155th New Year Sprint 2024

Cold weather and an icy track didn’t detract from a great day of running at the new incarnation of the New Year Sprint being held at Grangemouth Stadium. Under the “new management” of James Cunningham (Lasswade club member and also a former winner of the New Year Sprint), the competition saw one of the biggest entries in recent years. Unsurprisingly, the main sprint was well supported by Lasswade, with 7 entered into the main event.

Murray (3.5m), Petter (7m) and Charlie (10.5m) found themselves drawn in the same heat and all three coincidentally happened to be finalists of the Jed Forrest sprint last summer. On that occasion, Murray took the victory and earned a 3m “penalty” in the process which was a little too much for him to progress through the rounds this year. Petter and Charlie did run well to make it through to the cross-ties as fastest losers. Also making it through to the cross-ties were Gregor (13m), Ramsay (8.5m) and Keith (17.5m). Eloise (19.5m), in the final heat drew two of the eventual finalists and despite a strong run from Eloise, did not make it through to the next round.

New Year Sprint 2024 (and photos below) Copyright Bobby Gavin – That One Moment
New Year Sprint 2024 (and photos below) Copyright Bobby Gavin – That One Moment

The cross-ties again saw Lasswade athletes pitted against each other: Charlie and Gregor in the first cross-tie and Petter, Ramsay and Keith in the 2nd. Unfortunately none of the Lasswade athletes managed to progress to the final this time around but there were still some great performances to come from the Lasswade athletes in the supporting events.

In the Youth’s 90m, Ruairidh and Mia ran in their first “pro” races. Ruairidh made it through to the cross-ties where he managed to duplicate his effort from the first round to run the exact same time!

Eloise took part in the Women’s 90m and despite another strong run didn’t make it though to the final.

Charlie moved on to the 400m and finishing 5th. Keith and Gregor ran in the Veterans 90m and both made it to the final with Gregor finishing 3rd and Keith 5th. Alastair, whose winter training has been focussed on longer races, took part in the 800m and finished 9th.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the day for the Lasswade team was the Open 200m. Murray, Ramsay and Petter managed to avoid being drawn against each other in the three heats and each managed to win their races to qualify for the final – a really strong show from Lasswade.
The final was a close race and although we didn’t quite manage a clean sweep for the top 3 places, a great run from Ramsay saw him hold on for the win with backmarker Murray finishing 3rd and Petter in 4th. It wasn’t just a Lasswade victory that made this memorable for the club – Ramsay had just won a new trophy for the event – the David Blair Cup which was introduced in memory of Ramsay and Murray’s dad, David, a former parent helper at Lasswade who passed in 2017. The trophy was also sponsored by Andy Sobik, our former coach and Mark Learmonth (father of Lasswade’s international athlete, Guy Learmonth).

Overall, a great winter’s day of athletics in an event that I’m sure will continue to grow over the coming years. If you’re interested in competing in similar events in the future, the Border Games circuit which starts in the summer is a great place to start.

Full results of the New Year Sprint and supporting events can be found here.

Youth’s 90m Sprint Heat – Ruaridh
110m Sprint Cross-tie #1: Charlie (Lane 2), Gregor (Lane 5)
110m Sprint Cross-tie #2: Ramsay (Lane 2), Keith (Lane 5) & Petter (Lane 7)
Racing for the David Blair Cup
Open 400m Final featuring Charlie Carstairs
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