The first cross country championship of 2017/18 season had a welcome return to the Hamilton Park Racecourse last being there in 2013. The weather forecast was to be dry and thankfully the weather forecasters were right. This meant the middle part of the course was firm underfoot but the start and end of course was like a quagmire of mud as the horses don't race on these sections of the course. This year was another first for our junior endurance section returning to this event after a 2 year absence last taking part in 2014.
|Eve after turning point|
During this period the club has been developing with longer training sessions, regular drill work, Parkrun participation, increasing age group to join club, 2 regular training sessions (Wednesdays & Saturdays) which is a minimum for all other clubs, performance and development training groups and coach education. The relays for the juniors are always hard to recruit from my point of view as you need all 3 age groups involved u13/15/17 which is a juggling act if one person decides to pull out or take part can have domino effect in organising the entry forms for teams. Despite this we entered 2 Girls teams and 1 Boy teams.
First out on the course was the under 13 girls were we had Olivia Hendry for team A and Eve Lindsay for team B. Both girls are 1st year under 13s and acquitted themselves well over the 2.5k course. First and quickest female Harrier of the day was Olivia in 12.53 followed by Eve in 13.34. Next up for leg 2 was the Conneff sisters, Renee & Brooke, who were not phased about running the same leg. Renee was first back in 13.08 followed shortly by Brooke in 13.45 and this left the leg 3 runners to complete the relay. Normally this leg is primarily for under 17s but you can have an under 15 so you are up against experienced and strong runners. As the rest of the teams did both Freya and Lucy put in a good shift against the other clubs. Surprisingly Lucy ran a great leg and was second fastest female Harrier with a time of 12.55 with Freya, only being an under 15, completing her race in 13.06. Team A's overall time was 39.07 and Team B 40.14. Next up the boys.
|Olivia after turning point|
There was a few call offs with the boys and some persuading to encourage participation giving us 1 complete team. First up was Lewis Moir who had a plane to catch to the sun so was under orders to get round quick to get to the airport on time! This was Lewis's first cross country in this age group so he didn't know how he would fair amongst his peers. Lewis got round in 11.18 with training partner Patrick Saez taking the baton for leg 2. Patrick has had a good season and coming back to full fitness with a great time of 11.41 and taking on the last section of the relay was Louis Blake who like the girls race was up against some stiff competition. There was some confusion with Louis starting and he ended up going before Patrick returned so the officials don't have a time he left but only when returned. His official time was 8.49 but in real terms likely to be 11.49. These mistakes happen and this one of many reasons we encourage people to race to understand how the event goes on the day.
|Patrick at start of leg 2|
Overall great return for the junior endurance section to Scottish Athletics National Championships and the club goal is we continue this as the club and young athletes continue to develop.