Glasgow Parks Challenge

Three parks, one day, that was the score in Glasgow today for the STAG Park challenge.

Racing kicked off with the relatively simple Alexandra park. Murray Strain fought off the nopesport party hangover to take the lead in the Open class by 31 seconds from on-form Ross McLennan. Danielle Windslows winning margin was substantially less, 11 seconds ahead of junior Hollie Orr. Donald Petrie showed his cross country speed off to win the first round of the veterans class.

The bandwagon rolled on to Bellahouston park, with a more physical and technical course. Danielle was victorious again, and incresed her lead going into the chasing start to nearly a minute. Murray too was victorious, but only by 5 seconds this time meaning he carried a slender lead of 36 seconds into the final. Donald continued his winning ways giving him a cusion of over a minute for the final.

The final race was a much longer and tougher affair, the main skill neccessary being to pick your way through the rhodedendrons without getting stuck. The addition of head-to-head racing made this all the more interesting as well!

Danielle, an Aussie international, won comfortably in the end, her stamina seeing her through to the finish. Second went to Hollie Orr. Donald too was a clear victor in the veterans class, with Louise Longhurst taking the female vets category title. The open race was the closest in the end, after Ross caught Murray after 4 controls and the pair shifted back and forth through the rhodedendrons. But a costly mistake at the last forest control gave Murray a 20 second lead which he held onto through the faster section to the finish. So Murray was first, Ross second and GBR MTB-O team member Gary Tompsett took third.

This was a great fun 'alternative' event with lots of prizes and puzzles - clues to the location of each race were cryptic with Tunnocks for people who solved them, every runner recieved a pen plus there were t-shirts for all the winners and everyone on the 'social' class.

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