Graeme’s Pictures: Relays

Graeme took many photographs of the Glasgow students in action – or loaned his camera to others to take them for him.   Everybody likes relays.   We start this selection with photographs from the Perth North Inch Relays, then there will be some from the Edinburgh to Glasgow in 1967.

The startOn the sside the two runners are Craig Douglas of Teviotdale and Hugh Barrow of VPAACl on the infield Henry Summerhill of Shettleston stands out.

Leading along the side of the Tay, Hugh from Craig

 

 

Graeme Orr

Now for the Edinburgh to Glasgow:  the start

Bill Scally to Les Menelly for Shettleston

Dave Logue to Ian Young for Edinburgh University

Gareth Bryan-Jones for Edinburgh University

Fergus Murray for Edinburgh Southern

Graeme Grant, Dumbarton AAC

Pat Maclagan, Victoria Park AAC

 

 

 

Graeme’s Pictures: 67 and 68 at Hamilton

One of the great iconic venues of Scottish cross-country running was Hamilton for the National.   Glasgow University were ‘ever-presents’ at Hamilton Nationals and Graeme Orr has photographs, mainly of Glasgow students but also of some of the big names running there in 1967 and 1968.

Start, 1967

After One Mile, 1967

A Irvine, GUH&H, 1967

R Beaney (66), 1967

Joe Reilly, 1967

 

Stuart Polwart, 1967

G Orr leads J McHardy, 1967

 

 

G Orr leads D Mars, 1967

A Reid, 1967

Lachie

1967 GU H&H team:  G Orr, S Polwart, J McHardy, A Turnbull, I McFarlane

Start, 1968

Leaders early on: including Lachie, the Brown brothers, Alistair Blamire, …

Alex and Andy Brown

John Linaker, Lachie, Alex and Andy Brown, Jim Brennan, 1968

 

Graeme’s Pictures: Westerlands

Graeme Orr was a student at Glasgow University in the late 1960’s and was a stalwart member of GUAC and GU H & H.   We have some of his photographs taken at Westerlands at the British Universities Championships here.

Note the gantry for the TV cameras on the infield and the cables above the track leading to the outside broad cast vans.

Aistair Johnston fifth and Bobby Blair one place back

Alistair Johnstone fourth

Alistair Blamire

 

Bobby Mills: A Selection

One of mine: Bobby himself, third from the right at the start of the first leg of the Edinburgh to Glasgow, 1971

Jack Brown starting in a club race

Jack several minutes into the race

The line-up at the start of the DAAC annual schools race.   Dr McPhail giving the instructions


Sandy Sutherland at Nairn

Ian Logie, international pole vaulter on a stretcher at Nairn where he injured himself

Stan Horn leads Colin Martin at Strathallan

Start of the Springburn Cup race when it was a relay for Junior, Senior, Youth and Junior Men   Dr IMM Macphail standing at the side.

Mike Ryan, St Modans AAC at Springburn

One of the Dumbarton runners

Above: Another Dumbarton runner

Below: There was a representative match held at Dumbarton at the start of the 1960’s and the picture below is of Pat Moy (Vale of Leven AAC) ducking through a barbed wire fence – a manoeuvre that cost him lots of ground on each lap!

Below: Same meeting – could it be Graham Everett?

… or is this Graham?

Start of Youths Race in the District Championships at Kilbarchan

Just after the start.

Jim McInnes whose athletic career was cut short by injury but who went on to become SAAA President.

Jim McInnes

And finally, the cover and two pages from the Rome Olympics programme, 1960


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Bobby Mills: International 1960

The International Cross Country Championship in 1960 was held at Hamilton.   It was won by Rhadi of Morocco from Roelants of Belgium and Merryman from Wales.   Top Scot was Alastair Wood in seventh place leading the Scottish team to fifth place at the finish.

.Alastair Wood

Andy Brown

Rhadi (57) and Roelants (15)

Graham Everett (on the right)

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Now some photographs from the University Championships at St Andrews:

DJ Whyte, Dundee Hawkhill and St Andrews University, Scottish and British champion as well as universities champion

Glasgow University Triple Jumper, probably Campbell Stalker

Stan Horn, Garscube Harriers and Glasgow University

John Addo, Ghana and Glasgow University

Menzies Campbell

Bobby Mills at Westerlands

Bobby Mills of Glasgow University and Dumbarton AAC was a wonderful athlete who starred in the decathlon and also ran over the country and in the Edinburgh to Glasgow for his club.   He was one of a few taking photographs at athletic meetings in the 1960’s and early ’70s.   Some of them are shown here.   First some from Westerlands.

Start of a 3 Mile race: Jim Spence (GGH), Colin Martin (DAAC), Albert Smith (VP), Bert McKay (M’well), Alex Brown (M’well), Lachie Stewart (VoLAAC), Alistair Milroy (DAAC), Ian McCafferty (M’well), Hugh McErlean (VoLAAC),  Jim Brennan (Maryhill), and Brian McAusland (Clydesdale), 

Lachie leads McCafferty, Brown, Albert Smith with Jim Brennan down the track

Lachie hiding McCafferty, then Alex Brown, Albert Smith, Bert McKay and Jim Brennan.

Alistair Milroy (Dumbarton)

Start of the Invitation Mile: Kenny Ballantyne, Hugh Barrow, Mike Bradley, Craig Douglas, Bobby Greig, Brian Scobie and Albert Smith on the inside

Invitation Mile, Hugh Barrow, Bobby Greig on the inside,Ken Ballantyne on the outside

Invitation Mile finish: Scobie, Ballantyne and Barrow

Mile start: Jim McLatchie on the inside, then Graeme Grant, plus Fraser McPherson (VP)

.Grant leads McLatchie, Colin Martin fourth, Bill Scally 5?

 

Grant, ?, McLatchie, McPherson, Martin

McLatchie, Grant, ?, Martin, McPherson, Scally

McLatchie wins from Grant

 

 

. Leslie Watson,  Doreen King and ?

Start of Women’s Mile

 

Alix Jamieson

And again

Menzies Campbell

Menzies Campbell 

Jim McInnes

 

 

Steven Doig

Steven Doig (313) finishing third in the Nigel Barge Road Race in 1986

Steven Doig was a very talented middle distance runner from Kinghorn in Fife who represented Scotland on the track and over the country at a time when the standard at all distance events was very high.  He is now a very good coach who can be seen at championships, open meetings and BMC races.   Quiet and unassuming he doesn’t push himself forward but lets his athletes do the talking on the track.   He certainly should be better recognised in the world of athletics.   We asked him to reply to the questionnaire and we can start there.

Name:  Steve Doig
Date of Birth:   17/11/65
Occupation:   Teacher (Additional Support Needs)
Club/s:   Fife Southern/Clydesdale/Old Gaytonians/Fife AC
Personal Bests:    800 – 1.51.1; 1500 – 3.44.7; Mile – 4.01.02; 3000 – 8.11.6; 5000 – 14.10.9  5 Miles – 23.34; 10K – 30.20

How did you get into the sport in the first place and were you coached:   I first got involved after the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. I remember watching the 10,000m final and being fascinated by the running of Brendan Foster. Following that race I spent weeks asking my dad to take me to an athletics club. At the end of the summer I joined Fife Southern Harriers who were based in Kirkcaldy.
Ironically my dad also got involved as he was asked to help with coaching and he became one of the coaches of the junior group.
I ran for Fife Southern throughout my secondary school period but never considered myself to have a coach. My dad helped with my training and I also ran with Balwearie High School where one of the teachers, Brian Hughes, was a big influence.
When I left school I wrote to the BMC for a list of coaches in Glasgow, as I was going to study at Jordanhill. Two of the top names were Alex Naylor and Brian McAusland.    I had met Alex at a Scottish Event squad training day and didn’t really take to him so I contacted Brian and he agreed to let me join his group.

