Central Athletic Club’s men have dominated the Cross Country scene in Scotland this year so a contingent of the Club’s athletes travelled to Liverpool at the weekend to compete in the British Athletics Cross Country Challenge with places in the European Cross Country Championships and European Club’s Championships at stake.
The Club’s Championship race was a straight show down between Central AC, Morpeth Harriers and Swansea Harriers so hopes were high as Andrew Butchart contented the early laps with the front runners in the 9.8 kilometre Senior Mens race. Once again the Sefton Park mud made this a tough test and in the final shake out Andrew had to settle for thirteenth (30min 53secs). ‘I’ve been under the weather a wee bit over the past couple of weeks but I had to run and see if I could shake it off – it is disappointing to miss out,’ said Andrew.
As always in a highly competitive race any lapse of concentration means losing places so testament to Alastair Hay to come to home in 36th (31.25), Alex Hendry (41st; 31.46), Jamie Crowe (64th; 32.26), Dale Colley (66th; 32.29) and Scott Green (80th; 32.49) all fine runs in a field of around 550 finishers. Jamie and Dale finishing 20th and 22nd respectively in the Under 23 category. On final countback it was apparent that Central had finished in front of Swansea but Morpeth Harriers would take the British Club spot into Europe.
Michael Wright took the opportunity to support his team mates with a worthy run in finishing 111th (33.36) and Kenny Hislop also pushed himself through the mud in 414th (44.53).
Three of Central’s Under 29 runners picked up on that challenge and despite recent injury issues Aidan Thompson finished a respectable 30th in 21mins 58secs. Iain Davies finished 76th in 22.58 and Euan Brownlie was 105th with 24. 09.