District Championships at Westerlands with several Dunbartonshire club runners taking part: 12 Lachie Stewart (VoL), dark vest three from left Colin Martin (DAAC), extreme right Brian McAusland (CH), three from right Hugh McErlean (VoL), five from right, between Lachie and McCafferty is Alistair Milroy (DAAC)
The County track championships, which were the first event that they hosted that year, were held on Tuesday, 16th May, 1966, at the Westerlands track with Garscube winning the Logue Trophy for the club with most points won over the evening..
The Athletics New Year started as ever on 1st October when the Cross-Country Relays in 1967 were held on 14th October. The training year differs from the calendar year because winter is the start of preparations for the following summer’s track and field event beginning with all the strength and conditioning work being done between then and March. In the relays, Ian Donald of Clydesdale Harriers had the fastest time of the day. Despite this and with Bobby Shields of the same club being second fastest, Dumbarton AAC won the team title.
The Individual and team championships were held on 2nd December, 1967, – there were five different County titles contested that afternoon and the Dunbartonshire was won by Lachie Stewart from Bobby Shields with Colin Martin third. The Youths title was won by Phil Dolan of Clydesdale Harriers who would go on to be a Scottish international on the track and over the country. Young Danny Pless of Dumbarton who won the Junior Boys race was a very talented runner who unfortunately never ran as a Senior man. All four counties results are below as a matter of interest and as an indicator of the seriousness with which the events were regarded by runners and clubs.
The Lanarkshire results were of course reported in much more detail elsewhere and they are added to complete the counties for 1967.
The Clydebank to Helensburgh was held on 27th April in 1968 and it was ‘that man again’ when Lachie Stewart won in 1:23:46 from Andy Brown. It was a better time than it looked in that when Fergus Murray set the record there was a strongish following wind – over 16 miles that does make a difference!
The Track and Field Championships were held at Westerlands on 15th May 1968 and the Logue Trophy for the best team performance was won again by Garscube Harriers. Every senior track event went to a runner of international class, two of them (Piggot and Stewart) were Olympians and bar Piggot were from the West End of the County. Gerry Taylor of Garscube, later to join Victoria Park, won three field events.
Lachie Stewart running in the National at Hamilton in 1967
At the start of winter season 1968/69, Lachie Stewart joined Shettleston Harriers on the east side of Glasgow and was ineligible for the Dunbartonshire Championships. His form had no slipped and he won the Lanarkshire AAA title in December. His departure opened the door to other athletes in the DAAA to win a championship. The relays hinted at two who would maybe see themselves in that role.
The Cross Country relays were held again at the Strathleven Industrial Estate and again the strong Dumbarton squad proved victorious. Ian Donald was again fastest over the trail but he had to share it with Graeme Grant of Dumbarton this time.
Donald shared the County title with no one when he won it on 7th December on his home turf in Clydebank. His winning time was 34:19, just 7 seconds ahead of team mate Ian Leggett with another Clydesdale Harrier, Bobby Shields, third in 34:33. Just 14 seconds between first and third is good packing! They won the team race with runners placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th – 12 pts; Garscube were second with 33 and Dumbarton third with 35. In the Youths race, Phil Dolan of Clydesdale won in 18:40 for the three miles trail and his club won the team wace (1, 3, 9) with 13 points. Senior Boy winner was D Cosgrove, also of Clydesdale and his team (1, 3, 5) was first with 9 pts and finally the Junior Boys race was won by Willie Burns of Clydesdale with Vale of Leven winning the team race to prevent a clean sweep of all the gold available on the day.
Graeme Grant leading the pack in a race at Westerlands.
The DAAA Track and Field Championships were becoming settled in to Glasgow University’s grounds at Westerlands and they were there again on 13th May in 1969. The event was noted in the Glasgow Herald rather than reported on with only two athletes mentioned and no word of which club won the Logue Trophy.
The Clydebank to Helensburgh was held on 28th April and was won by Lachie Stewart in the colours of his new club from Jim Brennan of Maryhill and Bill Stoddart of Greenock Wellpark.
The ’68/’69 season was over and the Dunbartonshire Association was in fine fettle with its county championships – road, cross-country and track – plus open Helensburgh race and teams as required for inter-county duty. They were heading in to the ’69/’70 season – the Empire & Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh season – in a positive frame of mind.