Historic afternoon for the Harriers
Stewart leaves following defeat
Murray Spooner Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers savoured the finest afternoon in their 68- year history as a prominent force in Scottish athletics – with a helping hand from ‘Doctor Kyle’.
No fewer than 16 athletes went home from the National Road Relays in Livingston, West Lothian, clutching gold team medals as they enjoyed a ‘cleansweep’ on the men’s side by winning the Senior race as well as retaining their Masters and V50 titles.
Junior doctor, Kyle McLellan, guided them home on the final leg of the six-stage Senior Men’s race from silver medallists Central AC and third-placed Inverclyde AC.
McLellan did well to hold off the threat on the last leg at the end of a 63hour working week at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and in his first race for three months.
“It is a very special day for the club and a unique achievement to have 18 men across three teams at Seniors, Masters and V50s picking up gold medals,” said David Cooney, Ronhill Cambuslang president.
“We’re naturally delighted for all at the club. I think this proves we have significant depth.
“In terms of the seniors, we felt we had a well-balanced team. There are never any guarantees in athletics in terms of podium places.
“Our Masters and V50s have won this title the past few years but you still have to do it all again on the day.
“They stepped up to the plate once again and, in the main race, it was a great performance by all the boys.”
There was sadness at Ronhill Cambuslang over the weekend too, with sympathies extended to the family and friends of former member, Jim Fitzpatrick.
“I’d like to dedicate our success at Livingston to the memory of a member of ours who died on Saturday,” David added.
“Jim Fitzpatrick was with us from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s and he was one of the sponsors of our Down By The River 10K races.”
Central and Inverclyde ate into the lead that Ryan Thomson had handed over to McLellan – but not enough to change the medal order. Cambuslang won it by 24 seconds with 2.16.12.
Kyle McLellan said: “I knew Central were closing, and could see Dale Colley at times with Andy Douglas running very strongly too, but thankfully I just had enough to hold them off.
“I’ve had a lot of work commitments and it means I’ve missed a few races so my preparation wasn’t ideal but it was a great team performance for us to win it.”
Cambuslang took the Masters race for the sixth year in a row from Kirkintilloch Olympians and Bellahouston Road Runners and their V50 men’s team just held off Shettleston for a fourth successive title in that category.
Harriers Kyle McLellan, Iain Reid, Stuart Gibson, Craig Jardine and Robert Gilroy