After a cold and frosty start to the day blue skies and soft underfoot conditions greeted those Seaforth athletes who had been selected for Scotland West to compete at this years Inter District Cross Country Championships which took place in the magnificent surroundings of Holyrood Park, Edinburgh in the shadow of Arthurs Seat. These races were the prelude to some top class International races later in the day which saw some of the worlds top male and female distance runners competing. Teams from Scotland West, East and North compete these races with 15 athletes running for each area.
First up was the u13 races which saw the boys and girls run a 3km distance with a 2 minute gap between the races starting. In the girls race Seaforth had a sole selection in Emma Frew who has shown herself to be a real prospect this season. She ran an excellent race tucking in behind 4 athletes from Scotland East for the first 2 laps of 3 on the short 1km course. She then made her move and with about 400m to go found herself in third place with the finish in sight, after a thrilling finish she came home in 2nd place only four seconds off of 1st place to claim the silver medal also leading her West team to the team silver.
The boys u13 race saw Seaforth with two first time participants in the form of Scott Sprang and Daniel Martin. From the start young Scott pushed himself hard and was in the front of the pack just behind the leaders for the first two of the three laps with his efforts eventually gaining him a worthy 7th place finish and also a share of a team gold medal. Daniel found the going tough in the windy conditions but fought hard to come home in 32nd position.
Next was the u15 races where Seaforth had a sole selection in Fraser Stirling. These races were over a longer 4km distance which saw Fraser fight hard to come home in 17th position as part of a group of 8 athletes separated by only 10 seconds.
Following on after the senior & junior Inter District categories was the BUPA Great Edinburgh Junior International races which were run alongside the u17 Inter District races. The Junior races saw the best distance runners from Great Britain, Team Europe & the USA in the Junior category which comprises of athletes who are aged 17 but under age 20.The first race was the 6km male race where Seaforth had James Pettigrew gaining his first District selection. This was a fast paced race in which James gave his all to finish in 45th place overall and 27th in the Inter District race.
The last race of the day with Seaforth interest was the 4km female u17 Inter District & Junior International race which saw Seaforth athlete Kirstin Oakley make her 5th appearance in the event with the race also featuring team mate Lisa Rennie. Kirstin made an excellent start to the race and tucked in behind the 2nd place athlete in the Inter District race and Team West colleague Catriona Graves of Garscube Harriers for almost the entire race.The race that ensued between them took them clear of the rest of the field and at the last turn with 200m to go Kirstin made her move and finished a deserved 4 seconds clear of Graves in 20th place overall and 2nd in the Inter District race. The race between them actually saw them close on the Junior International field with Kirstin only finishing a second behind USA athlete Allie Buchalski. To add to this both of them were rewarded with a team gold medal. Lisa ran a gutsy race taking her to a 25th place finish in the Inter District competition.
To make her day Kirstin also managed to get a photograph taken with 3 time World and Olympic 1500m winner Asbel Kiprop of Kenya who ran in the BUPA mens 4km Invitational race.