Weekly report - ending 22nd February

posted 2 Mar 2015, 14:01 by Graeme Lawson

Had the Scottish National Cross Country Championships been held on the traditional Saturday, the runners would have experienced somewhat benign conditions under clear blue skies. This year however the event was delayed until Sunday and the athletes had the pleasure of more typical cross country weather – wind and rain, with a little bit of sleet. Linlithgow Athletic Club sent full senior Men and Women teams to compete in what would predictably become a mud-fest.

At most cross country events, the seniors only get an opportunity to run once the course has been suitable churned up by a series of junior races. The ladies the have the pleasure of adding to this in advance of the men’s event.

The club had seven starters in the senior women’s race with each providing both support and competition to one another which proved a mutual benefit to all. Despite suffering a poor night’s sleep due to a teething baby, Louisa Cockburn was spurred on by the camaraderie and finished the 8k course first of the bunch in 40:54, for 180th place. Rosemary Gallacher, was next home in 41:36 (186th). Next up was a close run race in itself as a only a matter of seconds separated Felicity Harrison (42:52, 195th), Jill Horsburgh (42:55, 196th), Alison Marshal (42:56, 197th) and Jennifer Newton (42:58, 199th). Jennifer Grant finished not far behind in 47:03 for 221st place. In the team event, LAC women were recorded as 27th best in the country.

The final race of the day was the senior men’s race, run over 12k, including 10 LAC members and including Colin Hutcheon - competing for the first time on 20 years in a LAC vest. John Redding returned first for the club, timed at 46:26 for 140th place. The other senior men’s times were: Ian Logan (49:04, 231st); David Marshall (50:39, 284th); Angus Gallie (55:32, 428th); David McNish (57:23, 463rd); Gerry McArdle (58:00, 476th); Colin Hutcheon (58:46, 491st); Ian Campbell (59:26, 498th), Darren Dick (1:00:09, 504th) and Graham Burrows (1:04:36, 546th). In the team event, the men were recorded as 30th team in the nation.

David Mason chose to avoid the National Cross Country and instead entered the Bowhill Duathlon – a cross country event partly on bike and partly on foot. The event comprises a bike ride on fire roads and narrow trail followed by a run through woods, across streams and boggy ground with the addition of a few fallen trees to clamber over. Dave is known to have a liking for the two wheeled events but found conditions tough on the MTB ride and was ultimately glad to be able to switch to two feet after completing the bike section in 47:44. A technical cycle was followed by an equally technical and challenging run, however Dave held on for 21st place overall (8th vet) in his time of 1:43:20.

Finally, at Edinburgh parkrun, Darren Dick finishes in 26:26 for 283rd place. Roddy Simpson ran at Falkirk parkrun finishing in 23:28 for 54th place.