Our main focus has been to increase the number of athletes representing Corstorphine in this league, and after refreshing our squad list we were encouraged to achieve a roster of 73 athletes, up from 39 on last year’s entry, improving both the average age, and spread across the squads. However, we were soon brought back down to earth with a bump. The distance to the first meeting, and the proximity to the Scottish 5k Championships (the Men’s League was the following day), meant that we only had 6 positive responses from athletes willing to represent the club (and 4 of those were the aforementioned James, Ryan, Scott and myself who were pretty much honour-bound to attend). 2 last-minute call-offs due to illness left us with only 4 on the day (James Harrison, Ryan Kyle, Craig Nolan, Ally Brockie), so despite all of our hard work it felt like a pretty frustrating endeavour given the amount of effort we had applied to increasing awareness. It was a similar story on the officials front: we are obliged to provide 3 officials (including 1 graded official), but could only source one (un-graded) official, John Ross, for the trip. Our officials are superb however, and hugely appreciated, and I have to say that it was just down to availability on the day as we have been offered support for the other events. We do need to extend our list of officials however, so please consider offering your support for future events if for example; you’re injured, you want to come and see what it’s like before competing, or you’re ineligible to compete.
Despite our limited resources our four athletes committed themselves to undertaking a huge program of events, and Aberdeen AAC kindly allowed us to designate 2 of their extra officials to CAAC, which allowed our points to stand. An unwell Scott Hamilton even travelled down and added to our officials roster on the day.
The field events got underway, with James attempting the high-jump and both Ryan and Craig in the long-jump. Unfortunately James was a whisker away from achieving the standard of 1.4m, but a good effort all the same and with a bit more practice it’s highly likely that the 1.4m required can be met in the future for some guaranteed points. Ryan and Craig however both scored points in the long jump, getting CAAC off to a good start. Next up for Corstorphine was the 400m hurdles, with James bravely making his debut at this event. Amazingly he got round well within the standard and scored some valuable and unexpected points for the team – this shows that it really is worth doing some of the events outside of your comfort zone. We were then straight into the 800m, with Craig and James filling the roster for us - this would be the beginning of an epic run of events for Craig! The 800 has a tough standard to meet, James got across the line in the B race below the standard to pick up another handful of points. Crossing the finish line in his heat Craig had to immediately veer left to the shot putt area where his next event was already underway. We had managed to fill both slots in this event too, with Ryan scoring 12 points for 3rd in the A string, concluding our involvement in the field events. Ryan was involved in the next track event, the 100m – the first part of his sprint double, and recorded 11:56 to pick up another 8 points. Following that was the 3000m steeplechase, contested by James and myself, with some canny racing bringing home maximum points from A and B string wins. What followed was another herculean effort from Craig Nolan – his 400m race (where he narrowly missed the standard) was followed immediately by the 1500m. I was also in this race, and nervous. Despite his obvious exhaustion I was very glad that Craig was lining up alongside me and together we got the job done and collected 8 points. After this Ryan ran another great sprint, in the 200, scoring 10 points for 4th. In both the sprints Ryan was hot on the heels of Edinburgh AC’s CAAC defectee, and will be hoping to take a scalp in the following meetings! With the 200m heats barely affording the chance to draw breath after the 1500m I was up again for the 5000m, this time with James. Once again, it wasn’t about times it was about getting round, and we both completed the task sensibly, and with respectable times given the workload – a haul of 26 points was the result. Now that the individual events were complete it was time to turn our attention to the relays – well, we had a squad of 4 didn’t we?! Both James and I were terrified at the thought of Ryan thundering towards us on a 100m leg, so we elected to do the 4 x 400m. Despite our legs being worn down to stumps by now, some sage advice from Craig regarding the handover procedure kept us right, and a slow and steady performance resulted in us claiming 3rd after 3 teams were disqualified.
We ended the day in 4th position which I think is a fantastic achievement with only 4 athletes. The other Division 2 clubs had 10, 13, 10, 5, 4, 8 athletes respectively.
Results here: http://www.scottishleague.org.uk/
In last year’s first event (Grangemouth), Corstorphine finished 6th, with 11 athletes. In the corresponding Aberdeen fixture we were 6th with 9 athletes travelling. So points collection was a positive, but athlete involvement a negative. Let’s take a much bigger squad to Glasgow on the 11th of June for the next fixture.