The weather may have been causing travel chaos throughout Central Scotland but there was no derailing Central Athletic Club’s blue and yellow train as the Senior Men’s Team won Gold for an unprecedented tenth year in a row. Much of the success came through a brilliant run from Jamie Crowe as he lifted individual Gold with a superb display, conquering the Callendar Park mud, to win in 35 minutes 29 seconds for the 10 kilometre course. Jamie has been showing superb form all season so it was good to see him taking the accolades as Scottish Champion heading a top class field.
The Team trophy was not easily retained with strong opposition from Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds and Corstorphine AC but in the final analysis there was again daylight ahead of the best efforts of the other top Scottish clubs. Alastair Hay has played his part in eight of the team victories and here looked in imperious form to come home sixth in 36:14 and with more fine performances from Cameron Milne (13th, 36:53), a seemingly rejuvenated Matthew Sutherland (17th, 37:04), Dale Colley (22nd, 37:33) and Conan McCaughey (33rd, 38:00) the Team prize was assured. Michael Wright (38th, 38:40) may have missed out on a team medal but his normal gutsy performance would have ensured a medal if any of his team mates had faltered. Mention again must be made of coach, Derek Easton, who has continued to oversee this excellent run of success.
As some 670 mud-spattered senior runners came through to the finish, Scott Brember did well to finish 71st with 40:06 heading in further good performances from Luca Fanottoli (94th, 40:50), Ruaridh Miller (118th, 41:32) and Colin Logan (126th, 41:45). The runners coped with the difficult underfoot conditions with a varying degree of success so it was good to see Donald Shaw (284th, 46:22) back in form, renewing his rivalry with David Eckersley (317th, 47:22) who finished with Iain Elliott (318th, 47:22) while Charles Graham-Marr was another to push back the years (339th, 47:58) ahead of Alan Hume (376th, 48:48) and Ross McNaught (386th, 49:22). Iain Dunsmore came through in 400th, 49:43, leading in Ben Noad (425th, 50:36), Colin Alexander (455th, 51:11), Roger Greenaway (548th, 54:52), Allan Gall (606th, 58:09), Cameron Campbell (609th, 58:17) and Neil Galbraith Cobb 650th alongside Colin Sinclair 651st with both recording 63:10.
Central’s Under-20 Men gave some assurance that there is a promise of future success through further fine efforts as Hamish Hickey’s 23 minutes 45 seconds run over a 6.7 kilometre test was rewarded with an individual silver medal, an enticing 3 seconds from gold. Tom Graham-Marr came through well with a fine last lap effort to take bronze with 23:54. Ben MacMillan’s strong running saw him in seventh (24:20) and with another fine effort from Calum Phillip (18th, 25:51) there was a further set of team gold medals ahead of challenges from Dundee and Edinburgh University teams.
Earlier in the day Hungarian-based Central athlete Dorottya Csuta made her mark with another fine display to lift silver in the Under-15 Girls race with 16 minutes 1 second over a 4.1 kilometre course, a magnificent performance as Central European races do not tend to encounter muddy courses or the squally sleet showers experienced here. Summer MacLean led home the remainder of Central’s Under-15 Girls team in 22nd (18:06) with another assured run while Mirren Henry (31st, 18:33) also showed improved form. It was good to see Zosia Paddon (75th, 20:59) and Heidi Eik Maxwell (89th, 21:28) testing themselves at this level and helping the girls achieve fifth team spot.
Central’s Senior Women faced the same 10 kilometre test as the Senior Men and again ankle deep mud on much of the course so good to see Kim Timmins in form to come home 43rd with 46:01 ahead of further spirited performances from Claire Houston (77nd, 48:39), Amy Hendry (86th, 49:24), Kirsten McStay (102nd, 50:15) and Becky Hay (144th, 53:02), all with times that show good comparisons against many of the Club’s senior men.
Heather Scott was the sole Central finisher in the Under-20 Women’s field covering her 6.7 kilometre test in 33 minutes 53 seconds in 22nd with another determined effort, while Under-17 Grace Tindall pitted herself against the Under-17 Women’s field to finish 19th covering the 6.1 kilometre challenge in 26:48 with a further resolute display.
Sam Grivell completed the Under-17 Men’s race, over a 6.1 kilometre test and can count himself as one of the unluckiest runners of the day, losing a running shoe and timing chip on the course and not having his performance recorded – there is some hope that his result may be updated when video footage is reviewed.
The Under-15 Boys were faced with a 4.1 kilometre challenge and here Euan Docherty (30th, 16:26) showed improvement with his normal ‘can do’ attitude and it was a similar story for Ross Lawrie (117th, 18:50) as both boys conquered the extreme conditions.
The Under-13 Boys race was the second race of the day over a 3.1 kilometre course and while the course had not yet broken up to the extent of later in the day there was still enough water and mud to ensure a real test for the youngsters. So it was good to see Aaron Middleton (24th, 12:20) and Joshua Kennedy (42nd, 12:44) continue to show improvement while Henry Crossley (128th, 14:50) faced his first test at this level and should also be pleased with his performance.