Skiddaw near Keswick in the Lake District was the venue for the GB Trials for the World Mountain Running Championships and incorporated the Senior Home International between teams from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Four Moorfoots were in action on what proved to be a tough day at the office amidst the cream of British hill running talent.
Mairi Wallace is not 16 until September and was taking part in the Junior Women's U20 trial race for further experience of uphill only racing with an eye on the U17 Junior Home International in September which is also uphill only on Skiddaw. With only a minimal reduction in her training in the week prior, Mairi stuck in well for 7th place over the 3.7km course which had 510m of climb finishing in a time of 30 minutes 17 seconds. Impressively, she managed to run all the way including the 1km+ steep zig-zag main climb at a gradient of c.25% when most of her ten rivals were reduced to walking. She had her own private tussle for most of the race with Robyn Bennett from England who just outsprinted her for 6th place on the final approach to the finish. Encouragingly Mairi has three more years in this age-group.
The senior women's race over 7.7km and 846m climb saw Scout Adkin give it a real good go from the gun in the Scotland vest. But with Italy still in her legs (see post below), after a very positive start she drifted out of the top five on the steep zig-zag climb and despite a wee rally on the final climb to the summit of Skiddaw, was 9th of the 30 runners to cross the line in 50 minutes 30 seconds. She was top Scot on the day but was behind a couple of the England team who she had beaten previously this season. However, she was still only just over two minutes outside the GB senior women's selection places which remains a realistic target for her in the next few years. Having battle hard to the summit of Skiddaw and endured the wind, rain, mist and chilly temperatures on the top, Scout then managed to take a crashing fall when making her way back down at a leisurely pace giving herself a skint knee, scrapes and bruises and a hyper-extended wrist which will be the subject of a precautionary x-ray later today!
Wee brother Jacob was also in the Scotland vest as one of the two U23 athletes incorporated into the team of six for the men's Senior Home International race over 11.3km and 1080m. Having had a disrupted winter with two bouts of shin splints, this was maybe a race too far for Jacob without a good solid winter base behind him and he "felt flat" throughout the race, finishing 26th in 60 minutes and 48 seconds, over 6 minutes down on winner Andrew Douglas who was in very impressive form. Hopefully a good solid winter will see him close the gap back to his GB U20 team-mate and close rival from last year Max Nichols who secured his GB senior selection for the World Champs in his first year out of the junior ranks with his 5th place finish in 57.07.
Lucas Cheskin was also in action in this race, throwing himself bravely right into the deep end of British hill running in his first year out of the junior men's ranks. The full results are awaited online and Lucas is currently not contactable (!) so not sure where he finished in the end (or if he finished in the end!) as he is not on the photo of the first page of results up to 38th which has been tweeted. But then neither is the second Scotland U23 runner on that page. I suspect though, given the stacked nature of the field, that his dad David was pleased he had second thoughts about entering!!!