2018 British and Irish Masters XC International – Race Report

The club was delighted to hear that members Romy Beard and Louise Ross were recently selected to represent Scotland at the British and Irish Masters XC International, in Swansea on 17th November. A fantastic achievement in itself, they returned from the event with bronze team medals in the W35 (Romy) and W40 (Louise) categories.

A huge congratulations to them both, from everybody at the club! Well done to everybody who took part, at what sounds like a great event.

Romy also sent in a great race report, which we’re delighted to share here:

The team bus leaves Glasgow at 9am. Everybody is chatting. The journey is fine until we go cross-country through the Welsh mountains. In the dark. The bus becomes quiet. One lady is very sick. By the time we arrive it’s nearly 8pm. We wonder how Swansea can be so far away.

We have dinner at the hotel with some other ladies including our rivals from Giffnock North. We decide to be friends for the weekend.

Not much sleep much because they’re working right outside the hotel and in the morning the seagulls are loud. Some people report music and shouting, which I missed, so I must have slept after all.

We put our Scotland shorts and vest on, and tie the tartan ribbons in our hair. The excitement begins!

Short bus ride to Singleton park. The sun comes out just in time for the Scotland team photo.

We do an easy jog of the course. It’s 3 laps of 2k. The second part of the lap is up and down one big slope. It doesn’t seem too bad.

Photos. More warm up stuff. Getting very, very excited now.

Lining up with all the other Scottish, Irish, Northern Irish, English and Welsh runners in our race (ladies plus the 65+ men).

I feel fantastic on the first lap. I am running for Scotland. Hurrah! I can’t stop smiling. I’m also going too fast. I can see Mary McCutcheon from Giffnock North in front and know that I am too close to her.

Fuck it. I am running for Scotland! It’s only 3 laps.

The hill is worse than I thought. I get a stitch at the start of the second lap. I pull back a little. Only two laps to go.

The hill is a killer on the second lap. I’m just looking at the piece of grass in front of me and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Whenever someone shouts Scotland I smile. I tell myself that I am strong and that I can do this.

Third lap. I don’t care what race this is I just want it to end. Louise goes past just before the hill. I have nothing left to chase her. I lap a lady in the 70+ group and shout a well done to her. She is amazing. I feel a bit sick when I get over the hill for the last time. Down the hill and then around the corner. I manage a wee sprint finish.

Once I can breathe again, the adrenaline comes back. We take lots of photos. We ran for Scotland! Hurrah! I am so glad I brought my flag.

We do another lap as a cool down. The hill doesn’t seem so bad now. We watch the men race and shout for Scotland as loud as we can.

I’m getting cold and put all my layers on including my purple Bella bobble hat. Nice.

We walk back to the hotel via the beach. I have a shower and lie down for an hour. My legs are throbbing and I am exhausted.

Then we’re getting sparkled up for the awards dinner where the results are announced. Everyone is looking glam. I feel a bit under-dressed but then I see Fiona Matheson in her trainers.

Michelle Sandison wins gold in the W35 age group and she gets a medal. Our team wins bronze !!!! I get a medal too !!!!

To work out the winners, they need to add up the positions for each team within the age group and the team with the lowest score wins. Apparently this is how team prizes are always worked out but I had no idea. Michelle Sandison was 1st W35, Sara Green was 10th, and I was… well, who cares, it’s taking part that counts, right?

Louise’s team gets bronze medals too for the W40! All the Scottish ladies teams get medals! Some of the men get medals too.

Fiona Matheson gets a gold medal too for winning her age group, and Ann White gets a silver medal. We decide that the best strategy for ever winning a gold medal at this is to keep running for 30 years. And not slow down too much.

On Sunday, we wake up early again. We got for a run along the beach and watch the sun come up. Then the long bus journey home.

As soon as we step off the bus the fireworks go off on George Square. What a welcome back!

I get a chippie when I get home. My boys inspect my medal. Ayden says he has never seen a square medal before.

I sleep for 10 hours.