It was a hectic weekend in three locations as the cross country season began in earnest in the North, West and East regions, with the District Cross Country Relays again proving popular with our clubs.
A late change of course venue from Port Glasgow to Kilmacolm (pictured above, with thanks to Thomas Loehndorf) provided the organisers with some logistical challenges and saw the athletes receive a different cross country experience from that planned. But a successful afternoon’s cross country in Inverclyde ran smoothly with the races contested in fast and dry conditions at Birkmyre Park.
A total of 46 teams completed the race with Giffnock North running out convincing winners in the Junior Girls race ahead of Kilbarchan and Ayr Seaforth. Ayr Seaforth had led after the first leg, but Giffnock quickly worked their way into a convincing lead, while Kilbarchan gradually progressed through the field to claim the silver medal position on the final leg.
50 teams completed the course with Kilbarchan winning from Ayr Seaforth and RH Cambuslang. Kilbarchan ran strongly throughout the 3 legs, with Ayr Seaforth holding their own and RH Cambuslang moving through the field to secure the bronze team medal. And it was positive to see Cambeltown RC make the trip to Kilmacolm to compete in these West District Cross Country Relays.
Inverclyde AC came from behind to win by 20 seconds in the Senior Men’s race, with defending champions Shettleston – who led on leg 3 – clear in second. Giffnock who were leading the race after 2 legs, hung on to claim a deserved bronze medal. Fastest lap of the day went to Dan Mulhare (Inverclyde) with the Irish international covering the course in 11:09. The fastest U20 of the day was more tightly contested, with Jonathan Glen (Inverclyde) 1 sec ahead of Euan Gillham (Kilbarchan) at 11:49 to 11:50.
Kilbarchan repeated their success from 12 months ago at Hamilton Race Course and were clear winners in the Senior Women’s race finishing more than a minute ahead of a much improved RH Cambuslang trio – moving up from 8th place last year and Inverclyde – who claimed their bronze medal position on the final leg. Fastest Senior Woman of the day was Michelle Sandison (Springburn) at 13:57 while the Laura Penrice (Giffnock) was the fastest U20 by nearly 30 seconds at 14:03.
By Mark Pollard
The ND Relays hosted at Evanton by Highland Hill Runners saw athletes competing over an excellent forest course with a perfect mix of flat fast sections and challenging hills for the multi-terrain athletes.
Inverness Harriers took a clean sweep of all team titles with the Senior Men being the most closely fought battle with host club Highland Hill Runners. Forres Harriers were competing with depleted teams due to the clash with final Scottish Hill Running fixture and were not able to retain the title that they had won for the past two years.
In the Junior Girls, East Sutherland AC and Moray Road Runners took the 2nd and 3rd team places with the fasted leg going to Anna McFadyen, Forres Harriers.
The Junior Boys saw Stornoway Running AC take 2nd with East Sutherland AC this time in 3rd place. Internationalist Connor MacLean, SRAC, recorded the fastest lap, coming home 36 seconds faster than any of the other competitors over a 2.2km course.
Highland Hill Runners and Stornoway Running AC took 2nd and 3rd teams in both the Ladies and Men’s competitions with Inverness Harriers recording the three fastest Ladies’ lap times with Helen Gertig, Jodie Lynch and Lesley Clarkson. In the Men’s relay, Kenny Wilson, Moray Road Runners recorded the fastest laps with international hill runners Ross Campbell, HHR, and Craig Campbell, IH snapping at his heels.
In the Masters competitions, Inverness Harriers were the only female team. In the Men’s competition North Highland Harriers collected their first ever District team medal with Forres Harriers taking 3rd place.
By Sophie Dunnett
There was a strong feeling of déjà vu at the at District Cross Country Relay Championships at Peebles on Sunday. The men’s championship saw Central AC capture their 9th consecutive title from last year’s runners up Corstorphine AAC 2nd with Central’s B team taking the bronze medals in exactly the same placings as the previous two years.
Scott McDonald took Central into the lead on the 1st lap and they increased that lead through the race with Andrew Butchart anchoring them home with the day’s fastest lap (12.25) for a total time of 51.11 Dermot Cummins brought Corstorphine home in 53.37 then Ross Houston for Central B team in 54.39.
Men’s Masters Golds went to Corstorphine AAC 61.47 (17th) followed by Dundee Hawkhill 62.43(18th) and Gala H 63.35 (20th)
Central AC’s women took their 9th title in the last 12 championships winning in 45.31 from Fife AC in 45.56 and Edinburgh AC in 46.20. Morag MacLarty ran the fastest lap of the day (14.35) to anchor Central AC home. Diane Lauder brought Gala H home in the lead on lap 1 with Central 3rd but Jennifer Emsley put Central into the lead on lap 2.
Women’s Masters Gold and Bronze medals went to Gala H and Gala H “B” with Edinburgh AC winning the silver medals.
The Young Athletes male race saw Edinburgh AC win their 8th consecutive title in 26.53 with Fife AC in 26.44 and Corstorphine AC taking the bronze medals in 26.42.
Corstorphine led after lap 1 with David Addison the fastest U13 (9.07) then Fife AC led lap 2, Adam Scott with fastest U15 (8.27) but Alex Carcus brought Edinburgh AC home with the fastest lap of the day (8.02) 3rd place Corstorphine team comprised 3 brothers, David, Steven and Anthony Addison.
Pitreavie AAC won the Young Athletes female race in 30.40 from Lasswade AAC in 31.09 with Central AC 3rd in 31.22. Isla Calvert with fastest U13 lap (10.20) brought Livingston &D home 1st on lap 1. Emily Nicholson moved Pitreavie up for 4th to 2nd on lap 2 with Leah Davie bring them home 1st on lap 3 . Kate Gallagher,Central was fastest U15 (9.24) and Lauren Dickson, Lasswade fastest U17 (9.39)
The first ever Scottish Athletics Cross Country Championship in Peebles proved to be a true test of cross country with jumps and a water feature included. Our thanks to Gregor Nicolson and his team from Moorfoot Runners for all their work in hosting assisted by Gala Harriers.
By Ron Morrison and Alex Jackson
Track & Field