Photo by Bobby Gavin
By Peter Jardine, Communications Manager
Rarely in recent years has the Lindsays National XC generated quite such a strong ‘feelgood factor’ around Callendar Park and across our sport as the 2018 evnet last Saturday.
And we can now confirm that there were Record finisher numbers for the combined nine races with no fewer than 1733 athletes completing the courses from U13 level to the Senior/Masters.
This is the third year in a row that this combined tally figure has topped the 1700 mark and once again we want to express our thanks and fulsome praise for clubs, coaches, athletes and parents for demonstrating such a strong commitment to competition.
Above: Highlights video from the Lindsays National XC 2018, by Vincosport
When you look back at the Entries and Finisher tallies listed on the excellent Road Running and Cross Country Commission website, the growth of the Lindsays National XC is starkly apparent.
Ten years ago in 2008 at Falkirk the finisher number was 1186 athletes – some 547 fewer athletes running. So, in a decade, the commitment to competing at national level cross country has risen by not far short of 50 percent. That really is a terrific stat to emphasise our often-made point about clubs being galvanised.
Here are the finisher tallies for the past three years:
This year, there were 894 adults who finished races with the Women’s tally a new Record at 271 (in the second year of an equalized 10K distance) and the Men at 623. There were 839 finishers in the age group races.
That overall tally does include an (educated) estimate. The U13 Girls race on Saturday fell victim to a chip problem as they failed to register and that has created a real issue for us in coming up with a set of Results covering times and positions. Working with the entry number (and last year’s figures), we are taking it as 160 finishers.
We do sincerely apologise to all those involved in that race (athletes, clubs, parents) that this has happened.
A number of ‘by hand’ results did allow us to award individual and team medals in the sure knowledge these were accurate.
However, if anyone has filmed evident of a position or a time for the U13 Girls race (with a photo or video footage) please send these in by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and that will assist us.
Thank you to all those exercising patience on this.
scottishathletics this year set about offering innovative and imaginative coverage of the Lindsays National XC via drone footage from the sky plus cameras ‘on the ground’ within Callendar Park.
It took a lot work in conjunction with Vinco, who have provided coverage on Falkirk with us for the past few years, UAS Flights Ops from Leicestershire and the race venue owners, Falkirk Community Trust. In addition, Cross Country Season sponsors Lindsays agreed to help finance the project.
With drone footage, commentary and a Saturday evening broadcast which ran for more than two and a quarter hours, we certainly feel the promotion of the event was elevated still further than in recent years.
Matt Quine and Dan Barber, it should be noted, covered a lot of miles on Saturday for the on-course camera work – almost a marathon between them, in fact. GPS evidence suggests these two one-time 400m runners covered 19.3K and 19.4K respectively in order to try and deliver the best possible footage.
We believe Bryan Burnett, doing on-course commentary in what always adds so much to the atmosphere, covered 12 miles, too, in the company of Jamie Mcdonald of scottishathletics.
The ‘as-live’ broadcast can still be viewed and there are individual films of around 15 minutes each for all nine races. Please watch and share via the link online.
*This year, our promotion of the event centred very much on the widespread appeal and inclusive nature of the Lindsays National XC.
On social media, we have rarely had a day quite like it with no fewer than 169,000 Twitter impression on @scotathletics through Saturday. That figure reached over a quarter of a million taking in Sunday and the Muller Indoor GP. Thanks for the support!
It is not a district competiton, of course, but nonetheless it is well worth noting that it was quite a special day for the North region.
Here’s a post on the North RR and CC Facebook page by Charles Bannerman of Inverness Harriers:
‘Mhairi Maclennan from Inverness is the first ever woman (I’ll settle for that since I’m not 100% sure about the men) from North of way, way “doon ee rodd”, as they say over the Ord, to win a National senior cross country title, and it’s great to see Anna MacFadyen (Forres) storm back to form after injury to win the U20 women’s race. These two also anchored twin EUHandH team wins.
‘Then you have to add in bronze medals from Andy Douglas from Caithness and Anna Tait from Orkney in the senior races which means that half the senior individual medals went to North athletes!
‘That statement is actually worth repeating – it’s way ahead of anything that has ever happened before!
‘Given the intense competition of the senior men’s race, 11th place for John Newsom (Inverness) was another excellent performance, off the back of a serious injury. The North District presence within senior endurance running continues, and long may it do so.
‘And then, on the way up, there were team silvers for Inverness Harriers in the U13 and U15 Boys races plus some other good junior performances including U13 individual bronze for East Sutherland’s Anya Morrison.’
The sight of Kris Jones winning the National XC was one to savour for Dundee Hawkhill Harriers – and it certainly attracted attention from the McColgan family on social media.
Kris saw off the challenge of Lachlan Oates and Andy Douglas to win in fine style and thus became the first Hawk to win the Senior Men’s race since Peter McColgan did so in 1990.
It was a high class field at Irvine Beach Park with McColgan winning from Neil Tennant and Bobby Quinn.
A cursory glance at the results reveals that sixth place was occupied by a certain Steve Ovett –only 10 years on from Olympic gold in Moscow. Ovett raced for Annan and District, local to his south of Scotland residence at that time.
The picture suggests the course favoured Northern Irish steeplechaser Peter. We can’t guarantee barriers in future but we do know photography has changed dramatically in the intervening 28 years . . . as Bobby Gavin’s images prove!