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Grant Baillie wins Clydebank 10k

Just 2 weeks and 4 days after crossing the line 32nd in the Edinburgh Marathon, Grant Baillie has been pounding the streets again in the Clydebank 10k.

Out in front. Grant leads the way home.

He came home with more than a ‘2019 Finisher’ t-shirt, too, collecting the silverware for 1st place with a time of 32:29*. Quite some marathon warm-down!

This was a welcome return for the popular north-of-the-Clyde race, after a 2-year absence from the calendar.

Other athletes will be getting fed up of seeing Grant’s yellow-and-black EKAC vest in front of them. Good! Long may that continue!

[* By coincidence, exactly the same time it took to cook a vegetable lasagne after training on Wednesday night. Almost as tasty as Grant’s win. Ed]

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David Thomson wins Strathaven Crags 5.5k; U15 Hannah Kelly: 4th female!

1st home. David Thomson with his 2019 Strathaven Crags bling.

There were outstanding performances from EKAC athletes in 5 June’s Strathaven Crags race, part of Strathaven Gala Week.

David Thomson was 1st male home, covering the 5.5km course (map below) in 20:36. For the stato’s, that’s a 3:48/km average. Great running.

Just as impressive was Hannah Kelly finishing 4th female overall – a remarkable result for U15 Hannah who was running against seniors. Well done, Hannah. (Well done too to Hannah’s coaches.)

Hannah was initially a little disappointed with her time. Then she discovered she’d run 5.5km, not the 5.0km she’d thought the race was!

When S=D/T, it’s always a bonus to discover that D is further than you thought! (It also explains why your legs felt even more tired than expected near the end.)

The Strathaven Crags route is uphill and undulating for the first 2 miles, but downhill for the last mile and a bit. It starts in Strathaven Park, goes up Glasgow Road, left around country roads, left again onto Letham Road then back into Strathaven Park for the finish.

You won’t find the race on the Scottish Athletics Events Calendar. As David says, ‘I only know about it because someone in the club was doing it years ago and I decided to do it too.’

The race starts in Strathaven Park at 7:30pm, with an U14s 1-mile race at 6:30pm. The race is always held on the Wednesday of Strathaven’s Gala Week. Perhaps worth keep an eye out for next year.

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Edinburgh Marathon report

Sunday 26 May saw gutsy Edinburgh Marathon performances by our athletes. With rain early on, puddles aplenty and an increasingly-brutal headwind after the turn, the conditions were those of a summer’s day in East Kilbride!

Grant Baillie crossed the line 32nd of 7,301 finishers. He was also 4th M40.

It’s a mark of the high standards Grant sets himself that he wasn’t entirely happy with his time of 2:46:26. Most mere mortals would jump at it.

Approaching the turn, Grant Baillie demonstrates how to sign autographs without breaking stride. (Oh, ok, maybe he was reaching for a gel…)

A month ago, Vivien Thorpe (F40) completed the 53-mile Highland Fling Ultra Marathon (Milngavie to Tyndrum along the West Highland Way).

In Edinburgh, she finished 28th F40 in an impressive 3:45:18 – just 3 minutes off her PB.

Both runs were family affairs for Vivien. She finished the Highland Fling within 1 second of her brother-in-law; in Edinburgh her 2 sisters and dad also completed the course.

Edinburgh saw a first marathon attempt for Tuesday Group’s Kieran Duncan, who clocked an excellent 3:54:06.

It was a great performance given that exams impacted his training.

(The Tuesday Group adult training group contains several club members and welcome new recruits. Ad break over…!)

Keith Charters was also running his first marathon. Having been not far behind Vivien for first half, a major IT-band issue at 30km put paid to a meaningful time.

A Jelly-Baby-assisted painful 12km hobble followed, but he eventually made the finish.

The good thing about a first attempt is it always brings a PB if you reach the line.

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Greg Kelly just 0.01 secs off 100m PB at Loughborough International

Greg Kelly’s sprint season is off to a flyer.

Having been selected to compete for Scotland at the Loughborough International, Greg covered 100m in 10.66 seconds. The margin to his recent PB couldn’t have been any finer – just 0.01 seconds shy of it.

It shows tremendous consistency and bodes well for a cracking season.

Here’s the story on the Scottish Athletics website.

Greg now holds the EKAC record on his own, whereas, at 10.7 seconds, he shared it.

Greg went on to run the last leg of the 4x100m. That didn’t take him long either!

Photo: Bobby Gavin

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Laura Muir visits EKAC!

We were thrilled to welcome international track superstar Laura Muir to EKAC recently, along with her coach Andy Young. It was extremely generous of them to take time out from their busy schedules.

Laura answered questions on everything from preparing for races to juggled running with her veterinary studies, and from warming down to whether she has always been good at athletics.

On that last point, many of the juniors were interested to hear that Laura was 18 before she set her first significant record – success didn’t come overnight, rather with learning through competing and by committing to training.

Amongst club members who have raced half-marathon distance there were a few dropped jaws at Laura’s weekly long run being that distance but only taking her – in non-race mode – 75 minutes.

Laura emphasised how important it is for athletes to enjoy their athletics. Progress will follow from enjoyment; indeed, enjoyment will fuel progress.

A wonderful Q&A event that left everyone buoyed and motivated.

School Cross Country (XC)

‘I had no idea they were so fast until I saw them in the school cross country!’

Half our athletes’ parents at one time or another!

It’s something we often hear at this time of year. Your son or daughter competes in primary or secondary school cross country for the first time and comes in the top 10. You knew they were quick…but not THAT quick. Now teachers are saying, ‘You should get them into an athletics club.’ (Those teachers are right.)

Good news: we hold regular assessment nights. So, register your cross-country heroine or hero now.

Contact our Club Secretary at ekacsecretary@outlook.com giving your child’s name and DoB and we’ll let you know the details.