Brilliant bronzes! Scotland Women on podium at International Youth Cup

Monday 24th June 2024

Our International Youth Cup bronze medallists celebrate with team manager, Jane Robertson, in Spain (photo by Phil Mestecky)

Full Results here

From Phil Mestecky in Spain

Eight young Scottish athletes made the long journey to the Palencia region of Spain at the weekend to compete for the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) International Youth Cup.

This year, the event, for athletes born in 2007 and 2008, attracted 15 national teams from across Europe and as far afield as the USA and Mexico.

The highlight for the Scots was the outstanding performance of the women’s team who picked up bronze – the first Scottish team medal at this event since 2008 when only seven countries were competing.

First home for the team was GiffnockNorth AC’s Ruth Walsh, who ran a canny and well-judged race.

By avoiding the melee at the start, she saved enough energy to overtake at least three athletes on the final run into the finish and, in doing so, just pipped Jessica Taylor of Edinburgh AC to the line to record two Scots in the top 10 – eighth and ninth out of 55 finishers.

Not far back was Elsa McGregor, also of Edinburgh AC, in a fine 16th place with Gala’s Ava Richardson gaining excellent experience in 44th place in her first year at this age group.

The team finished in 3rd place not far behind the USA with Spain the overall winners.

The men’s race had a fast and furious start with plenty of jostling and fighting for position.

Overtaking on the narrow, muddy paths was not easy with the leading group establishing an advantage that our four men weren’t able to close on the fast downhill section.

Nonetheless, creditable performances from James Alexander of Garscube in 18th, Rowan Taylor of Lasswade in 26th, just a minute behind James.

Ross County AC’s Lachlan Thomas was in 36th closely followed by Andrew Grant of Strathearn in 38th out of 57 finishers.

Overall the team claimed ninth place equalling our 2023 performance. Winners were USA with France 2nd and Italy taking bronze.

For all of the athletes, this was a memorable experience participating in a high quality international event and meeting and socialising with athletes from other countries.

Given the remoteness of the race, long travel days and last minute accommodations changes, it was also a good learning opportunity to develop strategies and resilience for race prep and adapting to changing circumstances which will serve them well in the future.

Thanks to Jane Robertson and Phil Mestecky for team managing this year and to Angela Mudge and Alan Erikson for their logistics support in the lead-up to the event.

Next year’s race will be held in June 2025 in Bratislava, Slovakia.


Tags: Spain, WMRA, WMRA International Youth Cup

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