Runners compete in championship race

Published: 9 Oct 2012 13:300 comments

INVERCLYDE AC senior athletes were at Jordanhill in Glasgow to compete in the McAndrew road relay championship.

ALL SMILES: Medal winners Mark Pollard, John Cooke, Sean Gaffney and Chris MacKay.

ALL SMILES: Medal winners Mark Pollard, John Cooke, Sean Gaffney and Chris MacKay.

This event has attracted some of Scotland's top athletes over the years and gained the unofficial title as the national road relay competition.

Inverclyde were bolstered by Chris MacKay and Mark Pollard adding to the strength of the teams travelling. With top junior athlete Jonny Glen encouraging his senior team mates, the first leg runners set off with John Cooke and Greg Williams.

As the race progressed, the unforgiving second half was taking its toll as John and Greg moved through the field to keep Inverclyde colours to the fore.

As the change-over approached, John had opened a small gap on Greg to lead the club home - handing over to Chris MacKay. Chris exploded from the start line, moving through his gears and began going through the field. With a mile to go, Chris was in full flow and was bearing down on the leaders as he moved into silver medal spot. Coming downhill to pass onto Mark Pollard, Chris stopped the clock at 15.36mins for the 3 1/2 mile course, recording the fastest time of the day and the only athlete under 16 minutes.

Mark set off the third leg runners and powered round the course in his own fashion to further secure the second spot for Clyde. Sean Gaffney carried the weight of expectation for the club on the glory anchor leg and, as in the previous weeks, he coped well with this pressure - working hard and digging deep into his training reserves to secure a fine silver medal for the club.

There were some fine performances in the club's other teams, with Thomas Jamieson knocking a considerable margin off his best time - missing out on a 17 minute run by two seconds.

Young Michael Houston gained valuable experience over the most testing relay course and will no doubt progress through the senior ranks in the coming weeks.

Graeme Hyett continued his progression to full fitness with another solid display and a mental strength thats returning to full power.

Inverclyde juniors have the chance next week to join the seniors on the journey to Kilmarnock for the first cross country of the season. All members should check with coaches for travel arrangements. Full details of all club activities can be found on

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