Central AC Press Report 9 January 2016
Conditions for the Inter-District Cross Country event held at the International Cross Country in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on Saturday 9 January were pretty ideal given the recent rains and Central Athletic Club athletes were to the fore throughout.
It was an early start for the Under 15 Boys and Girls 4km races with the mist just clearing from the course and Keir Howlieson acquitted himself well to finish fifth (14min 11sec) in a highly competitive race. The East of Scotland Team had to give way to the West in this race in spite of good runs from Ben MacMillan (13th; 14.40) and Tom Graham Marr (16th; 14.49). It was a similar story for the Under 15 Girls with the West taking the Inter District honours however Rosie Eckersley was pleased with her strong run for 13th overall in a 16.24 timing.
Next up was the Senior Women’s 6Km race where Fanni Gyurko, running for the winning Scottish Students Team came home in a very useful tenth place (23.44).
The Senior Mens race, over 8 kilometres, saw Alex Hendry vying at the front of the race in the early stages but finishing seventh overall with 26.42 and ruing some of his decision making which could have seen him on the podium. Scott Green started more cautiously but worked through to eighth (26.47) and again underlined his potential. Dale Colley also came through well in ninth (26.54) with another fine run while Aiden Thompson was first Under 20 runner and overall eleventh (27.00). Cameron Milne (16th; 27.19), Jamie Crowe (20th; 27.47) and Conan McCaughey (21st; 27.49) performed admirably, making progress from last year’s venture. Alex, Scott, Cameron and Conan were all counters for a second place East Team while Dale, Aiden and Jamie came home as counters for a third place Scottish Students Team with the West of Scotland taking the Inter District honours.
The 3 kilometre Under 13 Girls race saw four Central Girls representing the East of Scotland and having to contend with a muddy course following the earlier races. Kyra Gibb came through in fine style in 16th (12.37) ahead of determined efforts from Carrie Banks (21st; 12.51), Amy Kirkpatrick (29th; 13.13) and Ciorstaidh Ainsworth (34th; 13.29), with the East again taking second place to the West.
Kate Gallagher was involved in another hard fought contest in the Under 17 Womens race over 4 kilometres. Here Kate was representing both Scotland in the Celtic Challenge and the East of Scotland in the Inter District Match and with GB, European and American athletes also in the mix this was a real high quality race. Similar to last year Kate ran most of the course shoulder to shoulder with Erin Wallace of Giffnock. In the final shake-up it looked as though Kate could win the Inter District honours but a final surge from Erin saw her take the title with both finishing in 15min 9secs. Further down the field Fiona Davies was also battling the mud and should be pleased with her 34th place in 18min 15secs Kate’s effort ensured Scotland won the Celtic Challenge and she also led her East Team to victory.
Andrew Butchart was competing for Great Britain in the last race of the day, the 8 kilometre International Race, with challenges from Mo Farah, other top British rivals and a list of the best athletes from Europe and the USA. Andrew was determined to eradicate the memory of an uncharacteristically poor run in the European Cross Country Trials in Liverpool and here was always up with the top athletes to finish seventh overall (25min 23secs) and fifth GB counter as GB took the Team victory. The Scottish Athletics webpage reported – Butchart was rightfully satisfied with his run, his seventh place remarkably the fifth counter for GB. The Central AC athlete missed out on GB selection for the Euro Cross after his trials run in Liverpool was affected by a virus the previous week and he felt he had a point to prove. “I wanted to show I was better than what happened in Liverpool – when I should not have run – and I’ve done that,” he said. “Mo is great to have in your team and he is so infectious with that smile around the hotel and everything. Callum (Hawkins) took the pace on a lot to today and that helped a few of us who were chasing. ” Next weekend will see Andrew competing in a Scottish Team in Antrim as he continues to prepare to defend his Scottish Cross Country Championship title.
The Great Winter Road Races also saw some quality performances from Central athletes the highlight being a 16.22 clocking by Michael Wright as he finished in a superb second place over the hilly 5 kilometre course.
PHOTOS – courtesy of Bobby Gavin