The East of Scotland Team included four Central Athletic Club athletes in the Inter Counties Cross Country at Prestwold Hall near Loughborough on Saturday 7 March, this quality event virtually doubling up as the British Championships. With conditions dryer than for most of the season there were plenty of sections of sticky mud to test the stamina of the runners. It was good to see Under-15 runner Connor Bell make his contribution to the East team’s bronze medal placing in finishing 26th, covering the 4 kilometre course in 15 minutes 23 seconds. Cameron Kerr’s determined run saw him just miss out on a team medal as fifth counter for the East team finishing 37th with 15:34.
Under-20 runner Ben MacMillan rounded off his successful cross country season in style in the first race of the day held over 8 kilometres. Ben tested himself against the top British runners in this prestigious event coming home 33rd, in a time of 33:35. Hamish Hickey has run most of the season as an Under-20 but here contested the 10 kilometre senior race finishing in 98th place with 42.35, a fine outcome in this illustrious company and will have provided good experience for the future. Conan McCaughey pulled on a Northern Ireland vest on this occasion and should be pleased with his 27th placing with 40:28.
The 50th running of the Allan Scally Relays were again hosted by Shettleston Harriers over a 4 lap, 5 kilometre course in Glasgow on 29 February. The event attracted a large field of Scotland’s top clubs and some quality athletes including Jake Wightman, Scotland’s Commonwealth Games 1,500 Metres bronze medallist. Indeed it was Jake (14 minutes 51 seconds) who led off Edinburgh AC’s challenge as he swept his club into a first leg lead which was never surrendered. Central Athletic Club’s quartet of Hamish Hickey (15:15), Matthew Sutherland (15:48), Jamie Crowe (14:33) and Alastair Hay (14:51) chased hard to finish just 8 seconds adrift from their Edinburgh rivals to claim silver team medals with host club Shettleston Harriers in third some 2:22 behind Central’s charge. Jamie Crowe’s 14:33 effort was a superb new course record taking over from Alastair Hay’s 2019 effort.
Central’s mixed gender team of Morag Millar (17:54), Lewis Millar (16:01), Michael Wright (16:18) and Dale Colley (16:14) were competitive throughout to finish in seventeenth overall with 151 teams completing the course.
Fanni Gyurko chose the somewhat warmer climate of Seville in Spain to make her latest assault on the marathon and here was awarded with a personal best of 2 hours 35 minutes 54 seconds which is crucially a Hungarian qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics.