The National XC last weekend saw the largest numbers of athletes finish since the Men’s and Women’s championships merged more than two decades ago.
A remarkable total of 1599 athletes completed the races at muddy Callendar Park, on a day when weather conditions both underfoot and overhead were extremely testing for everyone involved.
No fewer than 797 Seniors took part in Falkirk with 802 finishers in the age group races from U13 to U20.
It is a terrific endorsement of the event by the athletics public in Scotland – with more and more clubs contributing to the atmosphere of the National XC with their commitment to competition. All the numbers are logged on the Road Running and Cross Country Commission archive site.
And we’ve the video footage to prove it now following an association with VincoSport, who acted as a production company for scottishathletics on this occasion.
All nine races are covered in highlights form as well as an overall six-minute package reflecting on all that happened and homing in on the individual National champions and the team race results.
The Road Running and Cross Commission are key to the success of the National and figures they compile show that 571 Senior Men (up by five on last year) finished and 226 Senior Women (down by 20 on last year).
The main rises in numbers came in the U13, U15 and U17 brackets with increases in all those categories – both male and female. This bodes well for the future as the event grows in status year-on-year.
Sunday could not have happened without the support of Falkirk Community Trust, host club Falkirk Victoria Harriers, cross country season sponsors Lindsays and the team of marshals organised by Ian Hislop who eac worked two-hour shifts in appalling conditions.
All at scottishathletics and the Commission want to say thanks to the following clubs for supplying marshal help at the National XC:
Falkirk Victoria H, Lothian RC, Westerlands CCC, Clydesdale H, Edinburgh AC, Central AC, Carnegie H, Aberdeen AAC, Linlithgow AAC, Pitreavie AAC, Lasswade AAC.
The support from these clubs is greatly appreciated – and certainly should be by other clubs who had athletes racing on Sunday.
Morag MacLarty: Grand Prix win
Central Ac swept the boards at the national XC with no fewer than five team prizes and five individual medallists.
And now there is further glory coming their way with Andrew Butchart and Morag MacLarty revealed as winners of the Scottish Cross Country Grand Prix. There is £4000 of prize-money to be distributed.
Butchart took part in two of the four events, with GB international commitments restricting his involvement, but double points at Callendar Park took him to a tally of 103.
That was enough to edge out National XC bronze medallist, Luke Traynor, who amassed 93 points. The Giffnock North athlete thus finished second with Shettleston’s Tewolde Mengisteab – who had led the table prior to Falkikr – pushed back into third on 87.
Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC) and Alex Hendry (Central AC) completed the top five. Central had three in the top ten with Scott McDonald at 8th and Shettleston had two with Alasdair McLeod at 9th.
MacLarty raced all four events to reach 121 points with her bronze medal at the National XC. Edinburgh AC’s Maddie Murray, winner at Falkirk, finished second in the Grand Prix with 99 points and Jennifer Wetton (Central AC) was third. Gala’s Dianne Lauder was fourth on 65 points with National XC silver medallist, Rosie Smith (Hunters Bog Trotters) fifth.
The rest of the top ten featured athletes from Carnethy Hill Runners, Springburn Harriers, VP-Glasgow and Fife AC.
Final tables for the Cross Country Grand Prix are now online.
Congratulations to the winners, who each pick up £750, and indeed all the athletes who supported the competition throughout the season across the 4K champs, Districts, Inter-Districts and National XC.