Three of Shetland’s senior athletes competed in last weekend’s Scottish National Track and Field Championships, held at the Ayrshire Arena in Kilmarnock, with long-distance runner Katie Bristow winning a bronze medal.
Despite strong winds and driving rain at times, all three atheltes produced excellent performances. Lerwick runner Bristow and Whalsay’s Michelle Sandison lined up in the women’s 5,000m.
Fast times looked off the cards with all the athletes having to battle hard round 12½ laps into the strong wind. However, both Bristow and Sandison ran extremely well posting some of their best performances to date.
Sandison, representing her Glasgow Club of Springburn Harriers clocked 18mins 3.95secs for fourth place, her fastest time over the distance in the last 10 years. This time beats all her Island Games performances to date, even the silver medal winning time she set back in Shetland in 2005. The time gives her an Island Games B standard qualification for next year’s games, which backs up her 10km B standards that she has set throughout the summer.
Bristow, representing Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers, ran a gutsy race, to come home one place ahead of Michelle in bronze medal position – her first Scottish National Senior medal.
Bristow has been plagued by injury this summer but she still ran a personal best time of 17mins 44.32secs, battling all the way to the line with second place only finishing two seconds ahead. After the race she put her success down to the hard work under coach Mike Johnston and the treatment received at Glasgow City Physiotherapy.
Following the race Bristow said: “I’m absolutely delighted with my performance today. I was out injured for three months at the start of summer so to run a personal best time and take home a medal has really surprised me.
“It’s a reward for all the hours I’ve spent rehabbing and cross training to get me back competing at this standard.”
Bristow’s sub-18 minute run gives her the Island Games A standard to add to her 10km A standard she set earlier in the year.
Unst athlete, Faye Cox, made her comeback to competitive racing, following a few years out of the sport, with ease.
Representing Shetland AAC Cox comfortably qualified through her heats to make both the women’s 100m final and 200m final. Despite being on separate days, both races experienced the same adverse weather conditions, with the sprinters battling a strong head wind down the home straight.
In the 100m final Cox ran an excellent time of 12.58secs taking her across the line in sixth place. On the Sunday she followed up this performance with another sixth place finish in the final of the 200m in a time of 26.14secs. Both these performances are A standard qualification for next year’s Island Games, a real achievement given the difficult weather conditions.