Sunday saw this years West District Cross Country Championships take place at the site of the old Digital factory at Mosshill, Ayr as it was hosted by Ayr Seaforth. This was the first time Seaforth had hosted such an event and the club are very grateful to have been given the opportunity to host such a prestigious event on our home turf. Indeed it would not have been possible without the assistance of Centaur Properties who operate the facility and gave their kind permission to use the land as well as the Aberlour Child Care Trust who allowed the use of their premises for changing and administration purposes. A mention of gratitude must also go to South Ayrshire Council for their assistance in particular the staff at Dam Park Stadium.
A very tough course was designed for the event which proved a real test for all age groups as it should at a major Championship. Conditions on the day initially seemed firm underfoot but as the glorious sunshine broke through the early morning frost several parts of the course became quite soft which when mixed with the long undulating slopes made for a real test of fitness and determination.
A total of just short of 800 competitors took part and once again there were some notable performances amongst the junior athletes from Seaforth.
First up were the U13Girls followed by the U13 Boys who each ran over a 3200m course. In the girls it was Morven Hubbard who led the way coming home in 6th position with a time of 12:38 followed by Tess Crooks (28th) 13:50 while in the boys race first Seaforth athlete home was the brother of Tess, Alex Crooks (7th) 11:53 who was followed by Euan Bell (16th) 12:37 and Sam Drummond (36th) 13:23 with the boys team coming 4th in the team competition.
The U15 Girls and then U15 Boys were next covering a 4000m course. In the girls race the best Seaforth finish of the day went to Rosie Davidson (5th) who covered the course in a time of 15:59 with team mates Isla Kirk (22nd) 17:27 & Charlotte McDowall (46th) 19:03 taking 5th team place. The boys race saw Scott Sprang (15th) 15:39 , Logan Cotter (22nd) 16:08 & Patrick Smiley (47th) 17:34 take the team 7th place.
The U17 & U20 Women then ran together over a 5000m course with sole Seaforth U17 athlete Caitlin Chilton take 20th place in a time of 28:41.
The Senior Women were next in a race that covered a distance of 6400m. Laura Wallace led the way with a 9th place finish in 27:45 followed by Ruth Kirk (73rd) 34:53 & Abby Cunningham (114th) 41:11.
The U17 & U20 Men set off together although the former had 6400m to cover while the latter had 8000m. The U17 race saw Lewis Ross lead the way in 19th (25:33) with Declan McGhee (25th) 26:40 and Aidan Copland (27th) 27:09 close behind. In the U20 Mens race sole Seaforth entrant Fraser Stirling finished in a very creditable 7th place with a time of 28:43.
As is usual the final race of the day was the Senior Men who had a 10,000m 4 lap race ahead of them. Several Seaforth athletes were involved in this race with Kenny Neill (36th) 39:24 the first home in a massive field of 251 runners. Other Seaforth positions were Craig Brown (164th) 47:21, Iain Pettigrew (185th) 49:07, Ian Young (191st) 49:38, Andy Crichton (197th) 50:18, Peter Laing (215th) 52:47, John Hannah (217th) 53:11, Stuart McColm (227th) 54:23 and Tim Downie (233rd) 55:36.