Andrew Butchart and Maddie Murray each clinched gold at the National XC for the first time in Falkirk last February – and both know one simple truth: you’ve got be in to win it!
February has dawned which means the big moment in the cross country calendar looms up this month at Callendar Park on Saturday 27 February.
It will be the culmination of the Lindsays Cross Country Season and is always a red letter day for the sport in Scotland – with the huge entry numbers over the past couple of years the best for two decades.
Now we want to see the National XC 2016 deliver another occasion to remember and prove again that cross country is alive and thriving after big fields at Cumbernauld and Bellahouston, East League finisher number records, and a Record Women’s entry at the Masters XC in Forres.
So, we’re reminding all athletes, clubs, coaches, team managers and parents that the deadline for team names to scottishathletics is WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY.
Entry forms are now online on the Events section of this website. All athletes racing must be members of scottishathletics and there are no entries accepted after February 10.
Please post the forms to Claire Archbold, scottishathletics, Caledonia Ltd, South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9DQ.
‘I love the National XC and I love racing at Callendar Park,’ said GB and Scotland international Butchart.
‘It is certainly in my plans at the moment to defend the title I won in the mud, wind and rain of last year – it was a great day. I think the event is growing in popularity and, with support from the club community and the backing of the sponsors Lindsays, hopefully it can only get even bigger and better.’
The National XC is the fifth race in the six-event scottishathletics Cross Country Grand Prix. and, at the moment, Butchart and Michelle Sandison of Springburn Harriers lead the way for the top prizes of £750.
Individuals share £4000 worth of prize-money so there is plenty to play for ahead of Falkirk on February 27 and the final event, the Inter-Counties fixture at Birmingham in March.
Butchart is signifiicantly clear at the top of the men’s table with his Central AC club-mate, Alex Hendry, in second place after four events. Butchart (150 points) and Hendry (107) are then followed by Cambuslang’s Kyle McLellan (84), Inverclyde’s Andrew Douglas (83) and Mark Mitchell of Forres (82).
Other athletes currently in the top ten are Ben Stevenson (Falkirk Vics), Max McNeill (Lothian RC), Sean Chalmers (Inverness Harriers), Alastair Hay (Central AC) and Jonny Glen (Inverclyde AC).
It is a good deal closer in the Women’s and in the current table, after events at Bellahouston, Liverpool, Districts and Inter-Districts, there are nine clubs represented in the top ten.
Springburn Harriers top the table at the moment via a consistent season so far by Michelle Sandison (102) with Dundee Hawkhill’s Laura Muir in second (93). Steph Pennycook of Edinburgh AC is third (88) followed by Freya Ross of Edinburgh AC (83) and Stornoway RAC’s Eilidh Mackenzie (83).
The others in the top ten currently are Angela Richardson (Fife AC), Maddie Murray (EAC), Fiona Rudkin (Metro Aberdeen), Lesley Chisholm (Garscube Harriers) and Josephine Moultrie (VP-Glasgow).
Fife AC’s Adam Scott wins U15 title last year
As per the entry form, it is 12K for Senior Men this year and 8K for Senior Women. The U20 Men also run 8K with the U20 and U17 Women in a combined race over 4.8K. All the relevant age-group bandings are listed on the information sheet on our Events section.
Please note that in the U15 and U17 age groups, the National XC this year will be regarded as the main selection race for the London Mini Marathon event in April.
This is because London Marathon require Scotland team names prior to our own Junior Road Races on April 2 in Greenock – so the incentives are there for Falkirk, with teams of six boys and six girls usually selected in both U15 and U17 age groups. Current form around that time is also a consideration.
*Clubs are also reminded they are required each supply two marshals to help out on the day. Please email offers of help to Alex Jackson on Alex.Jackson@ed.ac.uk