This years Scottish National Cross Country Championships took place today at the regular venue of Callendar Park, Falkirk in somewhat different conditions from what we are used to for most of the event. Gone was the wind, rain, mud and even the snow and athletes were instead greeted with unseasonably warm and very dry conditions although the rain did arrive before the event concluded.
Ayr Seaforth were again well represented from the U13 age group through to the Seniors in what was the largest field ever at the nationals. with the total number of entries put at 2458 it was the largest since the mens and womens Championships were combined in 1993-94.
First up was the U13 Girls who raced over a 3100m course where 146 athletes completed the course. Seaforth athletes were Iona Hubbard (12th-13:37), Anna Kirk (33rd-4:15), Sophie McCallum (38th-14:20), Sophie McColm (57th-4:50) and Katie Murray (72nd-15:19) with the Seaforth team narrowly missing out on a bronze medal taking 5th place overall.
The U13 Boys had the same 3100m course with a field of 185 contestants. Evan Kelly (38th-13:10) was first home followed by Ethan Polson (53rd-3:26), Daniel Byers (64th-3:37), Fraser McIntyre (75th-13:46) and Callum Moir (77th-13:47).
The U15 athletes had a slightly longer 4100m course for both girls & boys with the girls running first. Morven Hubbard (1st-17:10) led the way from the only other Seaforth entrant who was her sister Islay Hubbard (72nd-19:00).
The U15 Boys saw sole Seaforth representative Euan Bell (43rd-15:51).
The last Junior Seaforth athlete of the day was U17 Woman Emma Frew who claimed 28th-28:54 over the 6000m course.
Sandwiching the U20 races were the Senior athletes with the Senior Women taking to the stage first over the 10000m course. A massive field of 319 completed the race with Gael Neill (159th-53:09) and Kirsty Green (313th-70:03).
The Senior mens race had an even bigger field of 719 athletes with the hardy Seaforth team taking 28th team position overall. Individual places and times were Kenneth Neill (91st-39:04), Stephen McCrorie (294th-44:37), Stuart McClean (314th-45:04), Alasdair Meldrum (320th-45:3), Simon Kirk (370th-46:24), Iain Pettigrew (48:32), Laurence Baker (571st-51:15), Ian Morrison (618th-53:09), Stuart McColm (631st-53:45) and Peter Laing (664th-55:11).
For most this will be the end of the cross country season and some may have a well deserved break before they get down to the serious business of the 2019 track season. Many thanks to all of the coaches who have prepared the athletes over the winter for these Championships.