Did any person or group of people significantly affect your performances or your attitude?   Brian McAusland had a massive impact on my performance and attitude. He went out of his way to help me and would collect me and drop me back at Jordanhill after training. His advice helped me to quickly become a Scottish Junior internationalist and working with his group which contained guys like Hugh Forgie, Alec Gilmour, Eddie Stewart, Charlie Thomson, Sam Wallace and Jim Orr improved my running enormously.
I had an excellent season in 1986 and ran some fast times and this was made easier by spending two weeks training and racing in London. Brian arranged this for Sam Wallace and I and we were also helped by a stalwart of the BMC, Pat Fitzgerald, who arranged accommodation for us in Acton with his mother. Pat also helped by arranging transport for us to races and training sessions. During this two week spell I ran 3.44.7 and 8.12.2,
I also had the opportunity to participate in a training session led by the legendary Frank Horwill.

What was your best race:   A 1500m I ran in July 1990 at Mansfield. I went with the intention of running a very fast time as I’d been training really well. Unfortunately there had been a really high quality entry and I got stuck in the B race. I won this very comfortably in 3.49 but felt I could have run 3.42/3.43 in the much faster and far more competitive, A race.

Your worst?   So many poor performances its difficult to pick just one!   However the most disappointing, with the value of hindsight, was my mile run at Bromley.   I ran 4.01.02, which was the fastest by a Scot in 1990, but the disappointment was that it was a great opportunity to run sub 4. At the time I wasn’t too disappointed as it had been a great race marred only by a dreadful last 100m! I thought that having got my first full season in since 1986 that I would go on to massively improve all of my personal bests in the following season. However, after that season I never managed to race seriously again due to injury problems with my lower leg. So, the missed opportunity at Bromley becomes all the more galling!

What did athletics bring you that you would not want to have missed?   When you spend a lot of time training and racing you meet a lot of people who share your passion and you form some great friendships. Most of my closest friends are people I’ve trained with over the years.   I also met my wife while training with Bob Parker’s group in London so I’m sure I should include that!

Can you give some idea of your training?
Glasgow 1985/86
Mon: 5 mile run followed by hills
Tuesday: Club run with Clydesdale
Wednesday: Track Session
Thursday: Club run with Clydesdale
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Race or grass session
Sunday: 10 – 12 mile run
Total mileage of 40 – 50 miles

London 1989/90
Mon: Steady Run
Tuesday: Track Session
Wednesday: Steady Run
Thursday: Track Session
Friday: Easy Run
Saturday: Race/Track session/Grass session
Sunday: 10 – 12 mile run
Total mileage of 50 – 60 miles

 

Livingston, 1984.   Stuart Gibson (HBT), Colin Hume (ESH) and Steven (FSH)

As he says, Steven was only ten years old at the time of the ’76 Olympics and as chance would have it, the East District Cross-Country League was formed that year.  A year later, Steven was there as a Junior Boy.   The first race he ran in that league was on 10th December 1977  at Tullibody when he was  18th and third counter for the Fife Southern team that was 7th.   In the National cross-country championships that year, held on 4th March in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Steven was 62nd in the junior boys race, one place behind Steven Marshall of Clyde Valley, another who would go on to Junior and Senior international status.  

In the first race of the 1978/79 East District League, Steven was fourth and the team won with Tom Ritchie first.   The Fife Southern Harriers junior boys team did well for the rest of the season and in the East District Championships Relay Championships in Tullibody in October the Young Athletes team (made up of a Junior Boy, Senior Boy and Youth) Steven ran the first stage for the club and handed over in fifth place which was where they finished.   In the District Championships proper, at Aberdeen in January, they were second  with Tom Ritchie third and Steven 15th.   

Steven did not race much in season 1979/80 with no appearances in League Matches, or in the District or National cross-country championships,  but in the next winter season, Steven ran in two of the District League matches: in  Cupar on  11th October he was  eighth Senior Boy; and in Dundee on 30th October 15th Senior Boy.   He missed the last match on  as well as the District or National Championships.   The team had several very good young runners such as Tom Ritchie (regularly top club finisher), Lindsay Wilson (sixth and first club runner in the District championships) and Steven but they did not get them all out in the championships that year. 

Steven’s racing at this time was irregular as far as League, District and National Championships were concerned – something that is often true of very good senior runners as young men.  The sport is littered with tales of talented young runners who leave the sport early because they have been driven too hard by over zealous coaches or parents.  However his ability was clear to see.   One of his Fife Southern team mates, Lindsay Wilson, who has contributed valuable information to this website, tells us that he first met Steven when they were eleven or twelve year olds.   The club had a good senior boys team including Steven, Lindsay, Tom Ritchie and others such as John Ferguson and David Costello.  He particularly remembers that in his last year at High School, Steven and himself finished first and second in the Fife Schools Cross-Country Championship.   That Fife Southern Harriers young ahletes team was a very good one which twice won the national athletics league  and produced some top class athletes – eg when Steven ran in his first senior man’s international at 1500m, one of the two Scots in the 800m was Tom Ritchie.

By winter 1981/82, Steven had moved up to the Youths’ (Under 17) Age Group and in the East District League at the end of November in Livingston, he finished sixth.   No Fife Southern athletes in the National in Steven’s age group that year but summer 1982 was when Steven’s career as an athlete took off.   The high spot was maybe when he won the East District Youths 3000m in 9:02.5 although his second place in the Scottish Schools was much faster – 8:53.6 – and was three seconds ahead of Bobby Quinn who ran 8:56.3.   By the end of summer 1982 he was ranked nationally in no fewer than three events.   In the 1500m he was eleventh, one place in front of Tom Hanlon with a best of 4:11.6 on 16th May, at 3000m he was fourth with 8:53.6 and he was fourth in the 2000m steeplechase with a time of 6:32.8 run at Meadowbank late in the season on 5th September.  

The winter of 1982/83 saw no appearances in the cross-country league but a first place in the East District Championships on 22nd January at Livingston,  and an eighth in the National.   They were very good runs by any standard.   The National, for instance, had Bobby Quinn, Steven Begen, Steven Marshall and Dave McShane as the first four and behind Steven were such good athletes as Alistair Currie, Scott Reid and Frank Boyne.   The following summer Steven had another second in the Scottish Schools championships  but this time in the 5000m.   On a hot afternoon at Scotstoun he led most of the way before being outkicked by Scott Reid of Dumbarton.   Scott was a member of a formidable club U17 team comprised of himself, Alan and Alistair Currie.   The winning time was 15:29.1 with Steven close behind.   

It had taken since 1977, but by now it could be said that the first stage in Steven’s apprenticeship in the sport had been completed.    He was running with the big boys on pretty well equal terms.  In Autumn 1983 Steven started in Jordanhill College, Glasgow.   

