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West District Relays

12/10/2013

Four DRC ‘stallions’ sallied forth this weekend to represent the club as a team, in the Scottish Athletics West District Cross-Country relays at Hamilton Racecourse. A well known cowgirl’s bumper sticker reads "Save a horse, ride a cowboy!" No, they didn’t see one - a horse, cowboy or sticker but, still managed a fair amount of horse-play. Jim reports as follows:

In discussing tactics to running a team event, we began by trotting around the course analysing the route. Whilst a short race of 4k, we identified the first long downhill as a stretch on which to 'rein in' the urge to gallop. As a twisting one kilometer section of rough boggy ground then followed, this would require a much more controlled canter. A long three furlong uphill suggested a reduction to a more irregular pace, synonymous with the ‘sobreandando of the Peruvian Paso’. The final run-in began by cresting the hill, from where the stables could be seen, enticing a ‘crack of the whip’ and a gallop for the change over point to the next runner. ‘Whilst every horse thinks its pack is the heaviest’, all the guys ran hard not sparing the coach and horses one bit.

Jim Buchanan bolted through the first leg in 13:58. Kevin Conchar stuck to the average speed of a canter at 16–27 km/h (10–17 mph) and gambolled through in 14:19. On third leg Graeme Cross demonstrated a more measured trot in 15:05. Finally Alan Baxter came home to ‘shut the stable door’ in 14.09. Overall the team placed 24th with a combined time of 57minutes 31seconds for the total 16km, out of 68 starting teams.

Overall we were pleased with our outing, especially as it was a practice team run preparing us for bigger relays in the New Year. All headed home looking forward to well earned rest, on beds of fresh hay and refilled nose bags.

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