Decent conditions greeted the fourteen Moorfoots who took on the National Cross-Country Championships at Callendar Park, Falkirk on Saturday with dry, breezy conditions and not too much of the pre-publicised glaur. And at the end of the day, five of the fourteen returned home with a medal. That’s a 36% medal success rate!
I say home although of course Scout Adkin is now based in the Lake District and is now coached by Scottish Hill Running’s HRH Angela Mudge. But her blood still runs red and blue and it’s the Moorfoot vest she dons when racing in Scotland. Having shown good form in several cross-country races over the winter, as well as on her more usual terrain in the hills, Scout was confident enough to set off from the gun mixing it with the Senior Women’s race favourite GB Internationalist and defending champion Mhairi Maclennan of Inverness Harriers, past winner Morag Millar of Central, and up-and-coming Holly Page of Edinburgh University. These four soon broke away on the first of three laps over the 10km course, establishing an early gap on the chasing pack of 264 other runners which included a second Moorfoot in Jennifer Misak.
Over the closing stages, the experienced Millar got the better of the student Page and was in hot pursuit of the Moorfoot vest ahead, but the gap was too big and come the finish line, Scout took the silver medal with a comfortable 12-second cushion to spare, casually stopping her watch at 37.27 as if finishing a training run rather than her first ever National Cross-Country medal!
Jennifer Misak finished in 89th place in a time of 46.49, comfortably inside the top 100 and only marginally over 10 minutes behind the winner. Solid stuff indeed.
Earlier in the day, Kieran Fulton ran a well-controlled race to take the bronze medal in the Under-15 Boys race. With all his training having been geared to racing over 800m indoors since his East District XC title success in early December, the 4.3km distance was expected to be a bit of a shock to the system, but Kieran paced his race well, sitting top ten early on, then moving into 6th approaching half-way. The front two runners were out of sight but the gap to 3rd was less than ten seconds as they climbed the last hill through the village of club tents with about 1500m to go and Kieran was working hard to reel in the bronze medal contenders. As they hit the far turn he was into 5th and the gap was down to just 15 meters with his favoured distance of 800m remaining. From there he proved too strong for the others over the closing stages, taking the bronze medal in a time of 14.51 with four seconds to spare over 4th place.
The adrenaline must have been really pumping on the start line as she was right up there at the front of the cavalry charge in 2nd place at the top of the first rise after 300m, with another 138 runners in her wake! Thereafter she settled into a good rhythm and crossed the line in 37th place in a time of 14.25, all the better for the experience.
The Senior men’s race over the same three laps as the Senior women saw a mammoth field of 624 finishers. Just the two Moorfoots were in action. Milan Misak was 187th in a time of 40.15 and Colin Williams 234th in 41.46. I’m afraid I don’t know the story of their runs ‘cos I was long gone by then!
But you can watch extended highlights of each race and play spot the Moorfoot vest on Vinco Sport at this link:
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