Saturday 13th November saw 14 representatives from the University of York’s Athletics Club venture north for Edinburgh’s annual Braid Hills Cross Country Race.
Competing against local Edinburgh squads, Manchester, Stirling, Dundee and, last year’s UYAC President, Martin Proctor’s Durham team amongst many others, York’s performance was commendable.
A 2pm whistle saw the female competitors challenged to one lap of the three mile course, instantly facing a steep incline to the summit to be rewarded with glorious views over Arthur’s Seat and the city.
The blustery peak did not last long however, with a sharp downhill charge into boggy territory. This proved a footwork challenge for some, put to shame later on as numerous male runners crossed the finish line plastered in mud, having taken enthusiastic tumbles.
York girls gave a sterling effort however, with Katie Markham achieving an impressive time of 25min 28sec in such challenging conditions underfoot and 79th place overall.
The male race proved to be a longer slog with two laps of the well-beaten route in store. Strongly represented, with many sporting Surridge’s new black and yellow kit, York’s male team secured fast times and great performances given the hilly terrain; certainly not representative of the club’s regular stomping grounds in the Heslington vicinity.
Club President, David Harper, achieved an excellent time of 38min 12sec and 60th place overall with Long-Distance Captain, Tom Barker, following closely with a time of 38min 34sec and 65th place. Harper commented: “The course lived up to its formidable reputation as one of the muddiest races of the season. It was great to see lots of York runners taking part and enjoying a great weekend in Edinburgh.”
Vice President, Freya Cookson, said of the race: “Braids has a unique atmosphere; just enough university rivalry and plenty of high spirits, despite the Scottish weather! I was thrilled to see so many old and new club members, competing and cheering each other on from the sidelines too. Well done Team”
The success in Edinburgh follows a term of encouraging races, with strong teams representing York at events in Durham and Derbyshire, where first year Jake Watson achieved 12th out of 1500 runners at the Dovedale Dash on Sunday 7th November.
The Athletics and Running Club meet four times a week for casual road runs, speed training or cross country routes. For more information please email the club; [email protected]
York’s Male Runners: Adam Bradbury, Alex Jackson, Dave Harper, MJ Clemence, Rob Hyams, Tim Raynes, Tom Barker, Will Haydon
York’s Female Runners: Amy Livingstone, Freya Cookson, Jess Haines, Katie Markham, Merryn Hockaday, Rosalind Tice