A bright but breezy morning at Strathclyde Park saw 26 MAC athletes take part in the MAC Team Relays. Following two virtual events earlier in the year, this event was the real thing. Six teams of four (plus one of two) lined up at the start, with each team member having to run a two-mile leg.
Scott Dickson (B) – a winner of both virtual relay events – opened up a small lead during the opening leg, leading Neil Richardson (D) by 16 seconds. Brian McLinden (F) was 14 seconds further back. Steven McCaw (E) came home 4th. Gayle Samson (C) and Charla Hands (A) were close throughout, but it was the former who completed her leg first.
Into the second leg, and a strong run from Miranda Richmond (F) saw her reel in Phyllis Hands (D) and John Burns (B) to put her team into the lead. John dug deep, however, and ensured the gap was only 3 seconds. How important could that run turn out to be? A great run from Douglas Samson (E) saw his team reach the half-way point in 3rd. Alastair Loudon (C) showed real pace as he finished 5th, with Jim White (A) 15 seconds further back.
It was all change during the third leg. Team C started 5th but finished in the lead! This was thanks to a flying effort from Mark Ellis (C). Lauren Wyllie (F) kept her team in the mix, finishing just 21 seconds behind. Next up was Simon Marshall (B), doing just enough to give his team a shot at the win too. Emma Morris (A) put in the fastest female performance of the day, but surely too far back to be in contention? Gillian McCaffer (D) and Gary Arthur (E) completed the third leg.
One leg remaining. Scott Kelman (C) started in the lead, and set off with no intention of giving it up. He hadn’t anticipated just how fast Alan Tait (B) would be, however. Before the turn Alan had reeled in both Alan Main (F) and Scott to put Team B in the lead. Scott would not let him get too far away but, before long, he had a charging Ewen Cameron (A) to contend with behind. The effort being put in by all on the home straight was astonishing. Alan Tait brought it home in style to win the relay for Team B, with Scott 10 seconds back in second place. Ewen gave it his all but had to settle for third, 6 seconds further back. Alan Main gave his team a fourth place finish. Iain Campbell (D) was fifth and Robbie Pattinson (E) 6th.
A mention should be given to the two reserves – David Gardiner and Alan Strang – who each ran two legs just to complete Team G (ineligible for the standings). David ran two of the three fastest times of the day, even while ‘taking it easy’ on his second effort. Impressive! And, talking of mentions, thanks to the helpers Joe Hoolaghan, John Hughes and Anne Hughes for ensuring the event ran smoothly.
And then… and then… Charla’s delicious home-baking! The perfect end to the event.
It was a great relay, enjoyed by all, and it was fantastic to see so many MAC vests on show. Our safety pin skills were a bit rusty, though – more practice is needed!
1st – Team B – 52:42 (Scott Dickson, John Burns, Simon Marshall, Alan Tait)
2nd – Team C – 52:52 (Gayle Samson, Alastair Loudon, Mark Ellis, Scott Kelman)
3rd – Team A – 52:58 (Charla Hands, Jim White, Emma Morris, Ewen Cameron)
4th – Team F – 53:26 (Brian McLinden, Miranda Richmond, Lauren Wyllie, Alan Main)
5th – Team D – 54:05 (Neil Richardson, Phyllis Hands, Gillian McCaffer, Iain Campbell)
6th – Team E – 56:01 (Steven McCaw, Douglas Samson, Gary Arthur, Robert Pattinson)
N/A – Team G – 48:41 (David Gardiner, Alan Strang, David Gardiner, Alan Strang)
10 min – David Gardiner 10:43
11 min – Ewen Cameron 11:18, David Gardiner 11:30, Mark Ellis 11:39, Iain Campbell 11:58, Alan Tait 11:59
12 min – Scott Kelman 12:42, Scott Dickson 12:42, Emma Morris 12:54, Douglas Samson 12:55, Alan Main 12:55, Neil Richardson 12:58
13 min – Robert Pattinson 13:00, Alan Strang 13:02, Jim White 13:06, Alastair Loudon 13:11, Brian McLinden 13:12, Lauren Wyllie 13:26, Alan Strang 13:26, Simon Marshall 13:35, Miranda Richmond 13:53
14 min – Gillian McCaffer 14:05, Steven McCaw 14:23, John Burns 14:26
15 min – Phyllis Hands 15:04, Gayle Samson 15:20, Charla Hands 15:40, Gary Arthur 15:43