Monthly Archives: October 2009

National Cross Country Relays

Bellahouston Road Runners was well represented at the annual National Cross Country Relays, in Cumbernauld. Out of 100 men’s senior teams (plus 20 part teams) and 63 women’s senior teams (plus 11 part teams), we fielded a whopping five men’s teams, and two women’s teams.

The rain kept away for the duration of the races and the Bella Brollies (this years prize for completing the club championship) were in attendance, but not required until the post race walk back to Cumbernauld High School. With the conditions so much better than last year there were PBs aplenty as the purple posse put in some credible performances. Emma and Matt recorded the fastest Bella times and Club Captains Jane and Brian did a sterling job but everyone did well in a great turn out from the club.


13 Bellahouston RR “A”

Claire Thompson 17 17:18 17:18
Emma Birnie 10 16:52 34:10 
Jane Simpson 13 17:20 51:30 

42 Bellahouston RR “B” (V

Jane Wild 57 20:20 20:20
Jacqueline McGuire 50 20:10 40:30
Julia Harris 42 19:21 59:51 


19 Bellahouston RR “A”

Alasdair McLeod 39 14:58 14:58
Marcos Sanz Gomez 34 15:26 30:24
Matthew Williamson 28 14:41 45:05
Liam Conway 19 14:55 1:00:00 

31 Bellahouston RR “B”

Neil Farnell 44 15:10 15:10
*Grant Edmondson 40 15:36 30:46 
Craig Ross 34 15:08 45:54
Russell Whittington 31 15:16 1:01:10 

48 Bellahouston RR “C

Brian O’Donnell 60 15:55 15:55
David Weatherhead 51 15:53 31:48
Andrew Birnie 47 15:54 47:42
Brendan Moriarty 48 16:08 1:03:50 

77 Bellahouston RR “D”

*Peter Goodwin 76 16:34 16:34
Robert McEwan 70 16:29 33:03
Ewan McDonald 78 18:31 51:34
Ian Goudie 77 18:49 1:10:23 

Bellahouston RR “E

Norman Boyle 118 19:53 19:53
Douglas MacGregor 114 20:46 40:39
Mike Devlin 105 23:09 1:03:48

Thanks to Ian for the race report, and well done to all the participants. Full results available at the Scottish Athletics website.

British Fell/Hill Racing Championships

As the day wore on, and the clouds got lower & lower, Bella emerged as top Scottish team (& 11th overall) in this years British Fell/Hill Relay Championships at Kirkland Leaps in West Cumbria on Sun 18th Oct.

The championships are a 4 leg relay with legs 1 & 4 run as solo, and 2 & 3 run as pairs. Maps & checkpoints for Legs 1,2 & 4 were provided beforehand which allowed us to run the routes on the Saturday (in beautiful sunshine!) to find the best lines & identify some landmarks. Leg 3 is the navigation leg, with map supplied 500m after the leg start, so with 20 metre visibility adding to the joys of the deep bogs, high heather & tussocks it was a real test.

In total 7 Scottish clubs entered teams making up a total field of 148 teams. The teams consisted of some of the top hill runners, road runners & triathletes in Britain. But fast runners don’t always know where they are going, resulting in drama at the end when the top 3 clubs were disqualified for missing a checkpoint on the last leg.

But no such drama for the 2 Bella teams, as everyone climbed well, descended well & navigated (almost) flawlessly. The boys team are still kicking ourselves, missing out on a top 10 spot, with slight navigation errors on legs 3 & 4. But thats what will have us going back for another shot next year, in the Lomonds of Fife.

A final mention for the best sprint finish of the day has to go to Stuart on the last leg for the Mixed Team, after flying down the final steep descent, crossing the field and lunging for the electronic dipper box on the line. The photo evidence shows the monumental effort – and the Race Face Award for 2009/10 is already closed!

I cannot recommend these events highly enough, the sense of team spirit is 2nd to none, and the bad weather only added to the fun and to the decibel level of the supporting Bella team members. The Devils Burden Hill Relay at the end of January uses a similar format, and your next chance to come along to an event like this, go on, you know you want to….

