Testing time in Turkey for Moorfoot athletes

A 20-HOUR JOURNEY, temperatures approaching 30°C, and an altitude of 1,600m above sea level – these were just some of the challenges faced by Moorfoot Runners Scout Adkin and Sarah McCormack at the European Mountain Running Championships on Mount Uludag near Bursa in Turkey on Sunday.

And that’s not to mention the select field of Europe’s top mountain runners from 26 different countries.

In her first outing in a GB vest, Adkin, 17, secured a hugely creditable top-half finish, coming home 15th in the junior women’s under-20 race. She completed the uphill-only course of 4km and 405m of ascent in 25 minutes and 10 seconds, just over three minutes behind the clear winner and defending champion Denisa Dragomar from Romania – and one place and a few seconds adrift of her GB team-mate Ffion Price from Wales, who reversed their form from the selection race four weeks ago.

McCormack was making her international debut for Ireland in the senior women’s race over 8.5km and a 865m climb, and picked up a few places with a strong second half to finish 42nd and top Irish finisher in 56.33.

This was a huge learning experience for both girls.

Adkin is still eligible for the under-20 age-group next year and McCormack is still a relative newcomer to mountain running so there is potential for further progress.

Their attention will now focus on gaining selection for the World Championships in Albania in September.