Some of the Glasgow group that he was joining including Graham Getty (Bellahouston), Hugh Forgie (Law & District), Alex Gilmour, Sam Wallace, Pat Morris (Cambuslang), Douglas MacDonald and James Austin (Clydesdale) and Alex Chalmers (Springburn)

Despite living in Glasgow, Steven travelled through to Falkirk on 15th October, 1983, to represent Fife Southern Harriers in the East District Relay Championships.   Running on the fourth stage, he was second fastest club runner with a time of 12:26, eight seconds slower than team mate John Cunningham.   There was no Fife Southern team in the District championships but Steven ran in the National at Irvine in February where he was tenth in the Junior Championships, just missing out on a place in the team for the World Cross-Country Championships in New York by nine seconds and one place to Alistair Currie.      

1985 1500  3.51.5 2

 
Nigel Barge, 1986.  Steven in front row on the left (313) with George Braidwood beside him (32?)
 
The 1985/1986 season would turn out to be one of Steven’s best ever.    On 4th January 1986 Steven started what was to be a very good year for him by finishing third in the classic Nigel Barge four and a half mile Road Race at Maryhill.   It was a hard race, and in 1986 it was won for the first time ever by an Englishman, Geoff Turnbull of Gateshead Harriers, in 22:23 from George Braidwood of Bellahouston in 22:32 and Steven third in 22:33.   Always up with the pace – the Glashow Herald said of the early stages “Steven Doig, a Jordanhill student and Scottish cross-country international, was the only competitor other than Braidwood to offer serious resistance and almost paid for it.   Having run in isolation for most of the race, he and Braidwood were caught in turn by the pack.   Doig actually dropped to sixth with 600 metres left but rallied to sprint clear on the run in finishing a second behind Braidwood.”    Came the National at Irvine on 22nd February and Steven finished in tenth place in the Senior race in front of training partners Eddie Stewart (11th) and Alex Gilmour (12th).   This gained him selection for the world cross country championships in Neuchatel, Switzerland where he was not one of the scoring six runners.
 
Not surprisingly, he had a very good track season off the back of this winter being ranked sixth in the 1500m with a best of  3.44.7,  eighth in the 3000m with an 8:12.2 and sixth in the 5000m where he ran 14:18.1.    The standards were high that year with Peter Fleming and George Braidwood of Bellahouston just behind him in the 5000m, the same two behind him in the 3000, (albeit the other way round), and Sam Wallace, Graham Williamson and Tom Hanlon behind him in the 1500m.    One of the high spots of the summer in 1986 was when Steven and Sam travelled down to London to stay for a week with BMC Secretary Pat Fitzgerald’s Mum and run in a top level BMC race. They were very different characters but they had several factors in common – always asking why, always having a follow-up question, always giving it everything in the training sessions, always having a plan for a race and bags of talent.   I was coaching both athletes at the time and Sam Wallace looks back on  the week:
“I remember getting on the night bus at Buchanan street and the police came on looking for me!    They told me Stevie wouldn’t make the trip with me, he had been held up, but would come down later.   This meant I arrived in London not knowing what to do but I called you and got the travel info Pat gave you. I remember the race was THAT DAY we arrived and I hadn’t slept!    I can’t remember how Stevie got down.
The race was pretty steady but I can’t remember the splits. I do remember being trapped on the kerb when the kick went in and when clear I saw Stevie in the home straight but couldn’t quite catch him. I think we finished 3rd and 5th.    I remember all the talk was about Darren Mead and that he had run 3.46. Good old Pat took the wind out their sails when he said I was a year younger and a second faster….and from Scotland!!   
I remember that Pats mum lived very close to Wimbledon. That close in fact we could physically hear the crowd roar!!   We watched the games on Pats mums telly and were inspired by watching the 17 year old Boris Becker win the title.  We visited Madame Tussaud’s when there but generally just hung out listening to music.   I was listening to The Associates, China Crisis and Deacon Blue at the time – and by the end of our stay Stevie was into them too. Although he had no choice!  
I remember the path from the main road to the Thames Valley track ran along the wall of Wormwood Scrubbs prison.   Stevie and I put in some good sessions at the valley track and at Battersea track with the late great Frank Horwill.   We watched Linford Christie ‘train’ at the valley track if you could call it that.
We stood there thinking ‘he must put the work in on the winter’……
The sessions with Frank were brilliant.   He made you feel like a world beater.   As much mental training as physical.   It was easy to see why Frank and yourself got on so well.  The same enthusiasm and attention to detail while manipulating the athletes brain.  I’m sure Tim Hutchings was training on the track that day but Frank gave us all the attention.
I remember Stevie was quick. Very light on his feet and an aggressive runner.   He was a really nice guy and easy to get on with. We got on well during the trip and I enjoyed his company. “
It was a very successful trip – one of the last training sessions the runners had done before leaving for London was repetition 800’s in 2 minutes and when they came through the 800m in a fraction outside 2 minutes, they were happy with the knowledge that they could ‘run two minutes and feel good’!   They were different in some ways and when they phoned the result back, Steven made the call and started by telling me that they had both dropped out because the pace was too hot.   The effect was lost when Sam could be heard in the background demanding that he tell the truth!  The result of the race run on 2nd July:  1.   D Perry 3:44.4;  2.   B Bhrania 3:44.6;  3.  S Doig  3:44.7;   4.  J Espir 3:44.7;  5.  S Wallace  3:45.6;  6.  D Mead  3:45.8;  7.  K Howard  3:46.3;  8.  N Hopkins  3:47.5;  9.  N Ovington  3:3:49.2;  10.  R Barrie  3:50.2.
The next outing was on 13th July when he ran in a street race over 1500m  organised by RunSport and Lachie Stewart on behalf of the BMC in the grounds of Stirling University where he finished third behind John Robson and George Braidwood in 3:45.3.   Then a change of distance when he ran in the Mill Lum Six Miles Hill Race in Kirkcaldy where he was second (33:36) behind Terry Mitchell (32:52).   The running that summer had been so consistently good that he was selected for a Scottish team to run in a triangular international in Leiden, Holland, on 16th August where he was second Scot and fifth overall in the 1500m in 4:10.3.   This was an intriguing race – the field came through 800m in 2:26.0!   Also in the team was his old Fife Southern team mate Tom Ritchie who was fifth in the 800m in 1:52.75.   The track season ended with a run on cinders at Dunoon where in the Cowal Highland Games Invitation 1500, he was beaten into second place by Pat Duffy of Greenock Glenpark Harriers – 3:53.7 to 3:57.2 – with John McKay of Clydebank AC third in 3:57.7.   
.
.Steven (480) in the Berwick-on-Tweed Round the Walls race in 1986
Second placed Walker with the moustache 
 
Into September and all runners were preparing for the winter road and cross-country season.   It was on 21st September that Steven travelled to Berwick-on-Tweed for the annual Round the Walls race.   His good form continued when he won the race in 33:43 from Alistair Walker of Teviotdale (34:03) and Alaister Russell of Law & District (34:21).  When the cross-country season started with the traditional McAndrew Relay race at Scotstoun on 4th October, Steven, running for the unplaced Fife Southern team, was second fastest behind Peter Fleming with only four seconds separating the two times.   The year was rounded off with a sixth place in Edinburgh’s Queen’s Drive race on 20th December.
Into 1987 and on 11th January he represented Scotland in a Celtic Countries International between Scotland, Eire, Northern Ireland and Wales in which he was twelfth.     But it was in 1987 and 1988 that his injury problems really started to cause problems.   As an international athlete he did get some assistance with access to specialists but not much at all.  In the twenty first century there would have been much more input from physios, podiatrists, sports scientists and others.    Compartment syndrome was mentioned and the then National Coach for athletics asked him how important running was to him because they did not want to operate on his legs.   A well known and SAAA approved podiatrist wanted to take photographs of his legs and feet for lecture purposes.   Whatever the reasons, the problems continued and in 1988 he went to London to work where he joined Old Gaytonians.
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In winter 1989/90 Steven was still doing his cross-country racing in England but summer 1990 saw him ranked in Scotland in four different events.   At 1500m he ran 3.49.96 at Mansfield on 24th July to be 15th, for the Mile he raced 4:01.2 on 22nd August at Bromley to top the Scottish lists, up to 3000m and his 8:11.6 at Perivale on 18th July placed him eleventh and at 5000m he did 14:10.9 to be sixth.    Not in the Scottish rankings was his 1:52.7 for 800m on 11th July at Watford where he won the final.   The range from 800m to 10000m on the road was wide and the races should be looked at a bit more closely.

There was more to any year than ranking times though and now,  at last Steven’s talents were being seen in a series of good races.   In April he won a 10K on the road at Hatch End in 30:20 to get the season off to a good start.   (He had won the 5K there the previous year in 24:06.)      He won the Middlesex County 5000m Championship in 14.23.   This was followed by eighth place in the Southern Championships in 14.12 (won by Jonathan Richards).  And then he was third in UK Inter Counties 5000 in 14.10.9.   “Could have been quicker,” he says, ” but I paid the price for a first 3000 in 8.13!”   Geoff Turnbull won in 13.53.4.   Two Scots were out for Middlesex – the late Andy Beattie ran in the 10,000.   The story of the 4:01.2 mile is told in the responses to the questionnaire – it was a time that topped the Scottish rankings for the year.

It was also the year when he won his second Scottish selection.   He ran in the 5000m along with Bobby Quinn against Iceland on 1st July in Mossfaellsbaer .   Bobby was second in 14:36.61, Steven third in 14: 14:43.68 for the Scottish team which defeated both Iceland and Ireland.   A good competitive run was when Steven ran 4.06 to win the Crawley invitation mile, defeating Olympian Tim Hutchings – Steven always had a ferocious kick at the end of races and in this one kicked away with 500m to go.   Training with Bob Parker’s group at that time, he remembers “Bob going mad on the sidelines as he’d told me to wait until the last 100! ”    Other scalps lifted at that time include GB internationalist Andy Geddes over 1500 in a Middlesex v Civil Service match. The winning time was only around 3.51 but the final 300 was in 39 seconds..    Later in the summer he ran 8.11.6 to win the Middlesex v RAF v Civil Service 3000 beating Mark Flint and Julian Goater.

His best run in summer 1993 was when he finished third in the Perivale 5000m road race in 15min 24sec. The event was won by Ali Mohammed (Thames Valley) in 15-08, with David Rocks (Finn Valley) runner up three seconds ahead of the Scot.   He had kept his Scottish connections alive all the time he was in England and, as well as his old Fife friends and team mates had joined Clydesdale Harriers with who he had done some training prior to his move south.   He is pictured below after a league match over 5000m in Glasgow.   That’s him on the extreme right wearing the shades at the top of the terracing at Crown Point.

Steven had never run in the prestigious Edinburgh to Glasgow relay before so when he was asked to turn out for the club on the difficult second stage of the race in 1995 he took it and travelled up overnight in 1995.   After a disappointing tenth place on the first stage by Des Roache, GB Junior 1500m champion indoors and out that same year, Steven picked up one place to hand over to Shane Daly.   He returned the following year and this time took over in first place from Allan Adams but dropped several places before passing the baton to Graeme Reid who would go on to win Scottish Junior and Senior cross-country championships in the next few years.   

Steven running on the second stage of the Edinburgh – Glasgow, 1995

When he returned to Scotland in 1998 he kept on running but it was not as serious as it had been.   For instance he ran in the Beveridge Park 5K races in 2003 where in May he was second with a time of 16:31 and in June set a record for the course of 16:02.   Good enough running but not of his previous standards.   The problem was of course with his legs – run, start to get fit, get sore legs, stop for a while, repeat.  

His next venture in the sport was as a coach.   His experiences as an athlete both north and south of the border, his inquisitive nature and intelligence all indicated that he would be a success in this capacity.   He had been interested in coaching as far back as 1996 when he was in London and got his club coach award. at that time  His actual coaching career started in about 2006 with a small group of 9 and 10 year olds so that his daughter Shona had a group to train with. 

 Because his runners were progressing and performing successfully others joined his group and he has now reached the stage where he has to divide them into five or six groups  with assistance from two other adult club members.   The athletes cover three clubs, although the vast majority are Fife members, and cover all age ranges but are mainly U17, U20 and Senior athletes.    Steven, like all good coaches, puts in the hours trackside,  with sessions most days at either Kirkcaldy or Pitreavie tracks.   There is also of course the work put in away from the track in organising the year, organising the individual sessions, liaising with physios, medics and other coaches: when we met for lunch recently the first 20 minutes were taken up trying to arrange a race for an athlete to get a qualifying time via a whole series of texts.   The time spent and effort put out is appreciated by the athletes and their parents.

Steven as Coach of the Year in 2013

In 2014 one of his athletes, Adam Scott, won the English Under 15 1500m in the championships at Bedford.   The report in the local paper read: “Kirkcaldy athlete Adam Scott finished his season in fine style last Sunday when he won the 1500m title at the England Athletics Under 15 Championships. Adam, who is 14, is a pupil at Balwearie High School and competes for Fife Athletic Club. He is undefeated in his age group over 1500m and prior to his comprehensive victory at Bedford, where he defeated his closest rival by four seconds, he had already won the Scottish Indoor Age Group Championship and the outdoor East District, Scottish Schools and Scottish Age Group Championships. Adam also shattered the Scottish under 15 indoor 1500m record in February taking a whopping 10 seconds off the previous best. 

His victory in the England Athletics Championship is, however, his greatest achievement to date and this win effectively crowns him as British champion as all of the main contenders for this title were present at Bedford. Adam, who is ranked first in Scotland in the under 15 age group over 1500m, had one final outing before hanging up his spikes for the season. At the Pitreavie Trophy meeting on Sunday he won the 800m in 2:02.77 to climb to the top of the rankings in that event too. He will now take a short break before setting his sights on the cross country season where he hopes to win the East District and Scottish titles.

Adam has been coached by Steve Doig as part of the Fife Athletic Club group in Kirkcaldy for seven years and his superb performances this summer will undoubtedly inspire his training partners as they strive to match his achievements.”

 In 2016, 10 years after he had taken up coaching, he was nominated as Coach of the Year by the Kirkcaldy and Central Fife.   The following testimonial was posted on the Fife AC Forum:

Tue May 30, 2016 9:17 am

Adam Scott, U18/U20, has been selected to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in July this year.   

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Adam’s coach Steve Doig for his commitment and support to get Adam to this point. No athlete ever stands alone and Steve has stood with Adam guiding and supporting him through the successes and the failures; always there, always ready to help Adam no matter what – in typical Steve style of course.   Steve has stood in Beveridge park with snow on the ground and has stood track side with the wind and rain belting down all to support Adam and his athletes. As a parent I think that Adam could not have had a better, more dedicated, or more skilled coach than Steve.
Adam has been supported by many others – Gabby Doig, Adam’s training partners in Haraka Kasi, Mark Pollard and Robert Hawkins of the Scottish Athletics National Academy, and Sports Aid Scotland and the Robertson Trust.
Adam is not Steve’s only Commonwealth Youth Games athlete: Bethany McAndrew of Pitreavie AAC has been selected for the 100m hurdles and is part of Steve’s Haraka Kasi training group.