Representing Bella were:
Bella Boys Team (11th) – 1. Matt, 2. Mark/Marcos, 3. Andy/Dougal, 4. Kenny
Bella Mixed Team (73rd) – 1. Katie, 2. Brendan/Davie, 3. Emma/Dave, 4. Stuart

Full results here:

Cheers to Andy Birnie for the Race Report

parkrun reports

Bella were, as ever, well represented at parkrun. The weekend saw the 44th running of the Glasgow parkrun event, and the first running of the Edinburgh parkrun.

A great day for the Bella Posse at the Glasgow parkrun today, Sat Oct 17. Scott Kennedy who seems to have caught the parkrun bug, in between running marathons, took a further 8 seconds off of last week’s course PB to finish third in 17:44. Jane Simpson continued the fine form which made her Bella Member of the Month by going one better than her second place last week to win the women’s event in 19:30, taken a further 24 secs off of last week’s course PB!

Club President Robert McEwan retained his place as best age grade %, by achieving 79.01% with a time of 19:08.

Bruce Carse also earned a new PB and John Sandbach and Sandra Houldsworth both took part in the Pollok Park event with excellent first runs.

Position Athlete Sex Run Time Age Grading % Age Category Personal Best
3 Scott KENNEDY M 17:44 76.41% SM35-39 New PB
5 Bruce CARSE M 18:15 70.87% SM30-34 New PB
10 Al MACLACHLAN M 18:42 78.88% VM50-54
13 Robert MCEWAN M 19:08 79.01% VM50-54
16 Jane SIMPSON F 19:30 75.90% SW30-34 New PB
45 John SANDBACH M 21:45 64.67% VM40-44 1st run
53 Linda KENNEDY F 22:01 69.19% VW35-39
66 Murdoch RODGERS M 22:49 69.69% VM55-59
80 Sandra HOULDSWORTH F 23:58 61.89% SW30-34 1st run

Last week’s winner Carnegie Harrier Andrew WRIGHT was the first athlete across the finish line today. He completed the course in 15:49 and posted an age grade score of 83.35%. A total of 193 runners completed the course.

Over in Edinburgh:

Some 204 runners completed the inaugural Edinburgh parkrun in a Baltic, sunny and surprisingly wind free Cramond foreshore…………. and of course Bellahouston Road Runners were represented at the historical event.

Strong performances from Richard Leyton and myself earned us both all time PBs. Richard took 16 seconds off of his best 5k time to finish in 48th position in 20:43, an age grade % of 64:04%. I proudly displayed my Bella vest as I finished four places ahead, in 44th place with a time of 20:19 (wava 73.75 %) some 19 seconds better than my previous best 5k time.

Running legend Neil Renault (Edinburgh AC) led from the start and was first over the line in a time of 14:59, an age grade of 86.1% and in a day when loads of cyclists and triathletes took part, it was fitting that the first woman home was Rachel Ramsay of Edinburgh Road Club who completed the course in 20:48, 71.31%.

Thanks to Ian Goudie for the race reports, and a huge thanks to the teams of volunteers that made both the Glasgow and Edinburgh parkrun events such a success on Saturday.

Renfrewshire Cross Country Relays

A little rain, a bit of mud and autumn leaves blowing around the park made for excellent cross country conditions today at Pollok Park for the Renfrewshire Cross Country Relays hosted by Bellahouston Harriers. Both captains had a stress free day with all runners reporting for duty as requested. In an exciting climax to the Ladies race our girls were in with a shout of a medal right to the very end, finishing in 4th place, only 6 seconds behind the 3rd place team.

The boys on the other hand weren’t so close, finishing in 5th place, but less than a minute from the medal positions in the end. The course was a little shorter than advertised but that just meant the fun was over a wee bit quicker. Thanks to the numerous supporters and all the runners. I hope you all had a good day.

Roll on the nationals next week…

Why not sign up to the club’s forum?

If you’re already a club member, the forum is a really important service to sign up to. It’s the online meeting place for club members, and where you’ll find all sorts of details about local races, championship details, social events, and race reports.

To sign up, visit the forum page above, or send an e-mail to the club webmaster, giving your details and when you joined. We’ll set you up in no time, and you’ll be ready to go.

