Three Shetland athletes were at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh at the weekend for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country and Scottish Inter-District Championships for 2009.
Katie Bristow (girls’ under-15), Bobby Bristow (men’s under-17) and Joshua Morrison (senior men) were chosen to represent Scotland North.
Weather conditions were difficult, with strong gusty winds making Holyrood Park feel more like Gilbertson Park, but all three were determined to race well against some top-quality athletes.
Katie started particularly well and was in the leading pack halfway through her 1.5 mile race. The second half, however, saw her lose ground on the leaders but she still finished a very good ninth place in nine minutes 56 seconds.
In contrast to his sister, Bobby had a disastrous start when he lost his footing and fell during the customary stampede. He was quickly on his feet but now in last place. From then on he ran in typically single-minded fashion, working his way through the field and maintaining a good pace. He finished 15th in his 2.25 mile race in 13 minutes seven seconds.
Joshua was in the final and top of the bill run of the day, the senior men’s five mile race. The event attracted some of the world’s best cross country runners, including the 2007 world champion, the 2008 European champion and several Olympians – and was shown live on television.
Unfortunately Joshua’s training has been seriously hampered by illness, and it was a tremendously courageous decision to run in what would be easily the fastest race he had ever taken part in. He has every right to feel very proud of his very gutsy run, completing in an outstanding 32 minutes 59 seconds.
The athletes expressed their gratitude for the considerable support shown to them by Net Services (Shetland) Ltd, Bolts Car Hire and NorthLink Ferries.