The 2009 Scottish National Cross-Country Championships were to prove particularly memorable for Shetland athlete Bobby Bristow.
Following in the footsteps of his coach Ian Williamson, he has been signed by Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers, one of the country’s leading cross-country and road racing clubs.
In the under-17 race Bobby produced a very solid performance, finishing the four miles in 14th place. With 68 competitors, and on a point per position basis, Bobby scored as the team’s third runner from four, winning him and his Glasgow-based team mates the gold medal.
Tom Moncrieff was also in the under-17 men’s race and he ran in his typically gutsy style but found the overall pace too fast to be able to run towards the front of the field.
In the under-15 girls’ race Katie Bristow produced another excellent run for seventh place’ her highest finish at the nationals to date.
In a similar pattern to earlier races this season, she started strongly and was well in medal contention at halfway, but her opponents again proved stronger in the closing stages.
Her time for the 2.5 mile course was 15 minutes and 50 seconds.
In the same race Lauren Odie had a difficult start which saw her stuck in some heavy traffic during the early stages. This proved awkward to pass on the narrower sections but she recovered to finish strongly midway through the field in 17 minutes and 44 seconds.
Emma Leask was Shetland’s representative in the under-17 girl’s’ field. More renowned for her sprinting, she produced a competent run that will help her endurance as she prepares for this year’s NatWest Island Games. Her placing would have been higher but for an unscheduled stop to replace her shoe. However, she should be pleased with 27th having completed the three-mile course in 19 minutes and 40 seconds.
In his first year in the men’s under-20 category, Joshua Morrison was running with some very accomplished international athletes. The speed was unrelenting and although never quite in touch with the leaders, he produced an even-paced run to finish a very respectable 24th, completing the gruelling five miles in 28 minutes and 35 seconds.
A spokesman said all the athletes could take positives from their performances on the national stage and remain indebted to the considerable support they receive from their sponsors – Net Services (Shetland) Ltd, Bolts Car Hire and NorthLink Ferries.