Saturday saw a convoy of Harmeny AC and Harmeny Pentland Runners head north-west to the picturesque Stirling University Campus for the first of the East District Series XC meets. Under slightly inclement skies, the tents were set up as part of the competition village and the kids were readied for battle by Craig leading the ‘Recce Jog’ around the course. Conditions were fairly boggy after recent rain, and further rain during the day added to the gloop. This didn’t dampen the kids’ spirits however, and Coach Dave led warm-ups in preparation for the races. A large turnout from HAC across both boys and girls and through the age ranges meant a bigger showing for the colours than previously, and it ‘s hoped it’s a trend that continues. Full results can be found here;

Various sets of group photos have been posted on the HAC Facebook page, and show the kids getting stuck in, in all their races which from a coaches’ point of view was great to see. The environment can be quite intimidating, but from the U11 girls and upwards, Harmeny AC athletes were in the mix all day long. As the runners were coming in to the finish line, some of the facial expressions showed just how much effort they’d put into their run, and I think it’s safe to say every junior who donned and HAC vest, did it proud and left everything out on the course. They continued throughout the morning to offer vocal and noisy support to their team mates (some even continuing as the adults got stuck in), which again, we’re keen to encourage and is great to see. The overall carnival atmosphere helped keep moral up as the weather worsened, to a downpour and then slowly improve.

As someone who ran the course in the adult race, I can confirm that conditions out on the course varied from fair to a downright quagmire, and it’s testament to the juniors’ strength of will that they all soldiered on throughout the lap that they did, to finish in style. Whilst, at the end of the day, the larger clubs won out through sheer force of numbers, Harmeny continue to grow and the swelling numbers all help to push us further up the table. The U13 boys race saw Finlay Ross and Tendai Nyabadza dominate their race and come first and second, to stamp their authority on a title they won last year – with admirable support from Alasdair Wallace, recently returning from injury. Without a doubt, as a club we are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Junior league, and as we continue to grow our position will continue to improve.  And a great performance for 6th place for Charlotte MacPhie in the U11 girls.

In the adult races a good turnout saw both a women and mens’ team take the field and post good performances across both the mens’ and womens’ races. It’s hoped that in the second meet (which doesn’t fall during the holidays), bigger teams will , ‘toe the line’.

A huge congratulations to one and all that wore Harmeny colours on Saturday. Onwards and upwards !!