Moorfoot U13s Boys team ran away with the National Cross Country title in Falkirk on Saturday but were halfway home to Peebleshire before the win was acknowledged.
Callendar Park was the venue for the 2016 Scottish Championships and some glorious spring weather and perfectly runable underfoot conditions left no excuses for the record entry of 2,295 runners across the nine races.
And what a start when the U13 Boys race over 3.2km brought a five star performance from the Moorfoot Runners squad.
Corran Carrick-Anderson was like a scalded cat from the gun and was up with the pace throughout. Ethan Elder, after a steady start, had closed in on the leaders by the mid-way point and then upped the tempo. Although David Addison from Corstorphine opened a good gap, Ethan and Corran were second and third going into the final switchback climb with 500m to go but with Oscar Onley from Chirnside and Ben Cameron from Forres close enough to challenge for medals. Down the long home straight Ethan battled to hold off Oscar by one second, coming home in 12 minutes 24 seconds for a fantastic individual silver medal. Corran was just run out of it but was still delighted with his above-form 5th place in 12.28.
So with a mere seven points from their first two finishers, all Moorfoot eyes turned to the 200m home stretch to see where their next two counters would come. Michael Girdler finished fast for 26th and Maxwell Drummond kept on well for 77th, just inside the top half in a massive field of 155 finishers. All credit to Maxwell who was recruited only three weeks ago through the help of Peebles High School PE staff as the required fourth team member. To finish where he did was just as valuable to the team cause as the other three.
The question now was would the team score of 110 points be enough to secure a national medal? It was a borderline score but as it transpired not only was it good enough, it was 23 points better than Giffnock North who were initially, and erroneously, awarded the team gold before the computer glitch, which meant no team score had been recorded for Moorfoot, was noticed.
Enquiries carried out by senior race officials confirmed the error, but by that time three of the team of four were already on their way home.
The trophy and medals were eventually handed over at a special presentation during club training on Monday evening by SAL Events Manager Ally Love. There was also a surprise message for the boys all the way from the USA from West Linton’s GB middle distance athlete Chris O’Hare.
“This is a fantastic result for the Moorfoot team,” he stated.
“Ethan, Corran, Michael and Maxwell, congratulations on such a great achievement this weekend at the Scottish Championships.
“I am very proud of you all for your hard work at training and in races. Continue to do your best every single day and you can all achieve anything that you put your mind to. Enjoy being Scottish Champions.”
More news from the National Cross Country Championships in this week’s Southern Reporter.