Robbie Simpson and Andy Douglas in Scotland action at hill running
The scottishathletics hill running season is fast approaching and with it comes a period of top-class racing opportunities for Scottish athletes.
The first domestic championship race takes place in Northern Ireland, with the Donard–Commedagh race hosting the first of the four-race British Championship this Saturday (9 April). Scots athletes did particularly well in 2015 championship with Finlay Wild (Lochaber) and Jasmin Paris (Carnethy) winning the senior titles.
The Scottish Hill Runners six-race championship kicks off a week later at the Clachnaben Race on Deeside (16 April), hosted by Cosmic Hill Bashers.
The first main fixture for junior athletes comes at the Ben Lomond junior races on Saturday 7 May. The junior races are hosting the scottishathletics junior championships and are selection races for the International Youth Cup, which takes place in the Czech Republic on 25 June.
For the first time the Youth Cup is being held on uphill-only courses so the junior courses at Ben Lomond (apart from the junior fun run) will also be uphill-only. Note that the Junior Home International, to be held in North Wales in September, will also be held on uphill only courses.
The Ben Lomond junior races are also in the scottishathletics junior hill running league, details of which can be found here: http://www.scottishhillrunners.uk/Juniors2.aspx
Junior athletes competed in Bulgaria last year
Next up is the Senior UK Inter Counties Championships which will be held at the Moel Elio race in North Wales on Saturday 14 May. Selection will be mainly from form in hill races. Please contact your District Rep if you are interested in running:
Central: Alayne Finlay (firstname.lastname@example.org)
East: Helen Bonsor (email@example.com)
North: Kyle Greig (firstname.lastname@example.org)
West: Kenny Richmond (Kenny.email@example.com)
The Junior UK Inter Counties Championships will be held at a separate venue this year on Saturday 2 July at Church Stretton (Shropshire).
The end of May sees the first of the UK Trial Races. The European Mountain Running Trial will be held in Whinlatter Forest on Saturday 28 May on up and down courses.
The event will be used to select the UK junior and senior teams for the championships which will be held in Arco, Italy, on Saturday 2 July. Scots athletes Robbie Simpson, Andrew Douglas and Jacob Adkin helped Team GB to their most successful ever year of mountain running in 2015, and we expect Scottish athletes to feature strongly in 2016.
The final fixture of note this side of the summer will be the scottishathletics Senior Hill Running Championships which will be held at the Eildon 3 Hills Race at Melrose on Saturday 25 June, hosted by Gala Harriers. Please note pre-entry for the event is required through the entrycentral website.
It is also worth noting however that the major domestic season ending finale, the UK Relay Championship event, will be hosted by Westerlands CCC in Luss in October, an event which typically attracts more than 100 teams from throughout the UK.
For details on other major fixtures through the summer and beyond, in particular the Snowdon International, Senior Home International (hosted at the World Trial) and the Junior International (and trial), and details of selection for some of the events listed above, please see the scottishathletics International Handbook (coming soon on this site).
With thanks to Mark Johnston and Malcolm Patterson