Senior Home International 2024 Report

Six of NIMRA’s hardiest (and arguably best looking) fell runners were back on international duty this past weekend in Scotland to challenge at this year’s Senior Home Countries International.

Ashley showing the boys how to dance

Glas Tulaichean (Spittal of Glenshee)was the hill that would see Jack McKenna, Keith Johnston, Joshua McAtee, Ethan McMullan, Ashley Crutchley led into uphill battle by captain Ryan Stewart. The men weren’t there simply to take part. Claiming Scottish, English and Welsh scalps was the name of the game!

On Friday 10th May the chaps congregated in Dundee for their base camp. Tactics were discussed, chicken and rice was plentiful, we had more performance enhancing veterinarian products than Pets at Home and the sun was blazing. Signs were good.

Sin City was trying to have her wicked way with us. Beckoning us into her city centre with an offer of ‘twa pints”. The 6 of us cobbled together our best ulster Scots to decipher this odd language of East Coast Scotland. We couldn’t but we had a funny feeling it wouldn’t  be conducive to a positive athletic performance. We politely declined and went to bed early

When the Invercarse Hotel fire alarm was sounded at 1230am, captain Ryan was strutting out to the fire rendezvous point confident that his 5 accomplices in green and white would have burst out of the blocks and already be saving the women and children from an inferno. It was a false alarm but even more alarming, Captain Ryan didn’t see a single NIMRA man leave their bed. Ryan was concerned at this stage about their current energy levels only hours out from the race but was then left pondering if it was it merely a master stroke of energy preservation.

Here we are now, all the lads: Ashley, Josh, Ryan, Keith, Jack & Ethan

Saturday May 11th was our boys date with destiny on the starting line of Glas Tulaichean with the best of the best surrounding them. The temperature was over 20 degrees and the only warm up the boys needed was applying factor 50 to one another vigorously to prevent the already brilliant farmers tans developed at home.

Ethan, Keith and Jack’s in there in the background with the hat

With the softest spoken 3,2,1 you’ve ever heard, like a whisper on the wind up the valley, the stampede commenced promptly at 1pm. The NI boys started off brisk but not as brisk as eventual winners, Joe Steward (England) and Scout Adkin (Scotland) who both stormed to new course records of 31:52 and 38:33 respectively. Scout managing to pip the entire men’s NI team to the line in a truly impressive feat of running that was majestic to behold 

Josh in black & white IMAX 35mm

The course covered 680m of climb over 7km distance with 2 major river crossings along the way that even the marshals land rover looked sad to be crossing. Described by many locals as “the worst Munro in Scotland” for its land rover track from start to finish, this course packed a hell of a kick to your lungs and calves. Our lads did triumphantly well finishing closely packed together to earn the bronze team medal in the Senior Home Countries. Young Ethan also managed to take the 1st Under 20 male. For a 6 man clean sweep of medals, Ashley also managed to pick up a spot prize after a determined effort that should have gained him sponsorship with Andrex…. we also were concerned that Police Scotland may have been waiting at the base of the hill with a few stern questions but alas all that awaited Ashley was a prized Dundee Hawkhill winners mug! Let’s hope he tries expanding his strict diet in this newly won mug. Up the bull!

Ashley going through several battles at once


16th Ryan Stewart  38:47

20th Jack McKenna 40:32

29th Keith Johnston 41:52

30th Joshua Mcatee 41:55

42nd Ethan McMullan 42:04

54th Ashley Crutchley 59:59

Jack with the feet up

A special mention to Andrew Tees who had been selected to race but had to pull out with injury. That injury being induced by a 2:34:30 London marathon 3 weeks previously so we can only assume his knees are need made of Bisto. All at NIMRA wish their best to Andrew’s recovery and we will no doubt see him run on the international scene in the near future. We also sneakily dread the thought of dealing with this man’s speed on the local racing calendar

The bronze medal winners!

Another super trip was had with the NIMRA massive. I strongly encourage all local lads and ladies to put their names down for future events. You’ll learn a lot about competing at the top level and get a chance to make lasting memories with folk who are normally your competition. This is running as it should be. Fun and our results follow this ethos as you can see. Congrats to all involved

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