Steven with Adam Scott when he was selected for the Commonwealth Youth Games

The bold typeface is mine just to emphasise further the appreciation expressed.    There is mention of the Haraka Kasi group.  You can follow their athletes progress at https://twitter.com/HarakaKasi .   They describe themselves as an “Athletics training group based round Pitreavie track. Cross club; focused on camaraderie and results – not vests.”   What is it? Like many training squads, his athletes wanted a group identity but Steve resisted one that used his name – ostentation was never his style in any walk of life.   Since the Kenyans are noted distance runners. he came up with the two Swahili words that just mean ‘speed’  or  ‘fast’.    The athletes liked the name and it stuck.   They liked it so much that they all clubbed together, and raised several hundreds of pounds, to buy a personalised car registration plate for him which reads  KA51 RUN for him.   

Steven Doig:   

  • International runner on track and cross country;
  • Good club man who supported whatever club he ran for to the best of his ability;
  • Successful, and respected award winning coach 

 

 

 

Luddon Strathkelvin Half Marathon

For several years in the 1980’s, the Strathkelvin Half Marathon was one of the races to be at.   Held in Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshire, it started and finished at Woodhead Park, Kirkintillloch, right in front of the swimming baths.    Well organised, well sponsored, well publicised and with a good hard trail well stewarded and everything that the athletes could possibly need, it deserved all the plaudits.    Springburn Harriers had been organising a 12 Mile Road Race from their pavilion at Huntershill since the War which was one of the races counting towards the Scottish Marathon Club Championship but the fields had fallen away and it was felt that the event needed revitalising.    Several things fell into place, almost by chance, and following informal conversations involving members of the local authority, athletics clubs and national organisations, the Strathkelvin Half Marathon was born.

The Committee for the first race was as follows:    Convenor: Councillor James Hotchkiss; Race Director: Alastair MacFarlane;   Assistant Race Director:  Alex Johnstone;   Race Secretary: Hugh Barrow;   Race Advisor: Robert Dalgleish, MBE;   Treasurer: James Jarvie   Chief Inspector C MacLean   Tom Robertson   Ron Wood   Inspector D MacKenzie   Sergeant D Hastie   Roy Veitch   Forbes Morton   John Turpin   Maureen Crawford   Dorothy Campbell.    That was quite a team!   The convenor being a fairly senior local councillor supported by Alastair McFarlane of the local Springburn Harriers and the national Scottish Marathon Club; Hugh Barrow Director of Leisure for Strathkelvin District, member of Victoria Park AAC and a founding member of the British Milers Club; Alex Johnston of Strathclyde University who had been runner, team manager and race organiser for many very prestigious mass participation races, Bob Dalgleish of Springburn Harriers but much better known as the man behind the Glasgow Marathon organisation and formerly manager of Scottish cross-country teams any one of whom could have organised a successful race but who together (assisted by a very strong organising committee with Forbes Morton, Roy Veitch, Ron Wood and company) was a race organisation ‘dream team.’ .   

Race Director Alastair MacFarlane reported on the 1983 race in the Scottish Marathon Club Magazine.   “Despite the late call-offs from Graham Laing (saving himself for the European Cup marathon in Spain two weeks later) and Colin Youngson (not wishing to risk a niggling injury three weeks before the Scottish)  the field was of a quality seldom seen in Scotland.   The first mile was covered by the leaders in 4:55 and at five miles, just before Milton of Campsie, there was still a big group of Donald Macgregor, Rod Stone, Peter Fleming, Evan Cameron, George Braidwood, Stewart Easton, Jim Martin, Dave Logue and Andy Daly in 25:50.   This was obviously a bit slow for Andy Daly however as he stretched them out soon afterwards and took his two clubmates Fleming and Braidwood away from the pack.   Andy however couldn’t sustain it and allowed a gap  to open at eight miles.   Peter Fleming and George Braidwood looked relaxed as they went through 10 miles in 50 minutes dead with Andy running a brave race all on his own and keeping the gap steady.   Logue, Easton, Stone and Macgregor showed 50:30 at ten miles as they staged their own private race while Terry Mitchell, Alan Wilson and Evan Cameron were close behind in 50:40.   Over the last three miles, past Low Moss Prison to Lenzie and on to the finish at Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch, the two leaders obviously did some talking and decided to finish together in the very fast time for the accurately measured course of 65:23 although the judges split them on the line.   Andy Daly took advantage of some slackening of the pace up front to close a little and got the gap down to 8 seconds at the finish.   Dave Logue shrugged off his challengers and looked as strong as ever in fourth place while Stuart Easton had his best run for many a day to get the better of Rod Stone and Donald Macgregor  who of course lifted the first veteran’s prize of £40.          Janet McColl for once had some opposition in a road race although she made light of it and beat Liz Steele by three minutes.

Of the 1163 finishers, 195 were veterans and 112 were women.

George Braidwood

Hugh Barrow, Race Secretary, reported on the October 1984 race in the Scottish Marathon Club Magazine.   He wrote: “The race this year was blessed with fine weather and the field of just under 2000 set off from Woodhead Park in ideal conditions.   The police had again requested a 9:00 am start and although this does not help in bringing out spectators, it must be conceded that it does assist in avoiding the traffic problems that were encountered during the Milngavie and Bearsden Half Marathon which was run at mid-day on a Saturday some two weeks later.

The quality up front was maintained with George Braidwood this time being undisputed winner leading home Terry Mitchell and Andy Daly in a course record time of 64:44.   Martin Craven won the veterans race in 70:05 finishing twelfth overall and Liz Steele took the women’s event with 83:45 in 221st place overall.  

From the organisation side the race itself appeared to pass without major problems and the recording was much improved on our previous effort.   Despite all the pleadings and warnings, it seems that there will always be a small group of runners  who, either through ignorance, selfishness or indifference, endeavour to beat the system.   We are aware of male runners competing under female numbers, young athletes running under veteran numbers, and even some running with last Year’s number.   This type of action not only gives the organisers headaches, it can also make a mockery of the results.  

The organising committee acknowledge the help from Luddon Construction for their most generous sponsorship and also the minor sponsors Nike, Racket Sports and Runsport, the assistance willingly given by a whole range of voluntary organisations and the support of the Police and Roads Authority.   Strathkelvin District Council has already agreed in principal to repeat the race next year and the partnership with the Scottish Marathon Club will continue thus retaining a tradition that was started by the Marathon Club in the 1950’s.   Results:

1.   G Braidwood (Bellahouston Harriers)   64:44;   2.   T Mitchell (Fife)   64:57;   3.   A Daly (Bella)   65:26;   4.   G Laing (Aberdeen AAC)   65:32;   5.   P Fleming (Bella)   65:52;   6.   A Douglas (VPAAC)   65:58;   7.   J Adair (Lin)   68:06;   8.   R Stone (Cambuslang)   68:27;   9.   J Cooper (Springburn H)   68:37;   10.   J Stevenson (VPAAC)   69:07;   1.   S Keith (EAC)   69:24;   12.   M Craven (ESH)   70:05.    Women:   1.   E Steele (Glasgow)   83:24;   2.   J McColl (Glasgow)   84:32;   3.   J Walker (Strathkelvin LAC)   85:26.

 

The race held in October 1985 was reported on in the Scottish Marathon Club Magazine by Hugh Barrow as follows:   “This year’s Luddon Half-Marathon was again blessed with good weather and a record entry of just over 3000.   The Organising Committee are again indebted to Luddon Construction for their continued financial support and to the many voluntary organisations who have also contributed over the past years to build up the reputation of this race.  

Despite somewhat humid conditions which led to problems for some novice runners, well over 2000 eventually completed the course.   The event was won by a most welcome visitor from Hull, Jim Dingwall – Falkirk Victoria Harriers, who defeated last year’s winner George Braidwood by seven seconds with Graham Laing of Aberdeen taking third place.   The first lady home was another welcome visitor from down south, Leslie Watson who completed the course in 1:21:46, ahead of Janet McColl and Elizabeth Steele.   The first veteran home was John Moore – Victoria Park in 1:12:03, ahead of Tony McCall – Dumbarton AAC, and Fred Bryson – Bellahouston Harriers.

This year for the first time, subventions were paid to the first four men home together with the first lady to finish, and although there is divided opinion on the merit of this type of award it would appear that it is becoming part of the picture in modern road running.   Another innovation this year was a trophy presented by Willie Black, a former Scottish Half Mile Internationalist of Grandstand Sports, Milngavie to the athlete considered by a special sub-committee to have achieved the most meritorious performance.   This year it was awarded to Aileen Lusk of Strathkelvin Ladies Athletic Club, a long time servant of the sport and former Scottish Ladies 880 yards champion.   The WJ Logue Trophy for the first Scottish Marathon Club member to finish went to Jim Dingwall.  

Another most welcome visitor at the event was Jock Semple who emigrated from Clydebank to America in the 1930’s and was later responsible for organising the world famous Boston Marathon.   Jock surprised us all with presenting yet again another trophy which this time was awarded to the first veteran, John Moore. 

This year, the main race was complemented by an Invitation One Mile Race organised by the British Milers Club and sponsored by The Gallery, Lenzie and this event was won by Adrian Callan –  Springburn Harriers in three minutes 57.1 seconds, with three other runners getting under four minutes.   The course was accurately measured by Alastair MacFarlane and Brian McAusland, and it did favour the runners in as much as it consisted of morw downhill than up.   Adrian Callan’s subsequent performance this year points to the course having been of accurate distance.  

The Luddon/Strathkelvin Half Marathon has come some way over the past four years from the event that used to take place at Huntershill, and it is hoped through the efforts of the Organising Committee to continue improving the race year by year.   It is hoped that next year we may alter the date to take it off the holiday weekend, but full details will be announced in due course.   My thanks yet again to be recorded to all the officials who gave up their time so willingly and without whose help these events cannot take place.    Result:

1.   J Dingwall (FVH)   66:00;   2.   G Braidwood (Bellahouston Harriers)   66:07;   3.   G Laing (Aberdeen)   66:29:   4.   A Daly (Bella)   67:42;   5.   E Cameron (ESH)   68:17;   6.   J Cooper (Springburn)   68:29;   7.   D Logue (ESH)   68:40;   8.   I Ross (68:19;   9.   J Adair (Bella)   69:25;   10.   D Easton (FVH)   69:29;   11.   R Ronald (East Kilbride)   69:37;   12.   C Martin (Dumbarton AAC)   70:16 

The number of new attractions built in to the Luddon noted above – veterans trophy from Jock Semple, meritorious award trophy from Bill Black, and the Street Miles – were all in tune with the times.   The street miles came about because Hugh had been a first class competitor over the distance (BMC member number one) and the Scottish Secretary of the BMC, Brian McAusland,  lived in Lenzie and Alastair MacFarlane was a course measurement official: meetings were easily arranged.   They were successful from the very start -the first women’s race was won By Liz Lynch and the second by Yvonne Murray and Adrian Callan won both first and second.   There was also an international aspect to the event with English internationalist Dave Baptiste coming up from London and Irish internationalist Tony McGrath also coming up from London for the races.   

Gallery Mile Winners: Yvonne Murray and Adrian Callan

Not only did the event in 1986 avoid the holiday week-end, it avoided the whole month of October and took place on May 18th.      With 2189 finishers it was again a huge success with Peter Fleming defeating Graham Crawford (Springburn by less than 40 seconds.   An interesting name in sixth place is that of ‘B Scobie, Maryhill-V’    Brian had been a member of Maryhill Harriers and was a stalwart at Glasgow University as an under graduate before going to Leeds where he was coach to one of the very best women’s marathon squads in the country including Veronique Marot, Angie Pain and Sheila Catford among many others.   Result:

Men:   1.   P Fleming (Bellahouston)   65:66;   2.   G Crawford (Springburn)   66:35;   3.   A Douglas (VPAAC)   67:01;   4.   P Carton (Shettleston)   67:03;   5.   R Stone (Cambuslang )   67:59;   6.   B Scobie (Maryhill-V)   68:19;   7.   D Macgregor (Fife-V)   68:58;   8.   B Carty (Shettleston-V)   NTG;   9.   R Ronald (EKAAC)   69:22;   10.   T Ulliott (Cambuslang)   70:03.        Women:   1.   L Irving (ESH)   75:57;   2.   A Sym (Glasgow)   79:11;   3.   A Ridley (Glasgow)   81:39;   4.   B Muir   82:36.

 

In 1987 the race was again in May and it would stay there for the rest of its run.     The times were as good as ever with Hammy Cox setting a record that would last and a good number of international runners in both men’s and women’s fields.   An interesting feature of the day’s action was the appearance of two previous winners in the half marathon taking second and third places in the Street Mile.   Were the position reversed and multi Mile winner Callan to turn out in the half marathon, it is likely that a real surprise would be on the cards.   The organising committee had decided to build on the success of the street miles by adding in a race for Under 17 Men and putting them in with the women’s race.  This delighted the women because they would be drawn to a faster time then would otherwise be likely – in this case Yvonne Murray was twenty seconds up on the second women but racing against the best Youths gave her a good workout and third overall.   The organisers were really good at attracting sponsorship in kind as well as in cash and Glen Stewart won his own weight in mince and potatoes for the race!   To be collected as he required them!!!  The women’s race was won by that prolific racer, Sandra Branney by only twelve seconds from team mate Audrey Sym.   Results:  

1.   H Cox (Greenock Glenpark)   64:31;   2.   G Crawford (Springburn)   65:06;   3.   A Gilmour (Cambuslang)  65:24;   4.   S Axon Aberdeen)   67:31;   5.   L Spence (Spango Valley)   67:36;   6.   R Stone (Cambuslang)   68:00;   Veteran:   1.   C Martin (Dumbarton)   69:06;   2.   D Fairweather (Law and District)   69:31;   3.   J Moore (VPAAC)   71:50.   Ladies:   1.   S Branney (McLaren Glasgow)   75:44;   2.   A Sym (McLaren Glasgow)   75:56;   3.   L Watson (London Olympiades)   77:24.      LV 1   L Watson;   2.   M Robertson;   3.   K O’Sullivan.

BMC Gallery Street Mile.   Men:   1.   A Callan (Springburn)   3:55.3;   2.   P Fleming (Bellahouston)   3:58;   3.   G Braidwood (Bellahouston)   3:59.0   Women:   1.   Y Murray (EAC)   4:23.9;   2.   A Jenkins (ESH)   4:43.3;   3.   C Price (DHH)   4:47.   Young Athletes:   1.   Glen Stewart   4:14.8;   2.   A Kinghorn   4:20;   3.  F McGowan   4:27 

 

1988 resulted in another victory for Bellahouston Harriers’ Peter Fleming in the excellent time of 64:40, 49 seconds clear of Victoria Park’s Alastair Douglas.   The quite outstanding lady marathon runner who is still ninth in the Scottish all-time rankings with a time of 2:34:26, set in October 1988, Heather MacDuff of Edinburgh Athletic Club won the women’s race in 76:43, almost four minutes ahead of second placed Audrey Sym.  The race also encompassed the SWCCU and RWA half marathon Individual and Team Championships.    Results:

Men:   1.   Peter Fleming   64:40;   2.   A Douglas   65:29;   3.   C Haskett (Dundee Hawkhill)   66:05;   4.   A Daly (Bellahouston)   68:50;   5.   R Ronald (EKAAC)   70:50;   6. (and first vet)   W Scally (Shettleston)   71:04.

Ladies:   1.   H MacDuff   76:43;   2. A Sym   80:29;     3. G Robertson   82:23;   4.   J Harvey       LV1 (and fifth overall)   S Rodgers; LV2   L Brown.   Teams:   1.   Glasgow   15;   2.   Dundee RR   30;   3.   Giffnock North   89. 

By now, of course, the race was big news and the Glasgow Herald was doing previews of the race and follow up reports.   In the paper on Saturday 13th May Doug Gillon reported: In the world of athletics these days it has become fashionable for the stars to avoid each other.   So it is refreshing to hear the enthusiasm which Lynn Harding and Sandra Branney, Scotland’s leading marathon women, have for meeting each other.    Usually a marathon sends participants into recuperative hiding for months.   Yet both are entered for the Luddon Strathkelvin Scottish women’s half marathon championships tomorrow, four weeks after the London Marathon in which both competed with distinction.  

Harding, the Milngavie born woman from Sunderland, booked her Commonwealth Games berth by finishing eighth, breaking the Scottish record.   Branney, although beating her personal best, fell a frustrating three seconds outside the Auckland qualifying time.   Harding intends to race at Kirkintilloch tomorrow, “because I would hate Sandra to think I was avoiding her.”   Branney made a particularly quick return to competition, winning the Adidas 5000m in Glasgow just four days after London.   And she has won a race every Wednesday since, including this week’s Torsion 10000m.   Her appearance tomorrow is conditional on how she recovers from today’s efforts.   Displaying a remarkable range of     ability, Branney will race over 1500m in teh Access UK League division one women’s match at Meadowbank, “if my legs still feel as if they belong to me, I’ll run the Luddon,” says Mrs Branney. 

There is a quality men’s field for Kirkintilloch, and the LB Plastics street miles will keep spectators occupied while the main event is on.   Adrian Callan goes for a fifth successive victory in the men’s Mile, while Olympian Lynn MacIntyre is favourite for the women’s.   She too is racing on Saturday in the League.”   

The report on the race two days later began, unusually with the result:

Men: 1.   N Muir (Shettleston) 65:40;   2.   H Cox (Greenock Glenpark)   66:43;   3.   P Fleming (bellahouston)   67:00;   4.   M Gormley (Cambuslang )   68:40;   5.   P Carton (Shettleston)   69:28.          Scottish Veteran Harriers Club Championships:   40+   C Youngson (Aberdeen, sixth overall)   69:39;   50+   W McBrinn (Shettleston)   77:36;   60+   S Lawson (Maryhill)   83:46;   70+   D Morrison (Shettleston)   93:16;     Local Team Race:   Stobhill Hospital.

Women:   L Harding (Houghton Harriers, 20th overall)   73:09;    2.   S Branney (Glasgow, 22nd overall)   73:27;   3.   J Armstrong (Giffnock North)   82:24.   Team: 1.   Giffnock North   19; 2.   Glasgow AC   20.

LB Plastics Street Mile:   Men – A Callan (Springburn)  3:57;   Women:   L MacIntyre   4:32

Harding, 27, and based in Sunderland,  rocketed to fifth in the Commonwealth when she broke the national marathon best in London beating Sandra Branney, now tenth in the rankings.   Yesterday was their first big domestic head-to-head.   Branney, a former Scottish marathon winner had raced just 24 hours earlier over 1500m in the UK Access League, but clearly had plenty left in the bank.   Although she lost her two-year-old course record of 75:44 after an epic duel, second place in 73:27 gave Branney the veteran women’s prize.  

The pair raced together for nine miles, but Harding’s surge on the long drag up from Torrance drew the last of Branney’s reserves.   Harding finished twentieth in a field of almost 1100 – a remarkable performance from a woman whose idea of keeping fit seven years ago was to take a rope into the garage at her parents home in Milngavie where she would skip to taped music.   “I was told that if I wanted recognition in Scotland, I would have to race here more often,” she said.   Recent performances have finally buried her anonymity.   Now, in order to prepare for the Auckland Games, for which her London time qualified her, Harding plans to race the 5000m in the UK Championships next month and to make her 10000m track debut in the SWAAA event at Crownpoint in July.   But she also intends to keep in touch with the grass roots of her sport in her adopted home.   “I’ll run the Five Pits 10K at Silkworth a week on Wednesday,” she added, “they serve up pie and mushy peas to all finishers just after you cross the line.”  

Yesterday’s race was also a triumph for two runners at opposite ends of the field.   The men’s winner, in 66:40, was Nat muir, Scotland’s leading 5000m track and cross-country exponent for more than a decade, but forced to abandon these disciplines through injury.   Tackling the half marathon for only the second time, he beat the course record holder, Hammy Cox, by more than a minute, with four-time winner Peter Fleming third.   And Ajit Singh, a 59 year old Larkhall maths teacher who was paralysed with a spinal fracture eight months ago,  completed his first race since in One hour 50 minutes.   Struck while cycling by a hit-and-run driver he was in traction for seven weeks and now runs wearing a special brace.   “Last year this race took me 85 minutes, but I’m lucky to be running at all, he said.”

A bit longer than the traditional reports by Alastair MacFarlane and Hugh Barrow, but packed with detail and the amount of space given by a newspaper like the ‘Glasgow Herald’ to an athletics event on days on which there was much competition for space on the sports pages speaks volumes for the high regard in which the race was held (and the ability of Doug Gillon to get it in!)   Interesting too that the men’s race took up less than a third of the report..

Nat Muir winning in 1989

We go back to Doug for the  1990   race.   The preview first.   ” A strong field will assemble tomorrow for the eighth running of the Strathkelvin District Council’s Luddon Half Marathon.   Defending men’s and women’s champions Nat Muir and Lynn Harding are both side-lined.   Muir who set the course record of 65:40 will be out of action until mid-June with a calf problem but there is still a quality men’s race in one of the most popular road events on the calendar.   International marathon runners Peter Fleming (Bellahouston) and Fraser Clyne (Aberdeen) and cross-country international trio of Alastair Douglas (Victoria Park), and Hammy Cox and Tom Murray (both Greenock Glenpark) are all entered.   Frank Harper, the first Scot to finish behind Allister Hutton in the London Marathon, is also likely to run in the event which has already attracted close to 1000 runners.  

