Masters XC – a host of the gold medallists at Forres gather after the race (photo Ron Morrison)
While the weather ravaged the west and centre of Scotland, those who chose to make the journey to Forres were presented with almost perfect cross country under foot conditions, weather and near record fields.
The women’s championship saw Lesley Chisholm (Garscube H), who has been in great form already in 2016, successfully defended her title of last year after a strong initial challenge from Edel Mooney (Lothian RC).
Just as exciting was the W45 championship where Veronique Oldham (Aberdeen AAC) got the better of tiring Shona Robertson (Shettleston H) in the latter stages. Not far behind, Fiona Matheson (Falkirk Victoria H) dominated the W50 championship winning from North District athlete Sheila Gollan (East Sutherland AC).
Sonia Armitage (Aberdeen AAC) took the W55 title from Isobel Burnett (Carnegie H) with near local Jane Kerridge (Deeside R) taking the W60 title from Linden Nicholson (Lasswade AAC) and the far travelled Susan Linklater (Shetland AC).
Janette Stevenson (Falkirk Victoria H), the 1991-2 and 1992-3 overall champion and multiple 5-year age group champion, outstripped the W65 field winning from another multiple title holder and 2012-3 champion Phyllis Lemoncello (Fife AC), who of course lives in Nairn.
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the day went to Anne Docherty of the home club Forres H when she crossed the line first in the W70 championship. The team race was won by some margin by the holders Gala H with Carnegie H beating Corstorphine AAC by 1 point for the minor places.
Over the same 6K course as the women, Alex Sutherland (Highland Hill R) took the M65 title from Charles Noble (Fraserburgh RC) and Alan Lawson (Dundee Hawkhill H).
Timothy Kirk (Inverness H) took the M70 title from the never missing Robert Young (Clydesdale H) and Gibson Fleming (Westerlands XCC). Watson Giles (Clydesdale H) captured the M75 title.
For the second year in a row, three over 80 athletes completed the course with Walter McCaskey (Edinburgh AC) defending his title from James Pittillo (Teviotdale H) and the ever–present Willie Drysdale (Law & District AAC).
The men’s 40-60 championships produced a number of exciting duels. In the early stages four runners moved away from the pack and finished close to one another.
In the end, Kenneth Campbell (Ronhill Cambuslang H) prevailed to win the gold in 29.15 from new M45 champion Kerry–Liam Wilson (Ronhill Cambuslang H) in 29.24 with Jamie Reid (Ronhill Cambuslang H) in 29.26 and Jim Tole (Metro Aberdeen) in 29.28 taking the minor M40 places.
The minor M45 places behind Wilson were hotly contested by local runners Paul Miller (Inverness H) in 30.14 and Gareth Jenkins (Moray RR) in 30.18.
The M50 championship was well won by Nick Milosorov (Metro Aberdeen RC) from Jim Buchanan (Dumfries RC). The 1997-8 overall champion and multiple medal winner Ed Stewart (Ronhill Cambuslang H) defended his M55 title with a remarkable run in 20th place overall. David Weir (Forres H) took the silver with another great run.
The perennial Frankie Barton (Ronhill Cambuslang H) won the M60 title from the event co–convener Doug Cowie (Forres H) with a fast finishing Alex Chisholm (Garscube H) in the bronze medal position.
The men’s team races were dominated once again by Ronhill Cambuslang H taking the M40-60 Teviotdale Harriers Shield Trophy for the 8th time in 9 years with 20 points from Corstorphine AAC with 86 and Metro Aberdeen 3rd with 104.
Many thanks to Forres Harriers who were hosting the event for the fourth time and in particular co–conveners Paul Rogan (16th on the day) and Doug Cowie (silver medal in the M60 championship).
*With thanks to Ron Morrison for this report
Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers – V50 winners again (photo via Facebook)