On Saturday 11th November, Tollcross Park in Glasgow hosted The British and Ireland Masters International. This race is regarded as one of the main highlights of the annual Master’s calendar.
Following rigorous selection rounds throughout the UK, each of the five home nations (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland) chose their best athletes, six in the four youngest age groups and four in the others.
Around fifteen Greenock Glenpark Harriers entered the qualifying rounds which took place two months ago at Tollcross on a swelteringly hot and humid day. Three harriers ran superbly that day, gaining selection to represent Scotland; Andrew Osbourne, Neil Lafferty and Paul Monaghan.
All three were in great shape going into their races on Saturday.
First off was the M50-M60 race. Paul is well known for giving every race a hundred and ten per cent effort. The look of determination and pain etched on his face from start to finish showed he was once again giving it his all, this time for his country. Paul finished the eight kilometre cross-country race in a fantastic time of 28:15 and bagged a well-deserved V50 gold team medal for his efforts.
For a video link to Paul’s V50 to 64 race, click here.
In the next race, Andrew was representing Scotland in the V40s team and Neil in the V45s team.
As their race got underway, both got off to a terrific start, with Neil slowly easing slightly ahead of Andrew as the race progressed. Andrew was clearly working really hard to remain in close contact with Neil, giving it his all. Neil found himself leading a string of Irish runners and kept his concentration well under extreme pressure. Neil finished a meritorious 2nd counter for the Scottish team and 9th V45 overall in a time of 27:14. Neil pointed out that this was two minutes faster than the trial in September – incredible! And what a fantastic achievement to be in the top two counters for the bronze medal winning team. Meanwhile, as if a debut appearance in a Scottish vest itself wasn’t enough; with an impressive sprint finish Andrew secured another gold team medal for Scotland in the V40s category.
For a video link to the V35, V40 and V45 race, click here.
Congratulations guys, what an inspiration. You did the club proud !
For the official results, click here.