Central Athletic Club’s Ian Horsburgh started the year off in style with a win in the 151st running of the traditional New Year Sprint Handicap held at Musselburgh racecourse on 1 January 2020. Ian had proved his fitness with a silver medal 200 Metre performance in the European Masters in the summer of 2019, and had worked hard on his fitness through the autumn to come to the event in fine form.
This was Ian’s third appearance in the final, the previous two being over 20 years previously. Ian said “I ran really well as a junior, especially at 400 Metres, but I then had injuries and didn’t progress. I had 13 years off and had children, but I found some energy to train again when the kids started sleeping. I wanted to let them see me run rather than just telling them about it.”
The Doune-based athlete progressed through the heats on 30 December at Meadowmill and looked to be on track for a good performance with a win in his cross-tie earlier in the day at Musselburgh. Starting off 10.25 metres, the title favourite caught club-mate and training partner Cameron Smith early on and held off the remaining six finalists to win in 11.81 seconds to take the Eric Liddell Trophy, gold medal and a cheque for £5,000. “I knew I was catching Cameron and I stayed relaxed for the rest of the race, but even when I crossed the line I wasn’t sure I’d won it until I heard my name called.”
Cameron Smith had some significant compensation for his efforts by not only taking fifth in the final but also winning the Veterans 90 Metres at Meadowmill two days previously.