Dec 142016

Central Athletic Club’s Andrew Butchart showed true leadership in the Senior Men’s race at the European Cross Country Championships in Italy on Sunday. As captain of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team, Andrew committed at the front of the race from the start, sharing the lead with fellow Scot Callum Hawkins. As the race unfolded the two Scots were running in a group of four with two (Kenyan-born) Turkish athletes on a fast, dry course in Sardinia.
The later part of the race saw the two Turkish runners in first and second, with Callum winning the Bronze medal ahead of Andrew in fourth. These performances eclipse the best performances by any Scottish Senior man over the years at these Championships. The overall team scores proved to be a close affair with the two Scots leading the British Team to team Gold medals, indeed every GB & NI athlete throughout the age groups came home with a medal.
Hawkins said, “I got out a lot better than I thought I would – I thought I’d be chasing but I saw Andy take it on and I thought I’d do it with him. He almost got me: I fell off a bit about 4 laps in, but I managed to get it together.”
“I think between me and Andy that one day he’ll probably beat me and the next I’ll beat him – it’s that even between us, but we both went for it. We’ve both only really been at it properly in the sport for four or five years, so we’ve still got a long time left in our careers.”
Butchart, who is coached by Derek Easton, said: “I’m happy: Callum delivered a medal today and has put a lot of work in, but I definitely think if you want to beat the top guys you have to go for it, and for us to be that close to them and compete properly against them is great to see.”
“You never want to come off that course and think you could have given it that bit more. I think that Callum and I have both killed ourselves out there today: he’s got a medal and we’ve won team Gold, so it’s amazing to see that.”

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