind Edinburgh University who had started better with Douglas Selmon finishing the first leg in fourth place with a time of 24:42. Edinburgh's Harkett fought off the second leg challenge from Glasgow to finish second in 25:12. Matthew Gillespie made the difference though as he finished the third leg in second spot with a time of 24.22, whilst his Edinburgh rival Ben Cole slipped to fourth spot in 26:10. A solid fourth and final leg from Glasgow's Mike Deason (25.32) was enough to see off a strong finish from Edinburgh's Michael Gillespie (25:04).
Glasgow claimed the University title and second place overall with a time of 1:40:08 exactly one minute ahead of their east coast rivals.
Strathclyde University were the third placed University team and claimed fifth overall by catching Shettleston B's Billy Coyle on the last leg. Billy had recorded a 22.12 run around the old course and was a member of the record holding team of 1995. Strathclyde's team of Coulter (26:36), Leck (25:14), Graham (26.09) and Turner (26.12) finished with a combined time of 1:44:11.
Calderglen team of Cullie, McDougall, Reid and Derrick won the male veterans race, with a time of 1:56:15.
The women's race was keenly fought between Fife, Glasgow University, Shettleston and Edinburgh University. Glasgow's Curran was the early leader finishing the first leg in 28:00 ahead of Fife's Helen Sharpe in 28:38. However this was reversed after the second leg when Hester Dix's time of 29:52 earned first place for Fife ahead of Glasgow's Mackenzie (31:49). Morgan Murphy continued her great season which has seen her earning third place in the Stewart's Grand Prix Series by securing victory for the Fifers with a time of 29:09, (1:27:39) well ahead of Glasgow University's captain Ruth Joss in 30:29 (1:30:18). However Glasgow had the consolation of winning the Scottish University Race by beating their Edinburgh rivals who finished second university and fourth overall with a combined time of 1:32:25. Claiming third overall was host club Shettleston who with Stewart's Grand Prix winner Toni Mcintosh guesting finished in 1:30:37.
Race of the Day
However the race of the day was between Aberdeen University's women team and Garscube Harriers. Aberdeen left it late, very late as their final runner Isabel Jones finished with a tremendous sprint to overtake Garscube's Mulrine in the final ten metres to avoid the wooden spoon. The Hereford born medicine student set off 3:48 behind the Garscube Harrier but managed to complete the course in 34:28 to give the north east students a combined time of 2:00:03, enough to finish two seconds in front of the north Glasgow team.
Isabel told www.scottishrunningguide.com:
"I knew that I was in last place but wasn't sure if I could catch her, I saw the finish line and just gave it my all and hoped for the best. I've ran the Allan Scally race twice before but this was my first time around the new route. It's a twisty course through a housing estate, along the outside of a park and then a couple of testing hills thrown in for good measure. The marshals did a great job and I think on balance that the route has improved, especially that last bit down hill to the finish line."