Callendar Park, Falkirk, played host once again to the 2010 Scottish Athletics Cross Country Championships with large competitor numbers proving an obvious increase in the popularity of the sport.
Unfortunately there were only three Shetland athletes in attendance but with the hope that Shetland’s own cross country championships will uncover some gems perhaps there will be an increase in the future at Scotland’s national event.
Conditions could not have been better, with clear blue skies, no wind and reasonably firm underfoot, as the races got underway.
Katie Bristow, competing in the women’s under-17 race, made an excellent start by getting ahead of the main pack of runners. This allowed her to run at an even pace and still finish strongly. She completed the three mile course in a very encouraging 18 minutes 39 seconds in ninth place.
The next race, the under-17 boys over four miles, saw Bobby Bristow competing for Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers in the event that saw them claim team gold at last year’s championships. The race was very fast from the off and it was clear that the team prize would be between Cambuslang and a very strong Giffnock North.
Bobby produced a really strong showing and for 3.5 miles he maintained a top 10 position as he pulled his team mates along. Unfortunately he paid for this in the closing stages, finishing 18th nevertheless in a great time of 24 minute 51 seconds. Giffnock North secured the team gold by a narrow margin with Cambuslang having to settle for silver.
Joshua Morrison was Shetland’s final runner of the day in the men’s under-20 category. This was his first race of the winter and not ideal preparation for the Nationals. He struggled to impose himself in his customary front running position and at the halfway point it was clear that all was not well after he developed a calf problem. Although disappointed he took the sensible decision not to aggravate it further by pulling out.
Once again the athletes remain indebted to Bolts Car Hire and NorthLink Ferries for their generous support.
A cross country spokesman would like to encourage anyone who is interested in competing in Shetland’s Cross Country Championships and Shetland Primary Schools Championships that entry is still possible. Please log on to www.shetlandaac.co.uk for important information including course map or contact Niall Bristow on (01595) 692996 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Woods on 07799 567416 or email@example.com.
Any decision to postpone will also be carried on the website so please check before setting out. Cross country running really is for everyone so either come as an individual or get yourself a team but please come along.