Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Moorfoot Three at Betws-y-Coed

First off at 9.15am in what from the event twitter images looked like beautiful sunny weather, was the Junior Home International U17 race over one up-and-down lap of 4.7km/250m. The boys and girls raced together along with the U20 women making tracking the live chip timing positions through the 2k checkpoint and finish a bit confusing!

Frankie Dettori eat your heart out!
Mairi Wallace was 5th of the U17 girls through the 2k mark in 13mins 44secs, not too far behind Scotland team-mate and Rollercoaster "regular" Laura Stark from Kilbarchan, with Emily Nicholson from Pitreavie leading with 13.19. Come the finish Laura, who must have fair zoomed down the descent, crossed the line first in 21.39 with Emily 2nd home in 21.46. Mairi would appear to have had a brilliant run, finishing as close as she ever has to Laura and Emily and coming home 5th in 22.38. With the English girls 3rd, 4th and 8th that was a convincing team gold for Scotland.

An indicator of the quality of the team's performance is that Laura and Emily finished ahead of all the U20 women in the race and they were both quicker than the third counter for the GB U20 women's team in the World Championship race run over the same course two hours later. Only two of the U20 women in the race finished ahead of Mairi and she was 32 seconds ahead of the 6th placed U17 girl. Not bad for a someone who just had her 15th birthday five days earlier and a nice shiny gold medal as a belated birthday present.

The JHI U20 men's race was off at 10.00am over two laps for 8.9km/500m. It was always going to be a tough race for Lucas Cheskin who had done really well to gain his selection. Lucas was through the half-way checkpoint in 16th place in 20.30 but dropped a few places on the second ascent eventually finishing fourth Scot in 19th in 43.00. England dominated the team race but Mairi's cousin Ross Gollan had a great run for individual silver in 37.51 and with Thomas Otton 6th and Gav Bryson 10th it was team silver for the Scots.

So with the appetisers done and dusted it was on to the main course, the World Championships with Jacob's U20 men's race over the same 8.9km two lap course as the JHI, off at 12noon.

At the 2k mark Jacob sat 17th in the middle of a bunch of nine or so runners along with GB team-mate John Spill, but he dropped a few places on the fast fire road descent to sit 22nd through half-way in 18.47. At that stage Max Nichols had moved up to 3rd for GB. Jacob then fair rocketed up the field on the second ascent picking up no fewer than ten places to sit a close 12th, and improving again on the final descent (unusually for him!) to cross the line in a fantastic 8th place in a time of 36.42.

With Max finishing 6th in 36.23 and John 16th in 37.36 it was team bronze for GB with a total of 30 points only two behind the USA but crucially two ahead of Italy. Runaway winners were Turkey with 1st, 3rd and 5th with individual winner Ferhat Bozkurt home in an amazingly fast 33.56 almost two minutes clear of silver.

Well done youze three! Also to ex-Moorfoot Sarah MacCormack who finished strongly for 9th in the senior women's Worlds race in 40.01.

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