The Shetland junior endurance athletes completed their winter events by competing at the Scottish National Young Athletes Road Race Championships in East Kilbride recently.
The day was dry but windy with a course of track, paths, underpasses and roundabouts making an interesting and different route for our athletes.
Katie Bristow and Lauren Odie started in a fairly large field in the under-15 girls’ race. Both began strongly and settled well into their pace. Katie finished in eighth place. Her time for the 2.75 mile course was a respectable 17 minutes 12 seconds, with Lauren continuing her improved form with 29th place in 18 minutes 58 seconds.
In the under-17 girls Emma Leask produced an excellent race to finish fourth. Clearly more at home on the roads than cross country, Emma covered the same course as the younger girls in 17 minutes 18 seconds.
Bobby Bristow, in the under-17 boys, competed as part of the Cambuslang Harriers team. A poor start left him mid field but a determined surge moved him steadily through to finish in an outstanding fifth place and team silver medal. His time for the 3.75 mile course was 19 minutes 28 seconds.
Finally, in the under-20 boys, Joshua Morrison produced his strongest run since Forres in November to finish 12th. After a frustrating winter, he looked much more like his usual self, completing the course of just over 4.5 miles in an excellent 25 minutes 29 seconds.
For Katie, Emma and Joshua their focus now turns to this year’s NatWest Island Games. For this, their first time, gaining valuable experience will prepare them for future competition but with hard work in training, all would expect to be at least competitive this time around. Lauren’s steady progress should hopefully see her compete for a place in this year’s junior inter-county, while Bobby should see big improvements in his track times following his tremendous winter season.
With the winter season now at a close a spokesman for the group said he would like to thank Net Services (Shetland) Ltd, Bolts Car Hire and NorthLink Ferries for their considerable support: “Without this the team could not compete in as many competitions and would not make the same continued progress.”