Lanark-bound! Excitement builds for Lindsays Short Course XC

Thursday 4th November 2021

Action from the Short Course XC at Lanark back in 2018 with the old Racecourse results board as the backdrop (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Big fields for Lanark 

All roads lead to Lanark Racecourse this weekend for our Lindsays Short Course XC Champs.

Hosted by Law and District AAC and South Lanarkshire Council, this is a return to a venue which came back onto the roster three years ago after a long absence.

If it was excellent racing in 2018, then the portents suggest Saturday’s showdowns – particularly in the Senior races – may live up to great expectations.

We’re hoping a couple of Olympians will be running across the mud in the company of the rank and file of athletics and Scotland to once again demonstrate the strong connection between our grassroots and our elite.

No fewer than 1281 athletes are on start-lists in a tally only bettered a couple of times and up three percent on a five-year average (prior to Covid-19).

There are always a number of elements at play in the Short Course XC – as well as individual and team medals, there are Scotland international opportunities looming up soon.

Seniors also compete for Cross Country Team Challenge points via their clubs.

Start-lists (on right of page)

Scotland international vests up for grabs for Liverpool and Belfast

It’s never easy ‘forecasting’ medal contenders in cross country but this observer is inclined to suggest that the top ten places in the Senior Men’s race will be highly competitive. The field looks arguably the strongest for many years.

As well Olympians Andy Butchart and Jake Wightman, there are a raft of Central AC athletes in good form such as Jamie Crowe, Hamish Hickey and Ben MacMillan with Alastair Hay added after missing Perth.

To those names we can add the two fastest laps at the National Relays – Duncan Robinson of Giffnock and Christian Graham of Lasswade – as well as (in no particular order) Ben Potrykus, Sean Chalmers, Lachlan Oates, Waynay Ghebreselassie, Michael Ferguson and a trio of U20s in Kane Elliott, Lewis Hannigan and Jack Patton.

All that without even mentioning Cambuslang and Corstorphine or those from Uni teams in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

It’s also really good to see former 4k champions Sol Sweeney (2018) and Ben Stevenson (2016) on the start-list.

The Women’s race will feature Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir in the colours of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers – with a number of Laura’s previous appearances in this event having been for Glasgow Uni.

Trying to predict the podium looks tricky, so again with the proviso that this is by no means comprehensive or exact science, look out for a number of Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds contenders likely to be led by Megan Keith and including Isla (U20) and Sarah Calvert.

Edinburgh AC have Beth Ansell and Pippa Carcas (U20); Glasgow Uni have Eloise Walker and Stefanie Tucker, while VP-Glasgow have Gillian Black and Holly Little.

Others to look out for may include Erin Wallace, Kayleigh Jarrett, Nicola Hood, Annabel Simpson, Nynke Mulholland, Morag Millar and Sarah Tait.

Again, the top ten should be highly competitive.

Central AC and Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds lead our Cross Country Team Challenge

The Senior Men’s podium in Perth featured gold and silver medals for Central AC with Inverclyde AC landing the bronzes (photo by Bobby Gavin)

WATCH: Seven films from National XC Relays on YouTube channel

In those Senior races, Central AC have dominated with four wins in the past five events. And Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds in the Women’s race are looking for four-in-a-row after team golds in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Butchart has won the title on three occasions, including the last time the Short Course was staged – in Kirkcaldy in November 2019.

In the U15 and U17 races, Giffnock North have worn a path to the podium in recent years with yellow and blue distinctly prominent!

The U17 Men’s is the exception, with five different clubs having won the past five events – Inverness (2019), Edinburgh AC (2018), Kilbarchan (2017), Fife AC (2016), VP-Glasgow (2015).

The race programme starts at 12 noon with the U15 Girls quickly followed by the U15 Boys.

After two U17 races, it concludes at 1.30pm with the Women’s race and the Men’s at 2pm. U20 medals are on offer to individuals, although those athletes race with the Seniors.

There are Masters medals for individuals at V40, V50 and V60. (NOTE: there are no team medals at U20 and Masters level in this event).

Medals on offer at Short Course XC


Tags: Lanark, Lindsays Cross Country Season, Lindsays Short Course XC

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