Farewell Ross

Sad to see Ross Finlayson, one of Lasswade’s club stalwarts move on to another club. It’s fair to say that Ross has achieved alot during his (almost) 30 years with Lasswade and has got out of athletics (and club membership) that we hope all members will.

Ross Finlayson writes:

I was just writing as I think the time has come for me to join a local athletics club. I’ve been living ‘up North’ since 2011, and over time the opportunities to compete for Lasswade have been less and less, and with the dissolving of the Men’s League I don’t think there are any team competitions I can make any more.

I wanted to just say a little bit about my love for Lasswade and all the club has done for me… From what I can recall, I came to the Midlothian ‘Come and Try’ athletics at Lasswade high school in 1996. We ran a race and I was narrowly beaten. Almost immediately I had Davy Hand chatting with me, and before you know it, the second I turned 9, I was competing in the U11s cross-country. 

From there on I ran cross country every winter, and did track races in the summer. The team minibus journeys are a strong memory for me, travelling through with the people who would become lifelong friends, mentors and heroes. I was naturally tall and strong and so pentathlon was a happy hunting ground – I believe I still have the National Record for this at U13 level. There were Scottish titles and podiums indoors, outdoors, and some great trips across the whole country. I did all the events, and I mean all of them! 

I specifically remember my first Men’s league event in Inverness. I was too young to compete in the main A or B stream event but I think I got a guest spot in the 800m, this was all part of Davy’s plan to get me ready for the big time the following year. With Andy Sobik’s help we had a great run in the Men’s League including winning Division 2, and being voted Club of the Year while I was captain. This is a stand-out moment of pride for my life. I dabbled in Pro running at the Border Games events – always wearing the Lasswade vest with pride, and won the league a couple of times, with some great memories along the way. To this day my 800m PB is from a glorious race at Meadowbank in the Men’s League. I knocked over 4s off my time in one day. I’m still not 100% sure how I did it.

I never quite cracked the 1,500m and so with University then work and moving to the North east of Scotland, it took me some time to find my way back to enjoying running and learning that winning isn’t what makes running great. To this day, I miss the club training atmosphere, the characters, the routine, and all the friendly faces turning up week-in and week-out. 

I’ve chased the distances all the way up to a 36 mile Ultra marathon, and probably my peak race lately was a 2.48.30 marathon in Boston in 2023. 

Joining Lasswade unquestionably changed my life for the better. It gave me a focus, an outlet, and a social group that was absolutely key to making me more confident, happier, and helped shape my future. I could not have been without my club. 

So although it is sad to move on, I have so many good memories and the permanent benefits from being a part of Lasswade. I want to thank every single person who was part of that childhood journey. I could share these stories for hours/days/weeks. 

Ross Finlayson, third from right in the Senior Men’s Team, Division 2 Champions 2019
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply