Andy Douglas – fifth in the Euro Hill Champs with GB in 2015
Three Scottish hill runners are gearing up for the European Mountain Running Championships in Italy this weekend.
It is another big international event for Andy Douglas while for Gavin Bryson and Laura Stark this represents a first GB and NI vest and all the excitement and pride that represents.
Trials winner Douglas headlines the senior men’s team after a convincing display to win the race at Whinlatter Forest.
Scotland international and Inverclyde AC/North Highland Harriers athlete Douglas, who is coached by Sophie Dunnett and has a wealth of experience in a British vest over the last few years, is joined by Chris Smith and Ben Mounsey who were also part of the bronze medal winning team at the world championships last September.
Trials winners Stark of Kilbarchan AAC, coached by Arthur Smith, and Edinburgh AC’s Bryson, who is coached by Garry Robertson, head-up the junior teams and that means they will achieve their debut GB vests.
‘My training has been going very well and I’m feeling in good shape,’ said Douglas. ‘I’d like to improve on my performance from last year and it would be good to get an individual medal. I certainly feel as though I should be in with a shout.
‘It will be competitive, however, and it’s difficult to judge as I don’t really know the current form of a lot of the other guys I’ll be up against.’
Laura Stark – first GB vest
Gavin Bryson – won Junior Men’s trial
The full British Athletics team for the European Mountain Running Championships in Arco, Italy on July 2:
Senior men: Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett); Alex Pilcher (self-coached); Ben Mounsey; Chris Smith (Philip O’Dell)
Senior Women: Emmie Collinge; Heidi Dent (Derek Hurton); Rebecca Hilland; Sarah Tunstall
Junior Men: Josh Boyle; Gavin Bryson (Garry Robertson); Ciaran Lewis (James Thie); Jake Smith (Brian O’Hare)
Junior Women: Scarlet Dale (Colin Gemson); Heidi Davies (Chris Jones); Laura Stark (Arthur Smith); Bella Williams (Rob Lewis)
With thanks to Andy Stark for photos