A 20-hour journey, temperatures approaching 30°C, and 1600m altitude - these were just some of the challenges faced by Scout Adkin and Sarah McCormack at the European Mountain Running Championships on Mount Uludag near Bursa in Turkey on Sunday 10 July, never mind the select fields of Europe’s top mountain runners from 26 different countries.
In her first outing in a GB vest Scout (17) secured a hugely creditable top half finish, coming home 15th in the Junior Women’s U20 race. She completed the uphill only course of 4km and 405m of ascent in 25mins 10 seconds, just over 3 minutes behind the clear winner and defending champion Denisa Dragomar from Romania and one place and a few seconds adrift of her GB team-mate Ffion Price from Wales, reversed form from the selection race four weeks ago.
Sarah was making her International debut for Ireland in the senior women’s race over 8.5km and 865m climb and picked up a few places with a strong second half to finish 42nd and top Irish finisher in 56 minutes and 33 seconds, not too far behind 4th GB counter Nicola Meekin.
This was a huge learning experience for both. Scout is still eligible for the U20 age-group next year and Sarah is still a relative newcomer to hill running so there is much potential for further progress. After a short re-charge, their attention will now focus on gaining selection for the World Championships in Albania in September.