When the day began it seemed as though summer in Central Scotland was over for another year. The clouds threw down a few scattered showers and we seemed to have lost at least 10c from the midweek March record temperatures. Thankfully though the weather held and the sun came out to shine on CAAC's record breaking feat in Livingston.
For starters we had 5 full men's teams, half of a 6th team and a women's team - and no ringers (the organisers were impressed!). But we're not just about getting numbers out. No, after our men's team's cross country league win and the close 4th place at the national cross country champs last month our guys were ready to lay it on the line and go for glory again.
Mickey Breen kicked things off, running a club record short leg time (15:39) and bringing the team in 4th. Not to be outdone, Kris Berry took up the metaphorical baton and steamed round the long leg in another club record (29:34) while picking up a place to 3rd. Moray Anderson had been harking back to 1994 earlier this week when he remembered making his A team debut for CAAC. No results exist for that year to prove it but it's testament to the hard work Mozza has been putting in of late that he ran a short leg PB today, his 15:56 gaining a further place to bring the team up to 2nd. At the busines end of the race it was down to new(ish) boy Ross Milne to keep things moving and he was up against it with strong runners for Shettleston and Ron Hill hard on his tail. Ross' solid 31:03 was slightly off his best but kept us in the hunt just 30s or so down on 2nd and 3rd. Next up Steven O'Brien. Fresh from a swift 3km TT on Tuesday Stevie looked in the zone as he took up the running on leg 5. Would you believe it - another course PB as the slightly hairy O'Brien posted a 16:23 cementing our 4th place and doing his 12 stage chances no harm at all. Despite Keith Hood's protestations he was shoved on the anchor leg and set off at his usual deceptive canter in hot pursuit. And would you credit it, by the time he cranked the old legs up to full pelt Keith brought the team home in 4th posting yet another course PB of 30:26*.
Our 3 previous best total times for the Road Relays were bizzarely close - 2:24:24, 2:24:25 and 2:24:28 - but with all this record breaking and PB smashing it's not difficult to believe that those times were well and truly smashed today as CAAC posted a new club record just a shade over 2hours 19minutes! Going back through the archives there are only 3 years since 2000 that time wouldn't have medalled - testament to the strength of the club but testament also to a healthy depth of club competition in Scotland.
In the B team there were PB performances too from Calum McKenzie (16:24, Bryan Clark 31:04 and Chris Peggie (36:32) highlighting the competition for 12 stage places is as fierce as was to be expected.
In the VETS competition our men came agonisingly close, again finishing 4th, and not much more than a minute off the podium places.
Of the other teams I know little, but there were many a sweaty CAACer seen powering up the home straight and I commend you all!
Full official results will be available here in due course
*Keith will tell you he ran faster in 2010 but the course was changed that year and therefore times aren't accurately comparable.