Following a highly successful winter cross country and road racing season East Kilbride Athletic club turned its attention to track and field on Tuesday 1st April. Keen to test the fitness their young athletes had worked hard on all winter the coaches devised a middle distance time trial, primarily for the younger members of the club. To make the evening more interesting the senior mens’ squad agreed to act as pacemakers to help the racers target personal best times.
The change to lighter evenings was accompanied by a brief respite in the wind and rain providing reasonable conditions, if a little cold.
The evening was kicked off with the under 11s running 600m over two heats. The youngsters were all desperate to run as fast as possible with Cameron MacDonald and Holly Coutts deciding after 100m that the pacemaker simply wasn’t fast enough and leaving him in their wake. In spite of grim predictions from their coaches Cameron maintained the blistering pace to record a time of 2:01:2. Not only was it the fastest 600m of the evening, it was also third fastest by an under 11 in club history. Holly fought bravely to the end but was pipped, by a second, on the line by Abbie Kirwan who stormed the final 100m to record 2:10:5, again third fastest on the record list.
800m was the distance for the under 13s and above, run over 3 heats. A number of gutsy performances were on display in the first two heats with pbs being decimated all over the place. The greatest improvement on the evening went to Hannah Dickson who knocked 24 seconds from her previous best time.
The final heat was hotly anticipated as the club’s big guns lined up for a crack at some already impressive times. At under 13 the best time was recorded by Owen Selfridge, running a strong, consistent two laps to record a pb of 2:37:6 on his first day as an under 13. Sarah Connolly ran an equally strong race to finish in a pb of 2:44:5 as fastest girl.
Under 15 races were won by Matthew Kirwan in 2:53:8 and Chloe Mulligan who is used to much shorter distances in a pb of 2:53:2. Under 17 Honours fell to Kyle Fenix, another short distance specialist, in 2:38:1 and Rachael McCusker in 2:58.5 both pbs. The fastest time of the evening was set by under 20 Shannon McMahon who ran an impressive 2:33:6, just behind pacemaker Jamie Clements who won bragging rights over his team mates and a small prize by hitting his target exactly with a time of 2:30:0.
The aim of the evening was to test the athletes current form. With over 40 pbs from 46 runners the coaches agreed the hard miles in wind, rain, snow and mud over the winter were well worth the effort. Thankfully the athletes and spectators all enjoyed the ordeal as well.