Masters XC International review

Monday 14th November 2016

Scotland’s M40 bronze medallist Robert Gilroy – photo by Bobby Gavin



Scottish Veteran Harriers Club staged a highly-successful British and Irish Masters XC event in Glasgow – with a tremendous atmosphere generated around the course as athletes from V35 to over 80 took to the mud and hills of Tollcross Park.

England’s hue population advantage always makes them favourites in most races at this event but in certain age groups, with five-year brackets, the likes of Ireland and Scotland secured team golds.

In fact, three Scottish women’s team took golds with the W35s setting the tone thanks to Gillian Palmer (2), Michelle Sandison (3) and Dianne Lauder (4).

The other winning women’s teams were at W65 via Ann White (2), Jeanette Craig (3) and Hazel Bradley (6) as well as the trio at W70 of Elizabeth Gilchrist (4), Liz Corbett (5) and Anne Docherty (6).

In addition to the individual medals therein, Fiona Matheson took gold in the W55 category and Lesley Chisholm took bronze in the W40.

The competition was intense in the men’s age brackets as Robert Gilroy took a hard-earned bronze at M40 and Neil Thin likewise at M55. Andy McLinden was a silver medallist at M65 while there was a  bronze, also, for Stewart McCrae at M70 and a silver for George Black at M75.

With a number of the Scotland teams picking up silvers and bronzes, the overall competition ended in a win for England, with Ireland second and the hosts in third – ahead of visitors Wales and Northern Ireland.

British and Irish Cross Country Masters (C)Bobby Gavin Byline must be used

It isn’t all about the medals, of course, for Masters athletes but it was quite a debut on the international stage for Garscube Harriers athlete, Ann White.

Team gold and individual silver made it a great day for Ann – as her daughter Katie took her bow in this event at W35.

‘I don’t know how often you will get a parent and child competing in the same Masters International XC,’ smiled Ann.

‘We run in the same races quite a lot but this is our first international. Katie is eligible now and I was delighted to run for Scotland at W65.

‘I only took up running quite seriously four years ago but I am totally hooked now. I enjoyed that today and Scottish Veteran Harriers have put on an excellent event with strong visiting teams and really good support around the course.’

For M65 runner Dave Fairweather racing 6K was less stressful than this event is usually – as he explained.

‘It is easier running the race that organising the event, that’s for sure,’ said Dave, former Team Manager for the SVHC for the International.

‘I did it for about 20 years and I think my wife thought it was a full-time job. But you can see for yourself that it is a great event for Masters athletes and all those helping put it together for Glasgow have done a really good job – I can’t take any credit for that because I wasn’t involved in it this time.

‘I enjoyed my run and you see how competitive people are, no matter the age group.’

British and Irish Cross Country Masters (C)Bobby Gavin Byline must be used

M60 Scotland runner Paul Thompson didn’t have his best run by his own admission – but can certainly be excused after returning earlier in the week from Perth, Australia, where the Cambuslang Harrier picked up two World Masters golds at 5000m and Half Marathon.

‘It was probably a race too far for me today but I tried to do my bit for the team,’ said Paul.

‘We came back home from Australia on Tuesday and were actually aware for five weeks. It was quite a trip and of course the two golds in the 5000m and half marathon events were real highlights.

The 5000m track final was actually tactical for a while and I had to pick it up and take it on because I was worried about two or three guys who have good 1500m speed. I was pleased to win it in 18.29.

‘Today there was a lot of quality in the Masters International XC fields; it is really tough.’

British and Irish Cross Country Masters (C)Bobby Gavin Byline must be used

Joasia Zakrzewski

British and Irish Cross Country Masters (C)Bobby Gavin Byline must be used

Fiona Matheson

British and Irish Cross Country Masters (C)Bobby Gavin Byline must be used

Walter McCaskey

Tags: Fiona Matheson, Masters XC International, Scottish Veteran Harriers Club, Tollcross Park

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