Megan Keith brings it home for Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds at Cumbernauld (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds and Central AC continued their recent domination to top the Senior race podiums once again at Cumbernauld.
The Lindsays National XC Relays always generates a superb atmosphere around the North Lanarkshire course and the 2023 version didn’t disappoint.
Hundreds of athletes, coaches and volunteers made it to Cumbernauld even though, regrettably, a handful of clubs based in the North-East sensibly decided against travel amid severe weather warnings.
On the day, the course and conditions were excellent and ultimately the biggest threat to those Senior podiums would be an investigation by the Monopolies Commission.
We say a huge thank you to our host club Cumbernauld AAC, all our volunteer helpers and our scottishathletics Officials as well as the Road Running and Cross Country Commission.
In terms of the fastest laps in the Seniors, we are seeing:
Men: Scott Stirling (Falkirk) 12.09; Duncan Robinson (Giffnock) 12.17; Freddie Carcas (Edinburgh AC) 12.20
Women: Megan Keith (Edinburgh Uni) 13.22; Nancy Scott (Edinburgh AC) Nancy Scott 14.15; Fionnuala Ross (Shettleston) 14.26
Start of the Senior Men’s race (photo by Bobby Gavin)
One of these years a quartet will emerge from another club to challenge Central AC in the Senior Men’s race or Edinburgh Uni in the Senior Women’s race.
But, right now, there is no indication of when or how that will happen and those in yellow and green duly powered through the mud to richly-deserved gold medals courtesy of strong team efforts.
It’s a moot point if, somehow, opposition teams see the likes of GB and NI duo Jamie Crowe and Megan Keith warming up for anchor legs and are left with a sinking feeling.
Those two, and their team-mates, proved their class and of course it is only right to point out that while Central and Edinburgh Uni keep on winning as clubs, the personnel of the teams change year to year.
‘We’ve made a good habit of doing well here and we’re delighted to maintain that once again – it is always an honour to win a national title in Scotland,’ said Central AC’s Cameron Milne.
Cameron and Crowe were joined by Calum Philip and Alastair Marshall to win well from a young Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds team and third-placed Inverclyde AC.
As mentioned, there are name changes for Central each year. Calum, for example, was a silver medallist last year with the Central A team – and the title went to the B selection!
For Alastair, it was a first time on top of the podium. ‘I’ve watched the last two years from the sidelines so it was great to pull on the spikes and the Central AC vest again this time.’
Inverclyde for their part may have been nursing a sense of frustration after travel and weather issues left them high and dry on the day of the West XC Relays (leaving Kilbarchan to take gold).
Edinburgh AC led the Women’s race after leg one and Sarah Calvert had the eventual winners in third at that stage, but that all changed later as those in green asserted their authority.
GB and NI International Megan led them home as in the recent past and it was great to see Megan running again in Scotland after racing on the track in Budapest at the World Champs as she led her team to seven-in-a-row.
‘If there is a podium to contest then we are up for the challenge and we will go for it again in a couple of weeks at the Lindsays Short Course XC at Lanark,’ said Megan, with Emily Shaw and Hannah Anderson completing the team in green.
Shettleston Harriers took the silvers with a strong team and Cambuslang Harriers went from fifth to third on the anchor leg by Stefanie Tucker to take medals at this event for the first time in the Women’s division.
Katie Clubb (formerly Bristow) was thus a history-maker after travelling from Shetland, albeit before #StormBabet hit.
‘I’m here for a wee holiday with my husband Jack and my wee boy Arthur and I am so glad we travelled on Monday,’ said Katie.
‘I don’t think I have raced cross country since 2017 so it’s exciting to be among the medals with the team. It’s a great moment for Cambuslang Harriers.’
Gala Harriers took the Women’s Masters golds with Sara Green in fine form as last season. Garscube were second and Ochil Hill Runners took third – with former World Mountain Running champion Angela Mudge in their team.
Giffnock won the W50 race with Edinburgh AC landing silvers and Kirkintilloch Olympians relishing third place to take home the bronzes
Cambuslang won the Men’s Masters golds – with Iain MacCorquodale landing a team medal for the first time in 21 years. Garscube were second and Gala third.
The team in red-and-white made it a double with M50 golds, too, with Garscube again landing silvers and host club Cumbernauld AAC taking bronzes.