The Cambridge Dictionary word of the year is perseverance and that covered all of the Central Athletic Club Cross Country contingent who made their way to Camperdown Park in Dundee on Saturday 20th November for the second East District Cross Country League races of the season. The morning rain gave way to bright sunshine before the first race and with good underfoot conditions and some challenging slopes the scene was set for some fast racing.
Disappointingly, no Central AC athletes featured in the Under-11 and Under-13 races so in the programme of events it was Under-17 Man Cameron Kerr who was first to stride out in the yellow and blue club vest. Cameron ran a well-judged race as he moved through the field to finish in a highly commendable fifth, covering the 6.4 kilometre course in exactly 23 minutes.
Next of the events on the day was the Women’s 6.4 kilometre race. On the first hill of the race it looked as though Central’s Morag Millar might be challenged but her opposition faded as Morag powered round to win by over 90 seconds, covering the distance in 23 minute 33 seconds. This should set Morag up for her venture to compete for Scotland next weekend in Liverpool. It was good to see Central take second team place with further excellent running from Rosie Eckersley (16th; 26:49), Heather Scott (18th; 27:00) and Claire Houston (21st; 27:28). There were further determined efforts from Cliona Diamond (53rd; 30:41) and Julie McAfee (67th: 31:54) providing essential back-up.
The Under-15 Boys challenge was played out over a 4 kilometre course which saw Aaron Middleton running well throughout to finish 24th overall in a useful time of 15:54, while Alex Dunlop completed the same race in 38th with 17:12 to add his value to the club’s effort.
The penultimate race of the day featured a combined Under-15 Girls and Under-17 Women’s race, also over a 4 kilometre course and here Catriona Kane looked strong throughout to finish 12th with 16:21 with Millie O’Neill sticking well to the task to come home in 46th with 19:25.
The Men’s race was again the final race of the day and proved a happy hunting ground for Central’s men as they took first league placing on the day and pushed through to the top of the league with one race remaining. Andrew Butchart had another outstanding run to win and here covered the 9.6 kilometre, three lap challenge in a tasty 29:50. Jamie Crowe was no less impressive in second with 30:03 leaving a big gap to the rest of the field. The always dependable Alastair Hay finished fifth (31:49) while Luca Fanottoli (seventh; 32:01) showed further improvement and with Cameron Milne (eighth; 32:05) and Dale Colley (12th; 33:00) the Central team were well deserving of their top billing. Masters champion Scott Brember was again first Masters runner and a fine 17th overall with 33:40. There were further notable performances from Andrew Irvine (41st; 36:33), Craig Coull (58th; 38:03) and Lewis Millar (72nd; 38:42). The Masters were also well represented by David Eckersley (100th; 40:59), Donald Shaw (113th; 41:56), Hugh Buchanan (152nd; 45:24), Iain Dunsmore (162nd; 46:24), Raymond Milne (167th; 47:17), Allan Gall (178th; 51:04), Cameron Campbell (180th; 52:25) and Colin Sinclair (183rd; 57:19) with all finishing the course in style.
The final East District League Races are scheduled for Livingston on 22 January and it would be good to see a larger turn out from all Central age groups.