Team Scotland perform well at Jukola 2013
Jukola 2013 was held in the forest around Jamsa, 3hrs north of Helsinki in mid Finland. If you've never been to jukola...you should go! It's a big deal. 1600+teams toed the line, full of the world's best runners down to teams of workmates running in trainers. Scotland were led out on first leg by Murray Strain. Murray is in great shape as always and there was no doubt in our minds that he could be right up there if he found the flags. From the first TV control to the last, Murray ran a very composed race sitting in the top 10 the whole way, finishing only a few seconds down in 7th place, and impressing the commentary team "but Murray Strain only runs sprint races" (no matey...he tears up the Scottish forest most weekends). He handed over to Ewan McCarthy, who set off well, and by the first TV control was up into 6th. He made a mistake mid-leg but held it together to keep us inside the top 100 in 81st.
James Tullie was up next on long night - 14km of Finnish forest. The excitement of 1st leg was maybe a bit too evident as he held a decent pace but a few mistakes crept in. However, a solid last section saw him come in 87th. Jon Musgrave ran 4th leg...a few years after his jukola leg winning run. He ran a technically solid race and no doubt elbowed a few folk out the way in the process. Youngster Andrew Lindsay set out in 91st and had a really solid run, making only a couple of small errors. That's the key in jukola - holding it together and trusting your ability when you hit the gaffles. We were now in 103rd and Edinburgh Uni student and honorary Scotsman Ruairi Short was up next. He ran a good race, posting the 128th quickest leg time and edging us up 2 places into 101st. GB Team runner Hector Haines rounded things off bringing us home comfortably inside the top 100 in 96th place. This sealed a good performance and a solid result for the Scottish team.
In other news....several Scottish runners had places in some of the best foreign clubs. Mark Nixon ran first leg for 13th place Södertälje setting them up well in 34th. Doug Tullie continued his success on long night running the 17th quickest time and hauling Turun Metsänkävijät up 20 places. Alasdair MacLeod ran very well on last leg for Lillomarka 2 posting a time of 88mins (good enough for 31st place on the leg....except his 2nd leg runner was disqualified).
Bring on 2014!