Fleming, on course for 2:13 when forced to drop out at 19 miles in the ADT London marathon with a calf injury, still has some lingering problems from that, and will wait until he sees tomorrow’s weather.   Entries will be accepted on the day at the rear of the council buildings in Lenzie.   The race begins at 10:00 am.”

For all the talk of smaller fields, the figure of 1000 participants is healthy enough in its own right but, even with race organisers totally in tune with the sport and the good of the runners, the acceptance of entries on the day was unusual and perhaps speaks of some anxiety about the turn out.   The report on the Monday morning read as follows.

“Fraser Clyne maintained his assault on the Scottish road-race title yesterday when he won the Strathkelvin Half Marathon in 65:29.   His victory was the first significant success for the Metro Aberdeen club which he was recently instrumental in founding.   He had 41 seconds to spare over Tom Murray with Willie Nelson third in 66:31.  

A member of Scotland’s 1986 Commonwealth Games team, but passed over for the marathon in Auckland, Clyne broke clear after three miles (15:00) and over the next two miles opened a gap of some 30 yards.   At ten miles (59:15) he was 200 yards clear  with only Murray, also runningsolo, offering a challenge.   Another marathon internationalist, Pitreavie’s Frank Harper, having run in London just three weeks ago, was picked off by Nelson in the final stages.   Clyne began his defence of the national road race title with a second place behind George Braidwood in the Tom Scott 10 mile event, but now goes top.   His time was eleven seconds faster than Nat Muir’s winning time last year, but outside the record of 64:31 which stands to Hammy Cox.   Ian Elliot (Teviotdale) clinched his third veteran success since turning 40 in January.   The Borderer, whose best time is 65:00, recorded his best veteran time to date of 68:12, finishing seventh to clain the Scottish veteran crown, two places ahead of defending Colin Youngson.  

Renee Murray of Giffnock North, a housewife and mother of two, who took up the sport less than three years ago to keep fit for racket sports, won her first national title at the age of 37.   Just three weeks ago in London she recorded her fastest marathon time of 2:55:12 and this time, with the Scottish women’s half marathon crown at stake, she clocked 80:26, another personal best, which gave her the veteran’s award.   But she was even more satisfied at leading her club to a narrow team victory over Glasgow AC.   That should have booked Giffnock’s berth in the European women’s club road championships.   However Scotland’s right to a place in that event is now under debate – once again the issue of a UK is being pursued by the organisers.    Results:

Men:   1.   F Clyne   65:29;   2.   T Murray   66:10;   3.   W Nelson (Ian Skelly Law and District)   66:31;   4.   F Harper (Pitreavie)   66:47.   5.   M Gormley (Cambuslang)   67:25;   6.   J Evans (Shettleston)   68:00.    7 (and first veteran)   I Elliot   68:13;  8.   D Cameron (Shettleston)   68:41;   9 (and second veteran).   C Youngson (Aberdeen)   69:27;   10.   B Pitt (Dumbarton)   69:50;   11 (and third veteran)   A Adams (Dumbarton (69:59)

Women:   1 (and first veteran)   R Murray   80:26;   2.   J Harvey (82:30);   3.   R Kay (both City of Glasgow)   84:37.   Team:   Giffnock North (1.   Murray, 4   K Hancock, 7   M Blacker)”

1991 saw the race distance drop to the now popular 10K distance.   There was a letter under the heading of “Luddon 10K a Great Success” in ‘Scotland’s Runner” of August 1991 from Jim McCreery of Clarkston.   But why wouldn’t it be a success given the quality and experience of the organising committee?    Why wouldn’t it be with the Luddon reputation to trade on?    But the truth is that the event had run its course.   To many Scots, the term ‘Strathkelvin Luddon’ still equals ‘half marathon’.   After two years at 10K, it dropped even further in distance to 5K.    I will simply quote from Doug Gillon’s article in the ‘Glasgow Herald’ of 8th May, 1993.  “Strathkelvin District Council, once hosts of Scotland’s biggest half-marathon, will see their race take on a new format this year as a 5000m road race, the final event of the UK-wide Reebok Grand Prix series on Thursday, June 3rd.   The two other city centre events are May 23rd in Bath  and May 28th in Sheffield.   The Kirkintilloch race is also the Scottish national championship and will determine the winners of £16000 in overall prizes.   The grand prix winners of the men’s and women’s races will each bank £1500 and the individual winners of the Strathkelvin elite race lifting £750.   Strathkelvin’s event was founded in the early 50’s as the Scottish Marathon Club’s 12 mile road race.   For eight years, from 1983 it was the Luddon Half Marathon, peaking at 3500 entries in 1983, and for the past two years it has been a 10000m.   Besides the elite race, which includes Springburn Harriers Scotland defector Paul Evans, there will be an open race and others for primary and secondary schools.”

 

John’s Photographs

.Clydesdale Harriers Junior Club Cross-Country Champion

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Hares’n’ Hounds: Scottish Universities Cross-Country Champions

Front Row: left: Calum Laing, Jim Bogan;  Second Row: Buster left, Gifford third left, Ray Baillie and Craig Sharpe at the other end; Back Row: left: Allan Faulds

Old University friend Doug Edmunds

.Coming off a big hill in Nepal

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.Charlie Fowler on Cerri Torre

Charlie Fowler was an American mountaineer and guide.  He gained fame after some excellent climbs, and became a member of the American Mountain Guides Association in 1986, and was a certified guide who taught courses and evaluated other students who wanted to become certified mountain guides.    Fowler claimed to have been climbing mountains since 1968, having successfully climbed several 8000 metre peaks including Mount Everest as well as Aconcagua.    He guided for Buster for approximately 20 years and In October 2006, Fowler left  for China with his climbing partner, Christine Boskoff, for a two-month-long trip to attempt several peaks that had never been climbed. According to a post on Fowler’s website, it was his fifth trip to the region.   Fowler and Boskoff were officially declared missing when they were not present on a scheduled return flight to the United States booked for December 4.   Search efforts by Chinese authorities and an independent search party retained by friends and mountaineers continued through most of December 2006.  Fowler and Boskoff said they planned to climb 6,204-meter (20,354-foot) Mt Genyen.   On December 27, searchers found a body, mostly buried in snow, at the 5,300-meter level of Mount Genyen, though darkness prevented them from making an immediate identification. They returned on December 28 and confirmed that the body was Fowler’s.   

Buster knew him well and was actually involved in the search.   The initial investigation revealed that Fowler was likely killed in an avalanche.

Buster during the search with the Genyen in the background

With the plaque made to commemorate Charles and his climbing partner, Christine Boskoff, who died with him.

Climbing in Cuba

Frigging in the Rigging

Castleton Tower on the right which he climbed in the early 80’s

.North West Passage

.At Annapurna Base collecting evidence for a hypoxia study

 

With David Reid and his Mum in Greenland: David is a world expert on polar bears and grew up in Bisphoton

.With Randall Grandstaff on Old Man of Hoy.   John was 50 at the time

With Colonel Cross, 96, expert on jungle warfare with Machupuchare in the back ground

.With Papa Butterfly, a maths graduate from Glasgow University

With Tom Hornbein of the Hornbein couloir on Everest

Back home in Old Kilpatrick

.Sherpa Buddies

End of an expedition

Falling apart – but still getting out

With old pals, Sandy MacNeil and Alistair Finlayson