Despite both the Peebles lurgy and injury impacting on some performances, there were still some pretty decent showings from the Moorfoot juniors at the National XC Champs at Callendar Park, Falkirk on Saturday. Unlike recent years, it was perfect conditions, a dry week and marginally sub-zero overnight temperature combining to provide good running ground, and the slight breeze having little impact in the sunny conditions other than keeping things on the chilly side of mild.
With two lurgy related call-offs in the morning, three or four running who had suffered a lurgy interrupted prep over the last ten to fourteen days, at least one who ran a tad below par, quite possibly due to the impending onset of the lurgy, one running through a niggling injury, and an ankle twist causing one DNF, it wasn't a day when the Moorfoot heather was set alight, but hats off to all those who rose to the challenge of competing in the National Champs in muckle big fields on a muckle tough course.
Best finisher on the day was Beth Hobbs who ran strongly considering she was one of those only just recovered from the lurgy, finishing 14th of 44 in a time of 26.47 in the U17 Women's race over 6km. Beth is still in that same age-group next winter. A tad below par in that race, and complaining of feeling a bit off form, was Mairi Wallace who crossed the line 25th in 28.41. Judging by mum Angela's still evident nasty bout of the lurgy, it would be no surprise if Mairi is next in their household to succumb!
First race of the day was the U13 Girls race over 3.1km and unfortunately a technical problem with the chip timing means no results have been published yet. I'd guess the three Moorfoot finishers -Christina McGorum, Holly Hobbs and Maddie Collins (in that order) - were all inside the top half. Emily Carrick-Anderson was a lurgy hit non-runner and unfortunately Esme Minto twisted an ankle and was a DNF. She was hobbling manfully (sexist?) along on one good leg when passing yours truly with 1200m and the hill still to go, so the shepherd's crook was deployed to pull her out.
The U13 Boys were kept champing at the bit on the start line for a good 10 minutes while the technical problem was sorted, then were off at a rate of knots like pent up bullocks! In a field of 188 finishers Ben Allan was just inside the top half in 79th in 13.16. Angus Carlyle was racing on the back of limited training due to ongoing heel and knee pain and did well to finish, coming home 116th in 13.54 and Jake Lockyer had his usual spirited finish and was just ten places back in 14.10. Patrick Cannon was another lurgy hit non-runner.
The Under 15 Girls raced over 4.1km with Charlotte Morrison leading the Moorfoot trio home in 75th in 18.41. Eilidh Mooney was next home in 92nd in 19.10 and Megan Hobbs kept on well for 106th in 19.35.
Finally in the U17 Men's race over 6km Euan Hood (Lasswade vested) and Craig Angus both produced solid consistent runs after bouts of the lurgy, Euan finishing 37th in 23.47 and Craig 47th in 24.34.
Well done all.
Photo shows Ben, Jake and Angus on the start line, seemingly intrigued by the Gala pairs' pre-race Japanese meditation. Mind you it served them well - 167 floated to bronze and 169 zenned his way to 31st.