Glasgow City AC travelled to Bedford for the inaugural BAL "Big Saturday" match on 15th July. Spirits were high despite a few injury concerns and the squad were looking forward to the challenge of improving our league position. However, it proved to be another difficult day and although we had managed to assemble a larger squad for this match, we could only muster a 7th place finish. The result means in 7th place overall in the league but further adrift of safety in the relegation battle.
Our athlete of the match, Lachlan Oates, opened the scoring with a run of 8:25.25 for 3rd place in the 3000m. He was joined in the event by recently graduated doctor, Michael Deason (calm down: he's a PhD not a real one), who fought hard to secure 2nd in the B-string contest. There was significant interest in a World Championships qualifying attempt in the 3000m steeplechase, but Lachlan and Mike managed to recover enough after the flat edition of the distance to produce impressive performances of their own: both GCAC heroes improving their respective positions by a placing.
Elsewhere on the endurance side, Grant Muir finished 4th in the A-string 800m race on his first appearance of the season for the club in typically assured style. Max Ralston also finished in 4th place, this time in the 1500m, courtesy of a PB run 3:57.47 in what was a scrappy and tactical race. He was ably supported by physio extraordinaire, Scott MacAulay (not that I'm looking for a free appointment or anything ;) ...), who finished 3rd in the B-string competition of the metric mile.
Greg Louden and Anthony Young were another two stand-out athletes on the day...not just for significantly improving the aesthetic quality of the team, but for their performances on the track. Anthony ran a controlled race from the gun to win the B-string 400m race in a time of 49.06s. This was immediately followed by Greg who ran 48.74 to battle his way to 2nd place in the A-string heat.
The Javelin was the first event in the field and the club's Invernesian division of Adam Hobson and Paddy Dunne got things started. Both were less than happy with their day's performance but did more than well enough to earn 4th place finishes.
Frustration continued in the field as the challenging conditions had an impact on our jumpers but Sam Adams was still able to take maximum points in the B-string Pole Vault. David Martin similarly struggled to find his rhythm and, even though he may not have reached his own high standards on this occasion, managed to place 3rd in the B-string Long Jump.
Although the whole team gave everything during a testing day, a special mention must go to the impressible talent of Andy Murphy and his (long suffering) training partner, Cian O'Donnell. Not only did Andy manage to successfully get his ever-expanding ego onto the plane (just a joke - please do the last match), he and Cian covered several events throughout the day's proceedings. It was good to see the return of Sam O'Kane back in the GCAC colours. The Discus specialist's presence had been sorely missed in the previous rounds but he contested all of the circular throws on his comeback outing.
To our great disappointment, an over-running timetable meant that we were unable to contact EITHER of the relays to ensure we made our flight back home. This undoubtedly affected our final position on the day as the relays have come to be a valuable source of points (and drama) for us.
Our sincere thanks go to Andy Murphy (the other one) for once again supporting the team and putting up (with) the javelin boys for the weekend; and to Brian Donaldson for making the unenviable journey to and from the match to transport the poles for the vaulters. As ever, we would also like to thank Evelyn Melvin for her huge contribution in organising the transport and accommodation.