If you’d signed up previously, and have been having difficulty logging in, drop a note to the webmaster as well. In the next few weeks we’re hoping to have a ‘forum helpdesk’ so you can ask questions, get your password reset. Speak to Richard or a committee member to find out more.

Melbourne Marathon

Great report on the recent Melbourne marathon, from Alan Scott, proving that Bellahouston Road Runners is a club with a decent range!

Perfect conditions for the marathon at 7am this morning. We started next to the Rod Laver Tennis Arena (home to the Australian Open) and headed up and into the city centre before heading south along St Kilda Road. We then turned into Albert Park to complete a circuit of the Melbourne Grand Prix Course. I had set off with the 3hr 30min pace runners but from here found myself gaining on the 3hr 20min bus as we headed north along the bayside. Sally was perfectly placed to give me my second gel and we headed out to the furthest point of the course. I then started to pull away from the 3hr 20min mob, a mistake as I would later learn. Round about the 30km mark we merged with the slower participants in the half marathon. We then spent the next 10/15 mins weaving through them. The two groups briefly seperated as the marathoners headed up the only ‘hill’ on the course alongside the Tan (think Melbourne’s equivalent of Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park, London’s Hyde Park, New York’s Central Park or Tokyo’s Imperial Palace). At this point I was struggling and was swiftly passed by the 3hr 20m guys. But from here it was less than 4km to the finish at the MCG where we had to enter the stadium and complete a lap on the hallowed turf. According to my watch I managed to duck just under 3hr 21mins, much quicker than I had ever imagined and almost 35mins knocked off my previous PB. With such perfect weather conditions I would definitely recommend this marathon to anyone.


Ben Venue 2009 Pictures

Photos from the 2009 Ben Venue Hill Race are starting to appear. Check back for further pictures, or post a comment with links!

Pictures in the forest of all runners from Alasdair McLeod:

Above the forest by Ian Nimmo:

And from the finish by Chris Upson:

The weather looks lovely!

Ben Venue 2009 Results

Results for the Bellahouston Road Runners first ever hill race, the Ben Venue Challenge, are now available. Click here for the results (PDF). Please report any result corrections to Andy Birnie via Feel free to send any comments or suggestions via e-mail, or in the comment section below. Drop us a note too if you have any pictures from the event.

The gusting 80mph wind forced a course change, but nothing could dampen the friendly atmosphere or the competitive racing for Bellahouston Road Runners’ inaugural Ben Venue race.  The race had a bit of everything – fast forest paths, muddy bogs, open hillside & a quick taste of the gales at the cairn but more importantly there were lots of smiling faces and plenty of homebaking at the finish!

Matt Williamson (Bellahouston Road Runners) was eventual winner of the 6 mile race (1800 feet of ascent) in a time of 51 mins 17secs, having led for most of the way. He held off newcomer Peter Devenport (Unattached) and Matthew Sullivan (Shettleston Harriers) during the fast descent through Gleann Riabhach.

In the girl’s race, Fiona Maxwell (Shettleston Harriers) had a slightly greater winning margin, winning in 59 mins 22 secs from Ellie Homewood (Westerlands) and Lyndsey Munro (Bellahouston Road Runners).

The boys from the east coast cleared up the vet prizes with Carnethy boys taking the vet40 prizes in order of Adrian Davis, Bruce Smith & Steve Fallon.  Gordon Pryde (Lomond) collected the V50 prize while Keith Burns (Carnethy) was 1st in the competitive group of V60s.

The ladies vet prizes were better spread around Scotland, with Jo Schreiber (Lochaber), Joanne Anderson (Carnethy) & Caroline Strain (Wee County Runners) collecting the V40 prizes and Helen MacPherson (Westerlands) taking the V50 prize.

Both team prizes went to the home club with counting runners Matt Williamson, Mark Johnston & Marcos Sans Gomez for the guys and Lyndsey Munro, Pauline Wright & Katie Padgham for the girls.

Many thanks to the 83 runners who ignored the weather forecast and turned up today, and helped raise over £400 for the Lomond Mountain Rescue Team.  This was Bella’s first hill race, so we’d love to hear your suggestions for how to improve things for next year.  And there will be a next year, since we want to run the full advertised course, because we are so confident you will just love it!  Please email any comments to