Early season outings in the hills from Sarah McCormack and Jacob Adkin indicate their continued improvement from last year.
The Hunters Bog Trot (6.5km/240m) in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on Saturday was the setting for Sarah’s first domestic race of the summer hill season as she looks to improve on her highly commendable 8th and 15th places in last year’s European and World Mountain Running Championships. In finishing 9th overall in a time of 29 mins 24 secs and winning the women’s race by a street, she was just over 1 minute faster than her own winning time in 2012 and also 14 seconds inside the 8 year-old course record despite the fact that the organisers reported that this year’s course had been lengthened a little. She also "socked it" to ex-Moorfoot Mike Reid by 10secs with Andrew Cox home in 16th in 31.22
Jacob (16) also had his first hill race of the season on Sunday at the Lomonds Junior Hill Races on East Lomond near Falkland in Fife. This was the first counter in the revamped Scottish Junior Hill Running League and was run over a very tough 3-lap course of 8.6km with 304m of climb made all the more difficult by a very strong westerly wind on the exposed hillside. A small but quality field in the U-20 race was decimated by the tough conditions and by Jacob’s strong ascending with older Scottish junior internationalists Andrew Lawler (Law) and Craig Campbell (Inverness) both dropping out when trailing. Jacob’s winning time of 42mins 55 secs knocked more than a minute off Lawler’s course record from 2012. Clubmate Lucas Cheskin battled on well for 2nd.
Also on East Lomond for her first ever hill race in the U-15 one lapper was 12 year-old Mairi Wallace who had a very encouraging learning experience in finishing 2nd behind Scottish Schools U15 cross-country champion Laura Stark from Kilbarchan. Thanks to Brian, Bruce and Kenny who have kept her company on training runs on Cademuir in recent weeks.