Freezing conditions, high winds, snow flurries and mud faced the Central Athletic Club athletes at the Inter-District Cross Country event held at the International Cross Country at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on Saturday 10 January.
Another outstanding run by Morag MacLarty saw her battle both the worst of the day’s conditions and a quality run from Morpeth Harrier, Ashley Gibson, over the three lap 6K race. At times it looked as though Ashley would break away and prevail but it was a determined Morag who pushed through for a fine Scottish District’s victory in 23min 17secs to lead home the winning East of Scotland Team. Jennifer Wetton (24.31) also conquered the tough conditions to lift the Bronze District medal with a fine effort and there was a further strong running from Lyndsay Morrison (24.52) as she closed the East District counters.
The Senior Mens race, over 8 kilometres, saw Scott McDonald well to the fore taking an individual Bronze medal and ensuring The East of Scotland Team headed the Scottish Students and the West of Scotland. Under 20 runner Dale Colley should be pleased with his overall 16th place in 28.32 just ahead of another Under 20 Aidan Thompson (18th; 28.43) competing for the Scottish Students. Cameron Milne (26th; 29.01) and Conan McCaughey (34th; 29.55) both aided the Scottish Students effort.
Andrew Butchart had been making great strides all season and here he was again in the limelight featuring in the 8 kilometre International Race for Great Britain, competing against Europe and USA. Andrew again underlined his progress as fifth GB counter and 16th overall with 26min 21secs in this top International field.
In the 3 kilometre Under 13 races saw first year Under 13’s Ciorstaidh Ainsworth and Kyra Gibb competing against both a top class field and the strongest winds of the day. Heartiest congratulations to both girls coming through this severe test with Ciorstaidh in 24th (14.48) and Kyra 31st (15.12). The Under 13 Boys had to battle the same tough conditions and here it was Ben MacMillan and Comhnall Ferguson who moved up into this class event finishing 29th and 30th respectively with 14.06 and 14.12 gaining great experience on the way.
Kate Gallagher was involved in another hard fought contest in the Under 15 Girls race over 4 kilometres. The race saw three runners controlling the race until the final 800metres, and as it split it was Erin Wallace of Giffnock and Eloise Walker of Edinburgh AC who just headed Kate as she picked up the Bronze medal in a time of 17.28. Jennifer Walls has moved up an age group from last year and here had a strong run in 20th with 19.08 ahead of a good effort in the conditions by Lauryn Turnbull (27th; 19.48) as the East Girls ensured victory in this age group.
The Under 17 Men had a 6 kilometre challenge with the added spice of competing against an Under 20 International field. Iain Davies showed his renewed confidence as he battled with the top District runners to bring home a Bronze medal in a time of 22.03 while Cameron Harris also underlined his progress finishing in an excellent seventh place in the Inter District race (22.28).
The Great Winter Road Races also saw some quality performances from Central athletes the highlight being a 17.50 clocking by Bradley Scott as he finished in eighth place over the hilly 5 kilometre course, an excellent time in these trying conditions.